barbiecrotchLast Tuesday my friend swiped the lock to her boyfriend’s iPad and found, in amongst the pictures of Tenerife, Old Trafford and pulled pork in a bun…a vagina. Apparently he’s been sharing e-mail correspondence with a girl who uses the visual acronym of her vagina to let a man know she’s thinking of him. – I know, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, but couldn’t she find a moment to finger a text instead?

There’s nothing sexy about a vagina out of context. Without its natural frame of a pair of velvety thighs it either looks like the house-pet or a dried apricot half that wouldn’t meet an EU standards food test.

Out of respect for ‘write what you know’ I’ve decided to take a few of my own.

Turns out it’s not as easy as simply squatting over your phone, pulling apart your lips and smiling for the camera. Unless I just have a very, very big vagina, one has to really stretch one’s arms out quite far to get any decent coverage. What I’m also finding tricky is my phone’s screen is turned away from me. I’m tapping away at it, praying I’m hitting the camera button and not activating some Social Network sharing option. – ‘Do you wish to share your vagina on Facebook?’ …Uhm, not right now!

Surely those brains in Japan who designed my phone would have thought this one through. As I swipe through all the pictures I’ve taken of my asshole I suddenly notice a little camera icon in the top left corner with an arrow curled around it. I press it and up pops ‘Ogre Cam’, a terrifying image of my face from below, most of it chin and nose. After checking in on my nostrils I get back to the point.

Even in ‘selfie-mode’ I’m struggling to get the money shot. I know my version of pubic grooming, which is to take a pair of nail scissors to it only once it starts to look puffy under my sweatpants at the gym, is impairing visibility. In a flash of inspiration I bend over and take one from behind.

It resembles a ripe pitted peach. Is it too keen I wonder? This feels like a new language. Could there be a subtext I don’t realise I’m communicating from this angle? What if all I want to say with this is, ‘Thinking about you and thought I’d say hello’? Does that require a different angle from, ‘Thanks for the spaghetti carbonara and crostini. When I can see you again?’

My friend’s boyfriend and ‘The Vagina’, had only meet once at a party where they’d shared a dozen words, a snog and an e-mail address. They’d had no communication after that until, over a bowl of Shredded Wheat, he opened her vagina. – Listen, I’m not the biggest fan of flirting either, it’s a time-consuming, roundabout way of getting to the point, and I generally feel like the target of a con, but surely it’s nice if there’s a bit of a journey? A chance to find out the person’s favourite pasta shape before their favourite position.

It’s taken us just over one hundred years to progress from a pair of ankles to our vulvas, but where are we meant to go next? What terrain is left? Maybe the pendulum will start to swing back, at each stop picking up another item of clothing, until we’re covered up to our ankles, and can start the whole exciting process of getting undressed again.

With my vagina captured I move on to post-production. Surprisingly there isn’t much depth or contrast, so I run her through Instagram. As I enjoy a full bush, it seems appropriate to apply a 70’s filter.

The last step, of course, is to send it to someone. Scrolling through my contacts I can’t see anyone I fancy notifying I’m available for sex… Okay there are a couple, but I’d at least want to grab them for a drink first, to get a reading on where they might be with the idea of moving things on from a beer to our bits. If I received an image of Ian’s rock hard penis, without being able to read the expression on his face, I really wouldn’t be sure what my response was meant to be. ‘Keep up the good work mate’?

I settle on the last man in my contact list to have cameoed in a well-spent dream. Without my overdeveloped ego playing guard, my sub-conscious is free to make some interesting suggestions and I’m choosing to respect it. I pull him up and attach my vagina. I’m about to hit the send button when I’m struck with a question I’ve never asked myself before, ‘Is my vulva normal?’ I mean what qualities does it possess? Is it pretty or more of an individual? Retiring or bold? A nine, a six, a three? What am I working with? I wouldn’t know. He’ll be the one with all the qualitative data. I decide to gather some feedback first.

I’ve heard about ‘vulva galleries’ where you can upload your labia, and in a mosaic of pink, brown and sometimes purple, search for a pattern to check whether the bit between your legs is normal. I Google for one and upload mine immediately. Before I’ve even had a chance to run an analysis myself, I receive a comment from a fellow user. ‘Girl, go get yourself ‘A Barbie’. I ask her what she means.

I learn ‘A Barbie’ or a ‘Clamshell’, is basically a labial haircut. The inner lips are trimmed back resulting in a pair of neat, tidy outer labia. I feel sad. I don‘t know who I’m communicating with, but I hope that some day soon she picks up a hobby like savoury porridge or the clarinet; something else to pour her impressive attention to detail into.

Back on my phone, I send my vagina straight to the recycle bin. This is not in defeat. I’m just an old-fashioned girl at heart. I prefer to throw some words together and chuck that over in a text instead. Plus, it’s terrifying to think of all the people walking around Sainsbury’s with albums of their genitals. No wonder there’s been a rise in Smartphone crime!

If nothing else, it’s at least nice to know that if I’m ever at a loss for words, I already know my best my angle.

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