Weighing in as an agender person with a vulva, I often feel conscious of my labia too. Interestingly though, while my junk taken as a whole makes me feel dysphoric, the awareness of my labia alone has somehow always felt neutral instead of feminine to me personally… And I can see how to a woman, it could feel extremely feminine.
That is…really interesting. And not something I would have expected, coming at it from the other direction as I did. Hmm…
And what a relief that they feel gender-neutral — that’s a blessing. I know what genital dysphoria feels like, believe me!
It can annoy the hell out of me when my longer labia starts getting chafed (I sometimes have to find a private spot to readjust if I’m walking a lot and don’t want a rash).
Exactly! This same thing came up in a discussion with another reader — a cisgender woman who was feeling uncomfortably ‘masculinised’ because she sometimes has to ‘adjust’ — like that’s a thing people with ‘normal’ labia shouldn’t have to do. In fact, I suspect most of us do.
And I can see how to a woman, it could feel extremely feminine. But funnily enough, by itself it’s not something that triggers my dysphoria — which I never realized before I read this and stopped to think about it. Thank you for that. :)
I wonder if these moments of hyperawareness of our labia are a fairly universal experience for people with vulvas? It’s an interesting subject, thanks for raising it!
Hey, thanks Morgan! I was feeling uncomfortable, thinking that this piece might be just too weird; just ‘too much’…you’ve put me at ease. :-)