Although PEGym is penis-centric, if we’re going to improve men’s sexual lives, they really need to understand the penis counterpart –
We first talked about the vagina in this article — A Little Bit About Female Anatomy: AKA How Big is the Vagina? This article continues that discussion, to help demystify this mysterious female body part.
Note (again): Every woman is unique, this holds true for her vagina. For this reason, we are talking about typical. Just as every man’s penis is unique. And, just as a the unique size and shape of a man’s penis shouldn’t affect their value as a partner or as a human being, the same holds true for those of us across the gender aisle.
What is the Vagina?
The vagina is the internal sex organ of the female. It begins at the vaginal opening and extends into the body, typically between three to five inches, and ends at the cervix.
The vagina is made up of three tissue layers:
- Mucosa – This is the layer on the surface that you can actually touch. It is comprised of mucous membranes that provide lubrication and is similar to the mouth’s lining. Although, unlike the smooth surface you find in the mouth, the vagina’s mucosa has wrinkles and folds.
- Muscle – The muscle layer is the next layer. It’s concentrated mostly around the outer third of the vagina.
- Fibrous Tissue – The innermost layer of the vagina is made of fibrous tissue. This connects the vagina to other anatomical structures.
What is the Shape of the Vagina?
When not sexually stimulated, the vagina is basically a flattened tube, with both sides collapsed upon each other. Contrary to popular belief, the vagina is NOT a continually open space, or even a hole. The muscles of the vagina allow this tube to expand – like a balloon – allowing it to accommodate a wide range of size – from the narrowness of a tampon to the significantly larger circumference of a newborn’s head.
The outer shape of a woman’s pubic area can vary widely too. There is no one “perfect” vagina shape. The outer (labia majora) and inner (labia minora) position and shape are as diverse as the size and shape of women’s breasts or men’s penises.
How Sensitive is the Vagina?
This is probably one of the most common questions we get about vaginas — What does it feel like for a woman?
Interestingly, the vagina itself isn’t super-sensitive. This is the reason many women only orgasm from clitoral stimulation – where there are approximately 8,000 nerve endings in the very small nub of tissue! 90 percent of the vaginal nerves are actually located in the first one-third of the vagina. That’s why this first approximate inch to inch and a half is much more sensitive than deeper into the vagina.
How Does a Vagina Get Wet?
When sexually excited, fluid appears along the mucosa of the vagina. There are no secretory glands in the vagina. Instead, when aroused, the blood vessels of the vagina become engorged. These press against the mucosa tissue, which then force these natural fluids out the walls of the vagina. This lubrication is typically a preparation for intercourse, as sex can be uncomfortable – and even painful – without it for a woman.
Why Wouldn’t a Woman Get Wet?
The most common reason for too little vaginal lubrication is simply not being sexually aroused enough. Foreplay is so critical for many women. This doesn’t always mean touching traditional sexual areas. Kissing, and the hormonal exchange that happens when this happens, is often a good method of sexual stimulation. Other reasons why a woman may have trouble getting aroused include:
- Emotional issues –
- Unhappiness in the relationship,
- Hormonal deficiency
- Use of birth control pills that are high in progesterone
Vaginal lubrication often decreases as women age, due to the change in hormones. This is especially true after menopause, when the vaginal walls thin. After menopause, the vagina also often becomes slightly shorter and narrower and it can take longer for a post-menopausal woman to become aroused enough to produce adequate lubrication.
If not on estrogen replacement, artificial lubricants can be especially useful.