how the clitoris, vagina and vulva works - Bish

The Clitoris, Vagina and Vulva

Where the clitoris and G spot is. How the vagina works. Why and how people squirt. Why they aren’t just ‘female sex parts.’

This guide can only really teach you some of the basics – you might want to have a look at your own private parts (in private) to find out how this all works for you. There are drawings of genitals here, just to warn you in case you’re on the bus and you’re worried about someone looking over your shoulder.

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The vulva

A lot of people just call this the vagina, but it’s actually the vulva. The vulva comprises all the things that I talk about on this page, the labia, the clitoris, the vagina, the urethra and pubes.

The vulva is composed of the clitoris, the labia, vagina, pubes and urethra. Find out more about it here

This is just one drawing of the vulva (those are fingers, parting the labia so you can see what’s going on there). Of course all vulvas are going to look different – that is a bit of a theme that will keep coming up.

The clitoris

For many people, the clitoris is the main bit of the anatomy to experience pleasure from sex. All the research shows that most people with one need it to be given some attention in order to have enjoyable or orgasmic sex. If you have a penis, think of it like your penis. The penis and clitoris are very similar, the only main differences are how much it sticks out of the body. So for enjoyable sexy times it can be nice for them both to be touched, stroked, licked, sucked or buzzed with a vibrator. For some people all of those things are enjoyable, for others not so much.

Find out more about different ways of touching clitorises and vaginas at my what is sex

So far we have only looked at the sticky outy bit o​f the clitoris at the top of the vulva, but as you can see in this picture, most of the clitoris is inside the vulva.

If you look at this image above you'll see that the clitoris is actually really big. It is behind the labia and surrounds the vagina.

It is behind the labia and surrounds the vagina. The corpus cavernosa fills with blood which is then trapped to create an erect clitoris. The bulbs and legs become swollen and all throbby. Because of this, on the outside the glans gets harder and sticks out more and the whole vulva swells up and feels bigger. Again, if you have a penis think of it like your penis — the clitoris gets hard by blood being trapped inside all the blood vessels, just like the penis when it gets hard.

cross section of penis and clitoris

Corpus cavernosa of the penis (left) and the clitoris (right)

The vagina

Vaginas vary in size from person to person and they vary a lot. In this study the length of the vaginas measured were between 41 and 95mm. In this study the length of the opening to the vagina (the introitus for you sex geeks out there) ranged between 6 and 75mm. That’s a lot right?

An important fact about vagina width and length (and again, something they find in this study)  is that they don’t get bigger over short periods of time. I think a lot of people think that their vaginas get bigger the more they have entry sex (the amount of people who have used the term ‘bucket’ to me -sighs-) but that’s not how vaginas work. They stay the same size, but they get more stretchy when they are turned on and people get turned on when they know how their bodies work and know what to expect from sex. So here’s what happens when vaginas get aroused.

How the vagina works. The vagina stretches and doubles in size when aroused and can become wet.When the vagina is aroused it gets wetter, more relaxed and stretchy. Most of the stretching happens deep inside the vagina near the cervix. On it’s own the vagina doesn’t change in length, but there is more blood flow, more lubrication and so the wall of the vagina smooths and stretches. Crucially there are very strong muscles surrounding the vagina, they relax a lot when the vagina is aroused, but can also really tighten up when it isn’t. There’s a lot of stretching around the fornix. It stretches to make room for what is put inside it. 

The fornix (the upper one and the lower one – or the anterior and the posterior for you sex geeks) stretches loads when it’s aroused. This allows for a penis or sex toy or fingers to fit comfortably in the vagina. If the vagina isn’t aroused, the fornix doesn’t stretch and can make entry sex feel uncomfortable or painful.

The first third of the vagina is very sensitive as it is possible to stimulate the clitoris and prostate in that area, however many people find different parts of the vagina are more sensitive at different times. Some people find that the fornix area is very sensitive. Lots of people say the upper wall of the vagina near the opening is very sensitive.

Wanting to learn how to have sex? Here’s the BISH guide.

The G spot

Many people find that the upper or front wall of the vagina has an area which is particularly sensitive to the touch and can have orgasms from having this area stimulated – many people call this the G spot. Not everyone likes this area to be touched and prefer different areas. But some really do. It can be sensitive because of the location of the clitoris but also the prostate.


Do you like Bish? Then you might like the new Bish Activity Book  for helping you to work out how you feel about sex, love and yourself. Just £3 if you have it and £0 if you don’t! It has join the dots! A wordsearch! Follow the line! Spot the difference! Colouring in! A board game! As well as loads of maybe less fun but super important worksheets about communication, consent, relationships, fantasies, safer sex, self-care and how we feel about ourselves.

The prostate

Formally known as the ‘Skene’s Gland’ the prostate surrounds the urethra – although it it varies in position and shape. It’s from here that some people ejaculate a fluid which is similar to semen when they orgasm – this is commonly known as squirting or just ejaculation. Just because someone is squirting doesn’t mean that they are having a ‘better’ or ‘more real’ orgasm than when someone isn’t squirting. Some people do and some people don’t. More on the history of the research of this here.

The urethra

Lots of people don’t realise that they don’t pee out of the vagina. For most people, above the vagina but below the clitoris is a small opening where urine leaves the body. Again, because all genitals are different this can be in a slightly different place from person to person. This is also where a fluid leaves the body when some people ejaculate (this is thought to be a fluid a bit like semen). It’s also possible to get an infection in the urethra, this is know as a urinary tract infection. To prevent this it’s a good idea to try to have a wee after sex.

The hymen corona

It used to be called the hymen but now it's the corona. It's stretchy mucous tissue surrounding the opening to the vagina. It's not a wall of tissue that breaksThis is thin folds of mucous tissue surrounding opening of the vagina – this used to be called the hymen. It’s just 1 or 2cm inside the vagina. The shape of the corona varies and some people have more of this than others. However, it is not a wall of tissue that gets broken at first time sex: a lot of people think that, but they are wrong (this video points this out really well).

It stretches over time so the entry to the vagina opens more. Lots of things cause it to smooth out over time — vaginal discharge, period blood, masturbation, or penetrative sex. It might bleed or hurt for first time sex but only if someone is not relaxed, or ready or turned on enough. If someone is relaxed and ready to enjoy sex then it probably won’t bleed at all. Remember sex should not hurt. It should feel nice, first time and every time.

Sometimes people think that people bleeding is a sign that they are definitely a virgin (that is, haven’t had penis in vagina sex before). That’s total rubbish 1) because of the above but also 2) if someone says that they haven’t had sex before then others should believe them, and 3) why get so obsessed about ‘virginity’ when it comes to ‘female’ bodies and not those with ‘male’ bodies anyway. There’s a really great article about the corona here.

The labia

Labia (sometimes called vaginal lips or even ‘flaps’ by some people) are there to protect the clitoris, urethra and vagina. When someone is feeling really sexy (turned on/hot/etc) their labia fill with blood and swell up.
Bish Genitals illustrations copyright Justin Hancock and Stuart F Taylor, 2017

 

 

 

They also part to reveal the clitoris and vagina and often feel moist when aroused. There are two sets of lips the inner lips and the outer lips. As you can see in the pictures here, they come in different shapes and sizes.
Bish Genitals illustrations copyright Justin Hancock and Stuart F Taylor, 2017

 

 

For instance, sometimes the inner lips stick out above the outer lips sometimes not. See more of these great images of genitals here

Bish Genitals illustrations copyright Justin Hancock and Stuart F Taylor, 2017

Cleaning the vagina

Vaginas have a natural scent, which varies from person to person. Lots of people like this smell, or don’t mind it, but some people don’t like it. You should take care when cleaning the vagina. The vagina has it’s own pH levels (acidity levels) caused by the natural discharge which travels along the vaginal canal – this discharge cleans the vagina. That’s right the vagina cleans itself (clever vagina). Getting any soap or too much water into the vagina can change the pH levels which can stop the vagina from self-cleaning, this can cause an infection which makes the vagina sore and smelly. So really, the best way to clean the vagina is to leave it alone!

‘Female’ sex parts

This page used to be called ‘female sexual anatomy’ but of course, it’s not just females, girls or women that have these bits in their pants. Find out more about sex and gender diversity over here.

Become a sexpert!

Now you’re a sexpert on the clitoris and vagina, why not find out more about…

How All Genitals Are Different (whether you have a clitoris or a penis)

The Penis and how it’s actually pretty much the same as the clitoris

Balls and cum and where the ‘male’ G spot is too

Why Sex Can Be Meh, find out why here

How To Be Good at Sex there’s just one thing you need to learn to be good at sex.

Brief Guide To Relationships how to do the whole relationship thing

All images and text © Justin Hancock 2018

 


Comments (26)

  • Avatar

    Anonymous

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    What is cloritis

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Liz Bona

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    Google ” G-Spot myth”. It doesn’t exist. There’s never been proof of it.
    Female ejaculation is impossible and a myth also without scientific merit or proof. Please stop perpetuating false information.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    tight box

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    Your right on point I squirt all the time must of the time in his face

    Reply

  • Avatar

    DL

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    Hi, you repeat “for first time sex” twice.
    Excellent article.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Justin Hancock

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      🙂 Thank you! Crowd sourced proof reading FTW!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    ssebaale paul

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    Thanxs for a lecture am paul from kampala-uganda

    Reply

  • Avatar

    bob

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    i have a dick

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Ms Asina

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    I have a dry vagina

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Roy

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      I think if u have dry vagina,u help your finger or ,boyfriend or man to wet your vagina

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Mohd saddam hussain

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    Thankyou vagina picture

    Reply

  • Avatar

    vigrx plus side effects

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    I do believe all of the ideas you’ve offered on your post.
    They’re really convincing and will certainly work.

    Still, the posts are very short for starters. May just you please lengthen them
    a little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    person

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    thank u for the information.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Tettey Ebenezer

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    I LOVE ONE AND OTHERS

    Reply

  • Avatar

    ali khan

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    very nice

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Andy

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    This info rocks…

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Ashley

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    That is weird information. I would not share that. Thank you for posting it anyways though.how old are you?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Aravinth

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    very interlejanit to create this
    very perfect
    100//100

    without full mark to this

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Some one

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    So a girl losing her virginity, what dose that mean? since the party about hymen is not true any more?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      bishtraining

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      That’s a very good question. I think the answer depends on the person really. Lots of people might say it’s the first time that someone has entry sex with someone – but then this leaves lots of people out, particularly those who don’t have sex with a penis. Also it kind of makes that sound like the only ‘real’ kind of sex which I don’t think is right. One kind of sex isn’t more important or more real than any other. Plus someone could have entry sex which is a bit ‘meh’ but have non entry sex which is totally mind-blowing.

      What do you think it means?

      Justin (Bish)

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Some one

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        Sorry. I actually lost you there, I needed to know about entry sex, Like for example, if one has entry sex for the first time with this particular person, like completely turned on and then for some reason the one has to have sex with another particular person. so will that person be able to tell if the virginity has been lost to someone else before? or is losing virginity for women is conceptual like it is for men?

        Reply

        • Avatar

          bishtraining

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          Sorry I wasn’t very clear – it isn’t very clear! I think it’s more conceptual and it depends very much on what you think virginity means. Also is it important?

          Reply

          • Avatar

            Dibyendu

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            I think virginity is a concept, it’s a state of mind. We, men, have made a BIG issue over a SMALL tissue..
            Intercourse is a natural phenomenon and human beings must have learned that before even they learned how to speak. It’s the best way to communicate with your partner when you two have that special emotional attachment.
            I think over the years MEN have changed their idea of “A VIRGIN GIRL”. I consider beautiful female minds – VIRGIN…always.

  • Avatar

    hugo derk

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    i read all the pages you wrote and they suck

    Reply

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