‘Vagina Obscura’ Author Rachel E. Gross Takes Us on a Daring Anatomical Voyage

Rachel E. Gross, in her debut book Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage, takes us on a journey around “the organs traditionally bound up in baby-making―the uterus, ovaries and vagina,” elaborating both on what science knows, and what it doesn’t. (Did you know it wasn’t until 1993 that a federal mandate required researchers to include women and minorities in clinical research?)

Gross recently spoke to Carli Cutchin by phone from her home in Brooklyn. Thoughtful and erudite, she talked about the female and LGBT researchers who’ve made scientific inroads against the odds, the myth that the “clitoral” and “vaginal” orgasms are distinct from each other, a princess who relocated her clitoris, koala vaginas and much more.

A Woman Who Dared—With ME

It was late afternoon, and I could barely get my body out of bed. In fact, I had been in bed most of the last few days—or was it weeks? Even with all that rest, my legs were still too weak to stand up.