We were so honored and titillated to get to interview our dear friend and shining star of a person and Midwife, Rachel Engel. Rachel has recently had success in a new venture- Vulva Gazing. A service she provides where one’s vulva is gazed at. We interviewed her so that we could all learn more.
Lark: OK So tell me, what's the name of your service or your profession?
Rachel: Well the working title is Vulva Gazing – that’s what I'm calling it for the moment. So then I’m the Gazer. Well I’m A Vulva Gazer.
Lark: And how did you get into Vulva Gazing?
Rachel: Well I’ve been reading a book called “Come As You Are” and it made me think about the Sexual Revolution that happened back when our moms were squatting over mirrors and looking at their own vulvas, and spending time learning about themselves, and in the book, she talked about how amazing it would be if everyone’s partner could look lovingly at each person’s genitals, and that’s where the idea came from. I thought- I could do that for people.
I thought, it’s important, to have self awareness about our own genitals. It really resonated with me.
Lark: And what have you found has been the take-away with people? Are people comfortable? Uncomfortable?
Rachel: Well I’d say that the general sentiment that you hear from people that they are curious about how their bodies look in comparison to other bodies, and what their actual anatomy is. Most people haven’t seen their bodies up close with a flashlight and a mirror, and been able to experience that. This is different from other settings to look at your own vulva because it isn’t intimate or sexual and it isn’t clinical. It’s casual and conversational.
Lark: So have you found that this is a trend that’s catching on? What is your overall reaction from people?
Rachel: It’s been a mixed bag. I’ve found a group of people who are sex-positive and body-positive and educated but also just haven’t taken to the time to educate themselves about their own anatomy. I did one gazing with a woman who had had kids and had sexual partners of both genders but had never seen her own cervix. But of course, there are also people who are sex-positive and very educated who aren’t interested in this service, so it’s interesting to see who tries it.
Lark: What is it like for you as a Vulva Gazer?
Rachel: Well as a provider, what I’m looking at and for is different. I am looking at vulvas for health, like does the skin look healthy and have integrity, and is there a sign of an STI or indication that skin could tear. And when Vulva Gazing, it’s just letting people know that every Vulva is beautiful and normal and every cervix is beautiful and normal.
I’ve never seen one that isn’t beautiful. They’re all so different and all beautiful.
Lark: We love that as a lube company, because at Lark, we want to really normalize feeling a shame-free celebration of our own bodies and feel good about taking care of our bodies, because we are important.
Rachel: Absolutely. I love that Lark makes products that are natural and nourishing and don’t try to change our natural beautiful bodies. It isn’t trying to change the way we look or smell, the products just really accentuate and enhance he way we already are and encourage our bodies to do what they already naturally do.
Lark: Thanks! So do you have a closing message to everyone out there who might be curious about Vulva Gazing?
Rachel: Yes. Start at home! Use a hand mirror, and if you need some validation, call a friend or partner or a midwife!
For follow up Vulva Gazing requests, Rachel can be reached at: