Vulvalutionary: Dorrie Lane

By OBOS — April 27, 2009

From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011

Entrant: Self

Nominee: Dorrie Lane, Vulvalutionary

bastSeventeen years ago, in the foggy, summer light of San Francisco, the very first Wondrous Vulva Puppet was handmade, by me. I was a 40-year-old woman. At that time, there was NO representation of our  vulvas in an honorable, beautiful and embraceable way that satisfied me. I began with drawings and playing with different materials; finally,  I chose velvet and satin.

The simple message I attached to the puppet, “Share A Story”®, inspired the Vulva-lution! Most notably, Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. By making the Vulva Puppet available, I want to change the way women feel about their own bodies. I want them to know the vulva is the source of life. I want them to know how exquisitely beautiful  and unique our vulvas are; I want to remind the world the vulva is the source of life.  Most of all, I want the puppet to challenge the stigma of  shame, disrespect and invisibility.

I have handmade over 4,000 puppets. They are all over the world, stories are being shared, women are healing, waking up, becoming friends and supporters of our common threads and our unique lives. We are letting go of the negative messages we have of our bodies.

The puppets are named after ancient goddesses to inspire us and because it’s a puppet, she speaks all languages, in YOUR words.

The Puppets are still handmade, now in a women-owned Fair Trade co-op in Peru.

The co-op is paid fair wages, not minimum living wages. The workers do beautiful handwork.  I could never have the Puppets made by underpaid/slave wages.  In most textile factories in the world, the workers are women, and I couldn’t live with myself focusing on my own profit margins. So I created a co-op in Lima, Peru with the help of Liz Cabrel, my dear friend, vulvalutionary, and manager in Lima.

workerThe co-op in Peru, well, it has changed the lives of the members making the Vulva Puppet, they’ve embraced the ideas behind the puppet, which has empowered and healed them on many levels.

They’ve been able to feed and educate their children and start other businesses, and they are beginning to climb out of extreme poverty. I did not apply for or receive any kind of grant money to do this. I’ve done this through my own need to change women’s lives.

16 responses to “Vulvalutionary: Dorrie Lane”

  1. The Vulva puppet has been a part of our educational programming for 13 years now. Women and men love to touch her and love that we are able to teach everyone about women’s intimate body parts using such a lovely tool. Dorrie has definitely made teaching women’s sexuality more beautiful, more fun, and more successful.

  2. Dorrie’s enthusiasm for empowering women through education and art is why she is my Women’s Health Hero. Her sense of humor and compassion are tangible tools that engage and win over diverse audiences to the cause of women’s health.

  3. As a sex educator, I have utilized Dori Lane’s magnificent puppets and films for so many years. There have been some imitations, but she’s the original! She deserves lots of credit for helping women and men appreciate and know the vulva. Dori is a vulvalutionary living treasure.

  4. Dorrie’s creation changed women’s life around the world. At Manchay, Peru, Wondrous Vulva Puppet helped lots of Andean women had a better life, education, job & healthcare. Thousands of women in Peru and all over the world had been suffering sexual violence and abuse in times of war, and still do. She inspired us creatively to stand up for our rights. Now those women are empowering to speak up their minds, recovering laughter, building self esteem back, healing. Because her work and art integrate physical & mental health, Dorrie is my Women’s Health Hero!

  5. Dorrie’s one of a kind Vulva Puppets have revolutionized sex education. I, too, always use them to illustrate what we look like in a gentle and positive manner. Holding them has made women cry when they realize they are seeing a reflection of themselves in such a comforting and reassuring way. I can’t even think about teaching a class without one. She is truly a Women’s Health Hero who deserves accolades from around the world!

  6. Not only did Dorrie create the ” Oh My wondrous Vulva” she educates the mind, empowers the soul with out a whip, but with tools to become aware of the body, mind, and spirit. I invoke Dorrie or is it Innana the Goddess of sovereignty of fertility, the mother of human culture, who brought civilization to this world to be Women’s Health Hero. Did i forget to mention her contribution to {FTF} in Peru and the education she provides for over fourteen years to Med students at Stanford University. By providing comfort to girls by presenting seminars through laughter and empowerment , this is not the Trya Banks show people its Dorri Lane and you can catch her at Girls Inc. and

  7. I love my vulva puppet. I’ve used it to educated men and women about the glories and wonders of female anatomy and how to love and care for it. I vote for Dorrie for the Women’s Health Hero Award.

    I’ve also been to Peru and know first-hand how important it is for the indigenous people there to have meaningful, dignified work. I LOVE that my puppet was made in Peru by some of the goddesses down there!

  8. I have been using the Wondrous Vulva Puppet in my presentations to show women the parts of their vulva they may never have seen and to educate them about the joys of each of those parts. When I hold up the Vulva Puppet and start speaking, it commands the attention of everyone – even those women who may have been chatting to each other during the rest of my presentation. It focuses them, because women want to know about their bodies and the Vulva Puppet teaches them.

  9. Je suis heureux de posséder 2 exemplaires magnifiques de la célèbre Vulva Puppet. Plus qu’une sculpture ou une œuvre d’art, j’y vois un message d’amour et de tendresse adressé à tout ceux qui ont oublié leur corps. Un travail artistique qui a d’autant plus de sens qu’il s’inscrit dans un contexte tellement violent, une actualité mondiale si menaçante et une culture occidentale ou la négation sexuelle et érotique et l’obscurantisme refont surface… En plus de réveiller le désir et de réaffirmer la beauté de “l’objet absolu” si dénié, mes Vulva Puppets enchantent l’esprit et me rappellent quotidiennement ce qui est essentiel ! Merci Dorrie.

  10. Dorrie is a most generous,kind, and enlightened woman. Her creations have helped many of my clients work through horrifc histories of trauma from sexual abuse, but beyond that..these vulva puppets have been incredible resouces for anyone who has been uncomfortable with their sexuality…the puppets are all exquisite and incorporating her puppets in therapy sessions:they have done more good in a session or two for empowering women and enlightening men than years of talk therapy ..

  11. I love my vulva puppet. I use it in my Pleasure Revival classes, which I hold in my living room in the Capital of the Clitoricy – Richmond, VA.

    My own children, ages 8 and 11, have enjoyed exploring my vulva puppet. What a fabulous way to incorporate a healthy and happy understanding of human sexuality in conversations with my children.

  12. I purchased a Vulva for my parties that I give for women in their homes. It has been wonderful helping women to see what they body is like and teaching them what is there on their body. I have the Venus Vulva and I just love it. It is a great teaching tool.

  13. I am a certified SkyDancing Tantra teacher and certfied nurse-midwife. I love my Yoni puppet and use it in my classes and workshops to teach people about the beauty and power of the yoni and female sexuality. It is great that these puppets are made by women in a 3rd world country who are paid a living wage. Dorrie you are hero because you are helping women reclaim their sexual power and celebrate the yoni.


    Crystal Dawn Morris

  14. There’s nothing like the Wondrous Vulva Puppet to create a spark of humor in a conversation that still rides at the edge of many people’s comfort zone. The sensual curves, velvety feel and beauty of these puppets seems to disarm people in a way that opens the door to real discussion about women’s sexuality. The puppet is a glorious representation of the amazing feat of nature and spirit that is the vulva. Thanks to Dorrie for bringing this tool to childbirth educators, counselors, therapists, bodyworkers, doctors, midwives, and vulva fans all over the world.

  15. Norma and I have known Dorrie since before the dawn of the age of the Wonderous Vulva Puppet. Underlying the concept of the vulva puppet is a tireless commitment to bettering the lot of women everywhere and transforming the female body from the shame imposed upon women by an oppressive patriarchal society into a celebration of the beauty of the specialness of women and specifically, the capacity to give birth to all of us. Women and men have already benefited from her work. I have benefited from knowing her. The indigenous women of Peru have benefited. Many medical students and their patients have benefited. In short, Dorrie Lane is a true heroine of the Women’s Health Care movement. She certainly has my vote.

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