I Went To An Actual Vag Pageant

by Kat on August 1, 2011 · 39 comments

in Strippers, What is Sex Work?

all photos courtesy of Hypnox

I feel nothing but pity for people who don’t “get” Twitter, anyone who has ever rejected me, and most of all, those who missed the 2nd Annual Vagina Beauty Pageant that happened this past week at Club Rouge in Portland, OR. I generally have a strong disdain for gimmicky strip club events and formal exotic dance pageants, but I feel like a child on Boxing Day now. I haven’t been able to get out of bed since realizing that I have to wait an entire year before I get to celebrate again.

I had considered entering when I read that the top vagina gets $500. I wasn’t sure what competing entailed, but felt like I had a solid entry. Plus, I thought maybe I could start charging extra for dances after I flashed customers my blue ribbon* (which I would carry on my person for the rest of my life, ready to show cops who pull me over for speeding, my future husband’s parents, etc). I boasted to a friend that I could win with toilet paper stuck to my junk, which I figure is the vaginal equivalent of doing a one-armed pushup. Ultimately, I was too confused (read: wimpy) to compete, but I did stop by to check it out just for the fresh blog material.

I was a little weary and suspected that the whole thing might have too much of a casual misogyny vibe to enjoy, which tends to go with the territory whenever an event revolves around rating women’s body parts (however ironic or funny it’s intended to be). But I left feeling less like I had stomached a wet t-shirt contest and more like a women’s studies major who just saw The Vagina Monologues for the first time. I didn’t see any Certified Muff Diving Instructor shirts or hear so much as a mustache ride offer. There were lots of women there–and that’s by Portland strip club standards (we’re already known for having more female patrons than other cities). There were heart balloons and I scored an extremely large bottle of JO anti-bacterial toy cleaner, condoms, lube, and something called Beav-R-Light, which apparently is a non-toxic luminous gel for my lady parts. I’m wearing it as I type this.

When I go to strip clubs with friends, even though they are full-nudity, we don’t make a habit of staring down each girl’s genitals and discussing them at length. Not only did we look to see what everyone was working with, we ended up with personal favorites whom we found ourselves rooting for in the final round. The sensibilities of my friend were offended by girls with what she referred to as “dangling” labia, whereas I find a single lonely slit uninspiring. Plus, when I hear the word “dangling,” I think of a person holding on to a shrub on the side of a cliff, maybe earrings, maybe a penis, but not the female anatomy. Regardless, I’d prefer a woman who is dangling all over the place to a woman whose hoo-ha looks like a… I don’t know, a hotdog bun inside a sealed bag**. There’s just something that happens after talking freely about genitalia for several hours that leaves one feeling uninhibited and empowered, even. (It also becomes hard to stop once you get started, so be careful.)

How does a vagina beauty pageant even work, you might ask? Beforehand, I had considered some possible scenarios, including one that was similar to how a flower competition works. At rose shows, there are tables and tables of roses all splayed out and judges walk by and examine them, paying attention to color, substance, balance and proportion, size, foliage and stem. I imagined many beautiful women lying on their backs around Club Rouge, each with a little label, patiently waiting while aficionados perused and experts with clipboards made notes. I imagined a second scenario that involved a swimsuit portion, evening wear, an onstage question, and of course, a talent portion which would inevitably involve demonstrating kegel strength.

Truth be told, there was an organized judging system. There were six (local) celebrity judges and they even had laminated scorecards. I liked that audience participation and vote buying wasn’t part of the deal. Sorry, but deciding anything based on drunks making noise isn’t scientific at all. I’ve been to pole competitions where contestants have to sell Mardi Gras beads for a dollar and then each necklace counts as one “vote.” I’ve never understood what selling Mardi Gras beads has to do with pole dance abilities. This was the first competitive stripper event I’ve attended that didn’t have some bullshit popularity contest aspect; those top three vaginas won fair and square. Or at least, a team of five men and one woman found them the most personally attractive after two rounds. Granted, one of the judges was so drunk that he didn’t recognize me despite having known me for years, but who ever said you had to be sober to examine ladies’ crotches? (Besides the Medical Board and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.) The judges did have magnifying glasses. That sounds icky, but it was somehow cute and hilarious in context.

First the contestants each danced to two songs, doing normal stripper sets except with gratuitous spreading (otherwise known as my usual routine). They were narrowed down to a final seven, followed by a speed round where they each got one last chance to wow the judges for a song. There were two girls who entered together, wearing bride and groom bikinis and a pair of googly eyes adhered to their mons pubis regions. Another girl put a put a match on her hood and lit it. Nobody vajazzled for the event, but I’m pretty sure Jennifer Love Hewitt is the only sucker who actually tried that in real life. I don’t know if they tested for My Pink Button and booted those entrants out like shamed juiceheads (I should hope so!). I was disappointed that there was no full or even partial bush represented, but such is the beauty standard in this industry. I do know that a girl chose to dance to Amy Winehouse and that it seemed like an inappropriate occasion to pay tribute to the late singer, or the ultimate compliment, depending on how you look at it.

Miss Beautiful Vagina 2011

I appreciated that the whole event was streamlined enough that it didn’t challenge my attention span. I’ve been to plenty of these contests where the entries and results are stretched out in an obvious ploy to trap everyone in the building until the very end of the night. I liked that the host, DJ Dick Hennessy, didn’t have an overbearing presence or monopolize the mic. Too many strip club events end up with the crowd being subjected to the unending bad jokes of whoever who has control over the PA system. I also liked that the handbill has a dig at Portland’s topless club: “While a certain downtown club won’t show you any, Club Rouge is bringing you the BEST!” There is no legal reason that the club referenced*** has banned full nudity; it is simply because the owners pride themselves on being topless-only, as they think it makes their club “classier.” How classy can you really be when you offer $3 surf ‘n’ turf?

The announcing of the winners was glorious. Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius” blasted as trophies topped with a ballerina doing an arabesque were handed out to second and third place. A former Miss Hooters/Miss Hawaiian Tropic USA appeared to present Miss Beautiful Vagina 2011 with a trophy that was probably almost to her waist without heels. I caught my friend clasping her hands together and exclaiming, “I’m so happy for her!” (To be fair, that was her favorite pussy.) Then “We Are The Champions” played while the winning vagina owner posed for photos and proudly beamed, knowing that she had won the highest, most arbitrary honor a woman can receive. For more on vaginas, see Story’s review of I’ll Show You Mine.

 

*They didn’t actually use state fair-style champion pig or pie ribbons.

**Please don’t leave me angry comments.

***They dislike vowels as much as visible vagina.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

chelsea g. summers August 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm

This is the best post about a vagina contest that I have ever read.

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Velver Satan August 2, 2011 at 12:36 am

Freaking awesome.

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JJ Gittes August 30, 2011 at 4:22 am

Portland??

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Bull August 2, 2011 at 12:58 am

I was there at this event, in fact I flew in from southern California on the same day and let me say that this event was well organized and classy well classy as can be. The Dj Dick Hennessy did a great job along with the club to keep it all in fun… I know one thing I will be going back for Thr next one and hope I get picked to be a judge. Congrats miss vagaina beauty winner 2011

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Cj August 2, 2011 at 1:05 am

something that was edible in the format of words…thanks

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dano August 2, 2011 at 2:54 am

I was a judge! It was so fun! The girls were all rad and brought super positive energy to the event!

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dejavuinsider August 2, 2011 at 2:57 am

“a non-toxic luminous gel for my lady parts.” Just when you think you have heard it all…

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Sex Mahoney August 2, 2011 at 3:07 am

It was surprising, but almost every woman to whom I mentioned this contest wished they had been able to participate. I just want a classy plate of $3 surf and turf.

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D August 2, 2011 at 6:18 am

“First the contestants each danced to two songs, doing normal stripper sets except with gratuitous spreading (otherwise known as my usual routine). ”
hahaha awesome.

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Kelsey August 2, 2011 at 11:20 am

I wish they had asked my mom to be a judge. She is a member of ACOG.

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Bubbles Bubbles August 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Oh my god. I hope next year they have a doctor on the judging board.

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Kat Kat August 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I feel like they could have a separate contest for men to compete to be judges.

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Elle Elle August 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm

A couple of co-workers were interested in entering, but ultimately didn’t because they were afraid that the event would be held in a disrespectful manner. I’m glad to hear that it was a bit softer and gentler than anticipated.

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Jay August 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm

A “Miss Beautiful Vagina” pageant? What a brilliant idea! I wish I had thought of it.

Great article. Very well written.

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Kristen Zuhl August 4, 2011 at 12:03 am

I was filming it and have been editing it for DVD. and let me tell you. you all missed the best parts. Luckily I caught it all on video. (:

Check theses videos out. just some of what will be on the DVD.

Heres the reaction video I made for the Vagina Mobile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhG5Y5r6E2Q

and the Dick & Ed’s Fantastic Voyage video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAspapEsMg0

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Art August 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm

A very well written and informative blog. Sadly, I never even heard of this contest until the day you were tweeting about it, even then I thought it was some kind of stripper inside joke (Hey, it happens..GRIN). Your blog made the event seem like a very fun time. Do you know if this event is held around the same time every year? & same location? I ask, because of the way contest’s like the Miss Nude Oregon seem to pick a month at random. :( Anyway thanks for sharing your point of view, like you were saying I have my doubts about attending these types of events, because of the DJ’s bad jokes, breaks in the flow of the event, & the fact there is usually more hype than fun. After reading this blog I look fwd to seeing the event next year. It has FUN, FLOW, & more FUN. THANK-YOU for writing this “piece” (had to throw one pun in there), it very well done. :-D

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DJ Dick Hennessy August 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm

First off I just wanna thank Kat for writing such a positive and concise review of the pageant, I appreciate all your hard work and accurate reporting and I’m glad you had a good time. I really owe it to everyone for helping make the 2nd Annual Vagina Beauty Pageant a huge success (My sponsors, Exotic Magazine, Club Rouge, All my Friends who came through and supported me) . It was quite the evolution from the first pageant to the 2nd, please believe next years pageant will be bigger and better than ever on all levels and I look forward to seeing you all there.

-DH

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DJ Dick Hennessy August 7, 2011 at 12:36 am

Thanks for your support MC, if were not already FB buddies send me a request @ http://www.facebook.com/djdickhennessy :)

and yes next year will be no joke at all whatsoever

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Sassy August 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm

What a fascinating idea! I LOVE that stripclubs are taking the initiative and organising competitive nights which celebrate pussies as so often they are reviled in society or pretended that they don’t exist in stripclubs which have heavy policing on how much a girl can show.
I’ve always been proud of my pussy, it’s a beautiful symmetrical little pink thing which looks great in a G-string and has also had its fair share of vajazzling and pubic hair colours. But I work in a London stripclub, and whilst it’s full nudity, you aren’t allowed to spread your legs or lips and show it off.
Well written piece about a very cool subject – kudos and kisses x

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Kimmy August 12, 2011 at 4:05 am

A vagina pageant? Wouldn’t that be a “VAG-eant”?!? Wha wha whaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

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Bettie Bettie August 16, 2011 at 5:10 am

I want a review on that surf and turf, Kat.

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Jessica Delfino August 17, 2011 at 12:25 am

This contest and article have inspired me to write a new vagina song to add to the vast collection of vagina ditties I’ve already got going, such as this old jam, which I dedicate to not only the winner of the 2011 Vagina Pageant, but to all the women who competed, because all of their vaginas are winners.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFKd54Ijg7I

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Elle August 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm

After reading this, I am actively trying to organize a Miss Beautiful Vagina pageant in LA. Amazing!

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Kat Kat August 22, 2011 at 3:59 pm

FYI: I think DJ Dick Hennessy may have trademarked the name.

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DJ Dick Hennessy August 28, 2011 at 2:00 am

This is correct Kat, thanks for pointing that out “The Vagina Beauty Pageant™” is my intellectual property

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mumtaza August 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

This is the best thing I’ve read In a long time. You may be the Hunter S. Thompson of pussy!

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