What is your Vulva? What are the Parts of a Vagina?

Vagina? Vulva? What’s the difference? Vulva is the word for the outside parts that you can see, the vagina is inside. You can see the entrance of the vagina, but the vagina itself is inside the body. Let’s take a tour!

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Vagina? Vulva? What’s the difference? Vulva is the word for the outside parts that you can see, the vagina is inside. You can see the entrance of the vagina, but the vagina itself is inside the body. Let’s take a tour!

First are the outer labia or “lips”, these are where hair grows. Inside those are the inner labia, they are made of a different, softer tissue, and hair does not grow on this area. Sometimes people worry their labia are too big, different sizes, or the wrong color, so it’s important to know that they come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors.

The clitoris has a lot of nerve endings and is the main area of sexual sensation for people with vulvas.

Let’s meet the clitoris. The clitoris has a lot of nerve endings and is the main area of sexual sensation for people with vulvas. It can feel great to stimulate the clitoris with a finger, vibrator, or a partner’s tongue. The part that is seen from the outside is the head of the clitoris, and it is covered by a piece of protective skin called the clitoral hood. The whole clitoris is bigger than it looks, it is actually about 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) long and stretches down either side of the vulva under the skin.

There are three different holes in the genital area: the urethra, the vagina, and the anus. The urethra is a tube that ends with the hole where urine comes out, and is located between the head of the clitoris and the vaginal opening. The vagina is located a little further back, between the urethra and the anus. The anus is the hole furthest to the back.

Using a finger, toy or penis inside the vagina is enjoyable for many people. The first third of the vagina is usually the more sensitive part, whereas deeper inside it is less sensitive. The g spot is located in the front wall of the vagina, and can feel like a spongy mound to touch. Many people enjoy a massage-like pressure on their g spot with a finger, toy, or penis, although others find it just feels like they need to pee. At the back of the vagina is the cervix, and for some people this is also a sexually enjoyable area. The vagina creates some of its own fluid to make penetration more comfortable, but many people also like to use a lubricant to keep sex, slipperier, safer and enjoyable for longer.

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Video transcript

And then here, the gold and pink satiny bits represent the inner labia. So for some people, this can be an area of insecurity about the appearance of their vulva. When people express concerns about the appearance of their vulva, I most commonly hear those concerns related to the appearance of the inner labia. So there's quite a lot of, I guess, mainstream expectation or imagery that suggest that the inner labia should be quite petite and symmetrical, same color, relatively discreet. But actually, there's lots of variation. They could be like that or they could be quite prominent, extending beyond the outer labia. They could also be different sizes or different colors, slightly different shapes, all sorts of things. So there's lots of variation with this part of the body here, too.