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Big Book of Pussy: New Taschen Tome Celebrates the Hole Truth (Photos NSFW)

Big Book of Pussy: New Taschen Tome Celebrates the Hole Truth (Photos NSFW)

See also:

*Marilyn Monroe's Seven Never-Before-Seen Mostly Nude Photos (NSFW)

*11 Craziest Nude Scandals in L.A. (Photos NSFW)

*10 Places in L.A. to Draw Nude Models

*10 Erotic Photos from Taschen's New Photography Book (NSFW)

There are more pet names for the vagina than for any other part of the female anatomy. True, you've got your various badonks and cahuengas —

but inversely proportionate to the insecurity women have about their

vaginas is the number of nice names by which they refer to them when no

one else is around. They more than outnumber the coarse and unkind words

with which they're otherwise identified. No small feat, that.

At La Luz de Jesus in Hollywood, they're celebrating that plethora of perceptions with a launch for the latest Taschen volume, The Big Book of Pussy,

edited by noted smut merchant Dian Hanson. It's a pink and meaty volume

of almost 400 pages devoted to the finer points of this unnecessarily

mystifying aspect of the feminine, heavy enough to send gangsters to the

bottom of the sea were it chained to their nethers.

[Warning: next page has photos that are not safe for work.]

Big Book of Pussy: New Taschen Tome Celebrates the Hole Truth (Photos NSFW)

courtesy A.R.S. Inc.

Sprinkled in

amongst the 111 years of images of women nude as the news, and just as

pleasantly delivered, are interviews with those special women whose

pussies are somewhat more notorious than average. There's Vanessa Del

Rio, the pornographic film star whose steroid injections gave her the

superpower of a famously engorged clitoris; Flower Tucci, advocate of

the female ejaculate; and Buck Angel, born and raised as a boy but

flaunting lady parts underneath it all.

The book sells briskly as a

steady stream of well-wishers drops in to have books signed by

adult-film star Nicki Hunter and the regal, Champagne-sipping Hanson.

Hanson edited such magazines as Juggs and Leg Show

from 1987 through 2000 for the late publishing visionary George W.

Mavety, transforming the sloppy and the paunchy into the womanly and the

carnal. New York magazine called her "the most cerebral

pornographer in America" and "the Tina Brown of pornography." She's been

editing books for Taschen in L.A. for the last decade.

Big Book of Pussy: New Taschen Tome Celebrates the Hole Truth (Photos NSFW)

courtesy Dian Hanson Collection

The "Big" series of photographic meditations on body parts, launched in 2006 with The Big Book of Breasts, draws to a close with The Big Book of Pussy.

Sensationalism and the specter of leering journalism aside, it's an

exceptionally well-written and insightful book, shot through with

Hanson's decades of experience with the public image of the pussy.

Simultaneously wise and mischievous, she's a cultural touchstone when it

comes to the presentation of body image, a time capsule of how we

lately perceive this aspect of the female body.

Sandy Dempsey

courtesy A.R.S. Inc.Sandy Dempsey

One of the most

striking series of photographs in the book pairs smiling female faces

with images of pussies. Assuming that one naturally informs the other as

they sit side by side on the page is understandable. Yet how can anyone

know which vagina truly belongs with which face?

Some women look

at men and wonder what their cocks look like. It's different with

vaginas. Hanson asserts, "There's no way to generalize about people, but

I think there are more men who look at women and wonder what their

breasts look like, what their asses look like — and whatever that pussy

looks like, they're ready to take it as it is."

Perhaps the most interesting thing, discussed in hushed tones among those paging through The Big Book of Pussy

tonight, is the rise and fall and eventual rise again of pubic hair.

It's the nearest thing approaching small talk, a unifying conversational

titter that passes between those flipping through the book as they

witness pubic hair materialize and vanish over the years, like a

hillside during fire season.

"I think that most women think that

it's an unappealing part of their bodies," Hanson says. "You know that

all this shaving, it seems, is spearheaded by women. We're led to

believe that men look at porn and make the women in their lives shave

their pussies so they'll look like underage girls and/or porn stars.

"I've

heard people say this over and over, but then when you talk to men, a

large percentage of men say, 'Well, I'd like to see a little hair —

because otherwise it looks underage!' " What about women? "They'll say,

'I feel cleaner with it shaved.' For the women, it's about hygiene —

it's about something that's less graphic."

Regina Christian

courtesy A.R.S. Inc.Regina Christian

Young Woman with Mirror by Mariano Vargas

Mariano VargasYoung Woman with Mirror by Mariano Vargas

Even pussy in book form

is treated like a shared secret, both acknowledged and withheld,

somehow, in the same thought. And yet books are largely solitary

experiences — it takes an event like this, in which there is a communal

perception of pussy, to achieve vaginal consciousness.

Hanson, a

staunch believer in both the pornographic and the philosophical, swears,

"Most women have never seen their pussies. There's no way a woman can

see her pussy without a mirror. Women, with their lower levels of

testosterone, are less aware of their sexuality, their urges. And I've

talked to plenty of women and asked, 'Have you looked at yourself in a

mirror?' and they say, 'What?! No! I'm not curious — I don't want to

look at that!' "

The overall attitude toward pussy — from the

people happily leaving the launch party with their books, to my

housemate who covered it up when he saw it on the kitchen counter

(apparently the Weekly is great in this regard) — is like that

old joke about understanding multidimensional thinking: Find a place you

can call your own — and then stay as far away from it as possible.

Big Book of Pussy: New Taschen Tome Celebrates the Hole Truth (Photos NSFW)

courtesy Dian Hanson Collection

See also:

*Marilyn Monroe's Seven Never-Before-Seen Mostly Nude Photos (NSFW)

*11 Craziest Nude Scandals in L.A. (Photos NSFW)

*10 Places in L.A. to Draw Nude Models

*10 Erotic Photos from Taschen's New Photography Book (NSFW)

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4633 Hollywood Blvd.
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323-666-7667

www.laluzdejesus.com