A glittery tampon sparkles from the corner and everywhere I look, I see vulvas. I’m at the Vagina Museum, the world’s first bricks and mortar educational space dedicated to all things vaj.
Almost half of the world’s population have one, but myths and secrecy still surround the humble vagina, so museum director Florence Schechter decided to do something about it.
After a successful crowdfunding campaign, with more than 1,000 people collectively donating almost £50,000, the doors of the museum will officially open to the public on 16th November – and HuffPost UK got a sneaky preview.
Although the Vagina Museum previously operated as a pop-up, this is the first time it’s had a permanent home.
The end result isn’t a high budget wonderland of dreams; if you’re expecting to ride a vagina-encased escalator, Millennium Dome-style, you’ll be disappointed.
But the room, which is 50% shop, 50% exhibition space, does offer up a lot of free facts about the vagina – and some fun merch to boot.
Here are six things you can learn from the museum’s first exhibition, Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them.
Our anatomy is seriously complex
Almost three-quarters of women (73%) don’t know what a vulva is, according to research published by Bodyform – and the Vagina Museum is here to fill in the gaps left over from Year 8 biology.
Writing about women’s health is my day job, so I thought I knew my stuff when it comes to anatomy, but even I was surprised by the complexity of the clitoris illustrated in one diagram – could you label the corpus cavernosum? How about the bulb of the vestibule?
One fun display includes a series of clear plastic layered squares, with each key anatomical feature labelled. The idea is to peer through the display and get clued up on your body – because let’s face it, the old “look down there with a mirror” advice that we all got in sex ed posed more questions than answers.