Our vaginas can be pretty confusing. Society doesn’t really give us a whole lot to go off of, and the miseducation that we do receive is compounded by unrealistic expectations set forth by mainstream pornography and the fact that due to budget cuts and conservative agendas, sexuality education in the States is all but disappearing.
It’s no wonder so many people are concerned about their labia — from thinking that they need to get cosmetic procedures done to change them to wondering if it’s normal for one to be longer than the other.
So here is YouTuber and sexuality educator Laci Green to set some facts straight. In short: Your labia are perfectly fine however they are.
Click for the Transcript
There was a point of my life where I had major insecurity about my labia. You know, the two lips that are outside your vagina.
The only times when I was really seeing labia was in porn. Then, I was like “Oh, that must be what I look like, is that what’s going…” Eventually, I decided to check things out and I was like “What the fu—? Jay, what does your vagina look like?” Then I remember Jay doesn’t have a vagina. And I was left all alone, with my mirror and my porn and my freaky labia.
My insecurity with my labia continued to grow until at one point, I was in college and some people that I knew said, “Hey, guess what. Labia come in all different shapes and sizes. No, they don’t all look like they do in porn. Not all labia are this big.” Mind, blown.
So, like I said, the labia are the lips that are outside the vagina. There are two sets of them: there’s the inner set that’s called the labia minora and there’s the outer set that’s called the labia majora. These lips are very sensitive and have lots of nerve-endings, and they act like a doorway to the vag.
The lips can be lightly colored, they can be darkly colored, the inner can be dark, the outer can be light, the outer can be dark, the inner can be light. They might be straight, they may be kinda wavy, they might have lots of wrinkles, they might be really smooth. The inner lips can be longer than the outer, and the outer lips can longer than the inner. Or they can be about the same. They can be this long, this long, this long, this long.
It’s actually kind of amazing how many types of labia there are, which is why the real reaction to looking at my labia should’ve been “That’s pretty rad,” not “Oh my God.”
Labia distortion is a problem all over the world. Depending on where you go, you’re gonna find people changing it in different ways. In parts of Africa — Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa — there’s a tradition of elongating and pulling the labia. Oh, small twinge.
But in other parts of the world, people are chopping their labia off! Big twinge, big painful twinge! Why would anybody do that?
Well, some of them, namely pornstars, are expected to. I’m looking at you, Australia. Laws in Australia say that protruding labia are too obscene for pornography. And even though we don’t have laws like that here in the US, it sort of works out the same way. As a result, labiaplasties and vaginal rejuvenation are on the rise.
I have received e-mails from people who are considering getting a labiaplasty or a vaginal rejuvenation because they feel insecure about it and also because of pressure from their partners. Pressure from partners to cut off a sensitive body part to make a more appealing hole for them to put their penis in!
It’s clear to me that it’s not your labia that need tucked or your vaginas that need a rejuvenation. These assholes need a rejuvenation of their fucking human decency! And maybe their brain, while they’re at it.
But as for that insecurity, for me, it helped to sincerely recognize that labia do all look really different. There is this book—what’s it called?—Femalia! Yeah, I really liked that one. But there are lots of websites that are dedicated to showcasing all the diversity of labia. I’m gonna put some links down below.
Another thing to keep in mind is that people enjoy the diversity of labia. Yeah, there are assholes, but you don’t have to waste your time with those ones, cause everyone is gonna be like, so happy that you even have a vagina!
A last tip for overcoming insecurity: Spend more time with your labia. Pull out a mirror, check out what’s going on down there, and become familiar with your labia. You and your labia can’t build a loving relationship with each other if you’re not spending time together. Relationship facts.
Alright y’all, I gotta be outs. Thanks for watching, make sure to add me on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. You do that stuff and I’ll see you next week. Mwah!
For more on this topic, check out the following:
- How to Start Loving Your Vagina
- Our Vulvas, Ourselves
- 5 Ways Society Breeds Vagina-Hate (And How to Combat It)
Laci Green is a 23-year-old peer sex educator and YouTuber from San Francisco. She makes videos to help people learn about sexuality and bodies so that they can enjoy them! She likes to make people laugh and think, preferably at the same time. Follow her on Twitter @gogreen18.