There’s so much about our own bodies that we don’t know. For instance, “the vagina” — the 3-6 inch passageway where the penis goes during heterosexual intercourse — is actually an entire body part. The vulva encompasses the mons pubis, clitoris, the urethra, inner and outer labias, and other parts of the organ on the outside.
Our high school health classes inform us of some of the important things that we need to know but leave out learning of other facts about vaginas that can help us understand using female products, female pleasure, and taking care of ourselves as best as possible in adulthood.
Here are 12 facts about vaginas that can help you be more informed and live your best sexual life:
1. The vagina has 5 inches of hidden clitoris stored inside of it.
The clitoris is typically 9 to 11 centimeters long and most of it is out of view. Although the most sensitive part is the clitoral glans (what we see on the outside), the clitoris — which extends into the vagina — can be stimulated in its entirety.
2. The vagina is tilted at a roughly 130-degree angle, which is why you have to insert tampons by aiming at your back.
Your vagina sits at an angle in your body. That’s why you have to aim at your back to avoid a vaginal wall. Also, the angle at which your vagina sits can change over time. The vagina can flatten somewhat over time, making sex feel different to women as they age and those who are menopausal.
3. The size and location of your clitoris play an important role in orgasming.
According to a 2014 study, the reason why some people have difficulty with orgasming from penetrative sex could be because they have a relatively small clitoris that is located too far from the vaginal opening.
4. Vaginas change color and get deeper when turned on.
When you’re feeling lustful, the blood rushes to your vulva and vagina, making the color of your skin in the area darker. After sex is over, the vagina and vulva will return to their normal color. Additionally, the vagina opens up when you’re aroused to allow for penetration.
5. Vaginas are self-cleaning.
Various glands release fluids that work to cleanse and lubricate your vagina daily and keep your vaginal pH balance healthy.
6. They’re incredibly resilient.
For example, childbirth can tear our vaginas. But ample blood supply allows it to heal quicker than other parts of the body. Moreover, frequent sex will not stretch it out nor will dry spells shrink it.
7. You can lift weights with your vagina.
According to sex and relationship coach Kim Anami, vaginal weightlifting — the act of inserting an “anchor” into the vagina that’s attached to a weight on a string — is a great way to strengthen your pelvic muscles. A strong advocate for the exercise, Anami says that stronger vaginal muscles can make sex last longer, feel better, and strengthen orgasms.
8. You can get “wet” without being sexually aroused.
Outside of sexual arousal, there are other reasons for vaginal wetness. For instance, hormones cause daily excretion of cervical mucus and the vulva has a high concentration of sweat glands. The vagina can automatically produce lubrication whenever it’s touched, regardless of arousal. Urine can also find its way onto the vulva. Vaginal wetness is never a sign of consent. Consent must always be verbalized.
9. You may have to forget about your G-Spot. Pay attention to your A-Spot.
After decades of obsession with finding the G-Spot, a button that when pressed leads to orgasm in women, imaging research along with numerous studies and surveys have failed to find it. If you enjoy having the front wall of your vagina touched or stimulated, it’s likely thanks to the internal working of your clitoris instead. However, there is another letter named spot that can lead to pleasure: the A-Spot. Sitting at the back of the belly side of the cervix and a good distance deeper in the vagina than the G-Spot, stimulation of the anterior fornix is an easy way to create more lubrication. According to a 1997 study, 10-15% of participants reached orgasm after 10-15 minutes of A-Spot stimulation.
10. You cannot lose a tampon — or anything — in your vagina.
Despite anecdotal stories you’ve heard about this, it’s impossible to lose a tampon in your vagina because of the small opening at the top of your vagina being too narrow for it to escape through. During childbirth, your cervix opens up as the baby passes through, but that remains closed for the rest of the time.
11. There is a link between vaginas and sharks that have nothing to do with teeth.
Despite what the film Teeth showed, the condition of vagina dentata, or a toothed vagina, is not real and is instead a myth based on fears around the power of female sexuality and castration anxiety. However, the lubricant produced by the vagina contains a compound called squalene which can also be found in the liver of sharks.
12. Practicing safe sex can make your vagina happy.
We all already know to use male and female condoms, IUDs, dental dams, and other forms of birth control to ensure protection from STIs and to get tested regularly for STIs upon having new partners. We also know that peeing after sex is a great way to reduce the likelihood of UTI’s. However, you should mind the order of your sex acts. Going to vaginal intercourse after butt play can increase the likelihood of infection. If anal sex is your thing, make sure to do it after vaginal play, not before. Also, make sure you check your condom ingredients as certain spermicides can kill good bacteria in your vagina.
There are so many more facts that can counter the misinformation that so many have been told about their vaginas. It can be empowering to understand your body’s anatomy. Moreover, you can better ensure your pleasure in the bedroom with this knowledge. Every individual deserves the chance to appreciate their body in all of its glory.