I was over 30 years old when I realized that external part of a female’s ‘private bits’ was actually called a vulva. It had taken me long enough to get comfortable saying the word vagina that I had thought I was a super adult for using that word. I prided myself on teaching my young daughter the anatomically correct term, which she pronounced ‘china.’ Somehow I came across the difference between the vagina and the vulva and realized I’d been wrong.
But, what to do about the ‘china’? I sat that little toddler down and told her that mommy had been accidentally calling one of our body parts by the wrong name. I told her the vagina was the inside part and the outside part you can see is vulva. I couldn’t understand why she giggled with this news until we went out side to get in our Volvo and she pointed her chubby little finger and announced we were getting in the ‘vulva.’
Fast forward many more years, I was yet again humbled by my lady parts and my lack of awareness for them. SO much happens down there and, yet, I’ve largely ignored the details. To my credit, I did go through a phase of trying to get to know my vulva so that I could get over the ‘ick’ factor that had somehow seeped into my brain. BUT, it took a yeast infection to really get me learning about the more internal bits.
If you’ve read my Vagina Parfait article then you know I’m not afraid to try new things, but this round of self-medicating led to some interesting discoveries. Like, what was that different textured patch inside that I felt while shoving up a probiotic capsule? Or, what was that stick-outy-tube-ish bit that was a bit inside what I thought was supposed to just be a hole? I realized that I didn’t know my baseline vagina. How was I supposed to know whether I was feeling/seeing something abnormal when I don’t know my own normal? Plus, my attempts at bisexuality haven’t included benchmarking my vaginal topography with other womens’.
I highly encourage you to look at, feel, and thoroughly explore your vagina and vulva. Learn your personal vaginal topography. This will give you a baseline in case something ever gets out of wack, it will give you information about your gorgeous body, and it will be a fun side project to tell your friends about over wine.
(Remember to get checked out by a doctor if you feel something is off with your body. Trust yourself. My informal internet research has told me that the textured patch is probably the g-spot and the tubey thing is probably the hymen, but I’ll be asking my ObGyn at my next appointment.)