The image above is “The Great Wall of Vagina” with 400 Plaster Molds by British artist Jamie McCartney. She has created a fascinating piece that is far from erotic, telling a story about individual beauty and sexuality rather than gratuitous nudity. “Vulvas and labia are as different as faces and many people, particularly women, don’t seem to know that.” The goal of the piece is literally to change people’s mindset on the “perfect vagina.”
The term vagina has become the catch-all term used by many for the female genital area. The vagina refers to the inner canal not the whole of them. The proper name for the outer genital is the vulva.
Let’s get to know your pink parts:
Below your navel is a fatty area of tissue that covers the pubic bone below called the Mons Veneris, Latin for “hill of Venus.” The mons protects the pubic bone from impact of sexual intercourse, it is sexually sensitive in some women.
Without even spreading your legs, you’ll see two folds of skin called the labia majora (the outer lips). These labia are usually covered with pubic hair, it has been suggested that the scent from these are sexually arousing.
Now, if you gently push apart the outer lips, you’ll see thinner lips called the labia minora which fold to protect the vagina, urethra and clitoris. “Flower” is the most common metaphor for it. Both inner and outer labia are sensitive to pressure and touch.
The clitoris is the pink little nub between the top of labia minora and the clitoral hood. Only the tip of the clitoris shows externally, it’s shaped like a wishbone with two legs (crura) that reach three inches into the vagina. During sexual excitement, the clitoris may extend and the hood retract to make the clitoral glans more accessible. It is the primary source of most genital sensation.
The opening to the urethra is just below the clitoris. The urethra or urinary opening is connected to the bladder. The urethra is so close to the anus, sometimes sexual activity can bring bacteria which infect the urinary opening. Women should always wipe themselves from front to back to avoid infecting the vagina and urethra with bacteria.
Just barely inside the vaginal opening, you may see the vaginal corona, or hymen. The hymen is the traditional “symbol” of virginity, although being a very thin membrane; it can be torn by vigorous exercise or the insertion of a tampon.
Like any other body part the vulva have basic size and shape. There is a variation in color, symmetry and pubic hair pattern. The biggest variation is in the labia minora. It may be long and thick, or barely visible, and may look purple, red, pink, blackish or brown, depending on your own coloring. The size, length and color differ from person to person. All of these variations are absolutely normal, as labia are not created equal.
Is your “flower” giving you anxiety and you’re considering Labiaplasty? Exposure to cut and colored images of vulva in pornography influences women’s perception of what kind of vulva is normal and desired according to International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Labiaplasty is a purely aesthetic surgery that doesn’t reap any health benefits -besides advertised “confidence.”
About half of all women have have labia minora that are longer than the labia majora. A study found out that there is nothing unusual about having labia minora that are longer than the labia majora. These variations are completely healthy and normal. Love your labia whatever size or shape it is. It isn’t something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
It’s not having perfect vulva that fixes anxiety, but rather acceptance and confidence in your body. Learn to accept one’s differences with confidence and maturity. Choose a partner only when you’re ready. Someone you trust and know will treat you and your body with respect and care. In many cultures genitals are perceived to be sacred and indeed they are. Treat your body with honor and respect, and let them bring you joy and pleasure.