Coffee@Dawn: Anatomy of the Vulva
Don’t Forget the Lube
“Allow this time to enjoy yourself. Explore. Experiment. Look at your vulva. Touch it. Pay attention. Give yourself this gift. You are worth it.”
R wants to know why her health class in school only talked about women’s anatomy as it relates to reproduction.
I am a huge advocate for discussing sex and sexuality and our bodies. Due to a lack of education, some of us don’t know the names and locations of parts of our own anatomy. We don’t know that the clitoris isn’t just the sensitive button exposed at the top of your labia; it’s an entire wishbone of yumminess that runs under the lips as well.
Women who take the time to get familiar with their own anatomy and how they like it touched, can talk about what they like and ask for what they want from their partners. They can advocate for themselves confidently and powerfully. This important skill moves out of the bedroom and helps women engage with certainty out in the world. Comprehensive sex education is an issue of social justice on many levels.
So let’s talk about the vulva. That beautiful place between your legs where folds of skin have names and textures and sensations — all the outer bits. Do you look at yours? Do you touch it? Wash your hands and grab some lube because it’s time for some self-exploration.
Start with a mirror and a light source. A hand mirror works in bed, or you can sit on the floor in front of a full-length mirror. Prop up your light source near you to shine into the darkness that some of us have never visually investigated.
Use a little lube on your fingers while you examine the parts of your vulva. It will feel slippery and smooth. You’ll more easily find the spots you enjoy stimulating. By all means, stimulate!
You may be someone with hair in abundance or you keep yours trimmed and manicured. Some of you wax or shave it away. All of the presentations are fantastic. Know that there isn’t one right way to display your vulva; do what makes you happy.
Beneath the hair are two sets of lips. They are varying sizes on different women. The labia majora (or outer lips) tend to be larger and squishier. The labia minora are inside or between the outer lips, sometimes tucked away and sometimes extending beyond. Again, all presentations are exquisite.
Toward the bottom of the vulva and sometimes tucked inside the labia is the vagina. It’s the point of entry for fingers, a penis, a dildo, or any number of other stimulating toys. Some women enjoy penetration by some or all of these items. Some women aren’t all that into it. There is no wrong way to be.
The inside of the vagina is soft and pillow-like. The G-Spot is found in here, too. I’ll save that special location for another post.
What I really want to talk about is the clitoris! The magic button. The bean. The most accessible part is located near the top of your vulva. It’s often protected by a bit of skin called the hood. If you pull that skin back, you can get a clear visual of that explosive nerve center. Remember the lube!
This part of the clitoris is the glans, similar to the head of the penis. There is so much sensation there! Many women find that stimulating this spot with fingers, a tongue, or a vibrator will bring them to orgasm. In fact, this stimulation is frequently required for women to climax.
If you have had unsatisfying partner sex, chances are good that you could improve it with more attention to your clitoris.
How do you like your clitoris stimulated? Lightly or firmly? Fast or slow? Do you enjoy a vibrator on your clit at the same time as penetration to achieve orgasm? I do!
With lube allowing for general slipperiness, run your fingers up and down the length of skin from your clitoris to your vagina. How does that feel? As you get aroused, the texture of your skin might change. The clitoris (that continues along your lips, under your skin) will swell and shrink gradually throughout your stimulation.
Some women will rush to climax in a minute or two. Others might want or need to take twenty or forty minutes. That vibrator sure will hurry the process along.
Today is a day of exploration. It’s a day to learn what kind of stimulation you like. Feel around on and off the exposed part of the clitoris. Massage your lips. Tease yourself. Take the time to enjoy the sensations.
Reaching orgasm is not the point; it’s not a requirement. Some women enjoy the build-up without the release. Getting close and backing off again repeatedly is called “edging.” Some women have one explosive orgasm and need a nap afterward. Others can cum over and over again. Maybe you have to be lying on your back or standing up or pinching your nipple to make it happen. You might like a combination of all the possibilities. The point is to find out what you like.
Did you just hear a critical voice? Let’s talk for a moment about the messages we tell ourselves about masturbation. It’s frivolous or it takes too long. It’s messy or complicated. It’s bad. My brain doesn’t allow me to stay in the moment. The chores are waiting; dinner is cooking; I have to go to…
Yeah, we have old messages that have been planted in our heads about a lot of things. We have watered those messages without ever checking to see if they are weeds. For now, give yourself permission to be with your body. Allow this time to enjoy yourself. Explore. Experiment. Look at your vulva. Touch it. Pay attention. Give yourself this gift. You are worth it.
I Help Women Build Unapologetic Confidence
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As an educator and a coach, I make an effort to be inclusive in my respect and support of underrepresented sexuality populations: lesbian, bisexual, trans, poly, non-binary, kinky, swinger, BDSM-affilitated women are all invited to have coffee at my table. There is room for all of us.
The information contained within this blog Coffee@Dawn is not a substitute for legal or professional advice such as from an attorney, medical doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist. Coffee@Dawn holds no responsibility or liability for the actions, choices, or decisions taken by the reader.