I don’t suppose we think about our vaginas too often –we may think about it when its time for a wax or it’s bleeding- or maybe not bleeding. And to be honest we probably don’t think about pelvic floor exercises as often as we should. But some women think about their vaginas A LOT – and not for the fun sexy reasons. They worry about their vaginas not being normal. Maybe they saw their friend in the change rooms and realised they didn’t look the same – no hair, too much hair, dangly bits.
I have embarrassed teenagers who come in with their mums wanting reassurance there is nothing wrong with them. I see a lot of vaginas in my line of business and they all look the same – albeit a bit different dependent on the hairstyle, jewellery and tattoos of the day.
We have to know what is normal when we are younger and as we age because our bodies will change with time.
So grab a mirror and lets get exploring! This week we are looking at the outside bits.
First up the mons pubis – “the bony bit”, the mound of venus or more coarsely if one has a bit of extra weight in the area – the “gunt” which is a cross between the gut and the well…..
This area consists of a fat pad, which lays across the top of your pubic bone adding a layer of protection. This then extends into the labia majora (the outer lips) which also contains a layer of fat to protect the urethral and vaginal orifices ( wee wee and vaj jay jay *holes)
The whole lot is covered in pubic hair. Here’s a fun fact about pubic hair – you can blame your parents for your hairy bush – the hair pattern is based on genetics and your ethnicity. Also, there are a lot of different glands scattered across the whole region which help the pubic hair with its functions. Like all of our body hair it acts as a thermostat – the eccrine glands will secrete a watery sweat keeping us cool and the bush protects the soft sensitive skin of the internal anatomy from mechanical stress and friction. Sebaceous glands keep the skin soft and supple by producing an oily substance and helps with the whole friction issue ( sorry can’t help with carpet burn – but maybe that’s a topic for another blog!)
Like the hair under our armpits, the pubic hair grows near the apocrine glands who’s job is to pump out the pheromones and traps it in its hairy snare. When bacteria and oil secretions are also broken down it combines with the pheromones to make a sweet erotic scent whose purpose is to attract a suitable genetically attractive mate – cool hey? Interesting we also have these apocrine glands near the perineum / anus area – hence the sometimes hairy backdoor.
Whilst we are in the area of the backdoor – let us turn our attention to the area between the vagina and the anus – our much-neglected friend who separates the two play patches – the perineum. Quite often the perineum will rise to prominence during labour – particularly if there is baby’s head bulging nearly through it. (Yes perineum massages are encouraged to help with reducing the risk of tears) . Ever wonder what a gooch is – well your looking at it (maybe if you’re in front of a mirror reading this). But let’s not call it bad names, because the stretchy skin lays over some muscles that help make up our pelvic floor and it has a very important job keeping everything in place. Just for fun whilst you are sitting here reading this try to isolate just your perineum and squeeze it up. (Yes dudes can do it as well!!) It’s a diamond shaped highly sensitive erogenous zone geared for fun times and quite honestly should be everyone’s friend.
This will finally bring us to someone who should be our BFF – the Clitoris – the old notorious clit-tor-us – sorta rolls off your tongue hey??
A male must have made the model I have used for our image – the clitoris is nearly non existent! Like an iceberg, most of the highly sensitive clitoris is buried with the tip being covered by a fold of skin (clitoral hood). Get ready for this – unlike any other structure in our bodies (male and female) the clitoris is designed for sexual pleasure only. Full stop. And we have got it. Surely this is where the saying “tap that” came from? If you are not doing it already you really have to tap that.
I will never forget the old lady who asked “what’s a clitoris dear” was when I was helping a student put a catheter in (you basically aim for just under the clitoris in case you were wondering and you will get into the urethra). I sorta smiled because an old lady said “clitoris” (puerile I know) but then I felt kinda sad. There has been a whole generation of women who did the wifely duties, dryly and chastely who maybe never had “yes yes yes” moments.
So we in the following generations owe it to the women before us to explore, have fun and have loud rambunctious clitoral orgasms in the company of others or ourselves. In the correct setting mind you – not like on a train or bus in full public view – there are laws you know.
So the big take away message from this – get to know and love all your bits. If you, during your exploration, find anything that is different or changed(or your unbelievably itchy or having painful sex) show your vaj jay* to your Doctor.
* vaj jay is not the correct anatomical name