Sister meets Hope & Sav, the two brains behind Club Foof, an online space for 'people with vaginas, or people who know people with vaginas.' They're aiming to break down the taboo of lady parts, one foof at a time.
Hi Hope & Sav! First of all how did you both meet?
We met in high school when we were about 14. We became really close friends and took a gap year together, and are now at the same uni and living together.
How did the idea for Club Foof come about? Was it a gap in the market you both felt needed filling?
We had the idea ages ago. We were really inspired by the group of girls we grew up with, and learnt so much from sharing our experiences. We used to sit in a classroom in free periods and just talk about all things sex related! However we recognised that not every girl is as lucky as us, and the sex education we were given at school completely failed us. It missed out so much, so we wanted to create a space where girls could share their experiences and questions about sexual health and just help to educate each other. We were frustrated with the lack of discussion we were seeing about vaginas, and still feel that there is a really prominent taboo around it which restricts the amount of information we are given about our bodies. Girls need to feel that it's normal to discuss these things so that they don’t feel alone and isolated, and instead can feel comfortable with themselves and start to enjoy their sexuality without fear. Foof isn’t here to scientifically educate, we make sure it's clear that that’s for the doctors - this is for reassurance and advice. We like to think we have made a safe space online and a resource for people to use when they need support or advice.
Illustration by: Christy Thynne
What do you love most about being part of Club Foof?
The connection it creates with other girls and women! It allows us to constantly learn more about our bodies. We love seeing that it's making a difference. We get messages from girls saying how Foof has helped them, and it's really rewarding and amazing to see. Also the art - please check out the artists we use on our Instagram, they are all made especially for Foof.
How would you describe Club Foof to someone who has never seen it?
We would describe it as a space for people with vaginas to go and feel supported and reassured by others. It’s a tool and a platform to discuss topics that are not being given enough attention, and are vital to understanding and taking control over your own body.
Illustration by: Christy Thynne
Why do you think there is still such a taboo surrounding our vaginas?
We think that the whole idea of vaginas being thought of as ‘private parts’ is a symptom of how women are treated in general. Girls aren't encouraged to openly talk about other issues that come with having a vagina, without being it being perceived as gross or offensive. In not educating women about their own bodies it makes them easier to control, and they don't have the knowledge to recognise when something is unhealthy or dangerous. Foof is empowering in that it lets girls reclaim their bodies and take control for themselves. It was important for us to start having really honest discussions and directly addressing our vaginas to start to normalise these topics. At this point, we are completely desensitised to talking openly about our bodies in public, to the point where we’ll catch ourselves talking about anal on a busy bus.
Illustration by: Gracie Blackman
I know you say Club Foof isn’t a sex ed blog but reading it I definitely learned more than I ever did in my sex education classes. Do you think the way schools deal with sexual health and education needs to change?
The lack of discussion is insane. It’s no wonder girls feel ashamed about their vaginas when education about body love and body awareness simply just aren't offered. We recently shared a documentary on our Facebook page called 'The Perfect Vagina'. Though it's fairly old, the issues really resonated with the things which we're frustrated about. How are girls supposed to feel comfortable with themselves when even in science books vaginas are drawn without labia minora/with tiny labia minora? How can we act surprised that girls as young as 18 are getting surgery to remove their labia when we let them grow up in a world that is so intent on teaching them that they aren’t really supposed to be there? Start drawing men's anatomy without testicles and see how many young boys are running to surgeons desperate to get them removed. With the blog we try to go further than just teaching people how sex works and what to do - we also want to tell girls that they should enjoy sex and listen to what their vagina needs to be satisfied. Other publications trivialise sex and its importance and we are sick of the penis-centric ‘sex tips’ that we see. Sex is so much more than just thrusting!
I love your new section on mental health as your mental health and sexual health are two things I feel are often in sync but never really gets spoken about. Why was it important to you to include this section?
Mental health is such a huge issue and a massive part of our readers’ lives. Young girls not only need sexual advice, but also advice regarding mental health and general well-being. Coming from an all girls school we were very much surrounded by it, and saw first hand what can happen when it's not addressed or spoken about. The link between mental and sexual health is also so much stronger than we first thought - reading ‘Vagina’ by Naomi Wolf really opened our eyes. In the book she discusses the relationship between your vagina and your mindset. She believes that there is a direct link between sexual pleasure and empowerment and self-confidence, and this made it obvious that you can't discuss sexual health without talking about mental health, because there are undeniable links between the two.
Illustration by: Abbie Laycock
You’ve ventured a lot more into things like relationship advice and break ups in your ‘Growing Up’ section, is this something you’d like to expand on?
Definitely! As we grow up we are always finding things that we wish we could have had advice on and insight into. We both have only just finished our first year at uni and so all of these posts are really relevant to us. It’s part of how Foof is expanding, in that it grows with us, we can offer advice about important experiences in our lives that might help others. This is a section that just helps us to provide an either bigger net of support and to continue raising girls up as much as we can, in every aspect of their experiences.
How do you want women to feel logging on to Club Foof?
Safe, secure, comfortable in themselves, looked after, guided, confident, assured. Our main aim is to make the readers feel safe and comfortable in their bodies by letting them understand their vaginas.
What do you have lined up in the future? Where do you see Club Foof going next?
You might already know that we have chosen charities - our current project has been canvas tote bags with one of Abbie Laycock’s illustrations on them, and 100% of profit is going to her chosen charity Housing for Women. We only have three bags left so once they are done we will be moving onto little foof pins! We’re really excited about them and will use the same method we did last time, as in the artist will choose out of our remaining chosen charities; Rape Crisis and Forward UK. In general, we want to keep growing and offering good content to our readers. We want to expand and get more writers and illustrators so we can make Foof as well rounded as possible.
Illustration by: Abbie Laycock
And finally, if any of our readers would like to submit a piece or an illustration how do they get in touch?
We're both constantly on our phones so we will get back to as soon as possible! Our email is email@example.com if you want to email us questions/blog posts/art. You can also direct message us on Instagram or Facebook, and we also have our contact form on the site.