Vulva Activism hits Las Vegas

There is something rather disturbing brewing around women's vulvas these days. More and more nude photos and pornographic depictions of women airbrush away the woman's natural labia. More and more doctors are offering labiaplasty surgery for women to reduce the size of their external genitalia. And more and more women are opting for the surgery to please their partners and feel better about the appearance of their genitals.

Hmm...there seems to be a link between all of these. And it's certainly not based on women knowing their bodies, knowing what is natural and normal, and appreciating the variety and beauty of vulvas.

In protest of this and to provide education to the contrary, the New View Campaign, an organization to challenge the medicalization of sex and women's bodies, is offering a one day conference in Las Vegas this Sunday! Two of the featured guests are Nick and Sayaka Karras, who have created the wonderful Petals project to expose women to the beauty and uniqueness of each vulva. I am looking forward to attending and meeting like-minded women and learning the latest quantitative and qualitative research on this upsetting topic.

If you'd like to learn more about the conference, visit HERE.

To read a wonderful article on the Ms. Blog about it, click HERE.

Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D.

Sex Therapy & Relationship Counseling in San Diego

Vulva Photography for Me!

If you've seen Session 20 or Session 82 of my podcast show, then you know I'm a big fan of Nick Karras' artistic photography of women's vulvas called Petals. His sepia-toned close-up photos of women's genitals is a powerful tool for me in the classroom and with clients, to show that there is incredible variety in genitals and to learn that we can experience our genitals as beautiful.

I'm happy to report that Nick and his wife Sayaka are working on a Petals II project this summer. This time the photos will be in color, so that they can explicitly be utilized in educational settings (e.g., nursing programs, clinical settings, women's studies classrooms).

AND...I visited them yesterday to have myself photographed as part of their new book! Although I wasn't nervous per se, I certainly felt some initial awkwardness in laying down and spreading my legs for my friends to view, let alone the camera that was about a foot from my vulva. But I was relieved and pleased with how comfortable Nick and Sayaka made the experience because of their matter-of-fact approach to the shoot and their appreciation for female sexuality and empowering women. Within minutes I actually felt quite proud of my vulva and her modeling debut. Even though the experience itself was probably no more than 15 minutes, I really did leave the shoot feeling more empowered through being appreciative of the beauty of my genitals and having unabashedly shared myself for the education and empowerment of others. Pussies unite!

Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D.

Sex Therapy & Relationship Counseling in San Diego

Photographing Female “Petals”

Nick Karras, author and photographer of the book Petals, talks with Dr. Jenn about the challenges of shooting photos of vulvas as well as the positive response from women who have seen his work.

Nick Karras, DHS, Photography and Vulva Activist

Visit the blog at the new site.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sex Therapy, Marriage Counselor, and University Sexual Health Speaker