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Our Obsession with the Vagina (Yes, I Said That Word!)

Updated on May 21, 2008

The Brazilian look is (still) in, and it's no mystery why - who isn't visually arrested by the appearance of a smooth, young-looking, oh-so-partially exposed derriere? I have no objection to a skimpy swimsuit or a barely-there bikini bottom, but I ask, Have we gone way too far with the female parts?

Just Another Hot Derriere...But Is There Any Hair Under There?
Just Another Hot Derriere...But Is There Any Hair Under There?

Art or Subliminal Suggestion?

In this age of confusion over what's real and what really matters, where technology brings us imagery founded on fantasies, what has happened to women's confidence? Historically, images of women have been those of the objectified, ranging from something that's beautiful to look at but deserves no respect, to the adoration of the female nude in "high art."

In more recent decades, Georgia O'Keefe understated artistic representations of the female "privates" on a new, public level, a la Grey Line with Black, Blue and Yellow:

O'Keefe's Grey Line with Black, Blue and Yellow
O'Keefe's Grey Line with Black, Blue and Yellow

And in more recent, popular media...check out the Eye of Sauron, from Lord of the Rings (a "family "movie):

The Eye of Sauron
The Eye of Sauron

Just Images - Or an Obsession?

But, what does it mean when women - even those who haven't had children, or aren't even approaching middle age - are seriously considering vaginal rejuvenation?

Maybe it means we have created some crazy, unrealistic image of what a woman should look and feel like, and propagated it everywhere...on TV, on your computer, in the movies, in magazines. Porn has become not just an escape or a high, but some kind of alternate universe where adult women have no pubic hair.

(What is vaginal rejuvenation? Why, it's a simple nip-and-tuck of the labia! We can just pull those back, trim a little here and there, stitch them up tight, and feel 17 again!)

OK, seriously: This procedure could be a great gift to women. What could be more important than giving her a chance to experience pleasure as much as he does?

(At this moment, my personal feeling is that in no way would I ever want a sharp, surgical instrument anywhere near that area, unless it were absolutely, medically necessary. Sure, I reserve the right to eat my words in 10 years.)

If I Have Hair, Am I OK?

...Back to the original, disturbing thought that young women, especially the young women of the western United States (where I happen to reside), are being brainwashed into feeling that they are possibly inadequate because they don't get a full (and I mean full) wax job, back, underside and front, at least every couple weeks.

Is it just me, or are we deeply ensconced in an historical moment of obsession with the bald vulva?

I was gratified and refreshed to see that Californication producer and star David Duchovny has his main character express disgust for the prepubescent look on adult women, with no shyness whatsoever.

I am the last one to be overly modest about the human form! I personally favor a direct approach, where we appreciate what we have and teach our children what bodies are really for - to be appreciated, not abused. But perhaps we could (dare I say) learn something from the French. In a recent sighting of a (friend's) French porn mag, I did note the extreme youth of the girls, but despite that, all of them were decidedly not prepubescent, judging by the healthy amount of hair present. And, they were all stunningly beautiful.

Meanwhile, thank goodness for the voices that share real female experiences with all of us, and encourage us to be confident and accepting of our The Vagina Monologues, an insightful collection of monologues from women.

So why do we feel like we must slim down to a stick-like state, push up our boobs, and make sure the nether region is smooth as a baby's bottom? ...Even if it means ingrown hairs, sores (which, according to my gynecologist, are sometimes mistaken for herpes), and a big drain on the bank account?

What if we all just relaxed a little instead?


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I never cease to be amazed by the arguments and comments on this issue. Just because a woman shaves her vulva, why are people assuming it's because men want her to look pre-pubescent? No doubt some do.... but I believe they are a minority. Most guys who like the clean look prefer it because it makes oral sex more enjoyable and because it makes the vagina entirely visible - which is very sexy for a guy to see.

      From a woman's point of view, I would ask .... why shave your armpits and legs, but not your vulva? ok, armpits and legs are visible in public - but your vagina is most likely going to be visible to a lover right? And if the argument against the 'pre-pubescent' look is followed, then why not leave your legs and armpits natural too?

      My girlfriend of 15 years is a Filipina, now 50. When I first met her and we first made love I discovered a very full bush. At the time it was very sexy because, like many guys, I love to see and feel that, and in the heat of sex this can reveal her excited sex as a jewel in the forest. All very sexy for many guys. However, she surprised me about 3 months later by telling me she had acquired a bare pussy. I will admit that I was excited to see it and it brought a whole new dimension to our sex, what she wore for bed and so on. I found it equally, but no more, sexy than her hairy look. She told me that she routinely goes bare during the hotter months in Hong Kong (where she worked) because it is more comfortable and healthy. For what it is worth, she also says she feels much sexier wearing panties over a bald pussy.

      It really is a personal choice, whether driven by comfort, sexiness for the woman or her lover, fashion or whatever. Even if she does it because her bf likes a pre-pubescent look- so what? As long as she is above the legal age of consent - it's up to them what fantasies they indulge in. I do feel it is a shame if girls feel under excessive pressure to go bare just to conform with some artificial fashion standard. But at least it's not as permanent as that embarrassing tatoo!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Ok normally i wouldn't post a comment on this subject since i dont have a vagina but coming from a heterosexual male i think the hair being shaved off is a matter of taste (no innuendo intended). I have no problems with a woman having hair down there, however too much is a turn off imo. Also men are visual creatures and we are turned on by what we can see and what's more of a turn on and more visual than seeing a beautiful woman's beautiful vagina? I can tell you from personal experience getting to see my lovers vagina for the 1st time for me personally is an incredible turn on. Men have to work to have sex with women unless they pay for it which i have never and will never pay, but for men to have sex its a lot of work to impress, or look good, or make enough money, have a good job, drive a nice car, live on your own, etc... Men do this not just for themselves but FOR WOMEN. Women on the other hand was born with a vagina so they can live with their parents, not have a job, not have a car, not have any money and there SOMEWHERE in the world a man wont care. Especially if shes pretty. How many hot homeless women have anyone ever seen? Probably none. Why is this? Bc men are in love with women in general and vaginas and will take care of a pretty girl bc of how we are wired. There are going to be some guys that say i am picky about the women they sleep with and i am sure there are guys like this. Girl needs a job so on and so forth, but if a man see a woman and hes attracted and she shows interest most mens upper reasoning get thrown right out the window and couldn't care less. There are men who were fortunate to be born really good looking but for the rest of us it takes work. The gym, being succesful, ambitious whatever. Women pn the other hand cannot understand why men want it so badly. Because in the immortal words of Chris Rock bc women have been having men offering them dick since they were 15 years old. Any time a mans being super nice hes just offering dick. Can i help you with those bags? Want some dick? Lol but seriously when men get hit on its so rare its like holy shit this is my lucky day. Women cannot see this bc they have a vagina and its easy for them to get laid. For men its work.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think you are tilting at windmills a bit on the "Eye of Sauron" bit, its a reptilian eye. Not a vagina, so it is fine. Don't turn windmills into giants, or disembodied eyes into more than what they are. Some times a cigar is just a cigar.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think girls are more infatuated with their bodies, then guys are. I will not say that they are all the same but they are pretty close. In other wards guys do not think you look like a young girl because you shave it. In fact it has never occurred in my mind and saying that would be a huge turn off. I never could do porn because it always felt like I was watching a sex education video. The best reason for staying trim is because you can hide it so well. The reason for lingerie is to make the moment. Everything is nothing but human anatomy and science. Its the moment and what we create in our minds and share at the moment that makes it something beyond what anyone else can have.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      hi and yes i love the clean waxed look and yes i would let my girlfreind do it to me as there is less chance of unwanted things getting tangled up in the hairs so more hygeneic

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I know right, men are supposed to be fit and stuff these days, what's up with that? why not just be fat and ugly?

    • lddant profile image

      Leah, UnEarth'd! 

      8 years ago from Washington, DC

      What a great article. Well-written.

    • couturepopcafe profile image


      9 years ago

      Based on the responses you've received to this very amusing post, it seems like most people agree - there really is no obsession with the v-j-j (as Tyra childishly calls it) that is to say 'detached from its sexual connotation'. It seems the only obsession is in the art world which has proven throughout modern time its efforts to astound and provoke. P.S. I never in my wildest imagination saw the 'eye of Sauron' as sexually symbolic. It's probably not a good idea to read too much into things. Great read. Kudos.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      If I believed it was really a free choice, I'd agree with a lot of what you've said. But I don't think we're really "free" to do as we want. Rather, we can do what we want but not without consequences (guilt, shame, judgment).

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 

      10 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      Okay, I admit, the foto of the pink bikini caught my eye and like a moth to a flame I read on and on. This is really cool! I enjoyed your assertion that women seem to be doing what ever they want now. Waxing and shaving anywhere they please, or just to please. Seduction or feeling good, and liking people to look at us, we all have motives to want that amnazing figure and look great. I am obsessed with vaginas, and I am proud of it and not afraid to say it as a woman. A great read, a great Hub! Thankyou! - Astra Nomik.

    • ndahse profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      I had a friend who dyed her hair and to make it look 'natural', she dyed 'down there' as well.

      So, I guess hair doesn't have to be shaved (or waxed) to allow it to be involved in the seduction process. Good hub.

    • chrismarva profile image


      10 years ago

      It's just another hair style, hidden to most but waiting to be exposed with pride. If not, what is the point? We all try to look our best to attract the best mate, and lover that we can, and you can't do that by wining. You look around to see what works, and if it working for someone else maybe it will work for you. That may seem shallow to some, but is it any different then buying a new dress that you know you could never wear to work. My wife can do whatever she wants down there; after all it’s hers, not mine. Bald or hairy I'll love her just the same, but she keeps it just as bald as my head and I think I like it best that way.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      thanks for the input!

    • Mortgagestar1 profile image


      10 years ago from Weirton,West Virginia

      The old adage of we men spending nine months in the womb and the rest of our lives trying to get into another womb is definitely true. For some of us, it's an addiction. As strong as alcohol and / or drugs, we men think about it over a dozen times each day. The mere thought can make us drool and our gastric juices going. Its a curse for most men. Personally, I prefer cunligus over penetration and ready within five minutes afterwards. Most men are controlled by the vagina, and if a women is wise, she will use this knowledge to her advantage. I must admit, many men love female ejaculations and find it as the fountain of youth. No two vaginas are alike and I am always surprised to hear men say ' They all look the same". What?! From the perfect peach to kegel strength, many of us are looking for the perfect vagina. However, without the woman's brain and uninhibited willingness to experiement with the partner, is this fully appreciated. I envy lesbians in this facet but my ideal vacation would not be on a luxury cruise but like most men, prefer a hedonist exploit as a gynocologist in a Hollywood clientile. Men view sex as affection, verility, and acceptance which is why we put so much emphasis on that magic button known as the clitoris. I always wondered why some ethnic men are repulsed by cunlingus yet demand the woman perform falatio.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      i like the pic of the bum but i find the discussion in the hub unnerving so didn't actually read it.

    • T_Augustus profile image


      10 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Great hub! I'm obsessed with your subject matter.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      these aren't images of women. these are images of vaginas.

    • DCBULL profile image


      10 years ago from Washington DC or

      I love this article and I am not sure if I am aroused or deeply disturbed.


    • sarahamos91 profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      Nice article, I like your writing style. Easy to read and funny.

      I personally think girls are nuts getting 'down there' waxed all the time. The ones I know who do whinge about the itch and soreness. I ask them why they bother: "My boyfriend told me he likes it".

      Maybe ask the boyfriends how they'd like to wax all the hair off their balls and groin? Then maybe they can see that theres really nothing overly exciting about feeling 12 years old haha.

      Not that I really care if a woman wants to wax those parts; its fine if it lifts her self-confidence or something, but when they do it for other people, that's where women get lost.

      Girls are so busy comparing themselves to each other, trying to seek approval from one another, they don't actually get the time to think of themselves, or see themselves as good-looking. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" after all!

    • dragonflei101 profile image

      Catherine DiDesidero 

      10 years ago from New York

      What a great article! Truly something that needs to be addressed! Thank you for writing this.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for this article. The pressures of social 'norms' is a subject close to my heart.

      K x

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Women very rarely do have much choice when it comes to their bodies nowadays. The beuaty myth brainwashes women from such a young age into believing they should look a certain way. If the media didn't shove ideals of beauty down our throats, thousands of women wouldn't have anything to conform to, which we obviously do. There's such a big thing about how pubic hair is gross (it's not- it's 100% natural and womanly) and a hair free pussy is how we should be and what is sexy (it's not, what's sexy about looking prepubescent?) and women believe it. There is a massive obsession with the female genitalia, because there is a gigantic and harmful obsession with women's bodies.

      Good article. It really made me think.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Well, I have to say I was not aware there was any concern for this. I naturally assumed that women shaved it because they wanted to. I realize that it is likely because of current norms and bikini wax popularity and such...don't want a bear growing out of your skimpy bikini bottoms. I also think that most women feel sexier and more feminine when it is shaven. I also have known women who's mound naturally only has a very thin and small strip of hair that grows along the top and lips (labia?). This was preferable...sorry.

    • profile image

      issues veritas 

      11 years ago

      I don't understand why girls wait so long to look like women, only to become an adult and then want to look like they are 8 years old again.

    • profile image

      Dianamite (author) 

      11 years ago

      Thanks so much for reading, and for your kind comment! :>

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Love it absolutly love this article


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