Design-a-vagina

Vagina Wall

I have recently been working on an article for Forum magazine on inspirational vagina art and also the worrying trend in plastic surgery to create cloned designer vaginas. During my research I came across Jamie McCartney, a Brighton based body caster who is currently working on a piece entitled “design-a-vagina”. He is casting vaginas from 160 volunteers to have them all on display next to each other as a celebration of diversity. He says:

“For many women their vagina is a source of shame rather than pride and this piece seeks to redress the balance, showing that everyone is different, everyone is normal, and everyone is beautiful”

I could not resist but had to be one of the vagina volunteers donating my pussy cast proudly for the arts. The experience took only five minutes and yes, let’s be honest it did not feel dignified to climb onto a wooden bench and spread my legs for a total stranger who dons surgical gloves to plaster Nivea and then blue goo onto my pussy but once the goo was one it felt good. Cold and sticky at the same time. The best part was when the cast came off: I had never seen my pussy like this – three dimensional and right in front of my face. It beats an awkward mirror image any time. I like my cunt even more now that I had a good look I think it’s beautiful in its fleshy fullness. So thanks to Jamie my vagina will be part of the art installation and also grace my bedroom wall. May this piece of inspirational art help to liberate women and teach them to love their pussies, cunts, vaginas and yonis in all their glory ! If you would like to know more about “Design-A-Vagina” and possibly volunteer your pussy for the project, check out: www.brightonbodycasting.com

During the writing of my article I also came across Grit Scholz, a photographer and publisher from Germany who has photographed lots of vaginas of friends and even her mother to help breaking an ancient taboo. She published the book “The gate to life” (www.lebensgut-verlag.de) independently so she could do it exactly how she wanted it. No compromise. Grit told me:

“The vagina became taboo in Christianity when we were told that a virgin conceived and gave birth to Christ. This myth reflects the thought that sex and the vagina is dirty. This is an ancient believe about the female sex and sexuality but most of us are subconsciously still influenced by it. The topic “vagina” is still taboo these days – nobody wants to touch it.

We see one type of cloned, shaved and small lipped vagina in porn but apart from porn films we hardly ever see any and many of us do not even know what our own pussy look like. With her picture book Grit wants to educate and inspire and encourage us to have a good look so that we can glow with pride instead of shame. She told me:

Petra's Casting with Jamie McCartney

“Pornography is in stark contrast to our religious conditioning – a pressure valve that many people use to let off steam and satisfy their physical needs. To me most pornography is disconnected from our souls and true intimacy with other human beings. And this is why pornography is acceptable to most people – it is far removed from our souls and therefore also social conditioning. What I would like to achieve with my work is to reunite body, mind and soul when we approach our sexuality and genitals.”

The ever growing obsession with genital grooming and also the growing figures of women watching porn has led to a huge trend in women wanting that “perfect” vagina: no pubic hair and small, delicate, almost invisible inner and outer lips. Anyone can have such a designer vagina at the cost of around 5 grant, a lot of pain and the risks of a surgery under general anaesthetic.

I find the idea of cloned body parts is unsettling. To me uniqueness is sexy. Self love is the key. If we can not accept our individuality but feel under pressure to conform, then we might get more than what we bargained for. In a recently published article in the British Medical Journal the author, Sarah Creighton, a well known London gynaecologist warns of the dangers of cutting the vagina up to give it a more appealing look:

“Incision to any part of the genitalia could compromise sensitivity!”

So women who take their genital grooming to the extreme could risk loss of sensation where it matters most. That would be a very high price to pay for the perfect look – no more feeling and therefore less or no more orgasms ever. If this was the case then the quest for the ultimate look and sexual sensation would backfire in a dramatic way and the results of this controversial surgery would be similar to genital mutilation (the cutting of the clit) that is still practised especially in many African countries. The irony is that the genital mutilation is done against the will of the woman whereas the plastic surgeries in the West are chosen by the women who are desperate to conform to an unrealistic standard. What can I say – whatever you call it: vagina, pussy, cunt – love it and enjoy it ! You know that free-range always tastes best.

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