» April 7th 2019:

More vagina dialogues are needed, but they shouldn’t be about profits

It’s healthy to talk publicly about something so private, but there’s a risk of commercialisation, tooYou can’t move at the moment for vaginas. For something so private, the vagina has never been more public. Walk down the high street, whomp, there’s a massive one made of felt, winking at you from a Waterstones window. Turn on the telly, kerflump, there’s an earnest conversation about them before the breakfast news. Books with covers in pink and red pile politely beside my desk, a user’s guide, a re-education, a history, one with a lipsticked mouth printed vertically. Crowdfunding has opened to build the world’s first Vagina Museum. Silver vulvas hang around feminists’ necks on fine chains, slogan T-shirts imply Vagina is a hot new band.I could go on. In fact, I will. This month, makeup shop Cult Beauty launched its Vulvalution campaign by urging customers to “stop beating around the bush”. Under the vast and fleshy umbrella of “wellness”, they’re selling “everything from pH-balanced cleansers to lubricants, pelvic-floor trainers to sex tech by way of libido-enhancing ingestibles” with 10% of profits going to a charity that promotes awareness about gynaecological health. In New York recently, I trotted up subway stairs papered with adverts for period underwear – suggestive photographs of grapefruits, split. I feel a little like I’m seeing the world through the eyes of a pubescent straight boy. But, it’s not just me. Vaginas are in fashion. Continue reading...

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