We did a photo shoot yesterday with a lot of pictures of me. Some of them even came out! But it’s brought up interesting body image issues for me. I stared at this picture for a long time. And then I started to cry.
I never see my cunt. I’ve made love to women, so I’m not a stranger to the anatomy, but I never really see myself like this – up close. It seems so alien and strange. It looks weird, but not in a bad way. My cunt is so obviously a portal. I’m in love with this part of my body that brings me so much joy.
Staring at this picture though, I start to see my body’s history. I see the place where I tore my labia right near my clitoris, giving birth too quickly. I remember how much that hurt and how I felt damaged after. I see the place I have scars and scar tissue from an episiotomy during birth. When I complained to my doctor about sex being painful, I was told to just have more sex because the prostaglandins in semen would help to soften the tissue. I see the little tab of skin that hangs out. I’ve always hated it. It’s been there since the painful and violent first time I was penetrated. I thought that something was very wrong with me – that something was hanging out because I was broken.
That’s the thing. I have several painful and emotional associations with a part of my body that’s kept secret. So secret, I don’t even see it. I share this part of my body with the people I care about. They think my cunt is beautiful. And looking at this photo, I go beyond the things that hurt, to a place of beauty and joy. Our bodies are so mysterious and amazing. I cry because now I can see, with my own eyes, that my cunt is all of these things – memories of pain, a portal to mystery, a weird alien thing, a tool of love and joy, and just mine.