Hey guys Edwin here! In early 2020 I formed part of a trio with Petra Greening by founding a sexual wellness lifestyle brand. We call ourselves fk. because we believe that we should all be able to live life to the fullest and be whatever the fk we want to be and whoever the fk we want to be.
Honestly, I think the sky's the limit however to be able to strive for those goals, first and foremost we have to be able to free ourselves from our own judgement and to be able to get on well with other people. At the end of the day I do think that the best life lived is lived under these two conditions – 1) that we like ourselves and 2) that we have the right people that want to share our life moments with. As John Donne, one of the greatest love poets to have ever existed, said “No man is an island” and this is a particularly poignant phrase to me because when I think back to the bestest, happiest, most joyful moments in my life, these moments are always shared with people.
So “how does this topic relate to me” you ask? Well it does in the sense that this is what I think happiness stems from and I want to share it with you. And also I believe that if everybody is happy being themselves and try to understand and get along with each other then the world as a whole would be a better place!
Imagine a world with no discrimination and free from external judgement. A pretty sweet place to be right? Well this is what we would like to achieve and I want you to be a part of this future place too!
So how does this relate to vulva love and how can a guy like me relate to this? Well it’s a good question because as you have probably assumed correctly, I do not in fact have a vulva. What I cannot offer you in first hand ownership experience is first hand experience of helping my vulva owning friends work through their worries, anxieties and sometimes confidence issues that they have with their bodies. In a nutshell I want to talk to you about how you should be able to like yourself, vulva and all!
The first time I found out that this is a source of anxiety for my female friends was on a night out after some drinks (as you do) and it turns out that one of my friends had received some comments from a guy she was seeing that led her to become very self-conscious about the look of her vulvas. When the rest of the girls in the group started chiming in, I realised that this is not an unfounded anxiety and quite a few of the girls relate to this. My overriding emotions at the time involved shock, upset and appalment. Shock because this guy was able to say something not nice about her vulvas to her directly. Upset because of the hurt it had given my friend and appalment because this guy was “getting some” and still had the gall to complain!
To help my friend (and any others that are going through the same anxieties) I dug deep to consider and look at the why.
Why is this a source of anxiety?
Why did this guy comment on her vulvas like he did?
And I came to the belief that the anxiety stems from a type of body dysmorphia and the comments this guy made stemmed from a lack of understanding of all the aspects of any woman’s beautiful body causing his expectations to be different from the real-world realities. Interestingly enough to me, both of these reasons can be caused by the same underlying issue – an unrealistic expectation of what “normal” looks like.
For those that are unfamiliar with the term body dysmorphia I want to make sure that this is not and should not be confused with body vanity. Vanity is where one has excessive pride or desire to be better than others. Body dysmorphia is when one’s belief is that they are not “normal” and that they are severely flawed in some way.I bet you’ve noticed what the key word in the past two paragraphs is… You are correct if you guessed “normal”.
I find it is the word “normal” and the perception of “normal” that is the root of the all the anxieties my vulva owning friends face and also the root of all the ignorant and hurtful comments that have been made to them. So, what is normal? The Collins dictionary defines “normal” as “The usual and ordinary, and is what people expect.” and therein lies the contradiction of the word. The usual and the ordinary IS what people expect and the issue of real life is that there is no normal.
All the people on (a non-denomination specific supreme being) God’s earth are born unique. All are combinations of different physical and experience specific entities. Like a snowflake, none are identical. So why would your vulvas be? You all look different too so your vulvas will too. Now we can go into a whole discussion piece around societal expectations, what creates them and what is “wrong” with them however I will leave that for a later date. I do have to add that a way to really help this issue is better representation (yes you read that right – I am talking about porn!) and open available information/conversation for those that are seeking it. I do think Asia is particularly behind on this conversation because of cultural norms, societal expectations and the slow adoption of more liberal thinking.
SO! To make it easier for you - of all the things I have spoken about here please, please, please if anything just takeaway this one thing from me.
You are normal. If you are born and have life, you are normal. If you look different, you are normal. If you feel differently, you are normal. Because there is no normal. Like a snowflake to be normal is to be unique. And it is the understanding and recognition of this concept that will help you find the confidence and appreciation of yourself from within.
I know it’s hard. I really do. Especially when your vulvas are (very much like my pee pee) an integral part to your gender and personal identity. To be able to overcome these anxieties of self, belonging and worth is an overwhelming task. I am telling you it is possible because it can be done and has been done. So I know you can do it too. Understand that you are you, so be kind to yourself and don’t only focus on looking better. Work on being better. Much like what LUÜNA are doing – find your real self and commit yourself to being better and doing something better for everyone else. Because that is the secret to self-fulfilment and being happier in a better world.
I wish you luck and my final words of encouragement are – just fk’ing go for it!