Labiaplasty, my Asty.
Doctors say these women request the procedure because they are afraid of having "old looking" vaginas. Doctors Loftus and Young say feedback from male partners is the number one reason women request the surgery.
"The most common reason we hear is that they have had a negative comment made by a male sexual partner. Women are made to feel that they are not perfect the way they are and often it's the partner that sets this off," Loftus said.
"My feeling is that women who aren't sex workers are getting this kind of thing because there's pressure from someone who's telling them they're not perfect," Young said. 'There's often pressure from a man who tells them they need it,"
So, the next time someone tells you they're doing this for themselves and no one else, I'd suggest you call them on it, since that's likely hogwash.
Of course, even knowing this, the plastic surgeons continue. Why aren't we hearing them counseling their patients about body image, about the fact that adapting their bodies surgically for someone else's standards postions them for REDUCED self-worth overall, especially when data from all over the place supports that once a woman starts with cosmetic surgeries, it often is a neverending habit, putting how she looks at the perpetual whim of everyone else? Has no one really LOOKED at Michael Jackson or Cher lately? Why aren't these surgeons asking the women to question a partner's sexual ideals, rather than looking to conform to them, especially with a surgery that often reduces her sexual sensation and thus, enjoyment (oddly, many surgeons who do this will go on and on that sensation won't change, that they aren't cutting the clitoris, which is disturbing: the crura, or legs, of the clitoris DO reach into the labia minora, which ARE rich with nerve endings and part of genital sensation. So, are these docs lying, or is the man or woman with the knife down there actually that uneducated about genital anatomy?)?
Isn't it kind of dangerous to go clipping the skin that protects the sensual center of (the) body?
According to more than a few doctors, yes. In a recent Bitch article, "Vulva Goldmine" (Vol. 11), Dr. Malcolm Lesavoy cautions that "any time you make an incision, you have decreased sensitivity." Lesavoy, who teaches plastic surgery at UCLA (Dr. Alter's alma mater) continues, "I would caution anyone against having genital surgeries for cosmetic reasons. I think they're fraught with dangers." (that piece cached here.)
Moreover, why are women trusting these surgeons at all, when their livlihood is grossly enhanced by these procedures?
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'll consider this whole bag with a lot less cynicism when I meet or even hear about ONE woman who does not have male sex partners or clients, but female ones, wanting this surgery. (Which isn't to say, "Men are to blame!" so much as it is to say that a whole lot of women need to start coming to the sexual table from a place of equality, to be treated and treat herself more like a person and less than an object, and to be assertive when it comes to informing male partners that the appearance of the female genitals is as normal, natrual and perfect, needing no aesthetic alteration, as that of the male genitals. Of course, that'd require she knew that about her own body first. Women might also do well to consider how strange and even disturbing it is, as well, to want the adult genitals to resemble PRE-adult genitals for adult sexual purposes. Shouldn't that be a paradox? Rather than being a selling point, shouldn't that make us shudder?)
But that hasn't happened yet. Go figure.
(As an aside, it might be worth a ponder or twelve when it comes to the men making these comments or directives. Is it possible that one things feeding into this is the fact that so many men, per circumcision, have already been genitally mutilated themselves, don't know what they lost, and thus figure it's no big deal?)
(Original comments for this entry can be found