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Anatomy lesson: The vagina and the vulva are not the same things. 

The vagina is the female genital organ inside the body from the cervix to the vulva.

The vulva is the externally visible parts of the female genitals that include the inner and outer lips, the vagina, the urethra, the anus, and the clitoris.

The vulva is connected to the vagina so you may have heard about these body parts talked about interchangeably. Vulvas, like every part of our bodies, come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Despite societal “norms” about what a vulva “should” look like, there’s actually no such thing as an ideal vulva.


This article is all about the vulva and all its magic.

1. Vulvas are like fingerprints of the vagina

Each vulva is different and unique, just like fingerprints. It’s the body’s original design and no two are the same. There’s no standard-issue model or “normal” vulva. 

2. Each vulva is wonderfully and beautifully made

Each vulva is created beautiful just the way it is. Unfortunately, however, our ideas about what makes a normal vulva have been shaped by the pervasiveness of the pornography industry which will often airbrush out a women’s labia minora resulting in a smaller and more adolescent appearing vulva. 

3. Vulvas don’t need fixing

In the US and beyond, female genital plastic surgery is a lucrative expanding business. Cosmetic surgeons are marketing to women to “improve the appearance of their genitals.” See your doctor for any potential medical reason that would warrant a surgery. The body is created as it was intended!

4. The mind-vulva connection

The female pelvic neural network is complex, and may also be a part of the female soul. Meaning, that for a woman to be aroused, she needs to be turned on both physically and mentally—orgasms may be a deeply spiritual experience for her. The more that women can slow down and relax into the sensual feelings for their entire being—mind, body, and soul, the deeper and more incredible sexual satisfaction can become.

Another potential contributing factor to making the vulva like a mystery and causing all these hang-ups is that fact we don’t talk about vulvas nearly enough. If you found this article helpful and learned a few things, chances are some of your friends or your partner(s) may learn a thing or three too. Share it with them!

And if you found this article interesting, you might like these too:

Sexology International, like all of our work, is for people of all sexual preferences and all forms of gender expression, including people whose identity is something other than male or female. As such, we like to use gender-neutral pronouns. More recently accepted alternatives include words like “ze” and “hir” or the universal pronoun “they.” Throughout our work, we will be doing our best to use alternative pronouns, such as “they,” whenever gender or plurality is unimportant. In doing so we hope it helps everyone to feel included in the discussion and that it inspires you to think outside of traditional sex and gender binaries.



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