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10 Reasons Your “Ugly Vagina” Is Normal and Gorgeous

Wed, Jul 27, 2011

Advice, Dear Em & Lo

photo via Flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

A male acquaintance recently started a conversation about “ugly” vaginas with my friends and me. He said that some vaginas resemble “kebabs” and that a lot of guys are really put off sex when they get a hot girl naked and find that her vagina isn’t as “neat” as they imagined it would be. It made me feel really self-conscious about my own, even though I never have been before.

Anyways, as I have never really seen many vaginas before, I decided to Google “ugly vaginas.” I was curious about what an ugly vagina actually is, and whether mine was one of them. Oh my god! I was shocked. What I thought was normal is actually “kebab-like”!!!! There were images of “beautiful” and “ugly” vaginas. The Vagina Institute in particular compares the two. The “beautiful” ones have plump outer labia and you can’t see the inner labia poking out from them…but the ugly ones are just like mine, when you can see the inner lips slightly.

It has made me feel so self-conscious. I hate to think of my ex and future partners being turned off by my vagina, especially as I try to keep it neat by trimming and waxing! Now I feel like growing a bush to try and hide my lips!! The horrible things is, I think when I was younger my vagina was more beautiful (I’ve seen the pictures of me running around naked on the beach as a child)…at least it looked more like the beautiful vagina pictures. It looked more like a little bottom than an adult vagina. Do you think that I have made it look worse by having lots of sex or something? Or is it just where I am older (I am 22 now). Can you have surgery on your vagina? I really want my inner lips to be made smaller. Is it possible?

–”Ugly” Betty

Dear U.B.,

Oh man. Where do we start? We could write an entire book on this topic. And it would involve a lot of ranting and swear words. Let’s try for the abridged version.

First of all, the bad news: We hate to say it, but yes, there are plenty of guys out there who, like your pal, use terms like “roast beef” or “kebab” to describe what they consider to be “ugly vaginas.” (Ignoramuses! The correct terminology for external female genitalia is vulvas, not vaginas, so we’ll be using that from here on out.) We wish we didn’t live in the kind of world where sexist idiots come up with insulting names for female anatomy, but damn it, we do, and much as we’d like to lie to you and tell you that all guys are just happy to get access to any vulva, no matter what it looks like, we can’t.

These same guys will probably tell you (if you ply them with enough drinks) that a so-called “ugly vagina”, where the inner lips protrude beyond the outer lips, looks that way because the woman has had too much sex. And this is why they find “imperfect” genitalia a turn-off — it makes them think the vagina has too much “mileage.”

First of all, what the double-standard fuck? But second, they’re flat-out wrong. Sex does not make your labia “grow.” Let’s say that one more time: The size and shape of a woman’s labia has nothing to do with the number of notches on her bedpost.

But now the good news: Just because some guys think this way, doesn’t mean they all do. Nor does it mean you have to put up with it. Say no to vulva prejudice! Here are ten things you should know that may help you fight the good fight.

1. Even though seedy quack operations like the Vagina “Institute” (no link for them, they’re assholes) will tell you that vulvas like yours are “abnormal,” they’re not. There’s no such thing as abnormal when it comes to labes. (Okay, maybe if you could play hackysack with your inner labia, that would be a bit abnormal.) Labia come in all shapes and sizes. Most women’s aren’t symmetrical, and it’s incredibly common for a woman’s inner labia to protrude beyond the outer labia. (It’s for this reason that we always use the terms “inner labia” and “outer labia” rather than “labia majora” and “labia minora,” which falsely represent the scale).

2. You know the only place where the vast majority of vulvas do look “perfect” (i.e. the same)? Porn. And it’s for the same reason that most of the ladies in porn have big boobs: It’s a job requirement, so if they weren’t born that way, they go under the knife to get that way. It stands to reason, therefore, that guys who watch a ton of porn are more likely to have strong (and wrong) opinions about your labia. Check out this Australian (NSFW!) report on how porn is responsible for the rise in labiaplasty operations.

3. Yes, you can have surgery on labia. And NO, YOU SHOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER DOING THIS. If you don’t believe us, Dr. Kate says the same thing. Your labia are full of nerve endings. Every day we are inundated with letters from women saying they can’t orgasm–and you want to lessen your chances?!! Labiaplasty (that’s the “technical” term) to trim your inner lips definitely won’t make sex feel better for you, and it definitely could make sex less pleasurable or even painful.

4. The more a guy is into you, the less likely he is to give a shit what your vulva looks like. Sure, there are some guys out there who have an unbending aesthetic preference, love be damned, just as there are some women out there who can’t imagine sticking it out with a guy who’s less than average-sized. But just as most women will overlook a man’s size if they’re in love with the man attached to that penis, so too will most men learn to love your labia. Hey, it’s not the worst thing in the world to hold off on getting naked with a guy until you’re sure he likes you for more than just your genitals.

5. Some of our best friends have classic “ugly” vaginas. And you know what? Anecdotally speaking, it makes sex better. Like we said, the inner labia are chock-full of nerve endings, and they encase the clitoral head, which means that during intercourse, there’s a whole lot more friction going on. Friction = stimulation = Big Os for her. So there, you vulva fascists.

6. You know what we think is ugly? That plucked-chicken look a vulva gets a few weeks after a full Brazilian (or sometimes even a few days after). Sure, maybe that makes us vulva fascists, too, but we’re just saying is all: Back before people started taking it all off down there, nobody stressed out about their “ugly vagina”, so far as we know. We don’t think you should opt for re-growth to “hide” your vagina–you’ve got nothing to be ashamed of–but you should know that nobody’s adult vulva looks like a little girl’s, with or without pubic hair. So stop trying!

7. And you know what? We’re kind of glad that nobody’s adult vulva looks like a little girl’s. Who wants their vulva to look like a 7-year-old’s? Or a little mini tushy on a kid? That’s some fucked up shit!

8. Next time you’re feeling self-conscious about a body part, do NOT Google it. The Web is overrun with horny 13-year-olds who have unlimited access to porn and very limited knowledge of real women.

9. Libraries are supposed to be “neat.” Office cubicles are supposed to be “neat.” A lawyer’s side part is supposed to be “neat.” Your labia are not.

10. If, like us, you wish we didn’t live in this kind of world, then start changing it, one man at a time: Educate your guy friends. Don’t sleep with men who make you feel self-conscious about your vulva. Do sleep with men who feel self-conscious about their penises. Better yet, find the kind of guy who likes longer inner labia — there are plenty! — and reward him. Educate your female friends. Love your vulva.

Yes, we just lit a patchouli-scented candle.

Em & Lo

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181 Responses to “10 Reasons Your “Ugly Vagina” Is Normal and Gorgeous”

  1. CarelessWhispers* Says:

    Genitals, bodies, nationalities, cultures, religions, beliefs, challenges, mindsets aren’t “neat” or “ugly,” just different from what you are use to having….

    EVERYONE (including the creators of this article should be nothing more than ashamed of there “opinions” (like asses, everone and thing has them) True, people are unique and different and why would you ever want “boring” and the same ALL the time, who cares how anything looks as long as it works for you and the other what does it matter. There are no labels! There are only people here insecure about themselves in the most asinine way. You all lack to see the importantance of what really matters be happy it’s a human at all and you are not getting with some beast demonic entity or monster by force!

    ALL I’M SAYING IS… No matter what everyone needs to be loved regardless…. Different (no matter what you are you’re human right) in the long run works and you all must admit we all are just that, if you are sticking to your guns on preference don’t comment and if you are the type that likes trying something different every now and again HELL go all out and share you fun and amazine experiences! There is no shame and being human and how you develope at all, keep it healthy as much as you can and remember safety first.

    Life should be to LIVE not to judge, and if you ask me, BEING JUDGEMENTAL allows no room to have fun and explore and hence to LOVE and to LIVE!!!!!

    To all who judge at all wether it be themselves or anything/one else…. hey remember the ole saying “dont knock it, til you try it” it could be the best you ever had and you’ve been missing out… You never know until you really do (you know)…

    Besides, if the world we know may soon to be overtaken by government experimental zombies created to bring down earth’s population by a vast amounts… At least you can say you tried everything before you die!

    Change and different isn’t scary, just life at it’s BEST! Hey where would we be without it!

    The difference creates the change and the change makes it what it is…. All to the good!

    To those that think druel of any body part, that doesn’t look how society programmed you to think, I hope your the type that never craves for love or attention should (god forbid) you lose touch with health or limb… Because you might find yourself very alone. @ @

  2. CarelessWhispers* Says:

    Sorry folks, auto-correct, sometimes doesn’t correct at all…hehe

  3. 100percentchanceofafauxpas Says:

    Oh yes, they are ugly. Yuk. Why bother having sex. If you look at both sexes objectively….they are both ugly. Why we have this deep rooted desire is beyond me. But no, I will never have sex. Ever. It looks so disgusting.

  4. Dave Says:

    Oh come on ladies work on you self esteem. I am male and I have oral sex as part of foreplay. At that point in a relationship I think functionality far outweighs attractiveness.
    The function of the reproductive organs are for limited guidance and effective reproduction. Animals manage to reproduce, some by brute force and ignorance and others by courtship. No matter what side of the equation your on, attractiveness is in the eyes of someone who lost sight of functionality. Do I have an ugly penis, maybe to some people and not to others. It’s not a beauty contest its love in some cases and sex in others. Should you be making comparisons between other people’s hardware and your own, no way. Remember everyone is different and it’s nature’s way of giving personality.
    Be happy with it.

  5. Kyle Says:

    Vaginas are hot as f. No matter what. You really think I would stop having sex with someone because of their vaginas ‘appearance.’ Hellllll no.

  6. Becca Says:

    I am really insecure about my vagina. I have about 3 cm of the inner labia hanging out of my outer labia. I thought I had something wrong with me. This site really cleared things up. I will forever be scared of what guys will think of me when I am naked. I have had sex with this guy but we did it with the lights off. He said it was amazing, but it was both our first times so I dont know. Well thanks.

  7. Dexter Says:

    Becca you have good reason to be insecure. You sound 20 something, my guess is early 20s. If you hang with young immature guys, then yes your fears are very valid. Especially if you are a teenager.

    So my advice is to find a mature guy, and let your hair down. The older the better, he will not have these kinds of immature hangups about your body. Even if you are in your mid teens, but you want to avoid this heartache, really find a 30s guy, or better yet 40 and above. You will be better off for it.

  8. nena Says:

    I get insecure when I’m about to have sex because in my inner flaps of my vagina lips I have alittle hair that I can’t get rid of even when I try to shave , I don’t know if my boyfriend would mind me having hair there , he wants to give me oral pleasure but I’m scared ! somebody please give me advice

  9. John K Says:

    This article is so poorly written.
    Defending one vagina type and putting down another.
    smh. stupidity at its finest

  10. MissMoore Says:

    Em&Lo -
    Amen. Well said. Fuck yeah. Thank you.

    I feel so much better about myself now!


  11. Lucy Y Says:

    Thank you so much feeling a little better. If only all men were like you guys.

  12. Chaz Says:

    Calm down ladies. you’re starting to to sound like us guys worried about penis size. REAL women love the man attached to the penis. I personally LOVE that my wife’s vulva looks nothing like an immature little girls vulva. Would you want your MAN to look like a little boy?

  13. HOLLY DOWNS Says:

    My husband loves my vagina ! He loves my big inner lips ! I am very happy he was not circumcised ! You people that need boob jobs and have your vagina lips cut off are nuts !So sad , try to enjoy your bodies as they were made and not as some idiot in porn star world thinks you should look.

  14. Gary Says:

    I would be more turned on if it looked like a butthole.

  15. AngieG Says:

    I have just been reading this page with my partner and he was amazed at the comments about protruding labia. By the way, we both get really annoyed that people keep saying vagina when they mean vulva. The vagina is the hole in your vulva which is the name for both sets of lips, the clitoris and hood etc. For goodness sake try to get it right or don’t go on these forums.

    Anyway, I have protruding inner labia, not by much, but they are always visible out of my outer labia. When Peter gives me oral they feel absolutely wonderful as his tongue runs all the way from my vagina, up my entire lips and over my clitoris. The inner lips are packed with feeling and I love them being touched.

    However, Peter says that he also loves looking at ‘neat’ vulvas in porn – which we sometimes read together.

    Anyway, if you love someone it really doesn’t matter. Peter’s penis is not huge, but it feels lovely to me and I know that when it is inside me he is experiencing the best feeling in the world … well apart from when I give him fellatio.

    If you want to better understand how vulva’s work and respond to caressing and oral then Andrew Macbeth and Jane Tothree have a great book out on how to give and receive oral sex orgasms – search if you want to find it. It is great fun to try out and I love the attention it brings to my vulva.

    Sorry to be so long winded.

  16. Fox Says:

    What REALLY pisses me off is all the girl sites who tell girls that it’s ok to prefer a bigger or thicker penis. Those sites “empower” girls to embrace and appreciate larger and thicker penises without emphasizing the fact that unless the guy is miniscule, sex can be just as enjoyable if the guy is 5″ or 9″.

    So,I am proud to say that I love the “pretty” vaginas, The ones without meat curtains, the ones that look 7 years old! And I hope this gives girls as many sleepless nights as I have had worrying about a 5″ penis that is very tiny soft but becomes the smaller side of normal when hard.

    Finally, payback for all the dick jokes!

  17. What an idiot Says:

    @ Fox:

    You just admitted to preferring the genitals of children. Congrats, you’re a pedophile.

  18. Stephanie Says:

    I get that this article is trying to raise the self esteem with those women who consider their labias ugly because the inner lips are longer than the outter but I feel a little discouraged by the overall conclusion. I am fortunate enough to have what society considers a ‘beautiful’ female genitalia (thanks mum and dad) and here
    It’s like I’m supposed to feel ashamed for having the stereotypical porn vag. Every girls privates are both beautiful and kinda gross but that’s what we got, someone fix this article

  19. sd Says:

    Well I also fall into the ugly category. Like many I have seen women on porn and asked my partner bout the look. Along with my boyfriend and some other male friends I was told small vuvlas my look neat but “ugly” feels better. So the term “bigger is better” works for us too ladies. I was informed that the larger vuvla adds more suction when the thrust is on the outward motion. Such as using a hand while giving a man oral. Lets face it a man’s to gonna be showing his friends your whoha so I’m thinking once a man finds that pleasure he is not honna care much about it looks like , exspecially when we have to look at there hurry one eyed creature.

  20. Anna Says:

    I AM FREAKED OUT! haha i am not even thinking about having sex.. i mean at all. never have. but i feel like so scared of my biger lips. i hate it.. i just want to cut them off myself! i want to go in the army.. people are going to see me naked and see the lips too. i dont understand why guys say something is loose? i thought that ment on the inide and on the opening.. anyway.. i guess i just want to hear from someone.. i dont want to spend my whole life with this stupid weight that wont go away on my sholders. i feel like if i loose my verginity then i will have nothing left thats special about me..

  21. john Says:

    whoever don’t like large inner labia are stupid I can’t get enough of them think of it this way would you rather eat a big ole juicy steak or a little piece of balogna because large labia is like the steak big juicy delicious and you cant get enough

  22. john Says:

    ps I got to thinking the tightest vagina I ever had the girls inner labia stuck out about an inch And a half past her Outer labia

  23. Curious Says:

    This made me feel better about myself until I started reading the comments. I have large inner labia and I have always been ashamed of it. I had a guy tell me that I was gross and he didn’t like the meat. Every time he would look at me down there he would get sick. I had myself pierced to maybe boost my confidence a little bit but to no avail. My husband now wont perform oral sex on me and it kills me because I feel it’s because of my horrible lady parts. Please help?

  24. Camille Says:

    Oh! Thanks my self esteem boost! I’m ashamed with my so called ugly vagina but the fuck! It has a name and it was so called FATTY VAGINA LIP , I have it and my partner always says ” its not ugly , its beautiful ” but obviously fatty is not that beautiful . Its ugly , yeah I have it but I admit it too , that it was ugly . But they say ” Be what your vulva was meant to be ” . Just be thankful you have vulva or what you so called vagina ! Your a human! And a human has a right to be respected .

  25. Ben Says:

    There’s only 1 word for a woman’s genital parts. “Pussy”. You are not a real man if u don’t like them all. Female is female. The most beautiful creatures this world has to offer. There’s nothing more I could possibly want if all in this world were lost. “Pussy”. I love em big, small, fat, skinny, loose, tight, clean, and dirty. Depends on my mood. Any man that can’t agree with that is a “pussy”. And that’s all I have to say about that. Grow up & grow a pair u losers who don’t like certain types of the most gorgeous thing ever created in the universe!!!!!

  26. Mark Says:

    Genitalia is for function… not aesthetic appeal.

    Of course male & female genitalia is weird and gross at first… but after a while you get used to it and even recognize what a good looking genitalia looks like.

    I’m bisexual and there are some very attractive penises & vaginas out there.

  27. Anna Says:


    Don’t listen to Dexter. He’s just an older guy still trying to get into the pants of young women, and he’s playing on your insecurities. For God’s sakes, he even recommended that if you are in your mid-teens (MID-TEENS!) to find a much older man! WTH? Stay with the young men while you can–the older man is automatically better myth is just that, a myth.

    I don’t know your exact age, but to give you some perspective, I have large, protruding inner labia, more than the 3cm you say you have. I had three lovers in my late teens to mid-twenties (the same age as I). All three of them were absolutely enthralled with my pussy. None of them were put off in the slightest. Just the opposite, actually. I know that for two of them, mine were the first large ones they had ever encountered, and all three went crazy for them.

    If you’re really worried, wait for someone you love, who loves you (yes, the old love thing is still alive and well and still makes a difference). And the guy you had sex with, who said it was amazing? Believe him! Light’s off or not, he knows what you have, and how he felt.

  28. Divinity Says:

    Ok, so I am 22. I have rather large lips too, have always been that way. I hate it. Ive actually cried. And then I had kids. They didn’t really change, at all. Ive wanted surgery as long as ive known its been out, but my husband tells me im crazy for even thinking that way. Yet he is one of those men who watch ALOT of porn, and to be honest I truly hate him for it, so we are splitting up. Anyways, I want surgery because I hate the way I look down there. I’ve made him understand that if he wants oral, I get it too. The End. But it makes me wonder if it grosses him out, I’ve only just started to let him go down on me cause of my embarrassment. He tells me I’m dumb for wanting a boob job and some work down there, yet he is consistently ruining our marriage by watching porn with girls that have naturally larg boobs and *supposedly naturally small lips. WTF do I do? Leave his hypocritical @$$ for someone else, or just stick with it feeling absolutely miserable about my self???

  29. Divinity Says:

    Oh and btw,FYI. The only time i have EVER gotten off while actually having sex was with a guy who has what society says is a very small penis. So size ain’t everything guys, just saying.

  30. erica Says:

    I have large inner lips. My partner has a smaller than average penis. We have incredible sex. Anyone who will judge you based on what your genitals look like, be they male or female, is a shallow ignorant loser and is definitely not worth your time or affection. I used to be intensely insecure about my labia because of crap I read online. I even tried to cut them off with a razor blade when I was twelve and ended up needing stitches, not to mention a psychological evaluation. Society places standards on every inch of the female body. It is impossible to meet them all. It took years but I have learned to love and accept myself. Also, I have had alot of sex with both male and female partners and not one of them has ever turned me down or insulted my pussy. When people make stupid jokes or comments call them out on it. It sucks that We have to deal with all of these sexist attacks. Resist by loving yourself and being nice to other women. Also be nice to guys and dont be a hypocrite by making fun of smaller penises. Size really does not matter, cleanliness and technique, not to mention confidence and being a nice person, is all that really matters.

  31. The man opinion on labias Says:

    Bigger inner labias are nice and very sexy
    what do you need a man more to tell to convince you that if you have bigger inner labias you are more sexy.
    Bigger inner labias is equivalent with bigger breasts. Keep in mind that.
    probably there are some guys that don’t like big breasts and there some guys that don’t like big inner labias but the rest of 90% do love them a lot.

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