The Vagina: Fun Facts, Photos and More
Last November for Movember I wrote a blog The Penis: Fun Facts, Photos and More and so I thought this time, why not explore the vagina? You might not think the public library would have a lot of material on the vagina but ... you would be wrong.
"One of our bestselling and most respected cultural critics, Naomi Wolf, acclaimed author of The Beauty Myth and The End of America, brings us an astonishing work of cutting-edge science and cultural history that radically reframes how we understand the vagina--and, consequently, how we understand women.
A "New Biography," Vagina is at once serious, provocative, and immensely entertaining--a radical and endlessly fascinating exploration of the gateway to female consciousness from a remarkable writer and thinker at the forefront of the new feminism."
"From Canadian OB/GYN, women's health advocate and New York Times columnist Dr. Jen Gunter: The Vagina Bible is a comprehensive, accessible antidote to the maelstrom of misinformation around female sexual health, and the ultimate guide to everything a person needs to know about the vagina and vulva. We are well into the twenty-first century and have access to more information than ever before, yet many people don't know that a vagina is self-cleaning, condoms should be used with a lubricant, eating sugar doesn't cause a yeast infection, and sex shouldn't be painful." You may also be interested in Fruit of Knowledge: The Vulva vs. The Patriarchy.
"Is a comprehensive guide to a miraculous and complex part of the body that too few of us (regardless of gender) are all that familiar with--the vagina. With wisdom, humor, and scientific aplomb, medical student Ellen Støkken Dahl and Dr. Nina Brochmann take readers on a fascinating journey of female sexual organs and sexual health--from the clitoris to contraception to cervical cancer. More than a user's manual, this book is the funny, frank tribute to the vagina that we have been waiting for."
"Based on the popular section of womenshealthmag.com of the same name, 'Women's Health Vagina University' challenges stigmas directed at women's bodies and sexuality, offers advice and support, and explains how your vagina's health can impact your overall health"
"Many women still suffer a long-ingrained dissociation with their own vaginas and a misunderstanding of what goes on "down there." With expertise and a dose of humor, leading ob-gyn, educator and women's health advocate Dr. Sherry Ross addresses every urgent, confounding, culturally taboo or embarrassing question women have about vaginas, with the goal of healthier, happier lives for all.
She-ology describes the state of the vagina at every age and stage of a woman's life. From first periods to postpartum to menopause, from the serious to the celebratory to the surprising, this book will make you feel a part of the vagina dialogue."
"The woman's A to Z for your V makes finding the answers women have about their health and their bodies easy and makes asking the questions even easier."
"In Read My Lips the authors--both research scientists who study sex--teach readers all about the vulva and vagina in ways that are smart, provocative, funny, heartbreaking, quirky, and inspiring. The overall message is that women and men should feel familiar with and confident about their own bodies as well as the bodies of their partners." See also 100 Questions & Answers About Vulvar Cancer And Other Diseases Of The Vulva And Vagina.
"With over twenty years of experience as a sex educator and sex therapist, Dr. Terri Hamilton brings you this detailed look at everything you wanted to know about male and female 'private parts' and didn't even know to ask. In chapters such as "A Hose by Any Other Name" she examines historical and psychological perspectives on genital nomenclature and presents over 500 common - and not so common - nicknames. Dr. Hamilton also peers into a Pandora's Box of sexual scandals, untangles the mystery of pubic hair, tells tales of size and sighs, secrets and secretions, folklore and fertility rituals, and unveils the genital origins of numerous modern day social customs."
"Breaking the mold on women's health guides, V Is for Vagina tells you the good, bad and time-for-a-trip-to-the-pharmacy truths honestly and intelligently. Covering everything from STDs and daily care to getting Brazilians and giving birth, this frank and funny guide will help every woman keep her lady flower happy and healthy". See also The Technology of Orgasm: ‘Hysteria’, the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction.
"From South Park to Kathy Acker, from Lars Von Trier to Sex and the City, women's sexual organs are demonized. In The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History, Emma L.E. Rees investigates the evolution of this demonization: she considers how writers, artists and filmmakers contend with the dilemma of he vagina's puzzling 'covert visibility' and how the 'c-word' is an obscenity that both legitimates and perpetuates the fractured identities of women globally. In our postmodern, porn-obsessed culture, vaginas appear to be everywhere, literally or symbolically but, crucially, they are as silenced as they are objectified."
"This book is about vaginas. Fanny, cunt, flower, foo-foo, tuppence, whatever you want to call it, almost half of the world's population has one. Was Jessica Ennis on her period they day she won Olympic Gold? What do you do when you're living on the streets and pregnant? What does it feel like to have a poo after you've given birth? We all have questions, but it's not seen as very polite to talk about our fanny; in fact it is downright rude. This is an important, taboo-breaking book that shares the stories of pregnancy and periods, orgasms and the menopause, from women from all walks of life. From refugee camps in Calais to Oscar-winning actresses, to Nimko's own story of living with FGM, each woman shares their own relationship with their vagina and its impact on their life."
"It is the seat of female sexual pleasure, the passage for both the creation and the birth of humankind, and the channel for menstrual blood. Yet we know less about the vagina - its structure and function - than we do about any other organ of the human body. Why? The story of V explores what science can now tell us about the female genitalia as well as providing a cultural history of our perceptions and mis-conceptions."
"Drenth describes the workings of the vagina in simple language, enriching his description throughout the book with the imagery, mythology, lore, and history that has surrounded the vagina since the Middle Ages. The Origin of the World moves from basic physiognomic facts to the realms of anthropology, art history, science fiction, and feminist literature-all in the service of mapping the dark continent. Drenth's journey takes him from Renaissance woodcuts to vibrators, clitoridectomies to "virginity checks," fears of the vagina (the vagina dentata) to its celebration."
Sex and Sexuality
"A smart, actionable guide to help women take control of their sexual health and learn about vital information in a pro-pleasure, safety first, and sex positive way from a leader in sexual education for the GirlBoss generation." See also Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape.
"We've been thinking about sex all wrong. Mainstream media, movies, and porn have taught us that sex = penis + vagina, and everything else is just secondary. Standard penetration is how men most reliably achieve orgasm. The problem is, women don't orgasm this way. We've separated our most reliable route to orgasm--clitoral stimulation--from how we feel we should orgasm--penetration. As a result, we've created a pleasure gap between women and men." You may also be enjoy The Clitoral Truth: The Secret World At Your Fingertips.
"Practice makes perfect!Everyone knows sex in a long-term relationship can get stale sometimes. But isn't the same true for masturbation? Just like a familiar sexual relationship, where you fall into a pattern using the same moves and positions, masturbation can become routine and frankly boring. Just because you're only getting yourself off doesn't mean you don't deserve an exciting, satisfying experience.Sex Yourself teaches women how to reach orgasm and how to have better orgasms by themselves. Learn how the amazing orgasms you have alone can be re-created with a partner, helping to enhance your sexual relationships." You may also enjoy Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex: All You Need to Know About Masturbation.
"Fulfilling sex nourishes love, rejuvenates the body, and boosts mental health. Unfortunately, prevailing attitudes in the West work against the natural capacity of women to realize their sexual potential and experience deep orgasmic states. Tantric Orgasm for Womenoffers women a fresh look at the ecstatic bliss possible within their bodies, using knowledge and approaches from the sensually cultivated traditions of the East. Exploring Tantra from the female perspective, Diana Richardson reveals the critical role receptive feminine energy plays in allowing orgasmic states to arise." See also Tantric Sex and Menopause: Practices for Spiritual and Sexual Renewal.
"What if one of America's leading sexual specialists and Gynecologist told you that she knew your body better than you did? What if she told you that she could fix the problems that are making your sex life less than perfect? More than 100 million women in America have problems in the bedroom, but don't have the courage to ask their doctors for help. These problems don't come from relationship issues, or the stresses of work and family. These are real, physical issues that are getting in the way of a vibrant, joyful sex life."
- Ask Your Gynecologist: Answers to Over 200 (Sometimes Embarrassing) Questions Women Ask Through Every Age and Stage of Their Lives.
- What's Up Down There?: Questions You'd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend
"Sexual Intimacy for Women helps female couples examine the emotional, physical, and psychological aspects of their relationships, with the goal of creating more intimacy. Exercises and client-based anecdotes from Dr. Corwin's years of experience with same-sex couples help women overcome common issues around orgasm, body image, identity, aging, and parenthood. Dr. Corwin dispels myths, examines the intricacies of female desire, and gives advice to help couples achieve long-lasting, healthy, and fulfilling relationships."
"We think of the modern woman as sexually liberated - if anything, we're told we're oversexed. Yet a striking number of women are dissatisfied with their sex lives. Over half of women report having a sexual complaint, whether that's lack of desire or difficulty reaching orgasm. But this issue doesn't get much press; the urge is to ignore or medicalize it (witness the quest for 'pink Viagra'). If so many ordinary women suffer from sexual frustration, then perhaps the problem isn't one that can be addressed by a pharmaceutical fix - or isn't a problem. Maybe we need to get hot and bothered about a broader cultural cure: a reorienting of our current male-focused approach to sex and pleasure, and a rethinking of what's 'normal."
"Imagine you could give an essay entitled "How to Make Me Come" to a past, present or future sex partner, free of judgment or repercussion. What would you want them to know? In this book inspired by Emma Koenig's wildly popular website, a diverse collective of women do just that."
"The truth is: Most women do not have satisfying sex lives. SLOW SEX can change that. Better sex is about one thing: better orgasm. This life-altering guide teaches men and women how to use the practice of Orgasmic Meditation-or OM-to slow down, connect emotionally, and achieve authentic female sexual satisfaction. The promise: In just fifteen minutes every woman can become orgasmic. And, with the right partner and the right technique, that orgasm could last and last!"
- Expanded Orgasm: Soar to Ecstasy at Your Lover's Every Touch
- The Ultimate Guide to Sex After Fifty: How to Maintain - or Regain - a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life
- The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women: How to Become Orgasmic for a Lifetime
- She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman
- Loving the G-Spot: The Definitive Guide on the Secret Center of Feminine Pleasure
- Women's Health Easy Orgasms: Learn the Dirty Little Secrets to Guarantee Peak, Powerful Orgasms Every Time!
Art and Literature
"A poignant and hilarious tour of the last frontier, the ultimate forbidden zone,The Vagina Monologuesis a celebration of female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery. In this stunning phenomenon that has swept the nation, Eve Ensler gives us real women's stories of intimacy, vulnerability, and sexual self-discovery."
"The Dinner Party, a monumental triangular table, and the Heritage Floor on which the table rests, represents 1,038 women in history--39 by unique large ceramic plates and runners with another 999 names inscribed on the floor's ceramic tiles. It has been seen by more than a million visitors during its international exhibition tour, and has been a principal destination at the Brooklyn Museum since its permanent housing in 2007."
"Fed by thrilling recent discoveries from Saul Leiter's vast archive, In My Room provides an in-depth study of the nude, through intimate photographs of the women Leiter knew. Showing deeply personal interior spaces, often illuminated by the lush natural light of the artist's studio in New York City's East Village, these black-and-white images reveal the unique collaboration between Leiter and his subjects. In the 1970s, Leiter planned to make a book of his nudes, but never realized the project in his lifetime. Now we are granted a first-time look at this body of work"
"A new generation of female artists is emerging who have grown up in a culture saturated with social media and selfies. This book looks at how young women are using photography and the internet to explore issues of self-image and female identity, and the impact this is having on contemporary art. Forty artists are featured, all of whose principal subject matter is either themselves or other women. Each is accompanied by a short profile based on personal interviews with the author, giving a fascinating insight into this exciting shift in female creativity."
"The first definitive history of lesbian art in the United States presents a collection of artwork, created since 1970 within the context of gay culture and political activism, along with critical analyses of the movement and profiles of thirty prominent lesbian artists."
"Published fanzine-style on newsprint with a cloth-tape spine, in close collaboration with the artist, Linder: Woman/Object celebrates the career of a protagonist of British punk. Linder's activities over the past 35 years have encompassed art, music, dance and fashion, deploying collage, photography, video and performance. Throughout, she has pursued an uncompromising feminist critique of gender and the sexual marketing of the female body, most famously in her collages derived from pornography, which were first published on the sleeves of Buzzcocks records."
"Giovanni Civardi has built a reputation for his skills as an artist and teacher and here he provides a unique introduction to drawing the female nude. This books provides a large collection of images that illustrate the shape and form of the female body in a variety of postures, accompanied by clarifying notes and stage-by-stage demonstrations for you to follow." See also The Nude Female Figure: A Visual Reference for the Artist or Beginner's Guide the Female Nude: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide to Techniques and Materials.
"Viewed in exhibitions by over 100,000 people across the continent--now a book! Frank Cordelle'ss work is an inspiring series of nude photographic portraits accompanied by personal statements. The subjects are more than 90 girls and women aged 0 to nearly 100 and of very diverse shapes, sizes, and conditions. They also write powerfully about their bodies and experiences."
"The female nude has been one of the most enduring themes in art. "Curve surveys how artists over the course of the last ten years have been sculpting, photographing, and painting the female form. A wide range of work and styles is represented: from the work of John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage, whose inspiration ranges from Old Master painting to "Penthouse magazine, respectively, to the sensual nudes of Jock Sturges's photographs to the brazen women who populate fine arts, photography, and fashion work."
"This hybrid book examines the art and politics of 'The Nude' in various cultural contexts, featuring books of canonical western art pirated and either digitally- or hand-censored in Iran by anonymous government workers. Author Glenn Harcourt uses several case studies brought to the fore by American painter Pamela Joseph in her recent "Censored" series. Harcourt's rigorous, culturally-measured and art historical approach complements Joseph's appropriation of these censored images as feminist critique. Harcourt argues that her work serves as a window toward larger questions in art. These include an examination of the evolution of abstraction; the role of women in western society, as seen through the history of painting the body; the effects of western art on cultures outside the west (sometimes referred to in Iran as 'west-toxication'); and how artists in non-western countries, specifically those in Iran living under rules of censorship that specifically prohibit representation of the body, engage with the history of western art found in the censored books."
"Mirror Mirror explores the history and function of the self-portrait in the work of forty women artists, from the seventeenth century to the present day. It covers works in all media, from oil painting to photography, from woodcut to ceramic sculpture, and includes self-portraits from such major artists as Mary Beale, Gwen John and Dame Barbara Hepworth; as well as lesser-known figures such as the Zinkeisen sisters, Madame Yevonde and Lee Miller. There are also portraits by women artists known primarily for their work in other media - including the self-portrait relief by Susie Cooper."
You may also be interested in these titles:
"A fascinating overview of the nude figure and the intriguing role it played in Victorian art, advertising, and culture. Beautifully produced and full of breathtaking art, this book showcases dazzling work by Whistler, Sargent, Millais Rossetti and others." See also Turner's Secret Sketches or The Nude in French Art and Culture, 1870-1910.
"This richly diverse exploration of female artists and self-portraits is a brilliant and poignant demonstration of originality in works of haunting variety. The two earliest self-portraits come from 12th-century illuminated manuscripts in which nuns gaze at us across eight centuries. In 16th-century Italy, Sofonisba Anguissola paints one of the longest series of self-portraits, spanning adolescence to old age. In 17th-century Holland, Judith Leyster shows herself at the easel as a relaxed, self-assured professional. In the 18th century, artists from Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun to Angelica Kauffman express both passion for their craft and the idea of femininity; and in the 19th the salons and art schools at last open their doors to a host of talented women artists, including Berthe Morisot, ushering in a new and resonant self-confidence. The modern period demolishes taboos: Alice Neel painting herself nude at eighty, Frida Kahlo rendering physical pain, Cindy Sherman exploring identity, Marlene Dumas dispensing with all boundaries. The full verve of Frances Borzello's enthralling text, and the hypnotic intensity of the accompanying self-portraits, is revealed to the full in a completely revised edition of this inspiring book."
Blog Posts about Women and International Women's Day
You may also be interested in some other blogs by myself and other staff bloggers:
- A Look at Women's Health for International Women's Day
- International Women's Day: Celebrating Some Powerful Political Women
- International Women for International Women's Day
- 10 Vintage Photos of Toronto's Working Women: Celebrating International Women's Day, March 8, 2019
- Toronto Women Working During WW II: Rosie the Riveter and Beyond
- If You Can’t March, Read! Picture Books to Read to Your Little Ones on International Women’s Day