Women obsess over the size of their privates, too

A new book shows ladyparts in all their diverse glory. It's just what women need in a plastic surgery-obsessed age

Published May 25, 2014 12:00AM (EDT)

        (<a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=227680'>efenzi</a> via <a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/'>iStock</a>)
(efenzi via iStock)

I was 13 when I took a wooden ruler, the kind meant to be wielded by a grimacing nun, and pressed one end against my crotch. This wasn’t a weird sex thing; I had a serious task at hand. With one hand, I steadied the ruler against my body; with the other, I stretched out one of my labia minora and lined it up with a notch on the ruler. I paused, seriously considering whether it was best to measure it in its natural resting state. What made for a more authentic labial measurement, anyway? Boys have it so easy, I thought. A hard dick is the only kind of dick that matters. I wrote the measurement down, still a bit unsure about how to denote the smaller marks in between inches -- hadn’t I learned that years ago? I might have paid more attention if I’d known it would prove to be so crucial: My very sense of normalcy depended on it!

Intrepid child of the Internet that I was, I had seen a fair share of porn up until that point. In the stuff I’d seen, the women had pubic hair that was meticulously waxed in landing strips or narrow triangles, and their vulvas were slit-like, pre-pubescent. I’d had one of those once! Before my body had started its hormonal revolt. I was left to conclude that there was something wrong with me. That’s why I, in my very first year of teenagehood, long before anyone but my doctor had touched my lady-bits, went so far as to look up information about a labiaplasty. At some point during my research, I found an estimate of the average labial size. That’s when I decided to break out the measuring stick.

Even when I discovered that my privates were within the average range, I was convinced that I was abnormal. The only real-life labias I’d seen had been in porn -- and at 13, I was watching the most plastic, La-La-Land adult material around. Save for in sex ed illustrations, I had never seen female genitals that diverged from the norm of labiaplasty ..

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By Tracy Clark-Flory

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