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A Considerable Town

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

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Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 3:55 PM
click to enlarge pussy.jpg

See also:
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*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.]
click to enlarge COURTESY A.R.S. INC.
  • 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.

click to enlarge COURTESY DIAN HANSON COLLECTION
  • 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.

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