Far too many women know far too little about their own vaginas. Who is to blame? Well, almost everyone.
From well-meaning parents intent on keeping their children ignorant about their bodies in order to “protect” them, to schools only teaching a very limited amount of the truth, to churches telling youngsters that sex, and therefore genitalia, is something dirty and only reserved for the wedded.
Even medical science isn’t completely faultless here.
Did you know the internal (and by far largest) part of the clitoris was only discovered in the 90s – that’s ‘the 1990s!
According to The Museum of Sex, urologist Helen O’Connell used MRI technology to study the female anatomy and made great discoveries.
Read more about her fascinating work and the story of the clitoris, here.
Either way, it’s time to stop the cycle of shame, taboo and ignorance surrounding our ladybits.
One of the initiatives aiming to educate women about their womanly bits is the Vagina Varsity by Libresse. Vagina Varsity offers a series of short, fun videos, educating women on all the ins and outs of their vaginas.
Once you’ve signed up for the course (for free) videos are delivered to your inbox daily, and you can also participate in quirky quizzes to test yourself! Check out the course introduction here:
In the meantime, let’s look at popular, pervading myths about our vaginas…
Myth 1: The clitoris is the tiny nub at the top of your vulva
Fact: Like we said in the beginning of this article - turns out the little external bud is merely the ears of the hippo sticking out above water. The largest part of the clitoris is internal and surrounds the vaginal canal, like a hug.
Read more: The internal structure of the clitoris
Myth 2: A dry vagina is a tight, chaste vagina
Fact: A dry vagina is a vagina that shouldn’t be participating in sexual intercourse. Dry sex increases friction during intercourse, but not in a good way.
Since dry sex often leads to tears in the vaginal wall it increases the spreading of STDs such as HIV. It can also lead to pain, discomfort and infection for women. Healthy, pleasurable sex for both parties require lubrication.
If your body doesn’t produce enough lube naturally, there are plenty of options available to buy.
Read more: 3 reasons sex might hurt
Myth 3: You have to wash the inside of your vagina with soap and water
Fact: Douching (the rinsing, flushing or washing of the vaginal cavity) is not recommended unless in very specific circumstances prescribed by a doctor. This type of washing can upset the delicate balance of organisms in the vagina and lead to thrush, itchiness and discomfort.
The vagina (actual canal) cleanses itself, so regular washing of the vulva (outside bits) with warm water is sufficient.