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Wanderlust: Designer vaginas, anyone?

Taking a cue from porn stars, more women seek plastic surgery to "sculpt" their vaginas.

According to Libuse Konopova, author of several books about female sexuality and an owner of the online store Shop4Ego.com that caters to women, pornography plays an increasingly important role in how women perceive their bodies.

“Women are becoming more significant consumers of pornography and are also becoming more involved in its production,” she said. As a result, female grooming preferences in the pubic area have largely followed the styles popular with female pornstars: no pubic hair at all.

Svatopluk Svoboda, a plastic surgeon who specializes in genital plastic surgeries in the Czech Republic, said that practically all his patients have started shaving in the last few years. “I can't even remember the last time I saw a hairy woman,” he said.

Critics of the vagina sculpting trend argue that exposed genitals give women yet another body part to scrutinize and compare in gym showers and nudist beaches. It also gives them another reason to end up in a plastic surgery clinic.

Dr. Svoboda has been a plastic surgeon since 1972, but until his 1998 fellowship in Brazil, he had never heard of plastic surgeries of the vagina.

His colleagues in South America explained that “Brazilian women wanted to be beautiful everywhere, even in the most intimate of parts." When he returned to Europe later that year and started offering the same surgeries in Czech Republic, other doctors questioned his sanity.

“At first we had one or two surgeries a year, but in the last six years, the demand has gone up sharply,” he said. The number of these intimate surgeries has doubled every year since Svoboda started offering them, he says. Last year, he completed well over 100.

“In 2004, sexologists attacked me for disfiguring women,” he said. But he assured them that there's no correlation between female genital mutilation and the aesthetic molding of the vagina. He says most women choose to have a labiaplasty for serious reasons, most commonly an elongated labia, which, apart from cosmetic concerns, can cause physical discomfort.

But once the sexologists backed off, Svoboda had another problem. He kept asking himself: “What does an ideal female genital look like?”

He asked his friend, an 87-year-old Czech painter and connoisseur of the female anatomy, to draw an ideal type for him. "It became obvious that the ideal look of this organ is very difficult to establish so he sketched an extensive and detailed catalog of almost 100 different vulvas, all out of memory," Svoboda said.

The doctor now uses this laminated, inch-thick vagina diary to help his patients decide what kind of new genitals they would like to own.

According to Svoboda, most women go for the soft, minimalist look. “Numbers 59 and 78 are most popular by far,“ he said.

 

Other Wanderlust columns:

Catholic priest becomes unlikely sex guru

Bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

Gay-4-Pay in Prague

The world's eight strangest sex remedies

Japan: It's faketastic

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/czech-republic/101021/vagina-porn-plastic-surgery