When I was growing up, it never occurred to me to question the way my vulva looked. It just was what it was - a vulva. The first time I felt self conscious about my vulva was when I, at the age of maybe 13 or 14, somewhat shocked, learned that my two female friends were shaving their vulvas completely. I forgot about the incident until my first boyfriend, a couple of years later, commented on my “bush.” I started waxing and shaving, waxing and shaving, even though I loved my hair. Every time I went from hair to no hair, I felt like I was losing a part of myself. I didn’t like the naked feeling, but I kept doing it because I thought it was what I was supposed to do. My second long-term boyfriend, emotionally abusive, commented on my clitoris. He said it was abnormally large and protruding. Never before had I questioned my clitoris. After that, I felt like it was standing out to far, strange, unfeminine, ugly. Until today, 6 years later, I’m still self conscious about my clitoris. Sometimes I even look for proof that it’s weird, focusing on vulvas that are different. I’m back to (most of) my pubic hair, but still catch myself wondering whether my sexual partners are discomforted by it. Sad to see how outside voices build up self consciousness and self criticism, making us think more about what others think than how we feel comfortable. I’m happy to see that there are also efforts to normalise vulva differences, which is why I love your blog!
F. - 26 years old