Ladies, love your "petals" and improve your sexual health

Nov 15, 2012, 15:46 ET from Adachi and Karras

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Does a woman's genital self-esteem affect her sexual health? Husband-and-wife sexologists, Dr. Sayaka Adachi and Dr. Nick Karras, say, "Absolutely!" A study from Indiana University supports their opinion. When women feel comfortable with the size, shape and color of their "petals", or vulvas, it correlates positively with their sexual health, it found.

"If there is a negative self-image about their vulva there is often a negative self-image about their body," agreed gynecologist, Dr. Robert Hahn. "There are many variations of normal."

Women are generally far more critical of their genitals than men are, said Adachi. But to her and Karras women's petals are precious. Karras used his camera to capture women's sexuality as he brought vulvas front and center in a series of sepia photographs for international exhibition. This photographic odyssey was filmed in an award-winning documentary and 48 of his images were published in the book titled, Petals.

Now a new Petals book has been published. The I Love My Petals edition has 90 color photographs. "We decided to publish them in color because many women told us that they are also insecure about their vulva colors," Adachi explained. Included are inspirational quotations and tips for women to better understand and take care of their vulvas. "With labiaplasty and designer vaginas becoming more popular, we felt it was timely to help women see their vulvas as a beautiful, unique part of themselves that don't need to be changed," said Adachi.

Through both Petals projects Karras has documented that each woman has unique genitalia and that each is normal. For the models who took part they felt empowered, felt whole. "I was open to knowing myself, I felt integrated," said one model.

"If I affect just one person so that they love themselves better and can project that back out to the world, I think that's the greatest gift a person can give," said Karras.

Adachi and Karras study human sexual behavior–and how people feel about those behaviors–without judgment. They teach at college campuses, support groups, and erotic conventions. To find out more about I Love My Petals or to purchase an Ebook or hard copy visit

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SOURCE Adachi and Karras