Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 9, 2013.

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A poster project illustrating what women like about their vulvas & vaginas that celebrates the diversity of women's genitals.

What Do You Like About Your Vulva and Vagina? A Poster Project. 

We think women’s genitals – their vulvas and vaginas – are pretty great. Many people do. You, your partner, family, and friends may all think so, too – but how would anyone know that you all felt that way? How often do you talk about or hear about the wonders of vulvas and vaginas? 

All too often, society focuses on things that make women feel badly about their bodies. There are products to clean women’s genitals, to get rid of some kind of “not so fresh scent” (what?), and even to change the colors of women’s vulvas. We haven’t even mentioned the political and cultural dramas that often put women’s genitals at center stage! 

As scientists who study sexual health, our research suggests that: 

  • Women generally feel all right about their vulvas and vaginas, but could stand to feel more positively 
  • Women who feel positively about their genitals tend to take better care of their gynecological health and have more pleasurable, satisfying sex 
  • Men tend to feel more positively about women’s genitals than women feel about their own genitals 

Our Vulva-Positive Mission 

Our mission is simple: 

• We want to counteract the many negative messages out there about women’s genitals. 

• When people think about vulvas/vaginas, instead of “dirty” or “gross”, we want them to think of words like “awesome” and “beautiful.” 

• We want to celebrate female genital diversity – to show that every vulva is a beautiful vulva in its own unique way.

• Post-Kickstarter, we hope to continue to find ways to spread our vulva-positive message to those who need it most (if our Kickstarter project is successful, we’ll know the idea is viable, and we can print extra vulva posters and make them available to clinics all over the place. Vulva love for all!)

And what better way to do that than by showing the world, through art, how awesome and beautiful vulvas and vaginas can be?

A few years ago, we (Debby and Vanessa) surveyed hundreds of women about various health and sexuality-related aspects of their vulvas and vaginas. We also asked them what they like about their genitals. While we’ve presented some of this research at US and international conferences, we wanted to find a way to share it with everyone, to spread vulva love world-wide. We believe that one way to do this is to make a poster that celebrates how cool and unique each woman’s vulva is.
We wanted the poster to highlight real quotes from real women sharing what they like about their genitals.

Local Bloomington, Indiana-based artist Erin Tobey joined our team to bring life to the vulvas through this illustration project. We met up over coffee and lunch and in her studio to talk about everything from the colors of the vulvas to the length of the labia and pubic hair. The final poster – as we envision it now (though this could change slightly) – is a 4 X 4 grid of colorful vulvas, each with a quote below it that says something that a woman likes about her vulva and/or vagina. This is our working image:

Mock-up of our What Do You Like About Your Vagina & Vulva poster.
Mock-up of our What Do You Like About Your Vagina & Vulva poster.

The idea is to make 18 X 24 (or similarly sized) giclee prints of the "What do you like about your vagina & vulva?" poster - featuring all 16 vulvas and quotes - available in a signed (by artist Erin Tobey) limited edition run of about 300 to 400 prints. Because those are more pricey and there will be fewer available, we will also print an open-edition digital poster version. Like the giclee prints, the digital poster prints will feature the entire 16-vulva image.

And did we mention the postcards?

We're also planning to print postcards.  However, each postcard will feature only one vulva and one quote per card so that the quote can be read in its entirety. These will be great for framing/displaying separately or for sending to people who can use a little vulva-positivity. Health educators and sex educators might find them useful as door prizes and fun give-a-ways. 

Even More Rewards! 

In addition to prints, posters, and postcards, some levels include invitations to a Bloomington, Indiana OR NYC-based launch party (you must be at least 18 to attend and you must find your own way to Bloomington or NYC at your own expense). Also, some backer levels include signed copies of Debby and Vanessa's book, Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva, which has tons of health and sexuality related information about the vulva and vagina as well as arts and crafts projects in each and every chapter. It's like a vagina/vulva smorgasbord of information and ideas!

What Will You Do With a Vulva/Vagina Poster? 

Hang it up! Some offices are vulva-friendly (ours are) and maybe yours is too. If not, you can always hang it up at home or in your dorm room.

Share a poster with your sister, mom, girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, or spouse. 

Our greatest hope is that doctors and nurses and family planning clinic administrators will buy our vulva/vagina posters and display them in their exam rooms and/or clinic bathrooms to remind their clients how great women’s genitals can be. The diversity of images and quotes will, hopefully, help more women feel proud of the uniqueness of their own vulva. 

We also imagine more than a few of you might want to send some vulva-positive vibes in the direction of local or national politicians who could maybe stand to learn more about – and appreciate – women’s genitals. How cool would it be to know that vulva postcards and posters are being sorted in the mailroom of the US Capitol or your state representative’s offices? 

How Can You Support Our Vulva/Vagina Poster Project? 

Back us at any level you can! There are ways you can back us and get a single poster or print or a set of postcards. If you’ve got plenty of vulva and vagina décor in your life, we’ve got other rewards to offer, too, including signed copies of Debby and Vanessa’s book, Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva

For those who would prefer to more privately support the idea, we have a totally non-vulva related level: we’ll send you some of Debby’s favorite recipes ideas (when she’s not dreaming up vulva-related projects, you can find her in the kitchen making easy-to-pull-together but fancy sounding things like gougeres, lemon ice cream, salsa verde, or panzanellas). 

Project Costs 

Our project costs are what you’d expect: expenses related to paper, printing, shipping materials (envelopes, poster tubes, and boxes), and all that dreaded but necessary postage (shipping in the US is included; shipping outside the US costs extra as noted). Plus, we need to pay artist Erin Tobey for her time and talents and our videographer, Eric Ayotte, who was a champ and quickly pulled together a video for us to communicate our message to you. 

What Else Can You Do? 

Our vulva/vagina poster is one way we hope to let people know that vulvas and vaginas are awesome. It’s not going to solve every vagina-negative situation in the world, but if it sparks a few conversations and makes even a handful of women feel better about their vulva/vagina—we believe it will have been a success. 

In addition to backing our Kickstarter project, you can also add vulva/vagina love to the world by using accurate or fun-but-positive words for women’s genitals; performing vulvar self-exams to keep your genitals healthy; going to your healthcare provider as directed (and/or encouraging the women in your life to do so); and calling people out on negative things they say about women’s bodies. 

We’d love it if you’d share a link to our Kickstarter project with your friends and family. 

Our Hopes and Dreams 

We hope our “What do you like about your vulva and vagina?” print, poster, and postcard series inspires you. We hope it encourages you – if you’ve got these parts – to think about what YOU like about your vulva/vagina. 

If your partner has a vulva and vagina, we hope it inspires you tell your partner what you like about THEIR body. 

If you’re a doctor or nurse, we hope you’ll hang the posters up in your exam room to give your patients something body-positive to read while they’re waiting to see you. After all, when women feel better about their genitals, they are more likely to take better care of them and come to see you for annual exams. 

Acknowledgements 

It takes a vulva-loving village to get a project like this off the ground. We’d like to thank Erin Tobey for bringing the vulvas to life, Eric Ayotte for his help with our Kickstarter video, and to Vanessa, Aleta, Donisha, Margo, and Karly for lending their voices to the video as well. Mostly, we wish to thank the hundreds of women who took our survey and who trusted us to do right by their words. 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We've put significant time into comparing printing options from various different vendors and we don't expect any significant problems or delays. However, the world is a funny place so it's important to understand the various ways this could all play out and how that impacts you and your backing of our project.

NUMBER OF ORDERS - Few orders may mean that we need to order from certain vendors that allow low print runs. The more orders for posters, prints, and postcards we get, the more options we have for printing vendors. Each vendor has different shipping times/time for printing and shipping turn-around. We have given ourselves some wiggle room in terms of the estimated shipping dates. If we can get your posters, prints, or postcards out to you earlier, we certainly will!

OVER-FUNDING: If the project is significantly over-funded, there is a chance of slight delays considering the number of books or prints we may need to sign, and the number of packages we will need to ship. However, we are used to working on big projects, including research projects that involve shipping tons of products out in short windows of time. So we are not too worried about this. And again, we have given ourselves some wiggle room with estimated ship dates to account for unforeseen delays. Also, having tons of orders would be an awesome problem to have! Let's do it!

CULTURAL AND LEGAL ISSUES: If you live in a country that does not allow the receipt, via mail, of sexual and/or genital related imagery then there is the possibility that your package may be confiscated by your postal system. We cannot be responsible for the confiscation of art that we ship so please be aware of laws that are relevant to the area you live in.

ONE LAST THING: If you are backing our project at a level that includes an invitation to a Bloomington, Indiana OR NYC based launch event, you will need to get to Bloomington, Indiana OR NYC at your own expense (travel is NOT included) AND you need to be at least 18 years old to attend the party. Also, NYC stands for New York City but we probably don't have to tell you that. :)

FAQ

  • Because all vulvas are a little different from each other - and many people don't know this - we wanted to show as many illustrated vulvas and quotes as possible. To make the art visually appealing, and to allow the quotes to still be readable, we found that 16 vulva images & their quotes was about as many as we could reasonably fit on our poster/art print. Of course, there is far greater diversity in the world in terms of vulvar appearance than we are able to show with only 16 vulvas. But even 50 or 100 vulvas would still leave room for more! So we feel good with the 16 images we chose.

    We also know that not everyone's experiences can be represented in just 16 quotes. However, we tried to choose 16 quotes form the hundreds submitted that reflected the range of feelings and experiences we heard about from individuals who took our survey.

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  • There are many different ways that people identify their gender and it is true that not everyone who identifies as a woman has a vulva and/or vagina. It is also true that some individuals who identify as men may have a vulva. For other reasons (e.g., medical conditions, surgeries, etc) some women may have never, or may no longer, have a visible vulva, or an intact vulva, or a vaginal canal. Gender and genitals are each complex. Put together, they are even more complex.

    That said, most people who identify as women do have vulvas and vaginas. And much of our work has involved direct education and advocacy with girls and women who ask us questions about their vulva and vagina, who seek information, and who have been made to feel ashamed or embarrassed about their genitals.

    We realize that those who identify as girls and women are not the only people who could stand to feel better about their genitals. Many trans-identified women and men feel some dissonance in regard to their genitals (though not all do, as evidenced by some of the trans-identified women and men who completed our survey and told us what they like about their genitals). Also, many women who have been diagnosed with and/or treated for vulvar pre cancers or cancer may have a difficult time relating to their genitals and may have had to grapple with significant changes to the ways their genitals look and feel. This doesn't even touch upon issues of intersex or disorders of sex development (some people prefer one term over the other) or vulvar skin disorders or abuse (issues which also came up in our survey).

    In short, we knew we were limited in what we could do with our vulva art project, but we are very proud of it. It will not address everyone's needs related to the vulva, or related to gender and genitals. Based on the positive responses we've received so far, we are confident our art project is connecting with people. We know that some people will say "hey, not all women have vulvas" and you are RIGHT. Our art project says "What do you like about your vulva & vagina?" and doesn't talk specifically about women even if our Kickstarter page does.

    More people can benefit from learning about their genitals and feeling good about them and ours cannot address everything. We encourage everyone with ideas and passion and energy to go out and make a genital-positive art project. And let us know about it! We'd love to support you in your efforts.

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    The Poonanny: 4 Vulva Postcards! 4 of 16 vulva postcards - randomly chosen by us - will be mailed to you. Each full color postcard will show one of Erin's vulva drawings and a quote from a woman saying what she likes about her vulva and/or vagina. (US shipping included; add $ if shipping outside the US)

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    The Hoo-Ha: A hand-written letter expressing our gratitude as well as 3 of Debby's favorite recipes. For Backers who want to support us but don't have any more space on their walls for magnificent vulva art! (US shipping included; add $ if shipping outside the US)

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    The Empanada: An open-edition digital poster of the "What do you like about your vulva and vagina?" art: 16 full color vulvas alongside quotes from real women saying what they like about their genitals. Hooray! (For shipping outside the US, add $15). Perfect for hanging up at home, at a vulva-positive office, in a dorm room, in women's clinic exam rooms and/or bathrooms, or to send to an elected official who could benefit from learning more about women's vulvas and vaginas!

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    The Chocha: You asked for it, we're offering it! All 16 full color vulva postcards (the full set). Each postcard features a colorful vulva along with a quote from a real woman saying what she likes about her vulva or vagina. Send to your friends, family, and to politicians who need vulva love & appreciation. (Shipping in the US is included; shipping outside the US add $)

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    The Pink Taco Package: Signed copy of Debby & Vanessa's book, "Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva" PLUS a 4-card postcard pack (four randomly selected postcards, each showing one full color vulva with a quote from a real woman about what she likes about her genitals). For shipping outside the US, add $15.

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    The Snatch-This-One-Up: A hand-written letter expressing our gratitude as well as 10 of Debby's favorite recipes. For Backers who want to support us but don't have any more space on their walls for magnificent vulva art! (US shipping included; add $ if shipping outside the US)

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    25 backers

    Vagina Superhero Package: 4 full-color vulva postcards, a signed copy of Debby & Vanessa's Read My Lips book, and an open-edition poster of "What do you like about your vulva & vagina?" SO MUCH VULVA LOVE! Share it with a friend! (US shipping included; add $ if shipping outside the US)

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    The New York Knickers/Hoo-Ha-Hoosiers: 4 vulva postcards AND an invitation for you and a friend to a private, Backers-only event in Bloomington, Indiana or NYC (your choice) celebrating the release of our poster in Fall 2013.

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    The Little Lady in a Boat: One signed (by artist Erin Tobey), limited-edition giclee print of "What do you like about your vulva & vagina?". Perfect for hanging on your office wall, in an art gallery, or at home! Beautiful!

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    The Coochie Package: All 16 full-color postcards, a signed copy of Debby & Vanessa's book, Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva, and an open-edition poster of "What do you like about your vulva and vagina?" SO MUCH VULVA LOVE! SHARE IT WITH A FRIEND!

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    The Vulva Voom Package (by request!): All 16 full-color postcards AND a signed copy of Debby & Vanessa's book, Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva, AND a signed, limited edition print of "What do you like about your vulva and vagina?"

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    The Little Miss Sassy Package: An artist-signed, limited edition giclee print of "What do you like about your vulva & vagina" PLUS all 16 full-color postcards PLUS an invitation for you and a friend to a private, Backers-only event in Bloomington, Indiana or NYC (your choice) celebrating the release of our poster in Fall 2013.

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    The "Canadians Love Vulvas" Package (by request!): TWO SETS of 16 full-color postcards AND a signed copy of Debby & Vanessa's book, Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva, AND a signed, limited edition print of "What do you like about your vulva and vagina?"

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    The Lucky Lady Parts Clinic Package: 10 open-edition digital posters PLUS 3 signed copies of Read My Lips PLUS an invitation for you and a friend to a private, Backers-only event in Bloomington, Indiana or NYC (your choice) celebrating the release of our poster in Fall 2013. Perfect for sharing with your favorite vulva-positive women's clinic, ob/gyn office, campus health center, or family planning clinic.

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    The Honey Pot Package: 10 open-edition digital posters PLUS all 16 postcards PLUS one artist-signed limited edition giclee print PLUS 5 copies of Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva PLUS one video chat (e.g., over Skype or FaceTime) with Debby or Vanessa to talk about their work related to vulvas, vaginas, and/or sexual behavior PLUS an invitation for you and a friend to a private, Backers-only event in Bloomington, Indiana or NYC (your choice) celebrating the release of our poster in Fall 2013.

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    The Beautiful Box: An original ink drawing of a vulva paired with a quote that YOU send us about what you like about your own vulva/vagina or what you like about your partner's vulva/vagina. This will be 8 X 10 or 11 X 14 (your choice), signed by the artist, and an original illustration. You will ALSO receive one signed giclee print of the 16-vulva "What do you like about your vulva & vagina?" art AND all 16 full-color postcards PLUS an invitation for you and a friend to a private, Backers-only event in Bloomington, Indiana or NYC (your choice) celebrating the release of our poster in Fall 2013.

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    The Yoni: An original ink drawing of a vulva paired with a quote that YOU send us about what you like about your own vulva/vagina or what you like about your partner's vulva/vagina. This will be 8 X 10 or 11 X 14 (your choice), signed by artist Erin Tobey, and an original illustration. You will ALSO receive one signed giclee print of the 16-vulva "What do you like about your vulva & vagina?" art AND all 16 full-color postcards PLUS 5 copies of Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva PLUS one video chat (e.g., over Skype or FaceTime) with Debby or Vanessa to talk about their work related to vulvas, vaginas, and/or sexual behavior PLUS an invitation for you and a friend to a private, Backers-only event in Bloomington, Indiana or NYC (your choice) celebrating the release of our poster in Fall 2013.

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Funding period

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