Dear Em & Lo,
I was reading a little about my problem on this website: I have an enlarged labia, which I’ve heard referred to as beef curtains, roast beef, etc. I felt better after reading some of the comments men and women alike posted, but it doesn’t really alleviate my insecurities. It’s such a problem that I can’t have a relationship, and I refuse guys to the point where they think I’m frigid.
I really want to be with someone and be able to have sex without stressing on it so much that it ruins the whole experience. I am in recovery, and the only way I’ve ever been able to have sex is by getting so wasted that I wouldn’t care — and then being too ashamed to continue correspondence.
I feel like this is ruining my life and my confidence. I’m 23 and I feel like none of the guys in my generation would understand, considering the things I hear my male friends say. If it weren’t for this problem, I’ve been told I would be a great catch. I can’t afford surgery — if I could, I would get it in a heartbeat!
What can I do? Or where can I find a guy that will like me anyways? Do they make chat rooms or meetings for this sorta thing?! I feel like if I found a guy who liked that sorta thing and knew up front, it might not be so bad.
— Blushing Flower
The first thing you should do is read our post, “10 Reasons Your ‘Ugly Vagina’ Is Normal and Gorgeous.”
The second thing you should do is read it again.
The third thing you should do is print it out and keep it on your nightstand.
Okay? Okay! Now, onto your letter. You know what they say about silver linings? Well, here are two for you:
1) How awesome that you no longer allow yourself to get wasted in order to have sex! No more morning-after regret and humiliation, no more sleeping with a toxic ex or unsuitable suitor, no more being too drunk to insist on a condom. Instead, you are being forced into having mindful, conscious, sober sex. If it makes you feel better, we think a lot more people would be freaked out about their naked bodies if they had sober sex more often. It’s a scary freakin’ thing to get naked with someone — especially someone you don’t know very well. Which is why we think you should take things very slowly with any new partners. Date slowly. Enjoy kissing and making out. Build up to nudity slowly. Build up to sex even more slowly. If a guy can’t handle the wait, then he’s not worth sticking around for anyway. And here’s a handy bonus: The more patient a guy is about waiting for sex with you, the less likely he is to be one of those douches who make roast beef curtain jokes.
2) How awesome that you’re too broke to get labiaplasty! Seriously, there will come a day when you will be so grateful that you couldn’t afford the surgery you so desperately want right now. We promise you that this day will come! You will find a guy who will love you for who you are, labia included, and you’ll realize you don’t give a hoot what anyone else thinks about your lips. You might even think, “Em & Lo were so right, surgery would have been a terrible idea!” (Don’t believe us? Read why here, point #3.)
Are you still thinking your labia are unsightly? Then go back and read our list again! Please. And remember, the loud-mouth idiot guys who make those jokes are in the minority — they just seem like the majority because they’re so loud and annoying. That’s the thing about douches and Tea Partiers — they manage to convince you they speak for everyone just by yelling (we bet there’s a rather large Venn diagram overlap between labia joking douches and Tea Partiers, actually) . And probably half those douches are just joining in with the labia jokes to seem “cool.” In fact, we bet most of your guy friends have already slept with women who have larger than average labia — and we bet not one of them ran for the door when they saw those labia.
Trust us: You are a great catch! Labia included! Some women actually learn to love their enlarged labia… they find them incredibly sensitive and helpful in stimulating the clitoris, for example. You may not think this is possible, but we can guarantee there is a guy out there who is going to fall in love with you… and with your labia, too.
Please don’t try to find a guy who loves big labia and then hopes he loves you — that’s ass-backwards, and guaranteed to fail. Here’s why: It’s so much harder to find love than it is to find a guy who expresses some kind of labia preference. Imagine trying to pick a guy based on pictures of his penis alone?! The chances of you actually connecting with a guy whose penis picture you liked is miniscule. Human beings fall in love with brains and faces and personalities and, yes, sometimes body type and bank balance — but genitals alone? Hardly. Those are just part of the, er, package.
Anyway. What we’re trying to say is: You’re normal! Your guy friends are assholes and wrong! You shouldn’t date any of them! But you should date other guys — now, often, lots, slowly. And when you get naked, don’t apologize for a thing, because you’re normal and you’re gorgeous and any halfway decent man who is lucky enough to see you naked will think the same thing.
Em & Lo