While working as a GP I had a patient who would not stop complaining about her flaps—vaginal flaps that is, or labia minora to be precise. Miss Vagina Whiner first came to me saying she had lost all pleasure from sexual intercourse because she was so embarrassed by her saggy lips, which she believed drooped about her clitoris like the slobbery chops of an over-bred dog. I found it curious she had shaved prior to her appointment and wondered if this was to highlight the outlandish size of her flaps.
Unfortunately, vaginal aesthetics, much like penis size, is an area where the National Health Service generally will not intervene. Ugly people are not referred for a face-transplant, and the same applies with genital bad luck. I apologized, saying that there was nothing I could do and that it was an area for a private cosmetic surgeon (or this woman). I also reassured her that enlarged labia are perfectly normal and common amongst women, especially after popping out a few babies.
But she was persistent in her taxpayer’s right to free medical attention and returned some weeks later demanding I see her. I again reiterated—declining to take a second look—that there was nothing I could do. The only time the NHS will refer someone for cosmetic surgery is if the problem is causing pain—the genitals can rub uncomfortably against clothes or during sex—or if the psychological effect is severe. She paused before saying, “If you won’t help me, I’ll just have to do it myself. How do I best cut them off?” Er, you’re really best not to, I don’t care how steady your hand is, chopping bits of your vagina off with scissors in the shower is a shitty idea.
Like every single girl, except the militant prude—the type who keeps wet wipes by her bed, refuses to swallow, and washes her hands after sex—as a teenager I spread my legs with a mirror angled between my thighs to inspect that burrow of joy. And all I could think is, I pity boys having to figure out what to do with that in a first-time fumble. But unless we engage in regular girl-on-girl action, we do not have many opportunities for comparison, and the well-trodden porn pussy is certainly not a standard by which we should judge our own. However, since becoming a doctor the opportunity for face-off with another woman’s bits has been so frequent I could write a dissertation on the variances of vaginas.
Miss Vagina Whiner did not have it bad. During childbirth, a pussy can unzip in all directions—think less camel toe, more turkey’s wattle. Tight jeans are categorically ruled out.
Vaginal cosmetic surgery includes three options. The labiaplasty—clipping the lips for a symmetrical, neat shape; the vaginoplasty—general rejuvenation of the vagina area including tightening; and lastly, popular amongst born again Christians is the hymenorrhaphy—the surgical reconstruction of the hymen so you are biologically virginal—because that 30-second teenage blood-hump was so magical the first time round that for some reason you want to relive it.
But anything that could result in permanent loss of sensation seems like a dead-end option. So on round three of my battle with Miss Vagina Whiner’s desire to go designer I referred her to the Learn to Love Your Vagina Classes. There she would sit around with other woman visualizing her genitals as a beautiful flower, touching her labia like they are delicate petals, and even talking to her vagina, saying, “Vagina, if you could talk, what would you say?” and I never saw her again. BTW, I know you all want to know what my vagina would say and clearly it would mutter, with a cigarette between its teeth, “Thank fuck for Caesarean sections.”