Five (More) Ways to Love Your Body
It’s May, and you (may or may not) know what that means—Masturbation Month! Good Vibrations has you covered with a post on what the month is all about if you’re not familiar, and we hope everyone’s having a lovely time celebrating. But getting off isn’t the only way to love your body—here’s five (more) ways you can feel more confident, comfortable, and empowered in your own skin.
1. Take a look. It’s good to know (and appreciate) what you’ve got going on, so grab a mirror and take a look below the belt once in a while. If you’re curious about whether you’re “normal,” be aware that there’s an enormous variety in the appearance of genitalia. Being familiar with yourself can also help you spot any changes or irregularities sooner and talk to a health care provider about them.
2. Feel your boobies. Regular breast exams (including self-exams) can help you feel more in tune with your body and give you the sense of pride that comes from prioritizing your health. If that’s not enough, try browsing 007b.com, a website focused on breastfeeding that collects photos of real, “normal” breasts. These non-sexualized images (still NSFW) can help you appreciate all the ways breasts can be beautiful.
3. Listen to your body. Whether you’re on a run or in bed with your partner, taking the time to listen to your body’s signals can completely change your experience. Maybe you want to slow down—or speed up. Or maybe things are just right. Your body will tell you once you get in the habit of recognizing its signals.
4. Try something new. Kickboxing, pottery, the Kama Sutra—what undiscovered talents could you have? Exploring new ways to engage your body is a great way to show yourself some love. Sign up for a class or an activity that’s outside your comfort zone and have fun with it, whether or not you’re perfect at it right away.
5. Treat yourself! Sometimes the best answer is also the most obvious: love your body by treating it well. Getting a massage, trying a new food, and sleeping late are satisfying, healthy ways to pamper your body. A favorite indulgence of ours? Getting a bra fitting at a high-end lingerie store. (You don’t even have to buy anything—but you can walk out knowing your true size for the next time you go shopping.)
What other ways are you loving your body this month and beyond?
This part of the body is like the ears, it’s a part you cannot judge by prettiness and it doesn’t make sense to me to alter it. This type of surgery, if done just for looks, is a waste of money. Genetically we are coded to be turned on by a woman’s vagina pretty much however it looks.
Makes us think of a piece by blogger Danielle DeSilvis, which we posted almost a year ago, “Designer Vaginas - Is There Such Thing as a Perfect Pussy?” An excerpt (though we definitely recommend reading the whole thing):
So what is normal? Vulvas come in every size, shape and color imaginable. Remember that many of the most beautiful things in nature aren’t nipped, tucked, liposucked or airbrushed. So, give yourself and your vulva a break—you are normal and beautiful.
We support anyone’s right to do what makes them feel gorgeous and confident, but we suspect that Danielle is right—your pussy, if you have one, is already perfect.
Two ways to love your vag today (tomorrow, and every day…):
1) Check out our (brand spankin’ new) article on how to make the most of a visit to your health care provider—sans awkwardness. And if you’re ready to put those tips into practice, you can get Bedsider Insider points* for visiting your provider and reviewing the experience afterward.
2) Go on a G-Spot expedition. Yes, it’s what it sounds like. Let today’s Frisky Friday be your guide!
Could make for an excellent weekend…
*For those who aren’t familiar with our Bedsider Insider program, it’s a sweet little collaboration we have with Daily Feats to get you points for doing fun, healthy stuff you’d probably want to do anyway. The points count toward rewards like discounts at the MTV Shop and Starbucks gift cards.
Designer Vaginas - Is There Such Thing as a Perfect Pussy?
Originally published on SexReally.com on January 11, 2011.
We all know plastic surgery is no stranger to the porn industry—think size DDD boobs—but recent trends indicate that more women outside the industry are looking to nip-tuck their lady parts as well. Labiaplasty and other cosmetic surgical procedures including vaginoplasty and hoodectomies are becoming more mainstream—in fact, some doctors are calling it “the new nose job.” Women are going under the knife to boost their genital self-esteem and sex lives.
Labia (inner and outer lips) surgery can be used to make the genitals symmetrical if one lip is larger than the other, but most surgeries are done to decrease the size of the labia minora and/or labia majora to create a “prettier pussy.” Vaginal rejuvenation, also known as vaginoplasty, is the tightening of the vagina. A hoodectomy exposes the clitoris by removing the clitoral hood in order to increase sexual pleasure. Hymen reconstruction, also referred to as “revirginizing,” reconstructs the hymen to restore the appearance of virginity. Other genital surgeries include liposuction of the mons pubis or labia majora, clitoral repositioning, and G-spot amplification (injected collagen which swells the area). One word comes to my mind when I think of any of these surgeries—OUCH!
A British television show called Embarrassing Bodies showed a woman stating she had a disfigurement so bad she feared she might never find a man who would love her. What did she think was a disfigurement? She had slightly larger than average labia. Lady parts—like any other body part—come in all different shapes, colors and sizes. So where are women getting the idea that they are horribly disfigured because of larger labia? The messages are coming from media and in particular pornography. Plastic surgeons are cashing in on women’s low self-esteem. In an article in the Metro Times titled “Does this make my labia look fat?” the author mentions that women have already nipped, tucked, implanted, and vacuumed every other part of their bodies and are now turning their perfection-obsessed eyes to their own genitals. These surgeries are being marketed as empowering women, but at the same time they are sending a message that to be desirable women should have a youthful vulva and tight vagina.
Several studies suggest that women seek out genital surgeries after seeing digitally altered nude pictures of women with smaller, tighter genitals in pornography. The presence of crotch shots in magazines and pornography has made women more aware of their vulvas and caused them to compare their vulvas to an ideal look. In a Los Angeles Times article investigating the topic, Judy Norsigian, co-founder of Our Bodies, Ourselves, says that women who have these surgeries are taking risks in order to adhere to an ideal beauty standard that is dictated by a society in which men are fixated on barely legal girls.
Dr. Matlock, a plastic surgeon at the Laser Vaginal Rejuvination Institute of Los Angeles, says that airbrushed images of women in Playboy are examples of what constitutes pretty labia and that none of the women featured in the magazine have excessively large labia. According to Dr. Matlock, “Women want to be tight…They don’t want sagging or loose labia.” He goes on that say that his patients often bring pornographic material to his office and say they want to look like what is on the page.
Despite what Dr. Matlock may say, a large labia is not viewed the same in all cultures. In Japan the condition of “winged-butterfly” (as it is known) is seen as attractive and a sexual delicacy. In North America however, a large labia is viewed as unsightly. Again, there is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to a woman’s genitals. Women need to become more acquainted with their nether regions. Betty Dodson, creator of Viva La Vulva, encourages women to take hand mirrors and look at their genitals—get up close and personal. Women are slapped in the face with the ideal vulva is supposed to be the four “S”s; smooth, simple, symmetrical and small. Everything is supposed to be tucked inside the labia majora like a nice, neat little package. No one is mentioning that vulvas are supposed to change in shape and size during puberty. Many women believe that their genitals are too dark, too big, or too hairy after comparing them to the pictures they are increasingly exposed to through the Internet.
So what is normal? Vulvas come in every size, shape and color imaginable. Remember that many of the most beautiful things in nature aren’t nipped , tucked, liposucked or airbrushed. So, give yourself and your vulva a break—you are normal and beautiful.
Danielle DeSilvis is a blogger and sex-positive activist. She holds a Masters in Sexual Health Education and a Masters in Science. Danielle is currently teaching at the university level and pursuing her nursing degree specializing in women’s health. She blogs at The Boom Boom Blog.