It’s important that we learn to love ourselves…if we don’t, our minds can tend to get carried away into the deep, dark, depths of despair, as I’m sure we all know that feeling where a perfectly wonderful day was totally ruined by some intrusive thought, a thought that made us feel insecure or perhaps even despise ourselves a little bit. “Am I good enough?” we often wonder, as we wander through life unsure of what’s acceptable and where our places are in the world, respectively. The body is one of the most common objects of insecurity we have — we can rationalize our actions, but our bodies are fixed.
While it may be true that all of the cells in our body, each and every one of them will be individually replaced in due time as if nothing happened, shed and regrown, the totality of the look of our bodies don’t change. When we find something we’re insecure about, it can haunt us for years, if not a lifetime. I was surprised, as an adult, to come to find out just how many were insecure about their vaginas — I was flat-out amazed, to be honest. This often comes from harsh words spoken, because, let’s face it, harsh words hurt — and they last. I had no idea about any of this until I was an adult, at later into my adult life, at that.
I could have sworn that genital insecurity was the realm of men, the place where we curiously wonder about our manly members, ever questioning if it’s good enough or will suffice to satisfy our lovers…but it turns out, that women have issues with this, too. Women all over wonder if their vaginas are simply unattractive — perhaps even unlovable. For the record, every vagina is an attractive vagina, if it's on a person we’re attracted to. I’ve actually heard it from many women, and my surprise was always the same: I wish my vagina wasn’t [insert any descriptive term here].
My first thought was always, “Oh no, you too? I can’t believe it, you? You’re great down there, I absolutely adore it…” But alas, if there’s a lesson I’ve learned in life, it’s to never try to talk someone out of their own insecurities directly — they’ll only think you’re lying to them to make them feel better after realizing that you’ve touched a nerve.
Yet, women all over feel ashamed of this body part of their bodies. Size, shape, color, odor, you name it, all have women the globe over questioning themselves and their value, as can be evidenced by a brief internet search which will turn up a litany of articles containing a wealth of grievances from women in the depths of despair, all over the status of their womanly parts; and I can only ask one question — why?
Perhaps some of it has to do with the trends in pornography which, at least in years past, had tended to show a very narrow window of naked body types and had given an impression of what certain few porn producers felt that women should look like. Fortunately, those years are pretty much long behind us, and porn is significantly diversifying — hopefully, the self-imposed body standards we hold will follow.
Some women report feeling ashamed from looking at other women in locker rooms or other places where women undress together, a feeling that often haunts them for the rest of their lives. They wonder what us men think and if we’re silently judging them. I can assure the readers out there that in almost all cases, we’re aren't, at least not in a negative way. While men can be harsh with jokes between themselves about the female form, (we’re harsh with one another about our jokes as well, men often bond by insulting one another) when it comes down to it, I think that pretty much any woman out there would be hard-pressed to find a man who would actually kick her out of bed because of the shape or form of her vagina. These men don’t actually mean the things they’re saying unless they have a low-key hatred of women in general, which is a whole other issue, might I add.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t have preferences, we do, but preferences aren’t standards, and even if, good luck pinning down a particular preference which suits all or even most men — porn in the 1990s tried to do this and failed miserably, in more aspects than just the appearance of the models’ vaginas (vulvas, technically) porn at least tried to keep the status quo image of the 19-year-old, slender-to-fit body-type, often blonde with a landing strip and what seems to be a lipless sliver for an opening, back when it was made in big studios. But today, we see niche categories for things like full-pubic growth and robust, voluptuous labia — niche categories with die-hard audiences, might I add. While porn shouldn’t be the standard of our sexuality, it is telling of what’s going on inside of the minds of people when it comes to their sexual appetites. An interesting book which discusses many of these data sets at length is A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the Internet Tells Us About Sexual Relationships. It’s definitely eye-opening when it comes to providing an impersonal glance into our sexual habits when we think no one is looking.
Men love a variety of women and sometimes two people won’t click and that’s just how life is, but there is literally no one out there who doesn’t have millions upon millions of people who are just right for them. Did you know that the second most popular age that turns up in porn searches is 50-year-old women? The first most popular is 18-year-olds, but it’s extremely important to note, here, that more men search for 50-year-old women than 19-year-old women. Yet, how often do we see women struggling with feeling “too old” or undatable? Nothing could be further from the truth, I sincerely hope you’ll believe that. It should be noted, here, I’m not advocating pornography, but I do think that these studies and this data are revealing of what’s really going on inside of the minds of people all over the globe. The Internet, above all else, is a big data factory, one that’s showing that our traditional notions of what’s “beautiful” are extremely outdated and need a total overhaul, and in few places is this more prevalent than when it comes to women feeling insecure about their vaginas. Few people can explain their preferences, though science is beginning to uncover the reasons behind those preferences with the aid of the data collected from the internet, it’s time to set the record straight on a few things…
- I’ve never encountered a vagina shape I didn’t like. A lot of women are walking around embarrassed by their fuller or more protruding vulvae, but personally, I’ve always been wooed by a robust set of lips whenever I’ve seen one.
- Vaginae (yes, this is the proper plural of vagina) come in all different shades and colors as well and nothing is off-limits to us sane men who aren’t suffering from some deep issues. No matter what your shade, light, dark, somewhere in the middle, don’t ever feel bad about what you were born with — there are men the world over who will adore you for it.
- I’ll be honest, here, the only men I’ve ever seen who complain about or verbally snub vaginal odor are men who are both misogynists and control freaks. I’ve never, ever smelled a vagina that I didn’t enjoy. Not once. The sweet, tangy tart, the robust sour from the sweat concentrated in that area, just about all of it is absolutely wonderful, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Honestly, it’s always given me a kind of pheromonic high that’s indescribable beyond words.
- To accept the woman, you have to accept the vagina. A woman wouldn’t be who she is with a different vagina, her vagina is an expression of her physical identity, and it is something to be loved and cherished; in a very real way, philosophically speaking, no woman would be complete with a different vagina.
- This idea of “looseness” also needs to go away. As has been mentioned by other writers here on Medium, it’s time for us to dispel the notion that sex, sex with abundant partners (what I’d call a healthy sex life), or other types of trauma that aren’t extreme in nature “loosen” the vagina. More information on this can be found here, but in a nutshell, the shape and contour of the vagina is determined by genetics and legitimate trauma only — sorry guys, no matter how much this might destroy your pride, sex with your penis doesn’t count as physical trauma, things that do are traumatic childbirth, car accidents, and other severely injurious events. Anytime I hear or see someone talking about “looseness” I instantly lose all respect for them and know, in a moment, that they have no idea what they’re talking about and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
- Everybody is different. Some bodies fit together better than other bodies. As I’ve discussed in my story The How’s and Why’s of Penis Size, sex feels different with different partners, and in no way does a mismatch with one partner mean we’ll be mismatched with everyone. This also has more to do with the physical body itself and the ability to make certain angles work rather than the shape or size of the genitals.
A vagina has never been too big, too loose, too brown, too odorous, too thick, too thin, etc. All vaginas matter. It’s time for us to stop pretending that some vaginas (or vaginae or vulva, or whatever you’d like to call them) are better than others. This is simply not true. I hate to sound cliche, here, but it’s true, what matters most when it comes to our sexual body parts, in my view, is the person who is attached to them — I don’t love my girlfriend’s belly because it’s the best, most beautiful belly in the world (it is, by the way, at least from my point of view), but because it’s her belly and no one else…the same goes for vaginas.
Disclosure: Thank you for reading. This article contains affiliate links to A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the Internet Tells Us About Sexual Relationships as well as references, the former of which I may make a small commission from. It’s an amazing book and a bizarre glance into the unadulterated human mind.