Let me guess. You are here because you have a vagina or are a friend of the vagina. Either way, you are welcome.
Read through these genitalic words: “ikpu”, “toto”, cunt, camel toe, puna, fish lips, coochie, cookie, bearded clam, paradise, golden palace, papaya and most common of all, pussy.
Apart from “ikpu (the Igbo word) and “toto” (the Yoruba expression), the reason why the vagina is coded as other slangy words might be because the word ‘vagina’ is too heavy a word that it outweighs your speech-production capacity and would require you to cease you breath, develop a protruding eyes, summon the attention of your gut and punch out the word quickly from your oral cavity. And in reading those words, you might have chuckled, blushed, cringed, rolled your eyes, or made some unsettling expressions. This could be largely dependent on the high level of conventional awkwardness and sacredness that have been accorded the human genitals, especially in this part of the world. As a result, most women do not even seek to know their bodies; but that is not the focus of this piece. The problem here is that most times, what we call the vagina is not our actual reference.
So, here is what you do not know about the vagina: the vagina is not the vulva.
The vulva is the external part of the female genitals. Some of its components include the mons pubic, labia, clitoris, urethra meatus and vagina opening.
The Mons Pubic is that fleshy mound usually covered with hair after puberty occurs.
The labia are lip-like folds of skin around the vaginal opening. It could be short or long, wrinkled or smooth. It has two layers: the outer and inner lips. The outer lips are usually thick and called the labia majora while the inner one that does the click-click sound, especially when it is steamy, is called the labia minora. This particular lips begins at the clitoris and ends under the vagina opening. Both the outer and inner lips are sensitive and swell when its carrier is sexually turned on and the colour could vary from pink to brownish black.
The clitoris is made of spongy tissues that become swollen when aroused. It is known to be the centre of pleasure for women because of its numerous nerve endings. It is located at the top of the vulva, where the inner lips meet and is covered by the clitoral hood. Clitoris, here, refers to the tip of the clitoris called the shaft and crura(roots and legs). This is because the clitoris extends inside the body, back and down on both sides of the vagina. Sizes of the clitoris differ. In some women, it could be as tiny as peas, easily shielded in the labia or it could be as big be as a thumb with the clitoral crura spread apart on the labia like some mini flag.
It is rib-cracking to be told or hear, yourself, naïve sexual concerns from the opposite sex such as “I hear women have a lot of holes down there; I fear I might stumble into the wrong one.” And then, you wonder, “How wrong can they be that they land successfully into the wrong one before realising it was the wrong one?”
If you have ever been curious enough, as a female, to hold down a mirror, releasing and withholding urine just to have a glimpse of where you pee out from, then you have encountered the urethral meatus.
Anyways, there are two holes in the vulva. The first is the urethral meatus. If you have ever been curious enough, as a female, to hold down a mirror, releasing and withholding urine just to have a glimpse of where you pee out from, then you have encountered the urethral meatus. The urethral meatus is the urethral opening- that tiny hole from which urine leaves your body and it is located just below the clitoris. It is nearly as impossible that a penis would mistakenly be inserted there, no matter the size of the penis.
The second is the vagina opening. It comes right after the urethral opening (the reason why it seems as though you pee out blood when menstruating). It is the final exit point for menstrual blood and babies. It can also serve as an entrance point for a variety of things like the penis, fingers, sextoys, tampons, and menstrual cups.
Moving on to the vagina, the vagina is an elastic, muscular canal with a soft, flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation. It connects the uterus to the outside world. The vulva form the entrance, and the cervix of the uterus protrudes into the vagina, forming the interior end. It is the vagina that receives the penis during sexual intercourse and also serves as a conduit for menstrual flow from the uterus. It also serves as a passage through which babies are born; hence it is also called the birth canal.
Having clarified the distinction between the vulva and the vagina, it can now be seen that some of the aforementioned slang best denote the vulva. Words like camel toe (a combination of the mons pubic and the labia), bearded clam(mons pubic), fish lips(labia). At this juncture, it should not be hard for you to identify slangy words that clearly signify the vagina.
So, the next you mean to say vulva, ensure you call a spade a spade, not substituting vagina for vulva.
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