· By Team PLEASE
Meet and get to know the Vulva in all its glory.
All sex organs start from the same foundation, only later typically differentiating themselves at the seven to eight-week mark. For vulva-owners, the internal genitalia transforms into the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and vagina. The external genitalia becomes the vulva, or the part you can see.
Let’s get it right, the vulva is not the vagina, although often mistaken for it. It encompasses the clitoris, urethra, labia majora and minora, mons pubis, and vaginal entrance.
The mons pubis is the rounded mound of fatty tissue that covers the pubic bone.
Similarly, the labia majora refers to the fatty folds of tissue that protects the entire vulva. Both get covered with pubic hair upon puberty.
Within the labia majora lies the labia minora, which surrounds the vaginal and urethral openings.
All three are rich in nerve endings, and stimulation of them can provide extreme pleasure, as they indirectly stimulate the clitoris, which we’ll get to in a minute.
It’s extremely important to note that all vulvas are unique and therefore there is no “normal” looking vulva. Size and colour differences abound. This also means that what feels good to one person (e.g., increased pressure on the labia majora) might not feel good to another person. It’s important to keep in mind how every body and pleasure preference is different - and it’s that beautiful?
As mentioned, the vaginal opening can be found within the labia minora.
The vagina, and its role in pleasure.
The vagina is a highly elastic internal organ which performs several essential functions, such as allowing for penetrative sex and for menstrual blood and babies to pass through. The vagina isn’t straight but rather angled, curving towards the belly button.
The vagina also plays a role in pleasure. Although the back ⅔ has little sensitivity, which is why tampons and menstrual cups can be inserted with little pain or feeling, the lower ⅓ of the vagina contains nearly 90% of the vaginal nerve endings. In addition, when sexually excited the mucous membranes of its walls swell and release a liquid, potentially allowing for easier penetration. Finally, the vaginal muscles usually contract leading up to a very pleasurable orgasm.
So you’ve now seen the difference between the vulva and vagina in the diagrams above, but it's important to get to know your own vulva for yourself. Most of us spend time looking at our faces, checking our hair or bodies in the mirror, it’s important to look at your vulva too. Look at it in an exploratory way rather than critical. Remember that each vulva is unique and beautiful in their own way.
(Information and imagery courtesy of Smile Makers)