The Encyclopedia Of Smut: L Is For Labia

Mar 07, 2013 | Posted by Ottimo Massimo in Fetish

SoManyLipsToday was supposed to be the day we do a K word, but we couldn't think of a single good word to set things off (unless you want to hear about our thoughts on Klezmer). Thus, we have moved on to L, and with it, a word that seems to be popping up in anguished cries all over the internet: labia.

Don't Do Give Us Any Lip

As you probably guessed, one of the things that set our minds in this direction was Tracy Clark-Flory's piece on "labia pride" written for Salon last month, as well as the fallout related to it. If you haven't read it, the jist is that there has been a recent proliferation of websites dedicated to promoting awareness and acceptance of the infinite ways a vulva can look: big lipped, dangly, darkened, they're all beautiful. We're down with that sentiment, and we think it's great that sites like Large Labia Project, Courageous Cunts, and the Pussy Pride Project are offering support to those who are concerned, confused, or upset about the appearance of their pussy.

However, we're not down with the fact that porn gets blamed for all of this. The reasoning goes that female pornstars have to appeal to mainstream porn sensibilities, and therefore have to appeal to men, so they get labiaplasty (currently one of the most popular cosmetic procedures available), and then broadcast their smooth, lipless pussies to the world, making "real" labia owners feel like their pussy lips are ugly. It's as if there are only two kinds of vulvas in the world: real ones with pubic stubble and multiple protruding folds, and the perfect sans-lip clamshells you see in porn.

We have to ask, what kind of porn are these people watching?

[Above: These two ladies are too busy to worry about their pussy lips, via "Intimate Moments: Masturbation Sessions"]

Minora, Majora, Marvelous

The funny thing about this fingerpointing and labia supporting going on is that we've done it all before. Here's an article from The Guardian from 2011, "Labiaplasty surgery increase blamed on pornography"; here's our editrix's response to that nonsense; here's a collection of drawings of vulvas that Betty Dodson's been showing to classrooms full of women for decades. We feel bad for rehashing old arguments, but as long as the rest of the internet is doing it, we might as well join in.

We're happy that people want to talk about self-image and sexuality and all that groovy stuff, but we'd be happier if it could be done without throwing pornography under the bus--for no good reason, we might add. Does porn have the potential to contribute to self-image issues? It sure does. We're not saying the industry is innocent. All we're saying is that it's hard to compare the picture at the top of this page or this picture of the vulvas of the last ten AVN Female Performers of the Year with the post-surgery pictures seen here. Need more proof? Look at the pornstar vaginas for sale at Fleshlight. There are fifteen models available, no two are alike, and the labia minora are represented in full, luscious, protruding bloom.

[Above: Look at Lexi Belle's pussy lips. Are you looking? Look harder. Via "Private Sensations"]

Loose Lips Sink Ships Are Fine Already

Why are we fixated on labial appearance in the first place? We don't want to deny anyone the right to express concerns about their looks or strive for the body they want, but we'd at least like to find the font of stress everyone's sipping from. A woman's labia change a great deal, not just over the course of one's life, but also according to hormones, arousal, exercise, and other factors both internal and external, so to some degree, there is neither a generic, universal, porn-driven pussy ideal nor a personal static set of lips. You want to have pride in your labia? Great! Just make sure you accept everyone else's labia too, even the ones you mistakenly call "porny."

For a different take on Pussy Pride, we invite you to read the thoughts of one of our regular True Sex Stories contributors, Dumb Domme, in a piece called "pussy pride and labia shame." Not only does she not have pussy pride, she says "we shouldn't need pussy pride":

My pussy is flesh. It is what it is. It does what it's supposed to do. In that sense, I shouldn't love my labia, nor should I hate it. I shouldn't think about my labia. [...] ...so far, all the education, sex positivity, feminist theory, supportive partners, and efforts at self-acceptance haven't helped much. If you have a magic pill to help me turn off my shame issues and magically love myself and my big fat labia, send it my way.

She ultimately argues that we do need pussy pride--because there is a great deal of shame in the world and Betty Dodson's drawings, the Large Labia Project, Courageous Cunts, and others are sending the positive messages that need to be sent--but even though that's where the article ends up, we think one of Dumb Domme's most sterling sentiments is found in the middle of her piece:

Instead of thinking about what I can't change and what I shouldn't feel pride or shame about, I should focus on things I worked for, practiced, mastered, and things I can control. I worked for my education and for my skills and talents. I learned how to paint. I practice playing guitar. I work at my relationships and I practice kindness towards others. I work to maintain my mind, body, and spirit. Those are things for which I should be proud. Not my pussy.

About now is the time when we try to wrap up the post all snappy-like, but it can't be done with a topic like this. So, hey, if you want to hear about our thoughts on klezmer music, drop us a line!

[Above: How can we judge your labia if you're playing with gigantic toys? Via "My Gigantic Toys 15." All clips courtesy of AEBN (theater.aebn.net)]

[At top, from left to right: Tori Black, Isis Taylor, Kayden Kross, Asa Akira, Lisa Ann, Jennifer White, Sunny Leone, Abella Anderson, Faye Reagan, Kristina Rose, originally found here.]

Tagged in: Video, Fetish, top, pussy, Educational, labia, Encyclopedia of Smut

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