So, first things first: is it a vagina or a vulva? Technically, the vagina is the tube inside your body, but people often say it when they mean everything down there. Vulva, on the other hand, is the official name for all the outside bits. If you’re starting your period or having sex, it’s good to know a bit more about what’s actually going on here. Let’s take a look!
This is sometimes called the pubic mound. It’s a layer of fat which is usually covered by hair after puberty. So when you’re bumping and grinding, here’s a soft cushion that helps make everything feel good.
This fold of skin protects the sensitive clitoris. If your clitoris is the star of the show, this is her bodyguard.
This looks like a little dot or slit below where the inner lips meet the clitoris. It’s where your pee comes out. It’s not involved in sex, but remembering to pee afterward can help prevent infections.
These are the ‘inner lips’. They’re hairless and sensitive. Like the outer lips, they look different on everyone – there’s no right or wrong way for them to be.
This is a ring of muscle that pushes out poop. Sex here isn’t as common as people might make you think: fewer than one in ten people say they tried anal sex in the last year.
These are sometimes called ‘outer lips’. They’re also covered with hair and cushioned with fat. They come in all shapes and sizes.
This is just below the urethral opening. Around it, you might see the hymen, or what remains of it. Don’t believe the hymen hype: it’s not that important and it can’t tell you whether someone’s a virgin. It’s just a thin fringe of tissue around the vaginal opening that usually gets torn during sex, masturbation or even exercise.
This is supercharged with sensation – it has about 8,000 nerve endings in it, which can make it feel really good during sex. On the surface, it’s often small, but most of it is hidden within the body. It stretches down and around the vagina, surrounding it in a wishbone shape, and adding to the sensations during sex or masturbation.