Win one of 20 personally signed copies of The Vagina Buffet with Mouths of Mums.
Go to www.mouthsofmums.com.au and enter the code word "LADYBITS"
Competition opens Friday 23rd August 2013.
This, is my vagina. Not my actual vagina, but artwork I made by painting my lady bits and squishing it onto an A4 piece of paper. I made the art by bending the paper over the edge of the bathtub, squatting over the top of it and pressing my vagina onto the paper. It was a gift for my husband’s 31st birthday and he loved it. But before you think, ‘Wow, what a brilliant idea, I’m going to try this at home.’ Stop. Four visits to my GP, two major gynaecological surgeries and many embarrassing moments is what followed on from my evening with the water paints.
If you’ve read my book, you’ll know the story intimately.
I really wanted to post an actual photo of my vagina taken by a professional photographer, but Mikey said he would divorce me if I showed the world my vag. So this is the compromise. You can see that I have pubic hair, a clitoris, labia minor and labia majora, but apart from that, it really just looks like a Rorschach Inkblot Test.
So why do I want to show you my vagina? I’m totally alarmed by the amount of women considering (and having) labiaplasty. Yearning for a ‘designer vagina’ seems to be on the rise, and shockingly, girls as young as 9 are asking for it. This, to me, is utter craziness. I’m not completely against plastic surgery of any kind, but if you are altering a part of your body because you think you’re not somehow normal, I urge you to reconsider.
As women, we see each other’s breast on a regular basis, but to see another woman’s vagina is no easy task. You need to be sitting, without underwear, with your legs apart – not your everyday scenario. I originally had my vagina photographed to be included in my book, but it wasn’t going to work unless I had other women’s vaginas to demonstrate just how different they all are. I had trouble finding ‘models’ and I took the decision to include illustrations instead.
One day, I would really love to show you actual photos of real women, with un-photo shopped vulvas.
So ladies, please, if you’re considering surgery, don’t consult a soft porn mag. Talk with someone like me, or your GP, who has seen hundreds of vaginas. We will tell you they come in all shapes and sizes. They are as individual as you are and we need to stop waging war on our own bodies.
I’m all about sharing. If by seeing my vagina will make you feel better, email me and I’ll send you my photo. Genuine requests only (not freaky guys searching the web for a bit of fanny action!).
Until next time, share your stories, love your bits and don’t ever, ever put paints near your lady garden, trust me on this one! SJ x
With the exception of bills and junk mail, there’s something special about receiving news from a friend, a special invitation or, in this case, a review from one of my beautiful readers.
A few weeks ago, one early Saturday morning whilst still in bed, I reached for my iPhone and opened my inbox. Scrolling through my emails, I came across a name I didn’t recognise, but it didn’t appear to be junk mail. I opened it and this is what it said:
I have just finished your book 'The Vagina Buffet'. I loved the book and I am thanking you for writing it. I am a 67-year-old husband of 45 years with my dear wife Barbara and I have learned a lot about women and their vaginas. You would think I would know it all after 45 years of marriage, but an old dog can learn new tricks. At the end of your book you wrote, “If you love it, share it… with every woman you know.” I think you should include men in your statement. For a man to truly love and understand a woman he must understand what role the vagina plays in his loves life. It is the center of her being and reading your book brought this to light for me. I think the book should be a must for both young husbands and wives to read before, or just after marriage. I believe it would bring understanding and compassion to a woman’s well being and a conduit for discussion during their married lives. Again, thank you for writing such an informative and entertaining book.
North Carolina, USA
Jim and Barbara, I know I have personally thanked you both, but if you’re out, if you’re reading this blog post – thank you. I can’t tell you how this one email brightened my weekend and how much I appreciate you taking the time to write to me.
The kindest thing anyone can do for an author is to give him or her feedback. Writing a book, self publishing it, marketing it and getting people to love what you’ve written is a roller coaster ride at best. This email, for me, makes it all worthwhile.
Now I know Christmas is on our doorstep and I’ll be shamelessly peddling my book like crazy, but lets ponder the wise words of Jim. I think the book should be a must for both young husbands and wives to read before, or just after marriage. So if you have a wedding coming up and you’re stuck for gift ideas, consider a book that’s taught an old dog new tricks and brought new life to a 45-year marriage.
The Vagina Buffet – if you love it, share it, with every women (and man) you know.
Until next time, love your lady bits, or your lady’s bits, just that little bit more. SJx
Last Monday at my daughter’s playgroup, one of the mums was wearing shorts for the first time since last summer. I commented on how brave she was, thinking that it was still too cold to be wearing shorts. “I know, look how white I am,” she responded, and as she stuck out a leg, “Oh, don’t look at how hairy they are, I haven’t shaved since Friday.”
This woman is naturally blonde-haired and I couldn’t see any hairs at all on her legs from where I stood, and I doubt I would’ve seen any unless I had been 2cm away with a microscope! And you know what? I can’t count how many times over the years I’ve heard women saying the exact same thing. This got me thinking about why women are apologising for having body hair to other women, who I’m pretty sure, also have body hair.
Now, if anyone should be embarrassed about having hairy legs, it’s me. You see, I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs at school. Yes, that's right, I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs in high school. I’ll give you a chance to let that sink in. Then I’ll let you know that I’m dark-haired, so my leg hair is also dark. You could see it from across the other side of the playground (well, that’s what it felt like at the time). Funnily enough, I only remember being teased about it once (I like to think it was my sparkling personality, clever wit and sporting prowess, that helped, but I actually punched the guy, so maybe word got around…)
I solved the problem to some extent. I might not have been allowed to shave or wax, and I knew my parents would notice if I was suddenly hair-free. So, my solution was…tweezers. Yep, I spent hours in my room plucking out every second or third hair, so my mum never noticed, but yet I didn’t look like a gorilla. I never understood those Year 12 feminists who were allowed to shave their legs, BUT DIDN’T!! I mean, what’s so feminine about looking like a man?
Anyway, the point is that if anyone should have a hang-up about being hairy, it’s me. It should have cast a life-long psychological problem on me, where I neurotically spend every day shaving, plucking, waxing, lasering… or at least have a dislike of gorillas. But it didn’t. I shave my legs maybe once a week – yes, even in summer. I often go out and notice people staring at my underarm region, and realise that it’s probably due for some hair removal. As for my nether regions, I don’t keep to a strict regime. Sometimes there’s hair there, sometimes there’s not.
The only legacy that not being allowed to shave my legs left on me, is that I always thought I was “hairy”. It wasn’t until I read SJ’s book, that I realised I’m not actually that hairy compared to other women. I thought I was the only woman in the world with a few hairs in her bum crack. I now know that many women have it all over their behinds, on their bellies, down their thighs and on their nipples. How did I get to my late 30’s before I knew this? Oh that’s right… it’s because women pretend to other women they don’t have any body hair, and they’re embarrassed to even display a 2mm growth in public.
So, ladies, no more pretending to other women that we look pre-pubescent under our clothes. After all, the woman you’re pretending to KNOWS you’re pretending, because they have hair too. Now, repeat after me: “I’ll never apologise for having body hair again. I’ll never apologise for having body hair again. I’ll never apologise for having body hair again…”
Melissa, a former bookstore owner and librarian, has put her career on hold to be a full-time mum. She is passionate about books and reading and when time permits, she edits books for self-published authors.
So we’re a little behind in our E! News here in Australia. Last night we watched the season finale of Keeping up with the Kardashians, where Kourtney Kardashian pulled baby Penelope out of her own vagina.
Did you see it? Oh, if you have Foxtel, you have to see this episode!
I mean, I can barely bend down to tie my own shoelaces these days and Kourtney is, after many hours of labour, bending over, reaching for her daughter and pulling her right out of her lady garden! In all my years of listening to birth stories, this has never been mentioned. Not ever.
And in true Kardashian style, everyone was there. Scott, Kim, Kanye, Khloé, Kendall, Kylie, Kris, Rob and all of us. At first, I thought there were too many people in the room, but thinking back to my own daughters c-section birth, there was ten people in the theatre plus Mikey and it didn’t seem strange at all, in fact, it was quite comforting. This is what I love about the Kardashians though, they are a family and they share everything. My family is so dysfunctional, we can’t even get everyone together for a funeral. So for all their faults, and there are many, I still love them. They stick together, fanny flashing and all.
In other celebrity vagina news, author JK Rowling’s first book for adults The Casual Vacancy was just released. The book, which I haven’t read and probably wont, apparently contains the phrase “miraculously unguarded vagina”, so obviously the new book was dubbed “Harry Potter and the Miraculously Unguarded Vagina”. This is so much better and I would most likely consider buying it if it had this catchy title LOL. Although, like Naomi Wolf, myself and many others with “vagina” in their book title, Apple iTunes Bookstore would make it hard for readers to find. They’re not happy with the V word and initially censored it to v****a, until they bowed to public pressure and they are now displaying the word.
While we’re talking about books, I’m currently reading Signposts by Denise Linn. She describes how the universe is communicating to us through signs and tells us how to interpret coincidences and symbols in our life. I’ve only read the first few chapters, yet I’m thinking actress Olivia Wilde is all over this concept like a rash. Olivia has recently gone public about the end of her eight-year marriage to Italian prince Tao Ruspoli. Saying her vagina died and she knew it was time to go. In the signpost dictionary, Denise lists the vagina as a powerful symbol of womanliness and it is the inner valley of spirit.
I love Olivia, she listened to her inner spirit, she consulted her vagina and when her lady flower showed signs of wilting, she did something about it. Perhaps those of us with a vagina could take a minute every now and then. Powwow with our downstairs girlfriend and check to see if she’s ok.
I’ve done this many times and it works, so now it’s your turn. Let me know how you get on.
Oh, and Khloé, if you’re reading this, would you please take part in my celebrity vagina? I’d be ever so grateful.
Until next time, love your lady goodies with all the celebrity fanfare you can muster! SJx
Last week, I had a radio interview with ABC Newcastle morning presenter, Jill Emberson. This was my second interview about the book and I was nervous to say the least. I’m not sure about you, but I experience ‘nervous poos’ before going into anything outside of my comfort zone. Without going into too much detail, lets just say my bowls were void.
Hours before the interview, I woke up and was experiencing slight fever and a mild case of the chills. Mikey got me some pain relief and I went back to sleep. When my alarm went off, my stomach butterflies took hold and the nervous energy was racing through my body like a Formula One driver. I was breathing deeply and applying calming essential oils, but nothing was taming my nerves. I’m normally ok in this situation, but the interview was live and we were talking about pubes!
By the time I got to the station, I was feeling physically sick. “Just the nerves,” I thought, so I pushed through. The interview went well and Jill and her team was wonderful.
Once I got back into the car and the adrenaline had stopped pumping, my body started crashing. I called Mikey to tell him I was on my way home and to meet me at the garage door – I didn’t think I would be able to walk. My fever was rising by the second and every muscle in my body was aching. I was feeling disorientated and I’m really not sure I should have been driving.
Once Mikey got me into bed, I was finding it hard to control my emotions and my illness. I was blubbering and shaking and starting to become delusional. Mikey called our GP, but I couldn’t move, so he called the ambulance. The paramedics arrived within minutes and they immediately set me at ease. I guess you have to have some sort of personality in their line of business – the things they must see. I described my symptoms and told them about my interview that morning. They jokingly told me there was nothing they could do about my occupation, and once they found out my book was about vaginas, one of them proceeded to tell me his favourite fanny story…
“I once got called to the house of a 90 year old women. I walked into her bedroom and she couldn’t wait to tell me her troubles. She had ulcers all over her vagina and wanted me to see them. I declined and asked her how she had been treating them. ‘With that’ she said, as she pointed to a large tub of yoghurt sitting on her bedside table. She had been treating her ulcers for days by smothering her lady bits in yog!”
I had to laugh. It was probably much funnier how he told it. Yet I was also embarrassed, for I have used yoghurt to treat ladies stuff also, but I wasn’t about to share that information and I was still really ill. The paramedics decided to take me to the local hospital via ambulance. Before they did, Mikey grabbed a couple of copies of The Vagina Buffet and told them to spread the word (I guess one has to promote the book at every opportunity, right?!).
En route to the hospital, the ambulance officer asked if I could sign the book so he could give it to his wife. Not your everyday request, but one I was happy to grant.
Once I was registered and admitted into the ER, the doctor started some tests. I had been sick for some weeks. I had had bronchitis, a chest infection, several head colds and a cold sore. The doctor examined my body, took a chest x-ray and obtained a sample of my urine for testing.
I didn’t have long to wait and the results were back. I had a nasty urinary tract infection. I was given antibiotics and ordered to rest.
I thought my illness would probably have something to do with my vagina – it usually does.
The word ‘vagina*’ seems to be trending right now. Last week, two female Michigan State congresswomen were barred from speaking on the House floor after using the word “vagina” while debating an anti-abortion bill. It has triggered the hashtag #sayvagina on Twitter and, as I have a Google Alert on the word “vagina,” my inbox has been flooded.
I personally don’t have a problem with the word. I use it hundreds of times a day and I bravely put it in the title of my book. The Vagina Buffet was the original title for my book, but when other people got involved, it changed. It went from ‘The Vagina Buffet’ to ‘The V Files,’ then to ‘The Whole Office Knows About my Vagina’ and for a short time, it was ‘The Pink Cupcake.’ Everyone had an opinion on the title of my book and finalising it was making my head explode.
The Vagina Buffet is actually a chapter in the book. It doesn’t refer to an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of vaginas, but a statement my Renal specialist made to me during an appointment with him. I had to block out all the opinions on the title and go with my gut. It is my book after all and I stand behind it.
There has been reactions though, and some not so fun.
When I changed the title back to its original name, several people decided to stop communicating with me. A couple of people have un-friended me on Facebook and many friends declined to ‘like’ my author page. Lots of friends refuse to follow me on Twitter and another friend of mine said if I put the word “vagina” on the title of my book she wouldn’t buy it and she wouldn’t support me. That’s ok. I appreciate her honesty. At least she said it to my face.
I struggled with these reactions for some time, I even cried over them. I like to think of myself as a nice person and even though I talk about vaginas a lot, I’m not dirty, and I would certainly never use the “C” word. I always write as if my mum and dad are going to read what I’ve written.
I’ve had to stop and think of the big picture.
I didn’t write this book to get approval from everyone I know. I understand it’s slightly controversial, but there’s an important message I’m trying to get to women and I’m passionate about doing so.
I’m beyond grateful to all the people who love what I’m doing and have supported me unconditionally. I’m not going to let a few sour grapes ruin my mission. I want women to love their lady bits and I want parents to talk opening and honestly with their daughters about their bodies. After all, vaginas are special, so special in fact, they have their very own doctor and only us girls have them.
I love my vagina and I’m happy being part of the vagina clan.
How about you? How do you feel about your lady garden and can you easily say the word ‘vagina’ out loud?
* Yes, I know the correct terminology is vulva. Please don’t spam me.
So the paperback edition of The Vagina Buffet is done and available on Amazon US, UK and Europe. I've ordered a large box of books for my PR campaign and, according to my DHL tracking number, my goods have left the Cincinnati Hub and are heading to Sydney, Australia.
I'm bursting to get my hands on the first print run, but I wont have them long. My PR guru-ess has been working overtime and I have a fabulous list of media to distribute to.
I'm hoping to get the book into independent book stores across Australia and internationally further down the track. I will also be selling a limited number of books for those who have requested signed copies.
My design team has done an amazing job on bringing my book to life. I can't wait to have a copy take pride of place in my book shelf.
I wonder if anyone has been game enough to read it on public transport yet? If you have, send me a pic, I'd love to see it. SJx