The Happy Trail

Pornography perpetuates genital insecurity

In this sex-centric place in time and space we call life, chances are you may (have) come across myriad types of genitalia during your sexual career. However, the diversity of the genitalia you experience is likely to depend on how you experience it—whether it is via real-world relations, the Internet, magazines or (let’s face it) the mirror. As you explore the human body, you may be surprised, perhaps even confused at what you find.

The quintessential cock/vag glorified on the internet may look completely different from what you’ve got going on or what you see with your own eyes. In fact, it’s quite likely. This can amount to troubling insecurity and, in some cases, disappointment—a problem that our society is painfully aware of and frequently mocks.

It’s funny because it’s true: that insecurity is real and in many cases so are the stereotypical desires, but both are shaped by illusion. This illusion, projected by pornography and even anatomy textbooks, is the cause of two big problems. People are stressed and mortified thinking that their genitalia are abnormal or unappealing.

Not only is appraising one’s own genitalia a counter-effective way to spend a sleepless night, but as a result, people (especially women) are also increasingly going to extremes and unnecessary lengths to fabricate their genitalia so that they might be a more aesthetically appealing or physically satisfying sexual partner.

Whether or not a female is troubled over her particular “vulvic arrangement” or a male is concerned about the aesthetics and appeal of his package, these insecurities are founded on illusion and must be put to rest.

A particular episode of an Australian television program called “Hungry Beast,” which gives information and commentary on current events, cited genital censorship laws in Australia as one of the main causes for increasing labiaplastic surgery in Australia and other developed nations.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, labiaplasty—the process of scissoring off protruding labia minora (the inner lips) and tucking the remaining bits inside the vaginal crease, ostensibly to look more “normal”—is the most rapidly increasing cosmetic surgery in the world. The labiaplasty footage shown on “Hungry Beast” is also a jaw-dropping, gut-wrenching process to watch.

In Australia, images of genitalia in the context of porn may be distributed and sold, but only if they show “discreet genital detail.” Protruding labia minora, especially if they are particularly complex or detailed, are not “discreet” enough. So what people typically see in soft porn are tucked-in vags, as the industry wants to avoid any legal repercussions that come with “detailed” vaginas and therefore removes protruding labia minora via Photoshop.

The wide distribution of these edited versions of the female’s natural form result in a delusion of “normality” and, seemingly, desire for surgical “correction.” Not only does such censorship cause insecurity in women by giving an overwhelming impression that there are only a few prevalent types of vaginas, it also projects an unrealistic ideal for men—all to avoid getting busted by the system.

A cosmetic surgeon who frequently restructures women’s vaginas showed the interviewers of the aforementioned program several “pussy portraits,” all real photographs showing different arrangements of labia majora and minora in separate individuals. Some were convoluted, asymmetrical, and/or overlapping, but as the surgeon firmly assured, “they are all normal.”

Labiaplasty in women parallels a common practice in men: circumcision. However, in the United States, incidences of infant circumcision decreased from 56 percent in 2005 to 32.5 percent in 2009 and have continuously fallen since the 1960s, according to research cited on Mainstream pornography nonetheless seems to favor circumcised penises, which doesn’t reflect that both circumcised and uncircumcised penises are quite normal within our demographic.

Just as troublesome as unnecessary surgery and insecurity revolving around the vulva is the rampant insecurity that revolves around penis size. If a male happens to know the average penis length in the United States, he should not determine the comparison between this and his own member’s length to be particularly significant.

The average depth of a vagina is 3-4 inches. Assuming guys are concerned about pleasuring an average-sized vagina, that’s all that will fit without pain or discomfort,  and all that’s needed if one lacks the creativity to pleasure her in ways other than body-slamming, no matter how porn stars act when they’re doing their job. Despite this, mainstream pornography typically favors 6-8 inch penises. I will tell you this: that’s way above average.

It is impossible to standardize the satisfaction potential of a given penis. It will depend on the individual being satisfied, and in general, people (and their genitals) learn to acclimate to each other over a short period of time.

Women should also be aware of the fact that penis size has a generally pleasurable physical effect to that point dictated by the depth of one’s vagina, excluding psychological preferences. However, a different message is projected to the male population by society and the media. Women should not reinforce the insecurity this causes by talking openly with their girl friends about preferred penis size or type in proximity with a varied group of guys, as this may cause some of them to double-check themselves and worry to an excessive extent.

That being said, everyone simply needs to take a deep breath, reach into their pants and think to themselves: I am just fine. And when reaching into someone else’s pants, no need to keep your expectations low—just keep them broad enough to include the diversity of genitalia that awaits you with open lips or a confident salute.