Am I Normal?

7 Oct

“Asking if you are normal is not an important question to be asking, but that is what the culture wants to valorize”

-Dr. Carol Queen, Sexologist and Author

How often are we plagued with the worry that we might not be normal? It is a common question that is not just posed in the sexological sense, but in everyday life as well.

According to Merriam-Webster, “normal” in the context in which many are concerned, is defined as “occurring naturally”. Despite the definition, normal is still a very loaded word. As we grow out of our youth, many of us realize that most of our concerns when we were younger are trivial now, but I think it is important to mention that sometimes is can stay with us throughout our lives.

If we consider what Dr. Queen said, it is no wonder that so many people have sexual concerns because society shows us what is normal and when they do not measure up, the self-doubt begins. I invite you to watch the short film Evolution by Dove. While this isn’t inherently sex related, it is still valid in showing that everyone we see in media does not necessarily look like that in real life.

So how is this related to sex? PORN! Porn is a depiction of someone’s fantasy and is not to be taken seriously. It is done with actors and not unlike the mainstream film industry; the actors come with their own department of make-up and hair stylists to make them look their best.

–         Breast implants

–         Labiaplasty

–         Vaginaplasty

–         Circumcision

–         Laser hair removal,

–         Liposuction

–         Butt lifts

–         Penis enlargement

These are just some of the many lengths people go to in order to make themselves feel better in a society that is weighted down with looks and performance. The question that I believe should be asked more often is “Am I healthy?” because that is of greater concern than to know if you look exactly the same as Billy Jones or Suzy Thompson

So here is a quick list of things that may be of a concern to you that maybe you’ve never had a chance to ask or have been too afraid to know the answers to.

***Penis – They come in many size, shapes, colors, and textures. The average erect penis is between 5 and 6 inches. Biologically they come with a foreskin but some people had theirs removed as a child for personal or religious purposes. If yours doesn’t look like the one in the porn you just watched, don’t sweat it.

***Vulva – Like penises, they too come in MANY sizes, shapes, colors, and smells. Yes, smells. To have a smell is normal, but there is not one smell you are supposed to have. Your own personal scent will change throughout your ovulation cycle and can also be influenced by what you eat. As long as you maintain basic hygiene with a mild soap or just water, you’re good. Just don’t douche! That is another post J Also, if your inner and outer labia are larger than one another no big deal. A great book for women, and men too, I highly recommend is Petals by Nick Karas. His beautiful photography shows what normal vulvas look like.

***Pubic Hair – Biologically, we are all born with the predisposition to grow pubic hair at puberty. If you decide to keep it, fantastic! Other people may choose to completely remove it, keep it trimmed, or even maintain different shapes or designs (ever heard of a landing strip?).

***Breasts – See penis and vulva variation. You’re fine! Saggy boobs? Some breasts are heavier than others and that has an effect with gravity and also as you age, your connective tissue breaks down. It’s all part of the process. Saw a stray hair? No worries, it’s normal. Leave it there or pluck it and move on. Nipple and areola size is very diverse as well and there is no right size, it’s just what is right for you.

I invite each of you reading this to take 5 minutes next time you are fresh from the shower to stand in front of a full length mirror naked. Look at your body. Focus on what you like and consider why. Don’t get stuck at looking at what you don’t like. Look at it, acknowledge it, and then move on. With the risk of sounding like a hippy, its time we stop judging ourselves on whether or not we are normal and time to start loving our diversity, because diversity is normal.

Thanks for reading and hope to see you back soon. And as always, everything is OK here.

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