S1, Ep1 Laura Dodsworth: Womanhood and 100 Vulvas

Welcome to the very first episode of The Pleasure Podcast. Join your hosts Naomi Sheldon and Anand Patel as they and a guest delve into the world of pleasure and the relationship we have to our bodies when it comes to sex and intimacy. This week they are joined by photographer, artist and author Laura Dodsworth.

When do we ever see a photograph of a vulva which is not sexualised? What happens when we see 100, each accompanied by a woman's story?

Laura's books The Bare Reality and Manhood documenting 100 photos of breasts and penises alongside intimate personal testimonies have been making waves around the world. Her new book Womanhood completes this triptych with photos of 100 vulvas giving a powerful insight into what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.

Not only is Laura a pioneer of documenting the stories of the body, but she is one of the most articulate and inquiring minds we could have hoped to have spoken to on this subject. We talk about internalised misogyny when it comes to how we feel our vulvas should look like, the radical act of showing how they really look outside of the 'porn perfect pussy', childbirth, the pleasure women are capable of and much more...

Most poignantly, Laura speaks about shame and anger as a way to hold women in their place. She describes how sharing stories can help us let go of our shame and tap into our collective anger and sexuality as a source of strength and a force for change. "Pleasure is about more than nerve endings. Because I've let go of some of some shame, I've actually let go of some armour... I feel like a stronger person but more capable of vulnerability." She is, in short, a revelation and we hope you fall in love with her as deeply as we did.

NB This is our first recording and it's a bit more echo-y than the rest of the series - but it is full of wisdom, wit and wonder!

Laura Dodsworth's 100 Vagina's documentary on C4 is available to watch here, her books Womanhood, Manhood and Bare Reality are available here. Naomi's play Good Girl is available here

Naomi Sheldon @NaomiSheldon1, Anand Patel @therealdranand, Laura Dodsworth @BareReality

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