A Vagtastic Voyage Through Etsy
A while back, Double X termed Etsy "a female ghetto" – appropriately, there are a lot of vagina-themed products for sale. A lot of people are grossed out by vaginas, women included (I know of a girl who literally vomits at the sight of one and grows nauseous at the mere thought), but if you're in the opposite camp and want a way to promote body-positive images that doesn't involve Eve Ensler, read on for a handy (NSFW) guide to the wonderful online world of handmade vagina products!
The largest vagina-themed shop on Etsy is VulvaLoveLovely's "Feminist shop of handmade Vulva love". There are about eighty items for sale: cell phone charms, mugs, wallets, tins of lip balm (calm down, it's not vagina-flavored – it's just "for your lips", GEDDIT), cloth menstrual pads, vagina and breast pillows. There's also a tiny army of uterus plushies: feisty uterus, cranky uterus, happy uterus, healing uterus, superhero uterus, nerdy uterus, Rosie the Riveter uterus, Frida Kahlo uterus. I bet you never knew your reproductive system could be so danged adorable.
There's a lot of emphasis on the fact that, like each of the handmade items, no two vaginas are alike. That's a rarely heard and much-appreciated sentiment in a world of generic porn and cosmetic vaginoplasty, but the hand-sculpted vagina pendants straddle the fine line between righteous body-positive and slightly creepy. The customer has the option of emailing in a photo or detailed description of her vagina to the jewelry maker as a model for her pendant. It's cool in theory, but I wouldn't want to wear one in public.
Best Item: It's a tie between the Vagina Dentata pillow (it even has little mother-of-pearl teeth sewn on!) and the Rosie the Riveter uterus plushie.
More vagina necklaces are available at Quite Cuntrary and Woman In Bloom. Quite Cuntrary has lots of less graphic pendants, including glass "yoni beads," a conch seashell vagina, Georgia O'Keefe-esque flowers and a fierce "Serpentina the Magical Fire-breathing Dragon". The pendants on Woman In Bloom are even more abstract, resembling foxglove flowers in non-flesh-tone colors like green and silver. Each one has a theme, like "Grecian Goddess," "Black Widow" and "Sea of Darkness" (insert seamen joke here).
Best Item: The vagina cameo necklaces on Quite Cuntrary – cameos are being featured on everything from hair clips to shoes right now, and this is a wonderfully bizarre twist on the trend.
If you've got money to burn, pick up one of the gnarly sculptures at Goddess Shop or the wood-and-metal "pussy pipes" at WAPSculpture. Each pipe sits inside a crotch-shaped pedestal. Like many other vagina-themed items on Etsy, no two are exactly alike; the genitalia are relatively detailed and each one even has its own name. Are Cammile, Jen, Kim, Susan, Zara and Diane real or hypothetical models? Well, I'd rather not think about that.
Best Item: WAPSculpture's "Diane" pipe. At $1200, it's the most expensive vagina-themed item I could find.
Fret not – you can still get in on the vagina fun, even on a budget. Kinky candy sells homemade "Sweet Beaver" lollipops in thirteen different flavors, very handy for passing out on Halloween if you want to shock the neighborhood parents. Even better, you can get horrifying and hilarious "PMS Pops", which are white and red chocolate on a stick molded to resemble bloody vaginas.
You know when you need to tell someone that it's time for a trip to the gynecologist, but you just don't know how to say it? A card from doulahara's shop with an illustration of a woman in stirrups will send the message loud and clear. Know someone who needs a lesson in female anatomy? Don't beat around the bush – send them a card that displays a detailed cross-section of the reproductive system for just $4. There are also a lot of non-chemical birth control resources, like menstrual beads, fertility charts and copies of the zine CUNTastic.
Finally, Sneakyscarves and Forelock Art Craft Press are selling some flat felt vulva patches that run from $6-8; the ones on Sneakyscarves donate 25% of the sale price to the V-Day Foundation to end violence against women.
Best Item: Male/female genitalia card set from doulahara. They're blank inside, and they give an ambiguous connotation to every occasion.
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