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Georgia O'Keefe

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My vulva is a sweet peach that drips honey down my thighs.
When I feel that heat and those warm juices it makes
every part of me smile and sing.
Love breezes blowing under my dress,
dancing on my armpits and belly and pussy
Tickling down the sweat on my back.
Makes me want to take a bite out of life.

I experienced my clitoris vagina hacked off and sewn shut when I was ten with no anesthetic. A month later I was married to a man who tore into me with his penis I almost bled to death both times. I have always thought of sex as a bad thing. Now I've learned about Clitoraid and that sex can be good, and I would like to know about it. I would like to hope. I would like women to think of their vaginas as a sacred flower, not a gateway to degradation. We will fight this until women are free.



When I first really looked at my labia as an adult I wondered if I was normal. The left one hung down farther than the right. Merde! From then on I wanted to have sex in the dark! Finally I confided in my partner and he showed me his testicles; his left hangs lower than his right! That gave me the guts to talk to my friends and it turns out genital asymmetry is pretty much commonplace. You know if we just talked to each other instead of feeling embarrassed and hiding we'd feel better a lot sooner. about our covert body image fears. Doesn't that make sense - to talk? We all have bodies.


A constant sweet wetness all my life, after menopause I felt less me. Without the monthly courses, which always made me think of the Mother Nile fertilizing the land with living verdure, I felt an emptiness. A receding of power. I felt myself shrink, hearing the hours of the day ticking.
 I began to paint after work to fill the Void. For hours, all the time. Bleak sand colors, grays and grey-blue, the colors of emptiness.

After time, a vulva color would appear, like a banner against the sky. Like blood flowing back into lifeless pallor. Gradually these colors warmed the life in my painting, and I See:
Because I cannot bear a child any longer does not mean my creativity dried up and withered to dust. A glorious adventure of colors await.


I looked at myself for the first time today.

taboo to look. discovered I am pretty.

I taste sweet, and smell good, like grasses I love.

I don't have a mirror but I managed to see in the high grass, and I laughed and laughed to see what is most beautiful is a given stigma to hide it.

I don't know if I can tell my sister.

 I don't know why my vulva is taboo. Is it my special happiness to know?

Happiness is best shared, but will my family accept? I don't feel safe to say. I'm glad to write this here.



I am still scarred by the freakishness that surrounded my sexual awakening, the way my vulva looked and functioned. Amazed to this day that I didn't suffer a psyche-shattering schizoid split over it, though it's still a pain that aches and darkens.

Sexual exploration - vulva - menstruation all came together in one beautiful and then agonizing THUMP! My body matured exceptionally early and I felt glorious about it until the girls in my bunk at camp teased me cruelly because I had pubic hair. Apparently a lot of it, according to them, and there was something dirty and ugly-"funny" about this. Weird.

Morally suspect.

DIFFERENT! The label landed, an arrow to the heart.

Then I discovered a "dirtier" reality still - I had large, fleshy labia, unlike the buds between other 9 year olds thighs. No one had to tell me that I had to keep this a secret. I was already a freak. I contorted my body posture when nude to hide any glimpse of my vulva from other girls (or my frightening, Puritanical mother). Concealment and shame entered my heart, and the feeling that my vulva was ugly, unworthy of sharing.

Menstruation began a year later, much younger than other girls. Now stigma arose at school: graffiti on the walls: "Minnie has her period" . Whispered comments behind my back, spiteful, faceless but pervasive - as if menstruation was a plague signaling degeneracy. Unclean. Don't touch. Ridicule the leper.

With menstruation I discovered that I had endometriosis, which caused labor-like cramps during menses and bleeding profuse enough to keep me anemic despite supplements. Like being pierced with white-hot pokers and ripped by barbed wire in my womb while a river of blood flowed and flowed. My brother was phobic about the bodies processes, and if in my extremis I spilled a drop of blood on the bathroom floor, horrific screaming fits erupted from my mother and brother, accusing me of being a dirty filthy bleeding slut. Dirty vile!

It seemed I did terrible things. Purchased tampons without acting ashamed or hiding them. Mentioned sex to my peers without sneering. Had breasts and curves, a deep, earthy voice. Unforgivable, rotten things I was to be abominated for. In front of my family and anyone else who would listen. My father was to buy any tampons or "feminine products" for me in the future, I mustn't be seen with them.

Then there the was awful, searing, unexplained pain in my external vulva which emerged, especially when my family was behaving viciously. Doctors kept cauterizing my poor tender vagina to stop the natural discharge I had, as if that would punish my biological 'malfunction' into submission. (I saw their expressions. Annoying woman-child! It must be in her head!) It made the pain worse. Only decades later did I discover that I'd contacted the Herpes II virus at birth, transmitted by my mother's vaginal lining and then activated by stress.

Eventually I stopped fighting and went dead. I didn't mean to, didn't even realize how much I disconnected from my feelings to block pain. And this emotional disconnection, added to my negative feelings about my genitals/myself, had a catastrophic effect on my soul, my sexuality, and my relationships. Intimacy was elusive, my esteem was too low to accept love, sex was an ordeal of hiding my defective genitals. Once I felt my vulva was ugly, that feeling spread to the rest of me. My whole body and self were ugly.

I did seek to heal, it seems like in my early teens I started to try, and I'd like to say this turns into a cathartic success story here, but it doesn't. Healing took a long time. A lifetime, and I can still feel the stain of hurt. I plunged into sexuality workshops, emerged myself in cunt-positive activities and literature, adored taking two of Betty Dodson's early Bodysex Workshops ( I have a "dong", or a large beauty of a clit), and actively pursued a positive redefinition of sex, vulva aesthetics and genital politics. And still. The acid attack of formative sexual cruelties ran deep in my being. Because with healing, knowing a thing to be so and it being so are not the same, and until you genuinely embody wellness, it's only an understanding of what should be.

Now I see how lovely all of me is, body and soul, inside and out. I feel myself a total radiant being. My vulva is the icing on the cake; a gorgeous sex organ full of sensitive nerves and expressive nuances, with an astounding structure set in the middle that is solely there to give me pure ecstasy. My daily PC exercises are a serene meditation on beauty. I think of breathing self-love into my vaginal canal and exhaling the stain of trauma through me and beyond with every breath. My core is healed.
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