Author Archives: admin

Broken vulva

broken vulvahi! this blog is a gorgeous idea, i’m so happy to have found it. i’m french so excuse my clumsy english, but i want to share a picture of my “broken vulva” after an accident that I had 4 months ago. I “broke” it sliding in a stair’s banister on which there were small pieces of metal that i had not seen because of the night. My crotch made lot of blood and i was scared so i went to the hospital where all the doctors were indelicate men. I had an epidural and 7 stitches. It happened 1 month after the first time i had sex so in a short period of my life, a dozen people have seen my vulva, she who had never seen anyone in 21 years of life. it’s an important episode for me and I wanted to share with benevolent women. thank you.

Ouch, that sounds terribly painful (not to mention scary), and I’m sorry that to top it all off, you had to go through the embarrassment of many doctors seeing your most intimate regions.

Thank you for sharing your experience – sharing often helps with processing the trauma of an experience like this.

It looks, from your picture, like you are on the road to recovery, and things are healing up well.

Clare xo

The reason I have such long labias

My name isn’t all that common so I don’t really want to put my first name out there. But I am 23 years old and I’ve been sexually active since I was 14. I’ve had multiple different sexual partners and to make me feel more down about my self as I have my whole life about my body, every guy I have done anything with as far as sexual, has made the comment that the reason I have such long labias was because of having a decent amount of partners. Now the thing is I have had long labias ever since I can remember. And I would watch porn and look at the women in the videos and wonder why mine wasn’t like theirs. And of course the first thing that pops into your head when your young and don’t understand is maybe it’s because I was very active with my sexuality and that I was a freak and many other horrible things I called my self. Then one day some one brought it to my attention that it had nothing to do with sex. And the second question going off in my mind was why am I thing only one that has this? Up until tonight I thought I was alone. I was googling, just being board because I can’t fall asleep and this amazing project popped up. Now I’m surely not confident what so ever to put my body out like that but this blog made me feel normal. And it gave me peace knowing I’m not the only one that has this.

First off, I have a strict policy of never publishing any names or other information that can identify submitters, so you don’t need to have any concerns about that.

I’m so glad to hear that the Labia Project has helped you to realize that you are normal, and that you are feeling better about yourself after browsing through the site.

It is a common myth that lots of sexual activity causes the labia to stretch and causes the vagina to become “loose”. This is completely untrue – the skin down there is very elastic and does not undergo any permanent changes from “ordinary” sexual activities.

Mainstream porn also creates a distorted picture of what a normal vulva looks like. The vulvas of most porn actresses do not represent the average woman’s vulva, and this has helped to spread misconceptions about what is “normal” and attractive.

You will have seen from many of my posts that one of my aims is to break down harmful stereotypes around what is “normal” when it comes to womens’ genital anatomy, and to spread education around diversity.

Clare xo

Feeling self conscious about my inner labia

I have been feeling self conscious about my inner labia since I was 11, I am 16 now. Porn has made me feel embarrassed about my own vagina’s appearance and I dread at the thought of ever having a sexual partner looking at them. I dislike how they chafe or get pressed against my
inner thighs and vagina when I sit. It makes me feel irritated when I do notice the sensation of them. They also appear to make my clitoral hood larger! Is it normal to have darker genitals than the rest of your body? Is it safe to bleach your genitals? What can be done to reduce the size of my inner labia?

I am sorry to read about your discomfort with your labia. Unfortunately, pornography distorts reality because it represents one narrow version of all the labia (and penises) out there. In truth, our entire vulvas and labia come in all sizes, shapes and colors. It is perfectly normal to have genitals that are darker shades than your skin tone. After viewing many labia over the years, it is clear that variety is the norm, not the shiny, waxed, bleached and smallish labia seen in porn.

My concern for you is that you are stressing over a future partner’s imagined reaction to your labia—when a future partner may love and adore your vulva and labia just as they are. He or she may not want a porn-star vulva! As important, if you go into a relationship thinking there’s something wrong with you, your lack of self confidence—not what your labia look like—is what will turn off a partner. But if you go into a relationship thinking your vulva and labia are badass beautiful, your partners will most likely agree and love your confidence. However, if you lack confidence, you will give your power to the other person by basing how you feel on whether he or she gives you their approval. Ask yourself honestly, would you want to be with someone who doesn’t accept you fully? Would you want to start a relationship feeling “less than?”

If your labia feel uncomfortable, wearing skirts or looser clothing can help. While some women opt to do labiaplasty to reduce the size of their labia, it is not a procedure I’d recommend due to the risk of complications and potential for diminished function. Just do a quick google search for “botched labiaplasty” and you may feel different about this risky surgery.

As for bleaching genitals, there are products on the market for doing so, but I do not recommend bleaching. While some bleaching products have fewer toxic ingredients than others, your genital tissues are fragile, mucous membranes can be burned by chemicals, and you and may have a negative reaction to the chemicals in bleaching products.

I hope that you can reach a place of accepting your labia and celebrating them just as they are. Remember, porn stars are bleached, waxed, some achieve the look through surgery—and none of it is accurate for how most women really look.

Take care, Jane

Making Peace with our Yonis

Jane Steckbeck, Clinical Sexologist and Certified Sex Coach

“Yoni: The Sanskrit word for female genitals. Translates to “source of all life” or “sacred space.”” Urban Dictionary

“When you own yourself sensually, everything is open to you. You awaken more feeling in your whole being, experience the joy that is available to you simply because you’re a woman. If you are sensually aware…you are more confident and you enjoy your life more.” Regena Thomashuer, “Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts.”

In our times, very few girls are taught to know and value their sensuality, sexuality and capacity to experience pleasure. Even worse, our religions and popular culture train most girls and women to think there is something wrong with their yonis: they are ugly, or “dirty” or “look funny” and smell bad. Very few girls are taught to use the terms “vulva” “vagina” or “yoni” and instead are taught cutesy slang terms like “hoo hoo,” “vajayjay” “yaya”—or worse, the vague and ominous “down there.” The terms our crude pop culture assigns the lovely yoni are even worse—not worthy of mention here.

With very little exception, most women arrive at adulthood somewhere between outright disgust to benign ambivalence about their yonis. When we hold shame for any part of ourselves, we become separated from our wholeness, our vitality, and our potency. As important, we unwittingly allow others to determine how we feel about something as deeply personal as our own bodies and sensual expression. How can we possibly allow ourselves to revel in the fullness of our sexual power and sensuality when we despise the very source of our pleasure?

I challenge you to confront how you think and feel about your yoni, to identify thoughts and feelings you’ve accepted as your own—that may come from relatives, mother culture, social/mass media—sources outside yourself. I am going to ask you to consciously clear out all thoughts and feelings that do not originate with you and mindfully adopt new thoughts and feelings about your yoni. As long as you hold beliefs that your yoni is ugly, dirty, smelly, misshapen—you will compromise your ability to reclaim and value the fullness of your pleasure and feminine power.

Thus, I ask: How do you think and feel about your yoni? Before you attempt to answer this question, first ask: “How have others taught me to think and feel about my yoni?” (Recognize that if you have negative thoughts and feelings about yonis in general, you have them about your own!) Include messages from parents, relatives, religions, and mass media/pop culture. Make a list of thoughts and feelings you’ve collected from others. Then ask: “Where have I accepted others’ beliefs about my yoni that may not be my beliefs?” Place a check mark by thoughts and feelings you have that may not be yours. Then ask: “Can I put aside the thoughts and feelings of others about my yoni? And finally, “Without anyone else’s input, how do I think and feel about my yoni?” More on how to do this in my next post!

The longer I have worked coaching women in reclaiming empowered sexuality, the more I have grown fierce about identifying and rejecting negative input about women’s bodies—especially our yonis—the very seat of life and exquisite pleasure. From my personal perspective, there is not a person on this earth whose opinion I value above my own when it comes to my yoni or any other aspect of my sexuality. And I choose to treasure me—just as I am.

I invite you to join me on this journey of fierce self-acceptance—and adamant rejection of negative cultural messaging in all its forms, especially as applied to women and women’s sexuality.

For many, this will be challenging. You may feel upset, confused and unsure.  You might not like your yoni at all. Understand this: the weight of generations of negative input about all aspects of women’s bodies can be hard to overcome. I can assure you, the effort to make peace with your yoni is worth it. Isn’t it time we—each of us—claimed our inherent beauty and perfection just as we are?

Introducing Jane Steckbeck

Introducing Jane Steckbeck…

Introducing Jane Steckbeck

I am delighted to be supporting Clare’s potent work with the Labia Project. When she asked me to participate as a guest writer and commentator, it was an easy “yes” because the Labia Project helps women accept themselves as they are. In my work as a Clinical Sexologist and Certified Sex Coach, I focus on women’s sexual empowerment—and self-acceptance is integral to empowerment and often something missing in women’s lives.  Yet, there is only one person on this earth who can grant you self-acceptance: you. That the Labia Project helps women in this process makes it something well worth my time to support.

A little bit more about me. I became a Clinical Sexologist and Certified Sex Coach after a ten-year sexual healing process, where I consciously healed from the effects of childhood sex abuse. When the dust settled I began to realize that women are profoundly disconnected from themselves sexually due to a toxic culture that marginalizes women’s pleasure, our bodies, and tells us that we are in so many ways “less than.” I decided that I wanted to help women to recognize inaccurate cultural messaging and to reclaim their sexuality on their own terms so they could experience the fullness of embodied pleasure, passion and personal power. I’ve learned over the years that the healthier a woman is sexually, the more she accepts herself, the more powerful and confident she is in all areas of her life.

Thanks for reading my posts. I look forward to hearing about more women claiming their empowered sexuality and loving their labias—and entire bodies—just as they are.

My labia minora are out

my labia minora are outspread hairy vaginahairy vulvaI am 25. When I was younger, I used to hate my vulva, because I thought it was not normal and that people would make fun of me because of it. I compared myself to other girls, and felt desperately different because my labia minora are out. At that time, I felt that surgery would be the only solution, even if I had no health problem with my vulva.

Then time has passed. Fortunately, I didn’t have the operation. Instead, I learnt about self-acceptance and body positivity. Progressively, I try to love myself as I am, including my vulva. I even feel lucky to have it (I never thought I would say that!) because it helps me question beauty standards. Body diversity is beautiful, no matter what society and especially porn tell us. Don’t listen to people that try to tear you down, you deserve the best.

I also chose not to shave or wax my vulva, because I love my hair. They protect me. You don’t have to feel obligated to wax if you don’t like it too.

Finally, thank you so much for your blog Clare, it helped me to feel better. That is why I felt like I had to participate to your simple yet revolutionary project to help other women too. Remember: you are beautiful just as you are!

Thank you for your lovely submission and for your words of encouragement 🙂

Clare xo

My plump labia

My plump labiaWhen I was younger, I struggled to accept the appearance of my plump labia. I wouldn’t let intimate partners look at me with the lights on and I even developed major insecurities about my ‘manly’ appearance down below.

However, I am married now to a wonderful man who accepts every part of me for who I am. He has been with multiple sexual partners before me, yet has never once compared me to or told me anything other than “I love your Vagina” and insists on going down on me every chance he gets. I am feeling sexy!

Thank you for your lovely submission 🙂

I’m so happy that your husband appreciates you as you are. Many womens’ insecurities stem from their partners making insensitive and ignorant comments about their bodies, and drawing comparisons with other women instead of appreciating the unique beauty of their partners. 

It’s also great that you are so comfortable with your body and your sexuality!

Clare xo

Negative relationship with my labia

Negative relationship with my labiaI am 34 years old and have mostly a negative relationship with my labia. I am terrified to take on new lovers, which, at this point in my life isn’t conducive to meeting a future father for the kids I would love to one day have. I have been sexually active since 15 and my body wasn’t always this way. My hope in providing this photo is that I’ll begin to love my labia instead of hating it.

I’m so sorry to hear that you have been experiencing insecurities when it comes to your labia.

Firstly, I need to assure you that you are not alone. The Labia Project owes its existence to the widespread insecurities experienced by women regarding their labia.

Secondly, I need to assure you that you are not only normal, but unique and beautiful. Any guy would be lucky to get the chance to share intimacy with you, and even luckier to father kids with you.

The important thing, before you can let a guy love you, is for you to learn to love yourself. I know that it is easier said than done, but making this submission was a major step in the process. It shows your commitment to getting over your insecurities and reaching a point of self-acceptance in the not-too-distant future.

Please feel free to contact me by e-mail anytime you want to share anything on your mind during your journey towards embracing your body.

Clare xo

My vagina looks underdeveloped

my vagina looks underdeveloped no labia minoraI’m 18 years old and I’m extremely embarrassed about how I look down there. I don’t have labia minora and as a result my vagina looks underdeveloped. I have always looked like this. I feel like I still look 13 and I don’t feel attractive or sexy at all. I have pushed guys away because of this and I have not had a long term boyfriend yet. I rarely even date because I am mortified of what guys will think when realize that my vagina looks underdeveloped. Most of my friends have developed down there and have labia minora.

Thank you for your submission.

All women have labia minora, but some womens’ labia minora are hidden inside their labia majora and are not visible except when the labia majora are spread.

I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about. You will see from the submissions on this site that many women who have visible labia minora are self-conscious about it and wish that their vulvas looked like yours.

Insecurities like yours are sadly very common too, and I sincerely hope that you will be able to get to a point, one day soon, where you embrace your vulva as it is.

If the guy you are with is truly into you, he won’t care whether you have an “outie vagina” or an “innie vagina”. Most guys really don’t care, and are just excited to be able to be “getting some”.

Feel free to write to me anytime if you would like to talk more about your concerns.

Clare xo