This is the original text for my ShowoffBooks photoshoot. From what I understand, this book was originally created as a statement against the growing practice of Labiaplasty, though it has since evolved into a more vast and poignant expression of self-empowerment for all women.
On December 11th, after an incredibly challenging day of missing 2 ferries to Vancouver city and driving for eons, we arrived at the photo shoot. It was the very last day of shooting, and the author and photographer had generously stayed later than scheduled, as a result of my unplanned tardiness. I was immediately struck by the vibrant beauty and aliveness of the Author (Wrenna) and the precision and skill of the photographer (Katie). The actual photography took about 7 minutes to complete.. stand and snap, recline and snap. Somewhat anti-climactic after the intensity of the day, but more than made up for by the opportunity to participate in such a revolutionary work of art. Not to mention spending some time with these two very exceptional women. Mine was the very last Yoni photographed, and I was number 69. This is my story….
My name is Devi and this is my Lotus. I am 36 years old and I have no children, as a life choice. I am a Tantric Sexuality Educator and the fact that I chose to participate in this book is to me, a statement of the tremendous healing, growth and transformation that I have experienced as a result of the sexual practices that I teach. I believe that both women and men grow up with an underlying sense of shame regarding their sexuality, as a result of the “sex negative” culture in which we live. As a young woman, I grew up with a deep sense of shame regarding my vagina, though I could not pinpoint an exact experience that would cause this. The fears and shames consisted mostly of A) The fear of smelling bad, B) The fear of my vagina being too “loose from use”, both literally and figuratively, and C) Just a subtle and subconscious “sense of being dirty down there”. During the process of sexual healing that I have undergone these last few years, I have become aware of the direct physical impact that these subconscious emotions of fear, shame, and guilt have, on our ability to fully experience pleasure as women. In regards to the appearance of my Vulva… to shave or not to shave was about as far as it went for me. Though I do remember that when I was a stripper, I would often discreetly peek at the other girls in the dressing room, out of the corner of my eye, trying to unobtrusively “compare goods”. I remember seeing vulvas with the inner labia sticking out a bit, and thinking how pretty that looked, like a flower, and kind of wishing mine looked the same. Mildly I wondered if mine was “different” in some way, normal, attractive, etc. I regularly had men report to me that my vagina, yoni, (and now lotus), was “very pretty”…so my need for vaginal acceptance was met, at least on the level of appearance. Honestly, it didn’t even occur to me that one could surgically alter the appearance of the Vulva until now. When I learned about Labiaplasty, (very recently in fact), I felt a tremendous sense of sadness that any young woman would be in so much pain about the appearance of her vulva, that she would willingly choose to have it butchered. To have that delicate, highly sensitive, pleasure-enhancing tissue surrounding the vaginal opening, willingly cut up and cut off, in order to fit some culturally conditioned standard of beauty. Then I read more, and learned that Labiaplasty sometimes also includes the clitoral tissue as well. This sounds dangerously similar to the process of female circumcision, the intention being to minimize, (if not eradicate completely), the pleasurable sensations of intercourse, so that a women feels little-to-no pleasure during sex. Isn’t female circumcision considered a “crime against humanity” in some countries? And also, my god! Don’t we as women have enough culturally enforced “body-image” issues already? Now this? On top of having to constantly manage my hair, my skin, my nails, my weight, my boobs, my ass, now I have to have the perfect looking pussy too. According to who, I wonder? And for what…? What is the “golden mean” that we are all desperately trying to achieve with this inward twisting and turning, and outward slicing and dicing? What is the burning need, the passionate desire that inspires us to work so hard for physical perfection? That allows us to brutalize ourselves internally, and at times mutilate ourselves externally?
I believe it is the desperate and unremitting need for love and acceptance. That basic, underlying desire that we all have as Human beings; to be loved. To simply be loved, and accepted, exactly as we are.
And so I feel very sad that some women feel that the best strategy for accomplishing their goal of love and acceptance, is to willingly have themselves “circumcised” in a sense. To have their precious labia cut off, and their bliss pearls (clitoris’s) altered to “look more appealing”. How will they ever feel pleasure after that sort of trauma? I know the intense amount of emotional and physical healing that my Vulva and Vagina needed to undergo in order to reach my full orgasmic capacity as a woman, and my trauma was purely emotionally and psychologically based. I can’t imagine what it would take to re-sensitize a vulva after that sort of physical damage has been done.
In all honesty, I believe the growing practice of labiaplasty is a red flag for us, not just as women, but for all of us, as a spiritually and sexually disconnected society. A very drastic and painful testament of what we all do to ourselves on some level, in an attempt to have those basic underlying Human needs for acceptance, love, and connection met. And tragically, how so many of our strategies fail.
My name is Devi and this is my pussy, my vulva, my yoni, cunt, vagina, mandala, and very Secret Sky.
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