I don’t like how the inner lips of my vulva stick out of my outer lips. I am embarrassed to let guys see me naked or go down on me. I have looked at porn and the woman don’t look like me. Is something wrong with me?
This question is extremely common and one that I hear so often from women. In fact I used to feel ashamed of this in myself and tried to push my lips in so they wouldn’t stick out. Please listen to me when I say that there is NOTHING at all wrong with you! Vulva styles vary greatly (as you can see from Betty Dodson’s drawings at the top of this post) and the style that you are referring to, where the inner lips are bigger than the outer lips, is the most common style. It is unfortunate that today’s porn rarely contains representations of this style and this is hugely damaging to women’s body image. The current trend seems to be in favour of tiny inner lips tucked into the outer lips. While this vulva style is beautiful as well it isn’t the only or best way to be. Many of the women in porn undergo a surgery called labiaplasty in order to obtain that look. Vulva’s – like penis’s – are all different but they are all normal. There is no one way that a vulva should be.
When I do private orgasm coaching or run Bodysex workshops, we always do a “Genital Show and Tell” as part of it. This is where we open our vulva’s up and find our clitoris, urethra, vaginal opening, and inner and outer lips. Most women have never properly looked at themselves in this way and they are astonished by what they see. During this “show and tell” I explain and demonstrate different self touching techniques to help women learn different and better ways to bring them selves to orgasm. These demonstrations involve clitoral stimulation of the external clit, but that’s not all. The more inner lips that you have, the more skin there is to touch therefore there are more things you can do with them. These lips are full of nerve endings and touching them helps to give your entire clit(inner and outer) an erection. The more you play with them the better your orgasm can be. I love teaching these techniques but you can learn them yourself by taking the time to try out what feels best for you. Also for women who have extremely sensitive clits the lips can be used as a barrier over top of the clit when rubbing.
We are beautiful as we are – big lips or small lips – and I never tire of seeing each woman’s uniqueness. My suggestion to you is to get naked, grab some coconut oil, and start loving those big lips of yours. Be grateful for all of the extra nerves you have that will bring you to greater heights of pleasure. Be grateful that they can be sucked, pulled and teased by a lover who loves you just as you are. Give your vulva a hug with your hand and tell her that she is okay just as you are okay – exactly as you are. If anyone tells you that you should look different or that you aren’t okay they aren’t worth a minute of your time. LOVE those vulva lips!!!
Take care and enjoy exploring pleasure,
To view more real vulva’s go to //www.labialibrary.org.au/photo-gallery/#
This past week someone that I love very much unwillingly shared with me a story of something she had done and felt deep shame about. Tears spilled out of her eyes as she quietly spoke, struggling to keep it all together and obviously deeply afraid of the judgement she feared from me. Looking at her I saw beauty in the way her lips curve and how smooth and clear her skin is. I saw scars on her shoulders as she turned away to hide her deep, dark eyes that hold memories only she knows. I saw vulnerability in her shaking chest and in how she used the back of her hand to softly wipe rain drops of tears off of her cheeks. I saw her with all of the love that I always see her with – that part hadn’t changed – but what had changed was that I also saw me.
One of the most difficult parts of this journey and work that I am embarking on, but also the very part that drew me to it, is that I am constantly having to look into my mirror image and so very often I am shocked by what I see. Touching myself with love and intent is more intimate than sex with another because there is no “other” to turn to, to blame, to seek. Whether my touch is sexual or not – I am forced to bring it all back to me because I am alone in the room.
Alone with myself I can’t hide behind grievances. If I don’t orgasm I can’t blame someone else’s lack of skill. I can’t rely on someone else’s hands to make me feel better, to numb feelings that I don’t want to feel, to ignore parts that are broken, to tell me I’m not that bad. This self loving practice means going deeper into my whole self and the difficulty in that is that my whole self doesn’t always feel deserving of love.
I am in constant contact with other amazing women who are seeking Bodysex certification and what we discuss and support each other with the most, is this struggle. The constant looking inward to unending discoveries of not only our strengths but also our weaknesses. The feeling that we have taken 10 steps forward and then 20 backwards. We commiserate about how easy it would be to just be a “normal” sex educator who can fire off endless lists of “10 ways to be better in bed.” When you add the “other” there is someone else to blame for everything but also someone else to seek from. “They don’t touch the right way, move enough, or make enough sound. I’m not getting what I want. I need more from them. I want him to see me.” In a way this leaves us a slave to someone else’s validation and response to us. Needing that response means that without it – or when it isn’t quite enough – we feel like something is always missing. So we keep seeking it. I keep seeking it.
I wanted to learn to practice self love so that I wasn’t a slave to others opinion of me. So that even if there was no one else to touch me I would know that my own touch was just as good because no one could possibly touch me with more love than I have for myself. I wanted to bring myself to my sexual experiences and actually have something to offer – not only the other – but myself. I could bring me to every experience and it might. just. be. enough.
Some days I feel madly in love and I can’t get enough of every inch of my body. I feel beautiful, alive, sexually empowered and a part of something much greater than myself. On other days nothing feels like enough and I can’t run from what I see inside. I struggle to feel any love for myself beneath my fingers. In order to find this love I not only touch myself but speak out loud words of affirmation: “I love you Natasha. You are okay just as you are.” This touch and these words are an act of compassion for myself and choosing this means that it is easier for me to find compassion for others.
After she stopped crying and with tears pouring from my own eyes, I looked at her and with complete conviction I said; “Thank you. I see you and I see myself in you and all I feel is love for you. That means we are both okay.”
The image in my mirror will never be untainted. I will never stop wanting validation or love from others. I will never stop messing up. That is my humanness. But the gift in all of this self loving – and being unable to look away from my beauty and my ugliness – is that all of it is an act of compassion for myself. And in choosing this compassion for myself it is impossible not to choose it for others.
I wake up horny but alone in my bed. I know that I should get up and take advantage of the quiet house but my body wins over my mind and I decide to just rub one out.
Making breakfast for kids and a jar of jam that I bought at the farmers market slips out of my hand and smashes on the tile floor. I look around at the sticky mess and I want to scream but instead I finish helping the kids with breakfast then sneak off to rub one out. All of a sudden cleaning doesn’t seem so bad.
Kids gone, working on my classes I know I should maximize my time alone to get stuff done but all I can think of is that there is no one here and I need to do some other “research.” Back and forth I list reasons in my head why I should do the “right thing” and study. Fuck it I say and I go rub one out.
Driving alone and blissfully fantasizing, I’m suddenly overwhelmed with desire and the need overtakes me so I pull over, hide in the back of my van and rub one out. Back on the road again I’m a better driver because of it.
Home cooking dinner, folding laundry while kids run in and out of the house. Feels like complete chaos and this “witching hour” before dinner is always the hardest hour of my day. Needing some kind of boost to keep me from losing it on everyone I head to the bathroom for a much needed “break” and go rub one out. Returning to the kitchen I’m super mom, flushed and glowing I finish the cooking and laundry with a huge smile on my face. I can do anything now cause I just rubbed one out.
Kids all tucked into bed and it’s time for a bath. It’s been a full day and lowering my body into the hot, soapy water feels just right. At this point all is well but I’m once again alone and we all know where this is going. Time to rub one out. Just. because. I. can.
Bedtime now and one might expect that after all that rubbing out I’ve used up all of my orgasms. This couldn’t be more wrong because, as a woman, the more I get – the more I am reminded of what I want. Not only do I feel light and free but all of the self loving means I feel extraordinarily beautiful too. Ready for more – only this time I’m not alone in my bed…….
In May I held my first Bodysex workshop and, in addition to the workshop, the women were given the option of participating in a “Nude in Nature” photography session done by my wonderful and talented friend Dana Kellet. Nine of the women chose to do so and a few of them agreed to share their words and photos from that special day. We did the photos the day after the workshop and right away Dana commented on how different it was from the usual nude photo shoots we do. After having spent two days together naked, the atmosphere was relaxed – while at the same time joyous – and clothes came off without the normal coaching and easing into it.
The photo process is a group effort with one woman being photographed at a time, while the others watch and encourage her – attempting to convey to her the light in which she is seen by others. It is a privilege for me personally to be allowed to, not only see them in their nakedness, but also be able to express to them what I see. Each woman is so unique and, as Betty Dodson would say, “We are all divine works of art.”
“I received my pics from Dana and cried. Sometimes it’s that different perspective that really hits you in the gut and genuinely allows us to appreciate our bodies for all they have persevered through. I am in awe.” – Bodysex and Nude in Nature photo participant.
“We giggled, danced, laughed, and openly admired each other. At the river’s edge, my head went quiet; tears of joy and sadness surprised me and poured out. These women, which I hardly know, and yet know so intimately, moved over to me and sat with me quietly, touched my skin, and affirmed that I’m just fine. I’m not too much. I’m not too little. I’m good just the way I am.” -Bodysex and Nude in Nature Participant
“It was an honour to be one of the women who made up the circle of Natasha’s first BodySex workshop. I was eager to participate in the workshop as it was another piece of my journey of learning to love myself again (my last relationship left me emotional shattered). Being naked with 11 other woman for 2 days wasn’t a concern for me – it was emotionally opening myself up and being vulnerable to strangers that had me hesitant. Would I be judged? Would I say too much? Would being bi-sexual make others uncomfortable? Any and all fears were quickly put to rest. Each woman opened her heart, her mind, her fears and insecurities, her struggles, her dreams and wishes, her tears, her story, her self discoveries, her compassion and empathy, and her love.
It was an incredible journey of emotions, self-reflection and self-realizations for me. I know that for a longtime to come I will continue to discover and appreciate all that the weekend brought out in me and taught me.”
– Bodysex and Nude in Nature Participant
My favourite moment from the day was when one of the women, who had held her body so tightly at the beginning of the weekend, laid back on the hot sand and moaned. Looking at her I saw her like the Goddess she is, clothed only in drops of wet sand. She radiated bliss and peacefulness and I said to her “You look so beautiful.” With a deep breath she responded “ I feel so beautiful.” There was no doubt at all that she saw and felt herself in the same light as the rest of us did, and that moment alone made the struggle to get here worth it.
Much love and gratitude to the circle of sisters who shared parts of their physical, emotional and sexual selves with me that weekend, and continue to inspire me to show others everyday – the light in which I see them. I am grateful.