by Dan Savage

I am a female. I have long labia. Exceptionally long. They dangle. I have looked at a great many "beaver shots" to see if there is anyone else out there like me, with no luck. Is this a common problem? Is there something I can do about it?

Jagger Lips

"The labia she is referring to are most likely the inner labia, called the labia minora," says Dr. Robert H. Stubbs, a cosmetic surgeon in Toronto. "The only way to fix this is with surgery." Dr. Stubbs explained to me that women can develop longer than average labia minora for lots of different reasons: trauma, pregnancy, excessive irritation, or plain ol' aging.

A two inch or longer labia minora is not uncommon, according to the doc, even if these aren't the labia that make it into beaver shots. During the surgery the doctor marks the labia, then shows the markings to the patient. They agree on the right length, then the area is "frozen," and the cutting begins. The surgery is often done with lasers and the woman is usually awake.

Will taking an inch off reduce sexual pleasure or sensation? "There are a lot of nerve endings in the labia, and any procedure done in the genital areas puts the patient at risk. But the labia minora do not have tremendous erotic sensitivity. They do get engorged during sex, as does the whole area, but they're generally not needed to trigger orgasm."

Dr. Robert H. Stubbs has his own website at, where you can see pics of before-surgery labia and after-surgery labia. Enjoy.

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