I was once in a local women’s business group that met monthly in the photography studio of one of our members. Our meetings were an exotic mix of savvy small-business tips, practical social media coaching, eating, drinking and considerable girl talk. The evenings were always unpredictable but there were two that stand in memory.
One time a new member showed up with her newly-published, coffee table book filled with art photos of vaginas and all their accompanying parts spread (pun intended) across the pages to display this member’s fancy waxing, pruning and coloring masterpieces from her many years owning a wax studio. Naturally, we spent most of that meeting pouring over every photo. We all left wondering which vagina and labia-type looked most like ours. The funny thing was, we weren’t 100% sure!
Another memorable meeting found yet another prospective member recounting how she used Ben Wa Balls to strengthen and tone the walls of her vagina. And, even though the rest of us were a little confused as to just how it was we got on this topic, we were, of course, transfixed.
So what is the moral of this story? Vaginas are fascinating, that’s what! And we women probably don’t spend enough time in awe of them. I, for one, think we should take a page from men and take great pride in our lady bits!
Here are a few fancy facts about vaginas that you may not already know:
1. A vagina can lengthen: While the appearance of labia and clitorises can vary from person to person, most vaginas are very similar, being about 3-4 inches in length until sexual arousal or childbirth, at which time the vagina can lengthen 200%. The vagina lengthens due to folds in its walls, kind of like accordion pleats, that can stretch open at the appropriate time to accommodate a penis, for example, or the bowling ball head of a child.
2. The vagina is self-cleaning: Handy, right? Discharge is actually evidence of vaginal cleaning. The mucous helps to wash the interior region and helpful organisms that live inside your vagina maintain the proper pH balance and fight bacteria.
3. Vaginal pH is between 3.8 and 4.5: By contrast, the pH of semen is roughly 8. The pH of water is 7, which is close to the normal body pH of 7.35-7.45. The higher your vaginal pH goes, the more prone to infection. This is why having sex a lot or for the first time in a long time can bring on a little infection.
4. 30% of women have orgasms with vaginal sex: Just in case you wanted to know. Which leads to the next item…
5. The clitoris and the vagina are friends: What we think of as the clitoris, that fun little button located under both the mons and the clitoral hood (see diagram), is not ONLY that tiny node right there. Think tip of iceberg. What you cannot see is the system of tissue connected to that node that extends 6-7 inches around both sides of the vaginal wall and beyond toward the rectum. At its genesis, when babies are still in utero and quite small, much of the tissue that becomes a penis in boys will become the clitoris in girls.
6. We ALL become aroused in our sleep several times every single night: Why don’t we remember these dreams, I wonder? At any rate, this is a physiological response that sends blood rushing into the vaginal walls just as though we are on a hot date or in foreplay mode.
7. The vagina is most lubricated during ovulation: As a fertile woman approaches ovulation, her estrogen levels rise, causing her cervical mucus to thin and resemble the consistency of egg whites. Fertile quality cervical mucus has a similar pH to semen, helping protect sperm on their long journey through the vagina toward the egg waiting for fertilization in the fallopian tubes.
8. Golden Era vaginas can have great sex: In peri-menopause and after menopause you can still have great sex but you will need lubrication and possibly vaginal hormone replacement, depending upon what your body responds to best.
9. Foods like garlic and curry can carry through to vaginal odor: You may have noticed this same thing in a male counterpart. I guess you both need to have the curried tofu or shrimp scampi.
10. Vaginal muscles can be strengthened and toned: As in the Ben Wa Ball example above. Kegel exercises also help.
11. Your vagina can prefer some men over others: There is a condition very few women have that makes them allergic to semen. Yet some women can be allergic to the semen of one man and not another man.
12. Why size doesn’t matter: The first 1-2 inches of the vagina have the vast majority of the pleasure receptor nerve endings.
13. Wax two days before a big date: Waxing and shaving create micro-trauma to your vaginal tissue. You can decrease the risk of bacterial infection by waxing 24-48 hours before the love happens.
14. Why are sharks and vaginas in the same sentence?: The compound squalene is found in sharks and, oddly, the stuff that magically lubricates your vagina during sex. I found this so odd I had to look it up and found that squalene is also in olives and olive oil (a good thing to have on hand for all occasions) and other plant sources.
15. Sex is healthy for your vagina: The more sex you have, the healthier the vagina long-term.
Do you give your vagina the respect and attention it deserves?
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