There was a time when genital size was something we talked about with respect to male sexual prowess… that has to some degree changed. Data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found a 39% increase in labiaplasty surgeries in 2016, with more than 12,000 procedures last year.
That makes the labiaplasty procedure the fastest growing plastic procedure in the United States. Labiaplasty is the cosmetic reduction of the inner lips of the vagina. What has led to this explosion of vaginal rejuvenation procedures?
1. Internet Porn
According to Forbes Magazine, approximately 10-15% of all internet searches are for porn; and somewhere between 1.5 to 4% of all websites are for porn sites. These numbers are staggering when you consider that men and women could barely draw out the female genital anatomy before the internet era. Sure, there was Playboy or some other magazine, but the number of people who bought or subscribed to these publications was minuscule by comparison.
This unusual education has had the unexpected outcome that both men and women have a better understanding of what “average” genitalia might look like. And if the genitalia they have is any different than what they understand as “average”, then there might be the associated feeling of being “abnormal”.
2. Waxing and Grooming
The increase in waxing and grooming is a phenomenon that might also be related to the increase in internet porn, there has been an increased emphasis on personal grooming “down there” in the last decade or two. In western societies, removal of female body hair especially in the underarms, legs, and the genital area has traditionally been preferable.
The evolution of women’s clothing has been shrinking since at least 1946 with the introduction of the bikini and the elimination of the full skirt or body suit. At the same time, mini-skirts also replaced long skirts, and thongs replaced bikinis.
The shortening of clothing and the shrinking of bathing suits has led to the evolution of the Brazilian wax where all of the hair was removed from the pubic area including in and around the vagina; hair is removed so that it can’t be seen sticking out from beyond the confines of the thong. The evolution in women’s fashion along with the sexual revolution, in general, are strongly associated with a woman’s introspection about their genital appearance and sexuality. Women, therefore, became more conscious about how their genitalia appeared to the public in general and to men specifically.
3. Sexual Revolution
The sexual revolution supposedly started in the 1960s and continues to this day. Not surprisingly, Hugh Hefner and Larry Flint were the products and promoters of this revolution. It brought about profound shifts in the attitudes to women’s sexuality, pre-marital sexuality and the freedom of sexual expression. The relaxation in the attitudes about sexuality direct relation to the recognition that women are sexual beings and with that came an increase in awareness of the female sensual anatomy.
4. Medical / Plastic Surgery Advances
This is where I come in. Cosmetic improvement of the vaginal area has come a long way. Many, if not most, of these procedures can be performed in the office under local anesthesia. Procedures now include the labiaplasty procedure to reduce the size of the labia minor or the inner vaginal lips. The clitoroplasty to reduce the size of the clitoral hood. The vaginoplasty to tighten up the vaginal opening. Or the mons reduction or lift to reduce the size of a large or saggy mons ( tissue over the pubic bone ), And now, with the introduction of the diVa Laser procedure, we have the ability to treat stress urinary incontinence ( problem where you pee when you cough, sneeze, or jump ) and decreased vaginal lubrication which can be a problem with age, menopause, or after cancer therapy.
Like the rest of the country, I have seen a significant rise in the number of cosmetic labiaplasty consultations. What makes my procedure stand out is that I had the benefit of learning from Dr. Gary Alter who pioneered the wedge procedure. My personal adaptation which I show on my youtube video has gotten me international attention from doctors and patients.
5. Education by the Internet and Social Media
Before the internet, if a woman complained about pain or discomfort in the vaginal area, they might have had a difficult time finding a reliable source to find a reason for their problem. They might have reluctantly relied upon friends or they would have had to wait for a doctor’s appointment. Friends notoriously lie to support you, and doctor’s might often be ignorant themselves or even indifferent given that it is not necessarily a “medical problem”
But with the adoption of the internet and social media, you now have access to encyclopedias of information about any topic. You can easily find that a long labia can cause pain and discomfort. Or you might find solace in knowing that women are taking care of this issue with a labiaplasty procedure with extremely high satisfaction rates. Some women may experience discomfort from longer tissue, which can rub the wrong way during sex or in tight clothing, while others may feel uncomfortable sexually because their genitalia doesn’t look like the women they see in adult films or online.
Many times a person will start with a Google search to see if anyone else out there has the same problem, and you have a whole cadre of people on social media who have the same concerns…and it allows you to hear about other stories and what they did and their experience.