Genitals -- the Bish Guide to Your Bits Pictures of normal penises. Pictures of normal vaginas

Genitals — the differences and similarities

Your genitals are unique, as you can see in these drawings (by the most excellent Stuart F. Taylor). Warning, genital drawings ahead!

If you would like some detailed information about the clitoris and vagina or the penis and testicles then go and hit those links, but this post is about showing how actually there aren’t as many differences between these kinds of genitals as you might think.

Drawings of Genitals. Picture of normal vagina. Picture of normal penis.

Some are bigger some are smaller. Some have more skin than others. Some are hairier than others. Some bits stick out more than others.

You probably knew this right. But did you know how much they can vary? The differences are so big that sometimes there are more similarities between a penis and a clitoris than two penises or two clitorises.


Internally there are actually lots of similarities between all genitals. For example penises and clitorises are really similar. They both have glans, which can be very sensitive, and they both get hard by blood being trapped in spongy tissue.

If you look at the rest of my posts about bodies here there’s a lot lot more about this kind of stuff. But despite this not all bodies like the same things.

Cross section of penis and clitoris

All Genitals Work Differently

You’ve probably been taught that sex = penises going inside vaginas ????  (so hetero). A lot of people don’t enjoy this kind of sex because of their genitals.

Vaginas are often not long enough or stretchy enough to be penetrated. Sometimes penises are too big or too small to fit inside someone. A lot of people find that even though they can do  ??? they find it a bit meh — more about this here.

The only time that this would be a problem is if you were auditioning to be a porn star. If you’re not, there are lots of other kinds of sex that people much prefer: sometimes not involving genitals at all.

Your Bits Change Over Time

Your bits can change a lot too. Over the course of a day your bits might shrink or get bigger because of the temperature. Often they change colour. They look very different when they are aroused to when they are relaxing.

They can also look different over weeks, months or years too. Like, you might want to trim or grow pubes. Sometimes people want to get piercings. Or to have some skin removed or remodelled*.

It’s common to get spots, warts and blisters which can make them look a tiny bit different for a bit (sometimes these might be caused by very common but mostly harmless STIs like HPV or HSV).

Some people may have operations to extend or reduce their penis, clitoris or vagina*. Some trans or intersex folk may want to have treatments to change their bits (but not all do).

(*sometimes people have their genitals altered without their consent — this is known as FGC or FGM and is illegal. Also a lot of intersex kids have their genitals altered unnecessarily.)

(hey look, I made a little video about this too!)

Why Is All This Important?

So, you have no idea exactly what is in someone’s pants or how they work. All genitals are different, no matter what their gender is.

So when it comes to sex you can’t assume what someone is going to be into. You have to find out from them. This is something that we should all be doing anyway, because #consent.

Would You Like a Leaflet or Poster?

Do you want to have a leaflet and a poster about this for you to print out? There’s a bonus ‘genitals join the dots’ game too! Click on the image below and head to Bish Training (my website for sex educators) and buy now for just £3.50.

Click to buy a leaflet and poster to download

© Justin Hancock (words) and Stuart F. Taylor (drawings), 2017

6 thoughts on “Genitals — the differences and similarities

  1. My girlfriend says it hurts if I put my penis completely in her vagina while having an intercourse even when she is completely aroused. What should I do ?

    1. Great question. The answer (and I’m being serious) is not to put your penis in her vagina. It’s good that she’s told you, because 1/10 young women regularly have painful sex. You’re right to think that this is often because of a lack of arousal, but the other reason is that some penises don’t fit comfortably in some vaginas. Penis size varies a lot, but so does vagina size. The vagina does stretch a lot internally when it’s even more aroused (there is no 100% when it comes to arousal, people can always get more aroused), so there might be times in the future where it might be less painful, but that time isn’t now. If you keep doing it then it will get worse, not better, because the body will remember the pain and find it harder to get aroused more. I’ve written about this a lot, but start with this post Painful sex – how to have penis in vagina sex without pain and this one About People Not Enjoying PiV

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