I have what I think society would deem to be an 'ugly' vulva. My skin is dark, and my labia are long and uneven. Growing up, I was raised to believe that sex was a woman's duty; that men are programmed to 'sow their wild oats' and women should be pure and virginal. This toxic messaging made me feel confused and ashamed of my sexuality, and I felt very ignorant and out of touch with my body. Rather than seeing my vulva as a part of my body, I felt that it existed purely for a man's physical pleasure - and even worse, that my vulva wasn't good enough to please a man. This idea was solidified in my previous relationships, where my partners didn't care and ignored my sexual pleasure. I felt ashamed for desiring sex, broken for not enjoying sex, unable to connect with my body, and I made dangerous and ignorant choices about my sexual health because I felt like it was out of my control.
I have begun the long journey towards undoing these toxic beliefs, and I believe a big part of this is accepting my vulva. Learning about my vulva and accepting its appearance has made me feel more confident and in control of my sexuality. My husband has also been a huge help, and I really enjoy listening to what he likes about my vulva. Your gallery has taught me a lot about my anatomy, and about the wonderful diversity of all our vulvas. Knowing about our vulvas, knowing that they exist for a purpose and that they are all beautiful in their own way is a huge step towards having a healthy attitude towards sexuality and reclaiming power in our own bodies.
B. - 25 years old