Laura Dodsworth photographed 100 vulvas and this book exposes them and their beautiful stories. It is the ultimate in sharing.
Reading this book is as valuable as having a deep, honest conversation with an intimate friend, a sex therapists and your OB/GYN, all at the same time – maybe better.
100 women tell their stories through the power of photography and sharing stories as this beautiful book brings ‘sharing’ to a whole new level of understanding. This is about women baring all to empower women everywhere.
This is talking about exposing sexual shame, getting over body anxiety, dealing with sex trauma, disclosing sex lives and most of all, about discovering a refreshing, honest, powerful self-confidence about the beautiful truths of a woman’s body – a 100 women’s bodies. Every woman will find common experiences, like-minded beliefs, kindred spirits, and vast differences in their vulvas, labia, vaginas, pussies, beavers, clitorises, cunts and all the so-seldom-talked about wonders of a woman.
These stories are so intriguing, fascinating, honest, raw and real that it’s like sitting down in your living room for a one-on-one, girl-ya’-won’t-believe-it chat with an intimate friend – dozens of them.
There is so much revealed in these stories that we can’t possibly cover it in a review so what we have done is provided a few quotes from the author and some of the women to introduce you to the them, their stories … and, oh yeah, their vulvas.
I feared the intimacy with myself. When I committed to this work I had to face my own experiences of bad sex, assault, birth trauma, physical anxieties, shy pleasures, shame and fear. – Laura Dodsworth
In Laura Dodsworth’s words
- I heard in gorgeous detail about the potential women have for pleasure, sensual delight and hot filthy sex, and listened admiringly to women who had cast shame and inhibition aside. I loved learning about the changes, still to come for me, from older post-menopausal women. I sympathised with women relating stories of menarche, menstruation, gynaecological conditions and cancers. My heart expanded with sympathy and pride when women told me about their children and births, miscarriage and infertility. Everyone in this world was born to a woman who endured the ultimate primal human experience. Birth may be everyday, but it’s epic.
- I was saddened by the stories of bad sex, faked orgasms, women’s pleasure put aside in favour of their partners; the performance in sex so commonly understood by women, but rarely admitted to. I recognise it.
- Our stories are an act of giving and receiving help. When you read this sisterhood of stories and witness these women’s tender parts laid bare, I hope you find compassion and understanding for them and sense their power. Most of all, to all you bold, brave, beautiful women, and the men who love us, I hope you find compassion and understanding for yourself and find your own power.
In their own words
- It’s hard to imagine what 100 vulvas are going to look like together, but I think it’s going to be really powerful. Knowing that mine is going to be one of those 100 is really beautiful (a 38 year old).
- Let us reclaim our womanhood on our terms, in our own words and in our own image.
- Girls as young as nine asking doctors for labiaplasty, because they were worried about how their vulvas looked.“ From smooth Barbie dolls to internet porn, girls and women are tyrannised by the ideal of a ‘porn-perfect’, pink, neat vagina. They grow up with a very narrow view of what they should look like, even though in reality there is an enormous range.
- Labia aren’t gorgeous, but I don’t think dicks are that gorgeous either. Is there a need to be gorgeous? I’m not that arsed. When I’m going down on a man I’m not thinking he has a beautiful dick, it’s about how much pleasure I can give him.
- I feel quite neutral about my vagina. I know what it looks like, I know it well. It’s my vulva, so it’s nobody’s business to give their opinion on it. I’m not going to modify it with plastic surgery because it doesn’t look like a porn vagina. It is what it is (a 28 year old).
- Part of me is pissed off that I’ve had to figure all this out so late. It takes women so long to let go of embarrassment and shame that’s ingrained in us. I’m pissed off that we’re not having these kinds of conversations about the body and the possibilities, and that I’ve potentially missed out on years of great pleasure because it’s been smothered by tension or embarrassment or shame. I was dead keen to be part of this becauseI see it as a means to change the conversation (italics ours). I’m pissed off that people are still able to frame vaginas and vulvas as mechanical things, or things to have babies, or things for men, rather than us owning our vulvas and vagina, and all the pleasure that is possible. (a 37 year old).
- If I have sex with a new man, sometimes I feel guilt towards my vagina and vulva. I feel like I’ve put them through something with a strange man without consulting them (a 32 year old).
- I am confronted with my own body and how it works. This visceral relationship with my body is part of the answer. But I’m still asking myself what it means to be a woman; the bottom line is that I don’t know (a 34 year old).
- I’d say my relationship with my body and my vulva is quite complicated. There’s the part of me that’s really proud of having my kids, but there is a part of me that feels a kind of shame about the female body and feels it’s more unclean than the male body. I don’t want to have these feelings, but I do. It’s strange the way that women’s bodies can do all these powerful things but they’re shrouded in shame (a 42 year old).
- I don’t think there’s such a thing as a pretty vagina or a normal one because they all vary. I don’t think penises are pretty either. Why would we think genitals should be pretty, except if we get ideas from porn?
- I can’t have a vaginal orgasm. My friend and I were talking about it and we’re not honestly sure it’s possible (a 21 year old).
- I thought to myself, what did the Suffragettes fight for if I can’t use my voice and say this is not what I want as a woman? (a 20 year old).
- Making love is emotional, it’s an energetic flow between two people, there’s a listening and a responding and a being in the moment. Whereas sex is more practical and physical and the reason for it is orgasm.
- I think it’s a privilege to be a woman, especially at this time. It feels like there is a rising of the feminine. It’s like there’s a whisper of the strength of the feminine revealing itself. I’ve never felt stronger in my femininity or in my womanhood (a 54 year old).
- I’m not ashamed anymore of losing my virginity late and I’m not ashamed of losing it on a one-night stand. I think my vagina and I have made the right decisions together and empowered each other. I think that I’d do everything the same, to be honest (a 27 year old).
- I had an orgasm once when I sent an email to a lover. I wasn’t touching myself, I was just typing. I wouldn’t have believed it was possible until it happened. The orgasm was only in my womb. It made me realise that orgasm is about more than nerve endings. I was writing of desires, and the orgasm also made me realise how powerful my desire is. Since then it’s almost like my womb talks to me, she flutters and moves when she wants to say ‘yes’, like a compass pointing the way to the true north of my deepest desire. I love my cunt. I love the word ‘cunt’ too. It’s interesting that the most negative, insulting word in the English language is the word for female genitalia, yet it’s where life comes from and where exquisite pleasure can be found. It’s a powerful body part and therefore a powerful word.
- Doing this is a like a big middle finger. It’s a big middle finger to taking our bodies back. To patriarchy. A big middle finger to men’s ownership of women. Doing this is about self-love, self-acceptance, freedom (a 28 year old).
- I’m in a community of people who practise ‘Orgasmic Meditation’. … When I did my first orgasmic meditation course, I watched a woman getting her clit stroked–holy fuck, it was like being a spectator at a concert (a 31 year old).
- And I said, ‘Mum, has it ever crossed your mind I might enjoy it?’ and she just had a look of incredulity and she said, ‘I was never much good in the downstairs department.’ That was her line. I think that is so tragic, so sad.
- I don’t think I compare my own vagina to porn. I don’t dislike it, I would say I’m neutral about it. It’s like saying, ‘What do you think of your elbow?’ (a 24 year old).
- I like to hook up with people. I’m a very instinctual person. I pretty much know within the first five minutes whether or not I want to fuck them. It’s so accepted that men can do this. I think there’s still a hesitation to talk about women’s pleasure. My plan is to have more sex. I’ve slept with about 40 people so far (a 39 year old).
- I think it’s a privilege to be a woman, especially at this time. It feels like there is a rising of the feminine. It’s like there’s a whisper of the strength of the feminine revealing itself. I’ve never felt stronger in my femininity or in my womanhood.
This is a treasure trove to be shared. And the ebook is only $9.99, paperback about $32. Unfortunately, our supplier can’t source this book but it is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca and Indigo/Chapters.
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