Clitoris Information

All About The Female Genitals and Female Sexuality

Elongated Labia

Chinese winged labia

The term elongated labia describes a condition in which the labia of a woman, particularly the inner labia, are longer than we would generally see as normal. The question of course arises - what is average? and that's not so easily answered: as with many aspects of the human body, what we see as normal depends on what we are used to seeing around us, and in the Western world in particular, that is, to a large extent, delineated by the fashions of pornographic films and websites.

This means that many men have had their tastes shaped by the shaved vulvas that they see in so many photographs: unobtrusive, smooth, unwrinkled, symmetrical labia, with the labia minora hardly visible at all between the perfectly smooth lips of the outer labia.

The sad fact is, that although most normal women don't look like this, men may have come to expect it -- and unfortunately, women may have come to believe that they have to provide it.

It's interesting comparison with societies where there is hardly any access to the sight of other women's labia apart from the woman in your relationship! And of course, as we've already implied, normal women do vary considerably in the appearance of the vulva and labia. In fact, it's not too much of an exaggeration to say that each woman's vulva is unique, mostly because the appearance, size, shape, colour and thickness of the labia minora will be different: some are small and pink, while others are very long, ruffled and perhaps dark.

And the texture of the labia varies enormously as well, some being thin and some being thick. The very fact that women's labia are so diverse in appearance (a parallel here with the male genitalia) means that there's been very little pressure on any kind of particular evolution, which implies that the shape, size, and color of the labia are not a sexual signal for men -- if they were, then there would have been an evolutionary pressure for them to become more powerful sexual signals by getting larger and more prominent over time. It's also the case that men do not report any particular preference: and it's likely that the trend toward shaving pubic hair has emerged simply because it allows a clearer view and possibly because it makes oral sex easier.

In any event, as has been wryly observed elsewhere, most men are so pleased to have access to what lies beyond the labia that they don't really give a monkey's about the appearance of the labia (at least, not before they've had access to the pussy that lies beyond). In terms of evolutionary pressure we might just observe in passing, that it's much more likely that large breasts and a pretty face and youthful appearance, would be the female sexual signals that would be expected to have an evolutionary component.

The appearance of the female genitals in general and the labia in particular has become an obsession since we've been exposed to soft and hard core porn. The pressures that imposes on women are reflected in the new phenomena of labiaplasty and and labial reduction surgery, where small and neat seem to be the qualities that have emerged as highly prized. Interestingly enough, however, in many African cultures, long labia lips have been perceived as a beautiful thing with intense erotic power for centuries.

When the white European men started to explore what they termed the "dark continent" these rather repressed individuals were astonished to notice how long some African women's labia actually were. Always looking for an excuse to demonize the native African, they speculated that long labia were a sign of sexual immorality and low evolution.

And, as often happened, one poor woman was even taken back to Europe and displayed so that white men could gaze at her astonishingly large buttocks and long labia: naturally this served as fodder for any man or woman in the West who wanted to liken Africans to animals. This pure prejudice was yet another aspect of the shameful history of European colonization and colonialism.

It's no surprise therefore that some American women who have gone through labial reduction surgery are not entirely at ease when they discover that far from being some kind of genetic abnormality, their genitalia simply resembled their African ancestors. It's not only genetics that's at work here, because many African women have stretched their labia to lengthen them because their culture thought ofg long labia as beautiful.

By repeatedly pulling and tugging on the labia, Lesotho girls, for example, were reputed to develop extra long labia; it's not entirely clear whether the custom still exists. It's been claimed that in some cases the labia reached up to 7 inches, and one can imagine that whilst this provided a passing fascination, it might have been quite uncomfortable to engage in sexual intercourse. Presumably one would have to hold the labia apart to allow penetration; on the other hand, after penetration, it may be that the sliding of the penis on the long labia gave extra pleasure to both partners. Who knows?

Remarkably enough, pussy pulling, as it's been called, seems to be making a comeback, at least amongst  aficionados of the art of body modification. As with all other extraordinary aspects of human nature, there are websites devoted to the art of pussy pulling, aiming to teach women how to lengthen their labia most efficiently.

Having said all of that, it's worth pointing out that there are women who find extreme sexual practices such as fisting pleasurable -- a position which presumably would not apply to the majority of women.

The same seems to be true of long labia, because not all women find them either pleasant to look at or physically comfortable to possess. Naturally well endowed women, especially those whose labia minora are so long that they go far past the protection of the labia majora, experience serious discomfort during activities like horseback riding or bicycling, and they certainly find wearing tight jeans and tight underwear very uncomfortable.

As for what happens during sex, well, it's not hard to imagine how uncomfortable it would be if the penis happened to pull one of the labia minora up into the vagina as the man thrusts. And that is perhaps where we come back to the benefits of labia reduction surgery. Although it's fair to say that the majority of women who have actually undergone surgery haven't done so because they feel the discomfort of long labia, they've done so because they believe that cosmetically small labia have a much better appearance, and neat and tidy small labia are attractive.

It's a tragedy in our view that women feel it necessary to have facelifts, breast enlargements and vulval or vaginal surgery to conform to an image of what femininity should look like. This is just another way in which the patriarch maintains its authority over women.

Furthermore, it's possible that many men actually enjoy seeing a vulva that is feminine in the classic way i.e. with well-defined protruding labia. Men like to look out and play with the labia, particularly when they're giving pleasure with a tongue and mouth, although obviously this may not be the same as having intercourse. Certainly some of the best sex positions - are ones where the labia are stimulated & pulled by the thrusting of the man's penis.

At the end of the day, as with all such variations, it's a matter for the couple themselves to decide where their priorities lie, and for the woman to decide whether it's important to look like one of the women stars of porn, or to look like a real woman and accept her body as it is. Anyway, having said all of that, for women with large labia the option of piercing may be a better option than surgery: you get to keep what nature provided and you can draw attention in a pleasurable way to your labia.

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Moderately long labia minora.

Same labia, after surgical trimming.