Vagina. You probably heard this word many times in your life, but did you know they are self-cleaning? Or that they are a separate thing from vulvas? Here's a guide with all the basics you should know about this intriguing piece of anatomy, how to take care of it, and how to have fun with it.
A vagina is a muscular tract averaging in length in 9.6 centimetres and 5 centimetres in width. It starts at the vaginal canal entrance and ends at the cervix. Front and back it is on the border with your bladder and your rectum.
Well, those who are AFAB (assigned female at birth) who have NOT been through a gender reassignment surgery typically have vaginas. Trans women and non-binary folks can also have vaginas if they undergo a vaginoplasty.
Nope! The glans of the clitoris, labia minora and labia majora are all parts of the vulva, which is the outside part. It’s very common to confuse the two, but it’s important to make this distinction because the two have very different functions and compositions
The vagina connected the reproductive organs to the outside world, forming a pathway from the entrance of the canal to the uterus. It serves as a two way road for fluids, penetration, and even babies. Besides that, it is also responsible for sensitivity and sexual pleasure.
Vaginas are self-cleaning. Basically, the inside walls have a high cell turn-over, and the old ones are eliminated through discharge. Vaginas also produce mucus, a viscous substance that helps not only with lubrication, but catches any wanted particles that make their way in - and pushes it outside with discharge as well. As you can see, having vaginal discharge is an absolutely normal part of having a vagina. Not only that, but essential for it to keep itself clean and healthy!
This also means that all those cleaning products you see in the shelves - such as douches, soaps and creams - are likely a waste of money and can seriously disrupt the balance of your vaginal pH and your vaginal health. Just water is enough to clean the vulva, and the vagina should be left alone as it does a pretty great job of cleaning itself!
The cervix screening is the best way to prevent and treat infections that usually have no symptoms. For instance, cervix cancer is an issue that might be very silent and present no symptoms until it’s advanced.
Kegel exercises are a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor and also give you more control over the muscles in your vaginal canal. They can help with and prevent incontinence, as well as improve your experience of sexual pleasure and orgasms.
Even though they are a great tool for sexual health, Kegel exercises are not for everyone. Make sure you check with your physician you’re in the clear before starting them.
The vaginal canal is a super sensitive part of the body, packed with many nerve endings and sensitive spots you can play with. Here are some techniques you can try out:
The clitoral bulbs surround the vaginal canal on the inside - and when there is a clitoral erection they glue to the walls. You can take advantage of how sensitive you are and stimulate your clitoris from the inside through your canal.
When penetrating yourself with your fingers, press them against the sides of the canal. You can also tap, or slide them like that. Just play around and see what feels good!
The G-spot is kind of a mystical thing, but in reality it is nothing more than a sensitive spot which is part of the clitoral system - and that you can reach yourself!
All you have to do is put your fingers in with your palm facing up and make a “c’mon” gesture with them until you find a spongy tissue that feels different. Just a reminder though: no technique is magical. Stimulus to the g-spot always feels better when you’re already in the mood!
Even if penetration isn’t the only way to have fun with a vagina, it’s certainly a fun option that can generate lots of pleasure. And if you’re looking to amp up the sensation, putting a pillow under your pelvis for penetration - whether with toys or penises - can optimise the access to the vaginal canal. Plus, this also relaxes the pelvic floor muscles, making everything much smoother.
Tongue penetration can be an amazing extra to cunnilingus. This is because the entrance of the vaginal canal is packed with nerve endings, and already super sensitive when you’re on the receiving end of oral sex. The feel of a tongue probing there is also unique - and a lot of people swear by it.
Using toys in partnered sex can be an amazing way to bring novelty into bed and discover new sensations. Vibrating toys, whether for penetration or vulvic stimulation can make the time with that special someone much more magical.
Vaginas are often misunderstood, but knowing how they work and how to properly take care of them is a great way to foment bodily autonomy. And remember - this is just to get you started. There’s much more to know, and the best way to do it is to get curious about it!