10 Things To Know About Your Vagina That’ll Change How Sex Feels
Experts say that getting better acquainted with your privates will improve your health and boost your sex life. So don’t be shy. Enjoy some bonding moments with your most mysterious body parts.
The more you make your vagina your business, the more pleasure you’ll experience. In a study published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, scientists found that women who had a positive view of their genitals were more comfortable in their skin, more apt to orgasm and more likely to experiment in bed. Say no more, sister! In fact, just catching a glimpse of your crown jewels has been proven to be a turn-on. “Research shows that seeing signs of sex helps inspire arousal and lubrication,” says Dr Debby Herbenick, author of Because It Feels Good. So let’s scroll down there, if you like, for a better view.
To start, let’s clear up one of the biggest misconceptions about the vagina. It’s not the entire genital area. If you’re standing naked in front of a full-length mirror, you’re actually seeing your vulva, the exterior portion of your privates, which was covered in hair before you went under the wax or got intimate with a tube of cream.
Think of your privates as an award-winning cast: you have your supporting actors (the vulva) and your leading ladies (the clitoris and G-spot). Every part is there to entertain your sexual needs, but to milk the best performance out of each one, you have to show them all a little love and attention. So lock the bedroom door, kick off your shoes and grab a hand mirror. Without even spreading your legs, you’ll see your pubic mound and two folds of skin called the labia majora (the outer lips). Both contain layers of fatty tissue that protect your clitoris and vagina. While pleasure reception is typically weak in this area, manual play can help increase the signal. “Rubbing the pubic mound and outer lips readies the clitoris for stimulation,” says Herbenick.
Now, if you gently push apart the outer lips, you’ll reveal a thinner set of lips called the labia minora. These hairless babies are loaded with blood vessels, nerve endings and secreting glands. “To the naked eye, the glands may look like tiny bumps,” says Dr Debra Hoppe, author of Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You. “They release secretions that actually help to separate your lips for easier penetration.” But they’re not the only things lubing up your nether regions.
When you spread the labia minora apart, you’ll encounter Bartholin’s glands (which are microscopic, so you can’t actually see them) on each side of your vaginal opening. As you become aroused, these glands lubricate the outer portion of the vaginal canal. They typically release only a small amount of moisture, which is why so many women need plenty of foreplay to stay wet.
Welcome to the pleasure centre
Here’s where the clitoris comes in – that proud little pink nub, roughly the size of a pencil eraser, that’s there only for sexual pleasure. Approximately 8 000 nerve endings are crammed into this little love button, the largest number found in the entire body and double the number found in the glans of a man’s penis, says Hoppe.
Of course, that number makes it crazy sensitive, but you already knew that. What you probably didn’t know is that it’s got legs. Literally. “We see only the head of the clitoris,” says Herbenick. But it has a body that’s shaped like a wishbone, with two legs (called crura) that reach seven centimetres into the vagina, just under the pubic mound and straight into G-spot territory (more on that later). This gives the clitoris incredible sexual reach and depth. “It’s the powerhouse of the orgasm,” says Ian Kerner, author of She Comes First. “It connects with every single structure in the genitals.”
The best way to make the clitoris happy is through direct, consistent, yet gentle oral or manual stimulation. But it’s also quite responsive to woman-on-top and during a twist on missionary called the coital alignment technique, says Herbenick. In this position, your guy enters you as he normally would during missionary, with two simple tweaks: he inches his body up until his shoulders rest above yours and the base of his penis directly hits your clitoris. Then he grinds in a circular motion instead of thrusting, which “creates more friction against the clitoris,” explains Herbenick.
Friction can feel fabulous, but sometimes the star of the show can be a touch overexposed. As you head towards climax, “the clitoris swells in size, which can make friction painful,” says Hoppe. Some women report that clitoral stimulation at this point can feel like an irritating tickle, and in some cases, like a really sharp shock. To protect itself, the clitoris retreats back under the protective awning of the clitoral hood. Often, simply lightening up the stimulation a bit will make it feel good again.
An overly sensitive clitoris is your body’s way of saying, “Let the vagina soak up some of the sexual spotlight, please!” The 10 to 18cm canal (it varies depending on the woman) can’t hold a candle to the clitoris in the nerve-ending department. But it does boast a few of its own, says Hoppe. The first five to eight centimetres of the vagina “has hundreds of nerve endings and is majorly sensitive,” she says. “That’s why when a woman is giving birth and the baby is crowning, they call it the ‘ring of fire’.” To stimulate these first few centimetres of your vaginal canal, try shorter, shallower thrusting during sex.
What lies beneath
Deeper into the vaginal walls, you’ll find one of the vagina’s trickiest trump cards: the G-spot. If the clitoris is famous, the G-spot is infamous. Not every woman can tap into its potential, but if you do, the rewards are phenomenal.
The G-spot is a spongy area about the size of a R2 coin and it’s located two to four centimetres into the anterior wall of the vagina, just under the pubic mound – and you’ve got to feel it to believe it. It has bumpy, knotty striations similar to a walnut and it demands a hands-on, tough-love approach. “The G-spot’s nerves are contained in fattier tissue, so you have to provide deeper, firmer pressure to stimulate it,” says Kerner. For starters, you should already be really turned on before it’s accessed. That’s because the tissue doesn’t swell and make itself known until you’ve enjoyed proper foreplay.
G-spot stimulation also calls for some give and take. You can hit it by having your guy enter you from behind, but the best bet is to have him go down on you with his tongue and fingers. “With his mouth on your clitoris, have him use his fingers in a come-hither motion to apply firm, rhythmic pressure to the G-spot,” says Kerner. Put those two together and it’s like they’re high-fiving each other for a job well done.
If you haven’t had what you think is a G-spot orgasm, don’t stress over it. (For the record, orgasms that originate in this zone generally feel expansive and deep, while orgasms that start in the clitoris often feel more acute and intense.) “Many women say the G-spot enhances their orgasm,” says Kerner. “They wouldn’t isolate it and say, ‘Wow, I just had a G-spot orgasm.’ It’s more like, ‘I just had an orgasm and what he was doing felt really good.’
That’s why most vibrators come with a clitoral stimulator and a G-spot stimulator. They work in tandem to create what’s commonly referred to as a blended orgasm.” While you can have a clitoral orgasm without G-spot stimulation, it’s a little trickier to achieve the reverse. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter where it’s coming from – at the end of the day, an orgasm is an orgasm. And they all feel goooood.
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