Category Archives: Tips and Advice

How to put in a tampon for the first time

How to put in a tampon for the first timeCAUTION: IF SQUIMISH TO BLOOD DO NOT LOOK!! I have a question about how to put in a tampon for the first time if that’s okay? I’ve always tried putting in tampons but can’t..I’ve tried looking in a mirror while doing and relaxing but it hurts? Like pressure? I even took a video and I’m confused on exactly where to put it? I’ve looked into the anatomy but still seem confused on where it’s supposed to go? Like there’s a pice of skin near there? The hymen maybe? But do I put the tampon beside it in, or in the middle cause there like a tiny hole there? I’m just so very confused sorry for any inconvenience I know this weird since I’m not your patient or anything I’m just worried. I’ve never done this before, idk how, I’m 18. I apologize ahead of time for the pictures they’re not the prettiest:( and are kind of explicit but I’m just trying to understand.

The hymen partially blocks off the vaginal opening which can make it difficult for some women to put in a tampon for the first time.

This difficulty often goes away with practice (it is sometimes an issue with the angle of insertion of the tampon). For first time use, try thin tampons for light flow as these are easier to insert. You could also try using a drop of lubricant to make the insertion smoother, but make sure that you use a water-based lubricant intended for vaginal use – not petroleum jelly or scented lubitants.

I have included an instructional video below which may help you with the technique for inserting a tampon. If you still can’t get it right, you may want to use pads for now until your hymen is broken or removed. If your hymen is blocking the opening, your gynecologist should be able to address that through a small procedure under local anesthesia, or alternatively, you could wait until your hymen is broken through sexual intercourse or other physical activity.

Clare xo

Crisis message

If you are the visitor with the initials initials “A.H.” who sent me a message saying “help me”, please contact me (I’m not mentioning your full name here for confidentiality reasons). I am here for you if you are going through a crisis.

Clare xo

Insecure about my pubic hair

I’m 21 and I’m totally okay with the shape of my vulva. But I’m really insecure about my pubic hair. There’s a lot, and I mean A LOT. Before I discovered your beautiful project and some other feminist bodypositive resources, I had seen some discussion about pubic hair and people on the Internet only discuss undressing in front of a partner. But it doesn’t apply to me, because my hair can be seen in the underwear and so it affects beaches, simply changing in public places… It can be seen even in short shorts sometimes. It’s everywhere, even in the anus, which I always freak out about in the shower. Not only my outer labia are fully covered with hair, but also the beginning of my legs (the transition between the pubic hair and the leg hair is strongly visible). And the “triangle” goes very high up my belly, some of my panties ends earlier. When I found your website, I was hoping to find someone similar to me but failed. Even the people who don’t shave seem to have a neat triangle-or-something-like-that which can be hidden in the underwear… I keep quite bodypositive about body hair and don’t usually shave legs or armpits, even when I wear open clothes (it depends on the mood, but in winter — nah) but with this I’m quite uncomfortable. But I can’t really shave it because it lasts for two days at most, so it would need shaving all the time (which is a horror to think about) and it also irritates my skin pretty much. When I’m at the beach, I have to shave at least the area around my pubis every day, which causes irritation and leaves red marks. The same also happens with my armpits. My hair is also really thick and can stick out (is this the right word? sorry, I’m not an English-speaker) even from the underwear, which is also a problem with bikinis. Thank you so much for your project, I think it’s amazing and I hope you could cheer me up a bit and make me feel less insecure about my pubic hair.

The amount of pubic hair that you have is generally a result of genetics, and in some cases, can also be influenced by hormonal levels.

I understand that having excess amounts of pubic hair can be embarrassing and annoying, but there are ways to learn to deal with it.

While shaving does not provide long-lasting results and can result in irritation from regrowth, you may wish to try waxing. Although waxing can be painful, once you get used to it, the pain often becomes less over time. The benefit of waxing is that the results last much longer, and there can be less irritation with regrowth. Waxing can also result in the regrowth being finer, as waxing involves the removal of the hair from the root.

Another option that you could consider is laser hair removal, which can lead to permanent (or at least, semi-permanent) results. While this can be costly as you may need seven or more sessions, the fact that it gives lasting results is a definite plus. It is also not necessary to get laser hair removal on all areas, and you could choose to limit it to areas around your bikini line and on your belly, and wax the labia and butt area.

I hope this helps.

Clare xo

Big clitoral hood caused by masturbation

Hi, my name is [name edited out – I don’t include any personal or identifying details on the site] and I am 12 years old and I am from Finland. (sorry for my bad English) I have been wondering about my big clitoral hood. Is my big clitoral hood caused by masturbation or what is a reason why it has been growing so big? I masturbate quite a lot, I use my fingers and sometimes a vibrator. I have been doing it about two years now, 3 – 4 days a week. Is that too much?

It’s a myth that masturbation can cause any physical changes to the vulva. The tissue down there is very elastic, and it would take a lot of trauma (such as natural childbirth) to cause any noticeable long-term changes. The changes you are experiencing are part of your natural development, and they are probably caused by your body releasing additional hormones during puberty.

With regard to the frequency of masturbation, it is healthy to masturbate often, and 3 to 4 days a week is perfectly fine. Many women masturbate every day, and that it also perfectly ok. Do what feels good to you, and do it as often as you like 🙂

Clare xo

Reoccuring yeast infections

I get reoccuring yeast infections and I get so itchy and swollen every few months, tried every prescription possible! Just keeps coming back. PLEASE HELP.

There are a number of different treatments on the market for yeast infections, and not all of them work for every woman.

There are antifungal medications which are available as creams and ointments. These usually need to be bought with a prescription from a doctor and are not available over the counter. There are also single dose oral medications in the form of tablets. These also require a prescription. There are also products including creams and suppositories which are available over the counter.

For more serious cases, your doctor might prescribe long-course vaginal therapy to clear up the infection. This can be in the form of an ointment, cream, tablet or suppository, and the treatment can last for up to two weeks.

There are also some home remedies that can be used, including boric acid, yoghurt (which contains probiotics), coconut oil and tea tree oil. While there is limited hard evidence to prove that these remedies actually work, many women swear by them, and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence on the internet about their efficacy.

I suggest that you speak to your doctor about the best course of treatment for you. It may be necessary to try many different options on the market to find out which one works for you.

Good luck!

Clare xo

Having an “imperfect vagina” is the new normal

There is a widely-held view that women who have an outtie, darker skin down there, and asymmetrical labia (one labia bigger than the other), have an imperfect vagina and are abnormal.

The polls that I have run on the Labia Project tell a different story.

Based on the poll results, around 80% of women (that’s four out of five women) have an outtie. Around two thirds of women have darker skin in their vulva area than the rest of their skintone. And around six out of ten women have labia asymmetry.

I decided to run the polls because it’s a way of gathering data to get an objective understanding of how common these traits are. Hopefully, the data from the polls will make it easier to convince women who perceive themselves to be abnormal, that nothing could be further from the truth.

Based on the numbers in the polls, having a tiny, symmetrical, tucked-in vulva, and light skin down there, is relatively uncommon and unusual.

Clare xo

The Benefits of Masturbation

I am often contacted by women who experience shame and insecurity with their bodies and are unable to enjoy masturbation or sex. There are also many taboos around discussing masturbation, especially in conservative environments where it is still considered a dirty deed. The truth is that masturbation is a great way to get in touch with your body (excuse the pun!) and is absolutely normal. Just about everyone does it, and it can lead to many benefits to your health and wellbeing! Check out this informative and lighthearted video about the benefits of masturbation:

Is it normal?

This feels like a safe place so I have a couple of questions 🙂 I have yellow dots on my inner labia. If they are fordyce spots, what are they and how can I get rid of them. Will they put people off from going down there. Also how do you know which way your hair grows. And how can I orgasm. Everyone at school says they have but I’ve never even thought about it. Finally is it normal to have hair grow around my bum hole . Oh and is it normal to have hair on my belly. I’m 15. Many thanks

Thank you for your questions 🙂

The dots are probably fordyce spots, which are basically enlarged oil glands / sebaceous glands which occur naturally in many people. They usually don’t require treatment (they are harmless), and it is unlikely that anyone would be put off by them as they are normal in males and females.

If they are unsightly and you have a severe case, it is possible to have them removed. Many dermatologists use micro-punch surgery to treat severe cases of fordyce spots. The treatment involves using a small device to punch the skin and remove unwanted tissue. The treatment is done using local anesthetic and the results are very quick. Laser treatments are also often used to treat severe cases of forcdyce spots, but there is a risk of scarring with laser treatment.

Fordyce spots can also fade naturally with age, so even in severe cases where the spots are unsightly, the issue often goes away on its own with time.

The easiest way to figure out the direction of the hair growth is by seeing the growth patterns after shaving or waxing for the first time. When the hair grows back, you will be able to clearly see the pattern in which it is growing.

Different women are able to orgasm through different types of stimulation. Some women can orgasm through penetration of the vagina (fingering or intercourse), while others can only orgasm through stimulation of the clitoris (which is the most sensitive part of the vulva). Some women also orgasm from pressure such as from the water flowing from a shower head / faucet directly onto the vulva. To figure out what works best for you, you will need to spend some time experimenting.

It is quite normal to have hair growth around the anus (bum hole) and to have a trail of hair between your belly button and your pubic area. Many women get this hair removed through waxing (there is a popular waxing treatment known as Brazilian waxing which removes all of the hair in these areas).

Clare xo


Submission guidelines

I recently received a submission from a female visitor to the Labia Project containing sexually suggestive photographs of her. These are completely inappropriate for publication on the Labia Project. I decided to put together these submission guidelines to provide clarity on what is acceptable and unacceptable when it comes to submissions:

  1. Many submissions that I receive contain pictures of genital nudity. This is great as it is an important part of the Labia Project – posts of those submissions serve to showcase the diversity in labia types, and these posts help many women to realize that they are normal.
  2. While I do publish images of genital nudity, I will never publish images of sexual acts or other sexually suggestive images, so please don’t bother sending pictures of that nature. This is not a porn site. It is a supportive community aimed at educating women about what is “normal”, and promoting body pride and self-acceptance.
  3. All picture submissions containing nudity must mention the submitter’s age.  I do not accept or publish any nude pictures of anyone under the age of 18.
  4. I generally only publish submissions from female visitors – this website is a supportive community specifically for women, and male views are generally not relevant or appropriate for publication. In some cases, I do make exceptions to this rule, but exceptions of that nature are rare.
  5. If you are submitting pictures, it is ideal for you to include a message which explains your personal journey when it comes to your labia, and how you feel about your labia. Similarly, if you are submitting a story, it is ideal for you to include pictures, as these will give me a better idea of what you are referring to when you refer to things that make you insecure, or things that you like or don’t like about your body.
  6. I have a strict policy of never publishing the names or any other identifying information of anyone who makes a submission. There is no need to specifically request anonymity in your submission. All submissions are published anonymously (although you are welcome to specifically request this if will make you feel more comfortable).
  7. If you are making a submission of pictures / a story which you do not want published, say so in your post. I will never publish a submission which you say you don’t want published.

Clare xo