No matter how much "Karen" squeezed her vagina, she
just couldn't get the tightness she once experienced during sex.
"I used to be able to inflict pain on my husband because I
was so strong down there," says the 48-year-old teacher from Toronto.
Giving birth to two kids, however, changed things. During lovemaking, she would
try so hard to get a grip that it killed intimacy and sometimes gave her muscle
The lackluster sex, Karen says, contributed to the end of her
marriage. She suffered for a long time in silence, feeling that something
fundamental to her sensuality was ripped away from her.
Then she saw a TV talk show that addressed a surgical procedure
involving the "tightening" of loose vaginal muscles. After much
consideration, and a consultation with a plastic surgeon that performed the
operation, she decided to go for it.
The result: Karen felt so much stronger down there that she
cried the first time she had intercourse after surgery. "It restored my
happiness, my soul, and my spirit."
Hundreds of women have had their vaginas resculpted in recent
years, either to make the opening narrower and stronger, or to improve upon the
appearance of the labia.
Some of the surgical procedures are adaptations of medical
techniques used for decades to treat women with urinary stress incontinence
(urine leakage because of weak muscles), or uterine prolapse (uterus drops
toward or beyond the vaginal canal). After those operations were performed,
some doctors say many of the women reported better sexual feeling, or greater
satisfaction from their husbands.
Word of mouth, marketing efforts, plus a growing awareness of
the look and feel of female genitalia has apparently contributed to the
popularity of revamping the vagina.
"The little trickle of women that I had been doing for many
years has turned into a flood," says Robert Stubbs, MD, the plastic surgeon
that handled Karen's vaginal tightening. He estimates that last year, for the
first time, the number of women who came to his Toronto clinic for genital
enhancement equaled or surpassed the number of men.
Stubbs now performs two genital surgeries for men and women per
week. (He cosmetically alters other body parts.) But that pales compared to the
traffic that goes through the doors of the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute
of Los Angeles. There, founder and director David Matlock, MD, performs 10
female genital operations a week and boasts a four-to-five month waiting
Although centers that perform vaginal enhancement are scattered
around the U.S. and Canada, the Institute appears to be one of the most
aggressive in marketing the modification of women's privates. Ads featuring a
woman in apparent ecstasy -- exclaiming 'You won't believe how good sex can
be!' -- have contributed to the growth of a lucrative business.