Posts Tagged ‘anatomy’

ask anything: various vaginas!

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Welcome to our newest anonymous-question-answerer, Gabrielle!  Gabrielle is a Sexology student at UQAM and a beloved stagiaire here at Head & Hands. Today she waxes poetic about the varieties of vulvas out there…

Q: how many types of vagina do we have?

An important thing to note is that there’s a lot of confusion in our day-to-day language about the female genitals, especially about the difference between the vagina and the vulva. The vulva refers to the outer portion of the genitals formed by the clitoris, the hood of the clitoris, the outer and the inner labia, the opening of the urethra and the opening of the vagina. The vagina is the internal part: it’s the canal that connects the vulva to the cervix and the uterus (the inner genitals). Check out the diagram below to see how it all comes together!

In any case, the precise number of different types of vulvas and vaginas are impossible to determine. Everybody is shaped differently to begin with, and people can alter the appearance of their genitals in different ways (e.g. piercing, shaving, tattoos or dyes)

As cliché as it sounds, every vulva is a unique piece of art. It has its own colour, size, amount of hair, and texture. Colour can range from a subtle pink to a rich brown tone. The clitoris, its hood and the labia can be very small and the skin tight, or larger and with the skin more elastic. Inner labia might be longer or shorter, sometimes extending below the outer labia and sometimes not. All of these things are normal!  It’s also important to note that the inner labia (like breasts and testicles) usually differ in size. For example, your inner right labia might stick out beyond your outer labia a lot more than the left one.

To get a better idea of variations, and to appreciate their difference, take a look at these pictures of vulvas after the break (NOTE: may not be acceptable viewing material in certain workplaces or schools!)

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Ask anything: sex and pleasure

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Sydney, Sense animator extraordinaire, makes another guest appearance to answer your anonymous questions! Thanks, Sydney!

Q: How do I give more enjoyment to my husband?

First off, I want to say that your enjoyment is just as important to this equation as your husband’s. Everyone has a sex drive and everyone has the right to experience pleasure. Sex is best when both people are into it!

Secondly, I must say that there’s no one (or even two or three) answer(s) to this. My main suggestion would be to communicate! Spend some time thinking about what sex acts turn you on and what you’re comfortable doing. Brainstorm a few ideas about what might be enjoyable for you and your husband. Think about your fantasies and what you want out of sex. Then sit down with your husband over coffee or a glass of wine or a meal or whatever. Tell him your fantasies. Ask him what his are. Discuss ways to make them a reality. If things get awkward or uncomfortable, maybe take a break. Be prepared to give him some time to do some thinking as well and then set a time in the near future that works for both of you to come back and talk about things.

As far as detailed suggestions about different things you can try and how to go about doing them, there are way too many options to discuss here. Internet research can be helpful, but remember to take everything you read there with a grain of salt. There’s a great – and quite detailed! – article over on Scarleteen that describes the anatomy of pleasure and which of our body parts can make us feel really good! There are also a lot of great books out there that you can find at many bookstores or even the library sometimes. My favorite is The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex. It talks about a wide range of topics related to sex, offers tips on how to make each sex act more enjoyable for both people, and is a super easy and fun read. There’s something in it for everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, and sexual preferences.

Keep in mind that the idea of what “good sex” is is different for everyone. Also, you and/or your husband may be into one thing one night and a totally different thing the next. Communication is an ongoing process. Keep talking with each other in different ways and different times. Some of the best discussions happen when you’re not in bed, but offering suggestions and checking in with the other person are also important before, during, and after sex. As a general rule, the more you talk about it, the more comfortable you will be and the better the sex will be.