The standardised version of sex that we inhale every day through the media is diminishing our capacity for openness and passion - and turning us into pretty flaky lovers.
Just as the phenomenon of 'beauty' has skewed our sense of ourselves and sent us running in record numbers to Jenny Craig, the tanning salon, cosmetic surgeons and Chadstone, so the prevalence of porn has constrained us by implanting the notion of a sexual beauty and our general lack of it.
A whole generation of women, having grown up on a diet of digitally altered and enhanced images, are terrified that their sexual organs are abnormal and their sexual experiences below par. How can we possibly enjoy sex freely when we feel so inadequate?
Gynaecologists and sex therapists agree that most of their consults who have concerns about sexuality and genitals are 100% normal. They spend their days reassuring patients instead of fixing them.
Like faces, vulvas are 'made up' for the cameras and chosen for their 'beauty'. Mostly, they are thin-lipped with no protruding inner labia, pink and hairless. (If they don't fit into this ideal naturally, they are digitally altered).
Censorship in Australia has paid its treacherous part by not allowing a variety of genitalia to appear in legal porn and, like an attractive well balanced face, we have come to prefer the look of some vaginas over others because they fit into a new, 'normalised' framework.
At a vagina workshop recently, I was introduced to Quodoushka - an ancient American Indian, feminine based tradition that is used to understand sexuality and anatomy. Quodoushka unequivocally asserts that, rather than there only being one type of vulva (as you would be led to believe if you got your information from the internet) there are nine.
Yes! All women have one of nine types of vagina. It's rather like the zodiac but rather than evaluating the date and time of your birth, you analyse the shape of your inner and outer lips, the distance your clitoris is from your vaginal opening, the color variation and other telling factors. Once you establish these traits, you become a Bear, Buffalo, Deer or one of the other six female archetypes.
Your archetype also characterises the type of sex you enjoy, how long it takes for you to climax, how lubricated you are, where your G-Spot is located and so on. It provides a framework from which to understand your sexuality and feel empowered by it.
Excerpts from the book 'Pussy Portraits' - an excellent example of vulval variety.
When we are presented with beauty in all its forms and helped to understand the inherent beauty in all things, it allows us to appreciate and respect what is within us.
If you have doubts, worries, guilt or shame about your sexuality or anatomy, use the internet to find models other than the stereotypical. Read books, talk to people about these issues and never allow a lover to make you feel abnormal or weird. (You'll know that they're a porn inhaler from way back).
Sexuality has no normal just as beauty is limitless.