Sydney Leathers visiting Dr. Neal Handel for her labiaplasty. Photo courtesy of AKM-GSI.
Since Sydney Leathers got outed as Anthony Weiner’s sexting partner last summer, she's been following the playbook for women who've acquired fame via sexual intercourse. She hired D-list celebrity manager Gina Rodriguez, went on Howard Stern, got her breasts and nose done, became the spokeswoman for sugar daddy website Arrangement Finders, and starred in a Vivid Celeb porno called Sydney Leathers: Weiner and Me.
But last month, Sydney did something unexpectedly—after she filmed Weiner and Me, she visited plastic surgeon Dr. Neal Handel, had a labiaplasty, and then attempted to auction her excess labia to the highest bidder. Unfortunately for her, Sydney wasn’t able to auction her lady bits—it’s illegal to sell “body waste”—but the debacle exposed the bizarreness of her life.
Except when she performs at strip clubs, hosts nightclub events, and talks dirty on daytime talk shows (all of which counts as her “job”), Sydney barely leaves her apartment in rural Indiana. A self-proclaimed “misfit mistress,” she lives in the same apartment complex as her dad and prefers to stay at home—where she plays with her two cats, reads histories and books about politics, and talks to people online—than interact with other human beings.
“I’m one of those people who would rather sleep with ex-boyfriends than venture out,” she told me. “ I don’t sleep around a lot. I barely ever even drink. I paint a lot, and I read a lot.”
Considering that portrait of Sydney as a nerdy recluse more interested in reading than boning dudes, why did she have a shit-ton of plastic surgery and try to sell discarded parts of her labia to pervy men? To learn more about her strange world, I skyped this week with Sydney to talk about her lady parts and her past.
VICE: Why did you want a labiaplasty?
Sydney Leathers: I’m one of those people who, if I can perfect any little thing, will want to perfect it. Just since August, I’ve had my nose done, my boobs done, lypo, and then this—there’s always something I feel like I could tweak.
Did this happen because you saw your labia in the porn video?
Actually, no. It wasn’t like I saw the video and thought, Oh, my vagina is ugly. This is a really weird fact that I didn’t know until I saw the doctor: I had some asymmetry going on in my labia. When Dr. Handel did the surgery, he only had to trim one side of my labia. It was really odd. One side was perfect, and the other side wasn’t. It always bothered me, but I didn’t know the asymmetry was why.
Why did you want to auction off your excess labia?
I’m not gonna lie—if we were going to do it, and we were going to make a lot of money off of it, I wouldn’t be mad. I have no problem admitting I’m a capitalist.
Do you regret having the surgery now that you can’t sell it?
I’m still happy I did it, because it looks better. I’m so self-critical—the littlest things will drive me fucking insane. That’s why it was easy for me to deal with negative comments about my weight or my boobs before I got my boobs done. It’s easier to deal with that if you’re already thinking those things about yourself. The only thing that has ever surprised me is when people say, “I hope you die of AIDS. You deserve it.”
Now that your pussy looks hotter, are you going to do more porn?
I’m thinking about it. It was fun the first time, and I’m not getting laid right now. If the only time I can get laid is on camera, then maybe I should do more porn.
Have you always been a loner?
I’m the type that has a really tight-knit circle of friends, and other than that I don’t venture out. Not to sound pompous, but I was popular in high school but I hated it because I lived in a really small town and everything was overanalyzed and judged. Typical teenage drinking would be blown out of proportion [until it gets around] that you’re a crackhead. It wasn’t very fun for me to be social in a conservative small town.
So did you turn to the internet as a way to communicate to people?
Definitely. That’s when I started exploring my interest in politics and wanting to meet people who are passionate about what I’m passionate about. I was running little political Facebook groups and silly stuff like that—that was my daily life before the Weiner thing.
Do you feel better now that, thanks to your post-Weiner work, you’re mostly isolated from people and only communicate through the internet?
Yeah. If you’re in a little bubble, you’re safe.
Does it annoy you that men look at you for your body instead of your mind?
That’s something I’m used to, unfortunately. In a big city, I’m a four, but in a small town, I’m the pretty girl, so I’m used to being one of the people who is singled out that way. Now I’m trying to make it my own thing—I like to say Ann Coulter is my spirit animal.
Why the hell would you want to be like Ann Coulter?
It’s fun to push people’s buttons. I get off on that now. In the beginning, I was like, I want everyone to like me! Then I realized I can’t make anyone like me. If they think I’m a whore, they think I’m a whore. There’s not a lot I can do about people’s perceptions of me. I feel like fucking with people is the way for me to go right now.
You’ve accepted this role, and you’re going to go with it?
I didn’t have any other choice. At first, Gina didn’t know what to do with me. I was like, “I’m not doing a sex tape.” I was definitely against it. But the more I thought about it, people were already going to think about me as the girl who sexted Weiner. There was a level of seriousness that was gone anyways.
What did you want to do before the scandal?
I initially went to college for broadcast journalism. Then I started to take my interest in law more seriously. I was working at a law firm, I took classes to get my paralegal certificate. The Weiner thing has derailed what I thought I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer or in law firms assisting lawyers forever, but that’s definitely not going to work out.
Are you happier now?
Yeah, I am. I always say, I’ve gotten opportunities I would never have gotten before. None of that would have ever presented itself to me. I didn’t think I could handle this. That’s why I didn’t want anything to do with it at the beginning. I think that’s the best part of this. I’m actually able to take it in stride. I don’t have a big head. I’m very humble, and I don’t take myself too seriously. That’s made me happier too, because of that self-critical aspect of myself. I have room to do whatever I want at this point. What can I do that will shock and offend now?
UPDATE: After the publication of this article, Sydney listed her labia for auction on eBay. A few days later, eBay removed her listing because of its “Human Body Parts and Remains” policy.