He Doesn’t Care How You Look Down There

I use various feed aggregators to help me keep current on all things marriage and sexuality. Recently I saw two interestingly juxtapositioned things a couple of days apart.

The first was a report from the UK which said in 2015-2016 more than 150 girls age 9 to 15 sought labiaplasty (cosmetic surgery on the vulva, usually to shorten the inner lips). The doctors who saw these young ladies said they were all normal looking and none of them had any medical reason to undergo surgery. The girls said things like “I don’t look like the women in porn” and “I don’t want to be abnormal, I don’t want to look different.”

He Doesn't Care How You Look Down There

The second article was on a reddit thread in which a middle-aged guy said he keeps seeing posts from women who are self-conscious about how their vagina [vulva] looks. He asked if not caring what a woman’s vulva looked like put him in the minority. I skimmed the responses (many of which are what you would expect from a secular web site) and was hard pressed to find any men who cared at all. But many guys took the opportunity to complain that their lady hides her vulva or only lets them see quick peeks.

In 20 years of talking to men about sex, I’ve never had a single one mention, much less complain, about how his wife’s vulva looks. I’ve heard about preferences for boobs and butts, but never ever for vulvas.

If you have any fear about this, please stop. It’s not a thing in the minds of men. Beyond that, if you have a daughter be aware she will at some point have this concern, and might already have it. Please educate your daughter(s) on this. Let them know the majority of women’s inner labia stick out beyond the outer ones, and it’s normal for one to be noticeably larger or longer.

If you would like a visual aid, Google “The Great Wall of Vagina”. This is an art exhibit with plaster casts made from the vulvas of many women. It shows the wide range of normal in the least graphic way I know.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I got nothing to add.

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24 Comments on “He Doesn’t Care How You Look Down There

  1. I don’t have to worry about it. Hubby wont look at me down there. He may see it as I am changing, or shifting around during sex, but he doesn’t deliberately look. Even when he looked at porn he avoided pictures of spread eagles and upskirts. He also refused to change our daughter’s diaper. Either he doesn’t like how it looks, or he is holding onto some idea that it is of utmost privacy on a woman, including his wife.

  2. Isn’t it sad that this is even a topic? I did ask my doctor about this once, not because of what I’d seen, but because of being asymmetrical and reading about it. I remember being so sad that I’d never even thought to know it was an issue until I recently read about it. She said it’s totally normal and she only recommends surgery if it is actually causing genuine pain, which is rare. My husband has never complained, so I’ll just be okay with that.

    My greater fear is my tummy. It’s so ugly! Stretch marks are a beast. Beautiful, flat tummies are EVERYWHERE. (Thankfully you don’t see the other stuff just out in public). But flat tummies? I can’t compete. I’ve had kids. I’m not a fitness star. I do work out, but that tummy pooch will not go flat. I’m not big on unnecessary surgery. My husband says he loves my tummy, but let’s face it, we all know there’s a man code, and things smart husbands are “supposed to say”. So I know he’s just trying to be kind.

    It makes me sad. Knowing I’m getting old and that stubborn tummy will never shape up. I’ve had to accept it, but I feel bad that I will never be truly beautiful for my husband. Thankfully, tummies are pretty easy to hide. But it pains me knowing that the one man I want to impress, the one man I love and wish I could be beautiful for, is the one man who has to see it. Stretch marks and all.

    • @B
      I just wanted to comment on what you wrote on tummys. Just because our culture right now says that small and thin women are more beautiful it doesn’t mean that all men think like that. I say right now because a hundred years ago the culture said that bigger girls were
      More beautiful. Anyways I for example like girls with a tummy. My exgirlfriend was a big girl and I liked that. We didn’t broke up because of that, I didn’t even think about that. My wife isn’t like my exgirlfriend she is smaller but after our first child she got a little bigger tummy and I Don’t mind. I love it anyways and I know I am not the only one so I don’t believe he is lying. And by the way I think stretch marks are sexy! My wife complains on the ones she has on her butt and I don’t get it, I find them sexy. And I’m
      Pretty sure I’m not the only man who thinks that.

    • B, I think the thing that makes me sad here is that you don’t believe your husband, that you’re so convinced he’s only saying prescribe things, only trying to be kind out of obligation. I don’t know your man, so I may be off here. I allow for that. But I’ve heard this kind of comment from too many women, and then heard too many men say that things like tummies don’t actually bother them. I really think our looks are a bigger deal to us as women than they are to our husbands. I can tell you right now I can’t stand my body on a lot of levels, and most definitely my tummy. I haven’t had babies, but I’ve gained a lot of weight over the years because of medical issues, and my tummy has the size and stretch marks to prove it. But this doesn’t bother my husband, and I’ve learned to believe him. I didn’t used to, but I’ve learned that had everything to do with my own self-hatred and insecurity, not him saying obligatory kind things. . He has shown me that it hurts him deeply when he compliments me, tries to tell me I’m pretty, or that he likes some physical feature about me, and I don’t believe him. Even if I don’t rebuff him verbally, he can tell by my non-verbal cues that I don’t believe him. It hurts him because I may as well be calling him a liar, which, in a roundabout way, I am. He is telling me his truth, and I’m saying it’s a lie. Not because it is, but because I have trouble getting past my own dislike of my body. Why should I hurt him when the issue is actually mine to deal with? I’m tired of hurting and misjudging my husband and his compliments, or his telling me he’s totally fine with my size, so I’m actively working to believe him, actively asking the Holy Spirit to help me with this. I know I don’t know you, so forgive me if I’m wrong, but I hear some of my own insecurities echoed back to me in some of your comments. Please at least consider that the problem in situations like this may be your own feelings toward yourself, not your husband lying to you out of obligation.

  3. Thank heavens, I’m a little too mature in age to have had ‘labial beauty’ be a topic of concern in my sexual development.

    Oh, the pleasures of permitting the pretentious, pernicious, pervasiveness of porn to delude and delineate the definition of our sexual selves.

    Is this the equivalent to telling a man that size doesn’t matter?

    • @Jolie “Is this the equivalent to telling a man that size doesn’t matter?”

      In some ways, yes. Both are a result of one sex reacting to what they very wrongly think the other sex thinks, cares about, or wants. I’ve heard some blame labiaplasty on “the patriarchy”. But men don’t care, so this is one thing we really can’t lie at men’s feet.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Have An Abundant MarriageMy Profile

      • So, why do women “think” men care?
        Why do men “think” women care about size?
        Where do these misinterpretations of facts originate and why do we continue to cling to them even when the evidence disproves their validity?

        Of course, it’s a proven fact that all men would pay, lie, beg, and die for sex :) right?
        It must be. Family Feud has the survey to prove it.

        • @Jolie – I understand why men think size matters because to them it does. If nothing else it goes back to showering in junior high – the guys who had developed were much larger than those who had not, and everyone felt good or bad about themselves accordingly. Most guys over 16 (and many younger than that) can tell you how long their penis is. It’s important to men, so they expect it to be important to women.

          My best guess on the labia is the junction of insecurity, body issues, and seeing a lot of porn. If most porn vulva’s look a certain way, and you look different, that could feel like a big problem.
          Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Have An Abundant MarriageMy Profile

      • “The patriarchy” is NOT men. It’s a social system, one that gives power and privilege predominantly TO men. Men themselves aren’t the problem, it’s the system that gives a disproportionate amount of power and privilege to men at the expenses women that’s the problem. It hurts men AND women both, in different ways. But it is in no way any one man or group of men’s fault that the system is in place, not yours or any other’s. You’ve only inherited it, you didn’t set it up. You didn’t ask for it, but it was given to you anyway, and benefits you whether you like it or not.

        Many men DO like it, though, which is why it’s been allowed to continue so long. And why wouldn’t they? Everyone likes to be treated well and respected, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is that EVERYONE should be given that same treatment and respect, but not everyone is. Fortunately, not all men passively accept this state of affairs, many actively choose to join in the fight against the unfairness of our current system. And I’m glad they do, ’cause we need all hands on deck if we’re to have any hope of making any kind of lasting change for the better. We need such men just as much as we need women, they’re just as important.

        So don’t make the mistake of thinking “men” and “the patriarchy” are synonymous, they are not. One is not the other.

      • You may delete my comments as often as you like (that is your right, after all), but that will not change the fact that you are using that term incorrectly. “Men” and “the patriarchy” are STILL not synonyms. Don’t use words if you don’t know what they mean, do your research first.

        • @Amazing Ace – Nothing was deleted, I just choose to ignore it. I was quoting women who use it that way. Looking at common definitions I don’t find their use wrong. I agree the two words are not synonymous, but most people blame men for patriarchy even though that is too simple an explanation.

  4. Well, having a profession in which I am frequently reading the comments on sites where posters assume everyone is male, I have heard too much reference to ‘meat flaps’ and other unflattering comparisons to believe that men don’t care. Not to mention discussion of odors, etc. My feeling has always been, if you don’t like the way women look or smell, don’t approach women. Do your thing with men, then. But it does make me feel less comfortable with my own body.

    Incidentally, I accidentally ran into porn, on Facebook of all places (I reported it and it was removed). I was looking at it, not realizing what I was looking at and thinking the woman looked very odd before I realized she was naked – but she had no hair and no identifiable ‘parts’. Weird – like a Barbie doll. Someone must like that.

    • @Lynn – Comments tend to run ugly, so they are a poor way to judge any group. I’ve heard men make negative remarks about a woman’s genitals as an attempt to insult them or run them down, but outside of that, it’s very, very rare. And contrary to what most women expect, the vast majority of men like how women smell.

      Yeah, the Barbie vulva is apparently the porn norm. No hair and inner lips trimmed to the point they don’t show at all unless the outer lips are parted. Never mind it’s very rare for an adult woman to be this way. I have no idea why this has become popular. I suppose it could have been anything, but once it got a running start everyone was going to move towards it. I do wonder if boys who have been looking at this since before puberty will start to have a preference, but so far we’ve not seen it.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Have An Abundant MarriageMy Profile

      • Wow. I didn’t even know this was a ‘thing’. Poor boys, poor girls.

  5. Ladies, we’ve been married over 40 years, married when I was 21 and she was 18, 5 kids in 8 years, breastfeeding, very full life, and now we’re both over weight. Yes, we’ve both changed a lot. And I can assure all the ladies, the appearance of the vulva is of zero concern to me and I have never heard any other man comment on it in real life. Stretch marks? Nah. who cares. Sagging breasts – great! (They’re all mine, and always have been.) Tummies? The only reason I care about that at all is if it gets in the way of free and easy lovemaking. Goes for both of us. And yet, I still worry about penis size, ironically. She just looks at me, with a very puzzled look on her face, saying Why are you worried about that, it’s great.

  6. I was thinking today that why do women make it a huge deal about the assymetry of their labia? Don’t a good majority of men have lopsided testicles, especially as they age?

    I love being a grown woman. I find the mature adult body to be very sexy. As I was driving home yesterday, being the summer, I saw many groups of teenagers about the neighborhoods in swimwear, or in skimpy clothing. I simply do not find that sexually attractive. It is young and beautiful in its own right, but young for the young. I am a mature, grown woman. A mature, grown man, filled out and long past puberty is what is sexy to me. I don’t want a pimple-faced boy with no body fat and a slender waist. I want a man with years of hard work showing in his muscles and sinew. I want hairy knuckles, a beard, and steel in his eyes.

    In the same, I expect a grown man to appreciate the mature female form over the nubile teenage girl’s. I still find them largely underdeveloped. I didn’t feel fully developed until I was done having children! Now, I have that curvy female figure I always longed for, instead of the waifishness of my youth. My arms are strong and muscular from years of lifting children.

    I see so many women chasing youth and trying to lose as much body fat as possible and they end up looking gaunt and deformed. We are not meant to “go back to prebaby bodies.” We are meant to be healthy in our mature womanly bodies.

    • Well-stated! I prefer what they call a ‘dad bod’, too. In fact, your description made me start to pant – :-)

    • @Libl – Yes one testicle hangs lower – usually the left – and it does become more pronounced with age as things sag. I’ve seen suggestions this is a design feature to keep them from knocking together when a man runs naked.

      Being married aside, I can’t imagine myself with a teenager – I have zero interest in that. Same for someone in their 30’s for that matter. For me, it’s not so much body as maturity and life experience.

      As for skinny, it’s never been my preference. I see some women I worry would break in half from a good hug! But that’s just my preference, others feel differently.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…What Do You Want IN BED?My Profile

      • It’s about the “package deal.”

        I have no idea what attracted my husband to me. Oddly enough, when we met I was the only unmarried woman present. There were several unmarried gents, though. Hubby thought I was cute, but the others did not and some even urged him that he could do better.

        On the other hand, while I noticed hubby, my eyes wandered to two other gents as potentials. Different looks than hubby.

        The years have passed and we are still in contact with that group. Some of the men, after getting to know me, find me more attractive than they initially did. While I still find the two fellows to be handsome, it is my husband who gets me panting. I can’t imagine being with the other fellows.

        The “package deal” is what it is about.

  7. I dont’ have anything to add here that hasn’t been said. So, a comment on a lighter note. “The great wall of Vagina?” OK, that one genuinely made me laugh out loud. I guess I’m glad there’s something out there to help women know they’re normal, but the name still amuses me. I’ve felt sexually abnormal before, but never because of this. I never even thought about this issue, but then that’s probably because I’ve never checked out another woman’s parts to compare myself.

    • @Alicia – In my generation, most girls reach 18 without ever taking a mirror and looking at themselves. I think that was a bad thing, a result of shame, but it’s certainly a long way from most 14 year olds today who know how they look and how it compares to porn.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Is It An Olive Branch Or A Stick?My Profile

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