Vaginal Region 101 – Anatomy, Misinformation, and the Truth (Written by Someone with a Vagina)

Hi. My name is Robin. I am a ciswoman (for those who don’t know what that means, I was born female. I identify as female. I have girl bits.). I have a vagina. Recently, I spent more than 90 minutes editing and removing misinformation within an article about the vaginal region. That article was written by a man who is not a gynecologist, general medical doctor, sexologist, or sex therapist. He was your run of the mill guy who has sex with women. While I applaud his attempt at educating other men, there were a lot of inaccuracies in what he wrote. And there was also very little emphasis on consent. If you need to know more about your own lady parts, or if you are a person who enjoys playing with lady parts, keep reading. Otherwise, you might want to exit now (as the links to many of the anatomically correct vocabulary links to definitions that include images). While this post is not X-rated, I will use standard anatomical terms. If words like “vagina” and “penis” bother you, this is not the article for you. Also, please consider sharing this article through your social media because there is just far too much misinformation out there about the lady bits.

The Clitoris and Clitoral Hood

Unless female circumcision (this is more rightly referred to as genital mutilation) has taken place, women have a clitoris and a clitoral hood. And in some women, the two can fuseFun fact: the clitoris is made from the same material as the penis. It is just as sensitive as the penis. Therefore, one should not do anything to the clitoris that one wouldn’t want done to their penis. 

I’ll talk about consent soon, but it’s important to also have some knowledge about the vaginal region.

Most women do not orgasm from penetration alone. That should be the best fucking news ever for men. It has has little to do with penis size, humping speed, and the likes. That isn’t to say that penetration isn’t enjoyable…because for many of us, it is. It’s just to say that it isn’t the main way women orgasm. That’s not just my opinion. It’s science. It’s anatomy. It’s the same reason why men orgasm when their penis undergoes certain activities.

The actions one should use depend upon the sensations the clit owner feels. They get to make the rules. They get to decide what does and doesn’t feel good. They can and SHOULD speak up. And, if you have a clitoris and you’re reading this page for information… First, good for you! You should learn about your body. There’s NOTHING to be ashamed of. Toys won’t ruin your sensitivity. Masturbation is healthy and natural (unless, you know, you’re doing it in public or it is interfering with your normal life). Try out different sensations. Learn what you do and don’t like.

While orgasms don’t define sex, they can be an enjoyable part of it. And the clitoris is often a major player for women.

The Urethra and Vagina Are Not the Same Thing

Ladies, your urine does NOT come out of your vagina. It comes out of your urethra. Gentlemen, the urethra is not the vagina OR the clitoris. If you’re both into or interested in “watersports,” and you’re both consenting adults…do some research and go for it.

It’s just important for everyone to know that the urethra and the vagina (and the urethra and the clitoris) are NOT the same thing.

The Labia Majora and Labia Minor

These are colloquially known as the “lips.” The ones closer to the legs are the labia majora. The ones closer to the vagina are the labia minor. Sometimes they’re nice to look at and sometimes they aren’t. There’s no standard. They are simply part of the human female anatomy. And, no, you do not need plastic surgery on your lady bits. I promise you that they are fine the way they are. If your partner doesn’t think so, kick them to the goddamn curb.

Fun fact: The number of sexual partners a woman has does NOT affect the size, color, or physical tonality of the labia.

The Vagina

The vagina is self-lubricating. Of course, that does not mean that you will never NEED lubrication. Lubrication is your friend. Hormones, medication, and dozens of other issues could mean that the vagina doesn’t lubricate as well as it once did…and that doesn’t always mean that the lovely lady isn’t turned on. It just means she’s human.

Vaginas stretch…and retract. And, no, the number of partners a woman has will not make her vagina “loose.” 

Neither does childbirth.

Also, there are certain things that should never be placed inside of a vagina because it could cause infection. Examples include any sort of sex toy made from a porous material (meaning, one that cannot be sterilized), any sort of food item (sugar of any kind can throw off the PH balance and cause an infection), anything sharp that could cause an injury on the inside OR the outside.

And menstruation is normal. There are a lot of myths surrounding menstruation and sex. I’ll cover a few of those soon.

The Anus

While not part of the vaginal region, some people enjoy various types of activities involving the anus. And that’s okay as long as it is consensual.

  1. The anus is NOT self-lubricating like the vagina.
  2. You should NOT put toys from the anus into the vagina (you’re asking for an infection).
  3. You can still catch an STD.
  4. You should NOT use numbing creams because you won’t know if something is REALLY wrong.
  5. You should NOT use toys without a flared base (unless you enjoy trips to the emergency room).
  6. The penis should NOT enter the vagina after being in the anus without either a new condom OR being disinfected. You do NOT want an infection.
  7. Porn is not realistic when it comes to any sort of anal activity. Get a real education and have an honest, sincere, and safe conversation with your partner before you EVER try anything related to their behind. Full stop.

Myths

I’ve already addressed one myth, but I’ll address it again.

Myth #1 – Women only orgasm by penetration. Not true. Most women orgasm from clitoral stimulation and NOT from penetration. Women lie to protect the very sensitive egos of men. We’ll even lie and tell you we won’t lie because there’s no telling how a man will really react to something like that. If she thinks you’re gonna come off the hinges or be all butt hurt about it, she’s always gonna fake it and lie. Or just lie…because most men can’t tell, anyway. I could also restate what I said about both the labia and the vagina as separate myths, but I’ll summarize. They look normal. Sometimes things don’t lubricate and that’s also normal. Also, the number of sexual partners you have do not make your labia bigger or your vagina looser. Okay? Okay.

Myth #2 – All women LOVE period sex. We aren’t all the same. Having sex with one woman who loved period sex doesn’t mean every other woman loves it. Before you attempt it, you talk about it. You get clear, unequivocal consent. Full stop.

Myth #3 – You can’t get pregnant if you have unprotected sex when you’re on your period. Hate to break it to you, but yes you can. It doesn’t mean you will, but you can. If you are worried about pregnancy, your options are some form (of more than one form) of birth control or abstinence.

Myth #4 – You can’t get an STD from period sex. Again, yes you can. A period does not stop the transmission of an STD. For either person.

Myth #5 – You can only get an STD from vaginal sex. If I had a dollar for every time I heard this, I’d be rich. You can get an STD from oral sex, vaginal sex, or anal sex. Mutual masturbation where you touch a partner and then touch yourself may also transmit certain STDs. You can get STDs in your mouth AND in your throat. The most common are syphilis (yes, really), herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. It’s cool if you don’t believe me. I’m just a 40 year old mom living in the Midwest who happens to edit articles related to sex, gender, and sexual activity. You could learn about it from Colgate, if you want.

Consent, Consent, Consent

While I know that people identify by all sorts of genders and sexualities, I am going to keep this simple for the masses. Also, please don’t think that by my attempt to keep it simple that I am not a supporter. You be you. I’ll address you however you want and I’ll do my level best to remember your preferences. Let’s all just be glad that some of us (hi) are out here trying to correct serious misinformation about genitals, how they work, where they are located, and myths surrounding them.

If you are with a partner, you do not touch, kiss, flick, rub, poke, pinch, caress, penetrate, or otherwise hump anything without explicit permission. Men, that means you ASK. You do NOT leave it up in the air. You do NOT just go off what you THINK she wants. You ASK. You open your goddamn mouth and you ASK if it is okay. If she says no, and she can at ANY time including DURING sex, you stop. You are not an animal. Even my dogs stop doing things when they are told the FIRST time. You can, too.

Ladies, you OPEN your goddamn mouth and say yes or no. Do not act coy. Do not feel like you don’t matter and that you can’t have input. It is YOUR body. YOU speak up. YOU say what you like and what you DO NOT like. YOU guide them. If they don’t listen to your preferences, you call the whole thing off. If you are assaulted or raped, report it. And, yes I know how scary it is to report it. I’ve been there.

Ladies, you make sure that YOU have consent before you do ANYTHING to him. Men are more vocal in the sack than we are, but if he says no, you STOP and you RESPECT it.

For kink activities or beyond vanilla activities of any kind, you AND your partner need to have one or more clear and calm conversations BEFORE the act and NOT in the heat of the moment. You set those boundaries. You create those safe words. You take care of business. And if you can’t come to an agreement, don’t do it.

Safer Sex for One and All

Do you know what kills the mood more than a condom? A colicky baby.

If you aren’t fluid-bonded with your partner, you use protection. If you don’t trust your partner, you use protection. I don’t care if it is oral, vaginal, anal, or anything else. Use protection. You get tested. You don’t have any kind of sex with anyone who refuses to get tested. You put YOU first.

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