Is vulva the same as vagina and how big are “normal” labia? What was that thing again about female ejaculation?
These and other questions are answered in this article about the vulva.
Okay, maybe some information from the “unnecessary knowledge” section again.
THE 10 GOOD-TO-KNOW´S ON THE VULVA
1. Vulva versus vagina, which is which?
Often the two words are used synonymously. However, if we want to be precise, Vagina describes only the inner part of the female sex, from the opening of the vagina, which is surrounded by the labia minora and labia majora, to the uterus.
Whereas vulva describes the “total package” of the female genital area visible to the outside. These include the inner and outer labia, the clitoris (with glans clitoris and clitoral hood), the vaginal vestibule, the urethral entrance and the mons veneris or mons pubis. The area where the pubic hair is trimmed long, short or according to your preference. And also the perineum (between the vaginal vestibule and the anus) as well as the anus belong to the vulva, even if not from a medical-anatomical point of view. From a sexual point of view, however, it is, because the perineum and anus are also often involved in sex (or at least should not be neglected).
2. Does the clitoris represent the man’s penis?
Unfortunately the clitoris has had a bad standing since ancient times. In comparison to the man’s penis, which is always clearly displayed, the clitoris and surrounding areas were hidden between crossed legs or only hinted at. Only slowly does the knowledge presented in anatomy books change, but at least today it is clear that the clitoris is much more than the visible glans clitoris, which swells when aroused. This again corresponds approximately to the glans of the male penis. And not only the clitoral glans (i.e. the visible part of the clitoris) swells when aroused, but the entire clitoris, which as a whole looks like an inverted Y and whose two corpora cavernosa around the entrance of the vagina. This means that women also have an erection, but not in the same visible form. By the way, the two corpora cavernosa are on average about 11 cm long and thus longer than the average man’s penis of 9 cm. However, comparisons in this area are fundamentally misplaced, because then we would still assume the male gender as the reference cadre.
3. The clitoris is a master piece!
She has more than 8,000 nerve fibers, more than twice as many as a man’s penis. Maybe that’s why she’s capable of multiple orgasms!?
4. Which is the correct labia size?
In short, it doesn’t exist, the right size. Phew, so now we can just take a breath. The size, color and overall appearance, whether with or without hair, is as individual as we are. Often the labia minora also protrude further than the labia majora and this is also perfectly ok. The trend or the aesthetic demand that the labia minora should be nice and small, and tucked under the labia majora is rather an ideal of beauty driven by the porn industry, which has little to nothing to do with reality and thus the diversity of the labia. As Emily Nagoski says so beautifully in her book “Come as you are”: “We are all made of the same parts, but each of us is organized in a unique way.”
5. Clitoral vs. vaginal orgasms
Here, too, the voices differ. After Siegmund Freud had the ( apparently strange) idea that a woman without vaginal orgasms is still stuck somewhere in her development, other camps take the view that vaginal orgasms are also actually hidden clitoral orgasms. Vincenzo Puppo, for example, says that there are only clitoral orgasms because any other type of penetration, whether vaginal or anal, stimulates the clitoral complex (including the corpora cavernosa and erectile tissue) up to orgasm. The list of different views, we could continue here. However, it seems to be the case that women can simply come to orgasm in very different ways and combinations of stimulation, and these ways may change over and over again in their lives.
Viva la Vulva!
6. The appearance of the vulva changes!
Like many other things on our body, the appearance of the vulva also changes in the course of our life. During pregnancy, for example, the skin of the vulva often becomes darker, but it usually becomes lighter again after giving birth. But hormonal fluctuations and the natural aging process of the body can also lead to this changed appearance.
7. Hymen myths
The hymen (if we have one) is located at the bottom of the vaginal entrance. Many myths surround this small piece of thinnest skin. Here are a few enlightening facts: some are born with a hymen, some without. In some, the hymen is so large that it covers the entire vaginal entrance, in others it is not visible. For some it disappears during the hormonal maturation of the woman, for others it is still clearly visible after menopause. Blood during the first sexual intercourse is often related to a lack of moisture rather than to the hymen being torn. For many women, simply by having more regular sex, it becomes so elastic that it no longer bothers and tears. So whether or not a hymen has very little to do with the question, if the woman is still a virgin.
8. Function of the labia
They have two primary functions: on the one hand they should protect the vaginal entrance from unwanted bacteria and dirt, on the other hand the inner labia also serve as a kind of cushion during sexual intercourse due to their swelling when aroused.
9. Is the fluid secreted when squirting urine?
There are different views. Often referred to as squirting is the female ejaculation in which, according to some scientists, thin fluid secretion is secreted from the Skene glands, which is similar to the male prostate fluid. Although some studies say that it is actually this fluid and not urine, others say that the Skene glands cannot produce the amount of fluid that is often released during squirting. According to Stephanie Haerdle (Book: “Spritzen. Geschichte der weiblichen Ejakulation” ) during sex, a woman secretes two different liquids, the female ejaculate of the Skene glands and/or the squirting liquid, which comes from the urethra and contains small amounts of urea. Also, the timing of the squirting is different, sometimes it happens during orgasm, but sometimes even earlier. And not all women squirt or notice it.
10. The knowledge of the vulva is still poor
Far more is known about the male sex than about the female. This is changing today, but still very slowly. For example, filmmaker Denise Dismer, while researching her science documentary “Vulva and Vagina – New Insights into Female Desire” produced for 3sat, discovered that medical students were not given sufficient knowledge about the female sex. We believe this should change!