Here’s a Thing to Tell a Daughter


Today I want to talk about something I’ve never talked about before. It’s important, but I should warn you, it’s not sexual, per say, but it has to do with female body parts. So, now you know that, you might want to move on, but if you have a teenage daughter, you might want to keep reading.

The internet can be a wonderful tool. There’s oodles of misinformation at your fingertips–a false story travels six times faster than a true one on the world wide web–but with a little patience, a little digging, you can discover and learn all kinds of things you won’t learn from sitting in your house, everything from what NASA discovered most recently, to how to make chocolate cake using applesauce instead of oil.

Or you can watch online porn. For the teenage boy, online porn has replaced those magazines the boys of my generation hid under their beds. (If you’re under thirty, get together with a bunch of 50- year-old men. They’ll all have a story about the the eye-opening experience mom had when she decided to vacuum his room while he was at school. )

The porn teenage boys are watching now mostly comes to them free, with the exception of the malware it installs. And a woman who works in porn films usually has a labiaplasty.

What’s that, you might very well ask? Well, think of it as the opposite of lip enhancements. Thicker, plumper lips (on the face) have become a “must have” for many women and girls, ever since the Kardashians became a staple of reality TV.

Now, if one is blessed with naturally thick lips, all is well. But fake thick lips make it harder for you to smile wide enough for your teeth to show.

Are you with me so far? Good.

So, okay, now imagine the opposite–if Kylie had decided that her natural thin lips were sexy. Instead of going to the dermatologist and paying good money to have someone stick needles full of liquid plastic into their lips, women who follow Kylie’s lead would instead ask for their lips to be … cut back to look not like theirs, like hers. This would involve surgery, it would involve blood, it would involve stitches, bruising, pain. But, the ‘upside’ is that your teeth would show, easily.

So, this is my PG-rated way of explaining what a labiaplasty is, and why women in porn get them. They want their “teeth” to show. A labiaplasty is like a silly, but permanent Instagram filter for vulvas.

And guess what? Your teenage daughter just might ask you to get her one, instead of throwing her a Sweet 16 party. Reason? Her 16-year-old sex partner has never seen a vulva in its natural state, and he thinks they all should look the way…they look on his laptop.

This is a real thing happening here in the United States. It’s big in the UK too–teenage boys are telling teenage girls that “there is something wrong” with their vulvas. I even heard tell of one worried mom who had to take her daughter to the gynecologist because the girl had been convinced by her boyfriend that she had a ‘weird’ vulva. Despite the doctor’s assurances that she was perfectly normal, the girl was traumatized by her first sexual experience. As if first sexual experiences were fun for women before this.

So, I don’t have a teenage daughter, but if I had, here are the things I might tell her:

  1. Your muffin is yours to do with as you wish. You can dye it, you can add jewelry to it, you can play with it. But whatever you do, it should be for YOU, not for a sex partner.
  2. Speaking of, a sex partner who thinks sex is going to be like online porn, is not really the sex partner you want. He’s going to have expectations that are even more unrealistic than a “toothsome” vulva. He’s going to expect hair flips, exaggerated moans, acrobatics; he’s going expect your thick, shiny red lipstick to stay in place. And even more important, he won’t know or care if you’ve gotten any pleasure out of the experience, as long as you carry on as cinematically as the girls in the porn vids.
  3. I’m not a prude, I’m not unrealistic, but really, why are you in bed with anyone at 16? Is it really necessary just yet? Why not work on your SAT scores or improving your batting average?
  4. And not least of all these points is this: an estimated 500,000 girls and women in the United States were either victims of female genital mutilation or at risk of it. here, in the USA. However, the barbaric, sexist practice of FGM, which is the forcible cutting up a woman’s genitals–I’m talking tying her down while she screams, slicing her clitoris, so that she gets no pleasure from sex, and therefore will never “dishonor her husband”–is practiced in at least 30 countries across the globe. Girls have run away to avoid this, many have died from infection who were not able to avoid it. Those who survive and have to live with what was done to them experience nothing but pain during sexual intercourse.

And here you are, daughter dear, listening to another child, allowing him to mess with your head, while your sisters in other countries, in other towns and cities are screaming for autonomy over their bodies. WTAF?

Sixteen-year-old boys can be taught, though. If you’re so ready for sex, daughter, you should be ready and able to teach this boy that what you have is wonderful as is and he’d better learn how to use it. Explain that you are a living, breathing, lovely young woman, not a recorded image of some poor girl who was forced into sexual slavery. show him what you like and don’t like.

And if he doesn’t want to listen, if he insists that there’s something “wrong” with you, get the hell away from him. 




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