Jo Divine Home Page
Jo Divine Home Page
Jo Divine Site Search
Jo Divine Shopping Basket
Jo Divine Home Page

Love your Labia: How to get the perfect vagina that you and your sexual partners will adore

Love your Labia: How to get the perfect vagina that you and your sexual partners will adore | Jo Divine

The vulva basically consists of 3 areas- the inner lips (labia minora), outer lips (labia majora) and the clitoris, complete with clitoral hood. At puberty, the flush of hormones, as well as expanding the breasts and (facial) lips, causes the inner labia and clitoral hood to swell, extend and darken in colour, in preparation for adult sexuality.

As with every other part of the body, the exact end-result is highly variable. Some women experience little change to their pubic area, with the inner labia remaining naturally very discretely hidden, though this is rare. Some gain fatty tissue to the outer labia, cushioning the area and hiding the inner labia. Some develop longer, chunkier and more easily seen inner labia. They are almost never perfectly symmetrical, and young teens almost never get to see the true variety, largely basing their ideas on what pornography they can access.

What do writers have to say about it?

“Variety, multiplicity, are two of the most powerful vehicles of lust” – Marquis de Sade

“I was worried about my own vagina. It needed a context of other vaginas— a community, a culture of vaginas. There’s so much darkness and secrecy surrounding them— like the Bermunda Triangle” – Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues

“In the twenty-first century, the vagina has come to eclipse the female face” – Antonella Gambotto-Burke

Australian censorship laws dictate what vaginas have to look like if they are going to appear in magazines and soft porn. The Guidelines for Classification of Publications require the labia minora and clitoris to be airbrushed out of photographs. They call it “healing to a single crease”.

While the UK and the US don’t have laws dictating what kinds of vulvas make it into popular media, the single crease, flattened-out “Barbie vulva” is the one which appears almost all of the time, across the world. In pornographic videos, it’s often the result of a labiaplasty. And in print, it’s thanks to heavy Photoshopping.

But the truth is, while a seemingly labia-less vagina can be perfectly normal, it’s not the only kind of vagina. In fact, it’s more common for the labia to protrude and for the lips to be at different lengths.
-Kassi Klower, 2019

Vaginas. Many of us don’t tend to intensely inspect the anatomy of anyone else’s much (we’ve not got it all hanging out, like men), which is how so many women end up with a complex over whether theirs is ‘normal’. But here’s the thing: no matter what the shape, size, colour, WHATEVER (unless, you know, it physically hurts), it’s completely normal.
-Cosmopolitan, Sept 2018

Given the apparent need for women to critique and adjust their appearance in every way in order to meet the current and ever changing standards set by society to be considered of value, is it any wonder that women, more and more, are going under the knife to sculpt and tinker with this most intimate of areas?

The rise in cosmetic (as opposed to purely functional) vaginoplasty and labiaplasty has skyrocketed since 2007. These aren’t generally women having functional problems after childbirth – they are usually young (and in the USA, many are under 18- some as young as 9) and already very beautiful, with perfectly normal inner labia.

They pay a hefty price (both financial and in terms of recovery pain, infection risk, and future functional problems in later life – the labia are thin but they do serve several purposes, including protecting the structures of the clitoris, urethra, and closing the vaginal canal securely against germs, water and dirt) in order to trim or remove these little flower petals of femininity.

A friend of mine (who is no stranger to a little nip and tuck), once attended a surgical consultation, to have her vulval appearance improved. She complained that her inner labia were too small, and you couldn’t see them when she stood up. ‘Um, we normally do it the other way around’ was the response.

What procedures can be done for women wanting to tinker with their intimate regions?

Labiaplasty – trimming or forming a wedge with the labia minora, reducing their protrusion, removing any frilly parts to the edges and increasing symmetry.

Often combined with:

Hoodectomy – Reduction of the delicate skin over the clitoris to reduce its protrusion. Sometimes done to increase clitoral sensation.

Vaginoplasty – surgical alteration to the inner walls of the vagina

Liposuction to the mons pubis and fat injections to the labia majora – Taking fat away from the front can ‘sculpt’ the area and injecting it into the outer lips plumps them up, giving the area a younger appearance

Fancy something less hardcore?

Labia puffs- filler injections to the inner or outer labia, making them look more ‘plump’ and youthful. Effects are temporary. Risk of infection and nerve damage.

Vaginal rejuvenation- Often done by laser or radio-frequency, tightens and plumps the inner walls and can improve sensation and lubrication (as well as continence) for some women, or can be used externally to tighten and plump the inner and outer labia.

More research is being done within the NHS on the efficacy of CO2 laser treament which can be an effective treatment for stress incontinence and vaginal atrophy but it is important that it is undertaken by a trained accredited healthcare professional. There is the potential risk of burns, tissue damage and infection with unregulated treaments or not carried out by a trained practioner, it is not something you should be popping out at lunchtime to have done!

The O-shot – a filler injection to the area around the G-spot, supposedly to enhance orgasm. Effects are temporary. Risk of nerve damage and infection.

Vajacials – a ‘Facial’ for the area around the vagina. Has been suggested that they could cause irritation or infection.

Ultimately, we as women (provided we are privileged with the money and good health to undertake such procedures), have a number of options from the minor and short-lived, to the more expensive and extreme. Our bodies are, or always should be, our own temples to decorate however we see fit. Yet why is this necessary? And what ‘should’ we be aiming for, if we decide to nip and tuck at our nether regions?

As with fashions for ‘ideal’ body shape changing, from the boyish waif of the 20s, to the hour glass of the 50’s, to the muscular tone of the 80’s and the borderline-impossibly inflated curves of the 2010’s (complete with liposuction, breast and butt implants and corsetry), the ‘ideal’ vagina notion also comes in from all around us, on TV, on screen, on social media, celebrities and advertising for clothes, holidays, music videos, you name it. T

There was even the ridiculous ‘dry panty challenge’ doing the rounds a couple of years ago on social media (why you’d want to have no natural vaginal discharge, or even how you’d go about altering it, was never clarified). It’s not all about whether to keep your pubic hair anymore- oh no. Now we are stripped down, laid bare and worried about what lies beneath.

Let’s have a look at some of these trends for how the lady-flower should grow have changed over time:

Historical – The Rose

Generally considered to be the most wildly erotic form, by the few writers of the time who discussed such things, this style goes from the rose bud (just clitoris or clitoral hood central of the outer labia visible on standing) to the full blown rose (where clitoral hood and labia are the most prominent features) -like a rose about to drop its petals. Given that the enlargement and prominence of the inner labia and clitoris develops as a secondary sexual characteristic in women (like large breasts, or pouty facial lips), one can see how this might naturally be considered the most exciting, feminine and sexually alluring shape.

2009 – The Hamburger

The hamburger was once the shape of choice – with inner labia on a level with outer labia, resembling a McDonald’s burger as viewed from behind while on all fours. Not a common natural type, yet often selected or surgically (or airbrush) created for pornography.

2013- The Rhombus Crotch

This outer shape consists of an apparently flat horizontal line across the nether regions, usually the result of excessive, anatomically incorrect photoshopping, or very low BMI women, with little flesh anywhere. Basically, it is the shape of the underlying pelvic bone, without natural padding. Accessorise with liposuctioned inner-thigh gap and yoga pants.

2015 – The Fat Pussy

Often beloved of men who also enjoy a big booty, or dislike smashing their balls against a hard surface during sex. Fake camel-toe underwear available online are padded undies to make the outer labia look fatter through your clothes and emphasise a central cleft. Pointless unless worn with super-thin, super tight skinny jeans, leggings or hotpants.

2017 – The Bleached Vagina

Not the perfect, pale pink tone of an albino throughout? That’s right, now people are bleaching the natural melanin out of their labia.

2019 – The Barbie Vagina

Inner labia cropped to sit well within the outer labia with all frills and asymmetry taken away, or labia entirely removed, clitoral hood trimmed back. Simple slit-like appearance on standing, similar to a doll, or (somewhat worryingly) a pre-pubescent child.

So those are the messages we have subtly had from society about the ‘correct’ or ‘desirable’ shape and size of the vagina and its surrounding anatomy. The overall aesthetic to ‘aspire’ to for one’s own lady-garden. A garden that, until fairly recently, one would not have imagined it were possible to cultivate and prune quite so fiercely.

Yet do these fashions reflect what people really think when it comes to their own sexual partners?

We ask some men and women who enjoy vaginas what the ideal vulva should actually look like:

“A rose!” – Mr Z

“There isn’t really an ideal. I love the variety of different shapes and sizes; the puffiness, the lip length, but most importantly the taste has to be sweet. If it tastes like battery acid then no thanks”. – 101 Kinks, Fabswingers

“I’ve recently found that I have a liking for big clits with (pardon the expression) easy access. The size of the lips (big or small) don’t really concern me, so long as they don’t make it difficult to access the clit.There is a girl I know that had, what I thought, were decent sized lips, but she was convinced that they were bigger than they needed to be. So despite me trying to convince her that she looked fine the way she was, she went ahead and had surgery to remove most of her own lips. Now she’s happy with them (or rather the lack of them) and I guess that’s what matters, she’s gained self-confidence, but honestly she didn’t have to. I’ve yet to meet any guy that went “Oh, she’s super hot, but I’m going to dump her because her labia are so massive!” It just isn’t an issue for any guy I’ve ever met.” – Mr. F, swinger, 30’s

“I like mine to be long and nice tasting. I do actually realise a lot of women do not like their longer vulva, but I love it. It makes it a lot of fun”. – Slutgirl, Fabswingers

“I like ones that look like my own, apparently. Neat and tidy, but would never want anyone to go under the knife to conform to my preferences! I think more important than the look is the smell and taste… even if it’s the best-looking labia in the world, I’m not going near it if it gives off an unpleasant odour”. – Miss E

So, without surgery, injections and overt cosmetic tinkering, how do we love our labia (and other intimate areas)?

Here’s a 101 guide to learning to love your labia:

  • Your vagina is a self-cleaning ecosystem. Never blast it with the chlorinated, contaminated water from a shower head. Wash gently around the outside, without perfumed products or soap.
  • Use natural, breathable underwear, washed without harsh biological detergents, hang them to dry in the sunlight and change them once or twice a day. Or just go commando whenever you can.
  • Avoided scented sanitary towels and tampons, and try natural organic cotton alternatives, or a menstrual cup instead. These chemical nasties are sitting right where your most sensitive mucous membranes are!
  • Get decent toilet paper to use, without scents or an excessively powdery surface. Wipe front to back.
  • Take showers instead of baths, or leave out the scented bubbles and bath salts so the chemicals aren’t creeping in and sitting on your lovely lady bits.
  • Have a regular smear test, to look for early changes in the cervix. Get vaccinated for any STDs you are eligible for (Hepatitis B, HPV) and get regularly screened at your clinic, even if you ‘don’t have sex with that many people’. Given the ratios of men looking for ‘discrete NSA’ on the hook-up sites, you can bet their partners have no idea where they’ve been.
  • Ditch the feminine hygiene products that crowd the shelves on our high street and online too, no one needs a rose scented vagina or vulva!
  • Only have good sex. Have sex with people who treat your vagina as the precious treat it is, wear protection and make you orgasm. You don’t need to suffer a pounding by someone who wants to pretend they are a porn star, unless that’s the way you honestly like it.
  • Always get up and pee after sex, then gently wash the surrounding area without soap or perfumed products and dry gently
  • If you have a tendency to irritation or thrush, especially after sex, consider getting and trying out some latex-free, hypoallergenic condoms, and select a good, pH neutral lubricant to use, that’s free of chemical nasties and irritants
  • If you suffer with vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy, consider trying a hypoallergenic, pH balanced vaginal moisturiser and sexual lubricant.
  • If you have itching, soreness or a lumpy white discharge, you probably have thrush. Most women will have it at some point in life, and many get it regularly. It can leave a mildly unpleasant smell and doesn’t taste good. It’s simply an overgrowth of yeast in the area, if you’ve done something to upset your lady-garden ecosystem. In addition to creams and tablets, try reducing the sugar, alcohol and carbs in your diet, take some ‘friendly bacteria’ like lactobacillus acidophilous, and try to rest and take care of your body for a few days.
  • If you have an unpleasant ‘fishy’ odour, or a really bad taste (and it will usually be both) you probably have B.V. (Bacterial vaginosis). This is, again, your ecosystem being out of balance, but this time overly colonised with bacteria (not the friendly kind). You’ll need to get treatment like a pessary or antibiotic tablets to sort it out. Try to avoid BV by taking the steps above, and avoid situations where bacteria are likely to be introduced (a hot tub with questionable hygiene, or allowing someone to use their fingers, tongue, or penis on your anal area and vagina in the same session). If you have sex with a partner without a condom, get them to freshly shower first.
  • Clean your sex toys properly, with a good cleanser designed for the purpose. Then remove the cleanser from them. Your toys will never be fully sterile, and hence should not be shared ( pop a condom on your sex toy if you are sharing), but you will avoid introducing bacteria that have grown on the surface and secretions you have left on them.
  • Get to know your vagina. Get a hand-held mirror (or video with your phone, but careful not to send it to anyone by accident), and have a good look around. Try stimulating the different areas and see how they respond. When aroused, the labia increase in size by 2-3 times, flush darker and puff up. The clitoris expands and becomes more prominent. The area starts to lubricate itself, and the vagina itself gets larger, stretchier and deeper. Watch how everything changes as you approach orgasm, and afterwards. Marvel in the natural glory of its complex function, response to pleasure, and love it the way men love and marvel at their own penis.
  • Get someone who knows your vagina well (and isn’t a jerk) to tell you all the things they like best about it. What they think when they look at it, how it smells to them, how it tastes. The parts of it they like best. They way it responds to their touch. If the person or people who know your vagina well aren’t willing to do this, replace them with someone who can.

We could all do with a little more vagina self-love. When we, too, are randomly sending pictures of our genitals to strangers online to say hello, perhaps we will be a step closer to sexual equality.