Female genital anatomy is not some mystical unlockable box holding an ancient curse or anything complicated like that.
Still, men often seem to struggle to understand it.
Reddit's here to help.
Reddit user Slow-Bluejay9648 asked:
"Girls, what should men know about the vagina?"
So listen, let's have a quick anatomy lesson, shall we?
All humans start out as "female" - fetuses don't develop "male" anatomy til later in the game and obviously not all of them do. It can be easier to understand anatomy if you understand that men and women are built from the same stuff.
Men are just women, the re-mix.
LowerRo Oops GIF by Rosanna PansinoGiphy
"For the first timers, the hole where you put the peni in is a little lower than you think."
"That was definitely a surprise the first time lol"
"I think we just assume you guys have your stuff where we have ours and vice versa. That's why so many girls ask questions like 'what happens when you ride a bike.' "
"Fun fact, the 'seam' in a guy's scrotum is the result of their vagina closing up when they develop male body characteristics in utero."
"That really puts it into perspective."
"As a kid you’d think the opening and the penis were in the same location. But since your penis is analogous to their clitoris, which is above the opening, you have to go much lower."
"We don’t pee out of it."
"This is too hard to comprehend."
"Women have two holes other than the anus."
"One that is their vagina and then they have another hole higher up that is the urethra. But the urethra is really tiny so it's not really visible at quick glance."
"Female anatomy is glossed over so quickly in early schooling, so lots of people - women included - didn't realize there are three holes for women, not two."
"I’m a full grown woman and I didn’t really understand that the uterus wasn’t just a big vacant sac in my body until I was like almost 30. It’s shameful! Sex education really needs to be revamped."
Moans = Same
"When we moan out in pleasure it does not mean speed up or do it 'harder.' It means keep doing exactly what you're doing."
"I literally have to remind my husband of this ALL THE TIME. Stop speeding up when you’re literally doing PERFECTLY."
"There's no harm in a little correction if they change what's working in the moment... 'no, don't stop, just like that...perfect.' "
"A moan is just a moan. Use your words to get what you want/need."
Acid SpitJames Cameron Aliens GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"Vaginas are quite acidic, to the point were discharge can bleach under garments."
"I buy my vajayjay cute panties and the b*tch thanks me by ruining them. 😠"
"When I was young I was confused because I thought the discoloring on panties was a sign of being dirty."
"Turned out I just have a very high ph."
"A lot of men (and women) think the discolored underwear is a sign of the woman's vagina being 'dirty' when it's not at all."
"Just because your ex liked certain things doesn‘t mean your current partner does. Communication is key and porn not a good teacher."
"It always baffles me that people don't seem to talk that much before/during/after."
"Sex in a relationship gets even better if you know what your partner likes, so be attentive and talk about it. Obviously don't overdo with the questioning, but a bit goes a long way."
"Don't be shy about 'Does this work for you? Can we try x? Do you mind if i wear my fluffy earmuffs while we do it?' "
"It doesn't help that many people just expect you to know what they do/don't like."
"They assume since you've had previous partners you should know how to 'please any man/woman.' Had a couple experiences where the lady would get a bit pissy because I ask a few questions to find out what she's feeling while I'm doing something."
"I would honestly be super disappointed in my partner if they didn't ask questions. I don't care if you've had 0 or 300 partners, don't assume."
"Hell, ask me as much as you want, it shows you care enough to want to really, truly please me"
The Mother Of All Myths
"The hymen has nothing to do with your virginity."
"People really do describe it like a freshness seal."
"Pop it open and you have 3 days to consume the vagina before it spoils, 4 if you refrigerate it."
"Also it’s not common the hymen completely covers the vagina."
"Most of us still have our damn hymen and it just stretches open- it’s very obvious when you know what it looks like!"
"And also that there are so many different types of hymens that we don't get taught about."
"I thought I was a freak of nature because of my weird hymen."
"Turns out it's called a septate hymen."
"That the vagina is the inside of the female genitalia."
"If you’re referring to the outer genitalia like clit or labia, that’s the vulva."
"Over 90% of the clitoris is internal. What most people call the clit is the clitoral glans."
"Ive been scrolling forever looking for someone commenting on this, thank you for pointing it out because I think more people should know this!"
"My genitalia is more than just the hole where things go in."
"But I agree with comments saying that there are no good words in English if you dont want to use 'p*ssy'."
"Imagine if we started to refer to the male genitalia as 'the shaft' or something like that. There are other fun things to also play with down there ;) "
" 'Vulva' is just the exterior stuff, 'genitals' takes you all the way to the ovaries. Is there no in between word?"
"The vagina reverts to its original snugness."
"It shrinks after babies. Your penis is meaningless to it."
"This! Women push babies out and go back to normal afterwards, sometimes the vagina even gets tighter after birth."
Your Potential Pool
"Dudes, if you openly use terms like 'meat curtains' or make fun of different types of labia, I can guarantee you that you have minimized your potential hookup pool."
"A) it can make a woman (who may have otherwise been interested) insecure."
"B) Women can’t help what their labia looks like."
"C) it’s a turn off to hear people talking bad about others’ bodies- just like it’s sh*tty for women to make fun of penis size."
"Making fun of body parts isn’t cool or sexy."
"Ramming a penis that's dry on the sides into the vagina because its "kinda" wet does not feel good."
"If they're moving uncomfortably while you're trying to stick it in thats probably why. Either spread the wet to cover entire vag area outside or make the sides of your dick wet."
"Edit: for clarity. Friction doesn't equal pleasure. No one wants to feel rug burn on their delicates."
Proof This Thread Works
"Okay so man here."
"I came across this thread yesterday and didn’t think much of it except it made sense. But not in an eye-opening way."
"A couple of ‘sessions’ ago, my wife asked me to slow down and I realized how much longer I could last just by that little bit of criticism. But there was still that instinctual rush to finish."
"Anyway, so last night, things got hot and heavy and I remembered this thread and made an effort to actually slow down and just keep doing what I was doing when she reacted well."
"Wow. Oh my god."
"I’m not going to go into details, but um…this was a big improvement."
"So from a man who has only ever been with his wife, thank you for this."
Before You Get Into It
"1) Don't learn sex from porn."
"We can tell what men have learned sex from porn. Vs. Having a long term girlfriend where men get comfortable asking questions and taking feedback."
"Most things in porn are done to look good, not because they feel good."
"2) Sex is extremely intimate, be comfortable with the person you're banging before banging them."
"Talk, ask them about their relationship with sex, approach to sex, what they are into etc...before you get into them."
"I haven’t seen this one here yet: when a woman is aroused the vulva swells up like a plum because blood is flowing thru."
"It may also slightly change color depending on her skin tone."
"Honestly…you don’t have to know anything."
"Just be open to communicating & hearing what your partner has to say about what pleases her."
"That’s it. Boom."
"You can't hold the blood in when your period hits."
"I seriously hate it when guys say: 'oh just hold it.' "
"I WISH I COULD DO THAT WITH MINE!! IF ONLY!!"
"The school system will say that guys shouldn't know that since its not their business. 😬 It should be!"
"Cause then if they know about it he'd be a 10x better boyfriend, father, friend, and human for that."
"It seems to be very underrated of guys knowing female bodies and how they work and what is and isn't healthy."
"As a kid, I always thought vaginas must be really tasty, like sweet n all because I'd seen men just feast on it in porn."
"Boy was I disappointed when I learnt it's just... skin. Same old salty skin."
"Discharge is normal and unlike body hair (which we can control, but sometimes choose not to, which is totally okay) we literally can’t control when it comes or doesn’t."
"So don’t call it gross because that’s equivalent to shaming somebody for living."
"Not everyone who has a vagina necessarily has a G-spot."
"Try not to get so offended when someone can't finish from fingering/penetration alone. Some people find that hard because their bodies simply aren't built that way."
"Be tactful with your comments on appearance."
"I dated a blithering idiot who went down on me and literally said 'wow that's the biggest one I've even seen!' not in a sexy way like a woman would say about a man's dick."
"It instantly annoyed me. I still don't know if he was talking about my clit or my labia which are - at most - both slightly bigger than average."
"It was 5 years ago and I still think about that moment when I realised in a millisecond that I didn't want to be involved with that man."
"Have a filter don't just blurt out dumb shit that comes to your mind. It just makes you look and sound very inexperienced and unsexy."
What major vaginal misunderstandings have you witnessed in your life?
Sound off in the comments!
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The key to any successful relationship is communication.
The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.
But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.
Curious to hear examples of what those might be, Redditor FamiliarFarmer8356 asked:
"What's something you wish you could tell your partner without upsetting them?"
If there is conflict, there is a way to discuss and address the issue in a civil and respectful manner.
Things Just Happen
"Every bad thing that happens doesn't require someone to be blamed for it. And that someone doesn't always have to be me."
A Cornerstone Of A Successful Union
"One of the cornerstones of a good marriage, is knowing how to argue. I’d actually say that before a couple get married, they should check how their potential partner behaves in an argument. What are they like when they get angry. It’s important because no two individuals are going to agree all the time. And on those occasions, it’s important to remember not to belittle the other. Deal with the issue at hand. And especially, don’t argue in front of the kids. You have no idea how much lasting damage this causes."
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership."
It's Not That Deep
"please stop complaining about everything."
"If you keep seeking out reasons to be miserable, you will find them."
"I'm tired of being dragged down with you."
There's no need to get defensive when there's something to discuss.
It's Not About You
"That some days I’m just tired from class and work and just want some me time, it’s not that I hate you my social battery is just running out."
"Her first reaction to something adverse doesn't have to be anger."
In The Words Of A Pirate
"In the wise words of captain Jack Sparrow sometimes:"
'the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude toward the problem.'
It Takes Two To Tango
"That I wish she’d be more independent so she didn’t need my help for everything outside the house."
"That it’s a little disturbing how aggressively he drives when he’s grumpy… heavy on both gas and brakes, zooming in and out of traffic, swearing at people who make mistakes… very unlike him."
Sometimes the truth hurts when talking about members of the family.
A Real Assessment
"That her mother is not a good person."
"I told my husband that it's not that his family is nosy and overbearing, it's that I hate watching him cave and negotiate as if they have a right to behave like this, and I really hate when I'm the bad guy for wanting reasonable limits."
"It got worse, then it got better, FYI."
"His parents are greedy, selfish people and treat him like an atm."
There's definitely a fine line between withholding your thoughts to protect the person you love and being brutally honest.
If coming clean isn't going to resolve an issue, then it might be better to suck it up and deal with whatever frustrations you have about the other person.
It's up to you, but make sure the delivery doesn't come from a place of rage if you do decided to be totally transparent about your negative thoughts.
Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.
What is a "black sheep" anyway?
It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.
Redditor Frozen_yoghurt123 asked:
"Who is the 'black sheep' of your family?"
I'm the black sheep or at least I'd like to think so.
"Probably my dad's cousin, who went to prison for murdering his lover's husband."
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"My Dad. He is the only one of 6 siblings who wasn't a huge f**k up. And yet, before my Grandma died she stated that he was her 'biggest disappointment.' He is estranged from his surviving siblings... not by his choice. It honestly blows my mind."
"Toxicity is often a group mindset thing; people don't want you to leave because they are dysfunctionally co-dependent on each other and need each other to justify their own shortcomings in life. A lot of the 'family loyalty' stuff is typically shouted loudest by those who are the least good idea to stay loyal towards."
"My great uncle who stole my great grandfathers identity, stole a couple million dollars, and ran off. No one even knew he was alive until my great grandfathers funeral in 2009. No one has seen him since. My grandma started to cry because she honestly thought he was dead."
"Everyone else just kind of nodded on his direction and went on with the rest of the funeral. I just remember being very confused because I was 9 and I had never met this guy who my dad pulled me aside and told me he was my great uncle. It was a few years later that I got the full story."
"According to my mean aunt, the 'matriarch' in her own mind, it's my twin brother because "he doesn't care about family now that he's a doctor." (He's a resident. Chief resident. He works ridiculous hours and spends the rest of the time recovering from work.)"
"According to my ex-MIL (who still counts because she's Son's grandma), it's me, for divorcing her son."
"According to everyone else, it's Mean Aunt. The rest of us are warm and caring and compassionate. We have our moments; all of us have been accidentally thoughtless or done something selfish once in a while, but we're not deliberately mean and snarky all the time."
"My immediate family are the black sheep of the entire family."
DarthDreganJohn Stamos Cheers GIF by GrandfatheredGiphy
Sounds like everyone has a little black sheep in them.
"By now, my brother for cutting off everyone because he prefers his rude, selfish, paranoid, narcissist wife over all of us."
"My wife is the black sheep of her family in the sense that she's the only one who isn't a rude, selfish, paranoid narcissist."
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"Me. My granddaddy told me 'I’ve only had the sheriff knock on my door two times in my 80 years, and both times he was looking for you! 'I did some dumb sh*t, caused a little trouble, burned a few bridges but always managed to stay out of jail. Partly because my sister has kept an attorney on retainer for me since I was 16."
"My younger brother (2nd of 4) is a compulsive liar and it got him in a lot of little trouble as a teen, then he told his wife he graduated a big college when we're not even sure if he got his GED because he failed to graduate HS, went to some GED school and eventually just stopped going."
"IF he graduated college, he never mentioned he was going in the 4+ years it takes nor mention graduation or have a diploma. He's not a bad dude, but now family time is super awkward when he and his wife are talking about 'their' college team."
The NOT good girl...
"My aunt's daughter. She’s been in jail for drugs, stolen money from my aunt and other family members to use on drugs and physically abused my aunt. My aunt has tried getting her help, but nothing has worked. She’s just not a good person, and everyone in my family, except my aunt, doesn’t want anything to do with her. I haven’t seen her in 8 years now, and I’m happy about that."
"A former nun - my great aunt - left the religious life and got married. She called herself 'the black sheep of the family' because her habit was black."
Back2BachExcited Julie Andrews GIF by The Rodgers & Hammerstein OrganizationGiphy
Well the black sheep sound like the most interesting family members.
Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.
There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.
A good steak.
A home repair.
The things that make you say...
"I tingle all over."
Redditor OldAboba asked:
"What is the best non-sexual physical feeling you’ve ever felt?"
Adele. Adele live. She sends me.
FloatingRelaxed Exit Strategy GIF by Hannah Bronfman Giphy
"I got a professional full body (everything but my man parts) massage a few years back for the first and so far only time at a spa after the recommendation from a coworker. I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the next few days."
Through your nose...
"Sneezing when you're sick. Then you get that about 20 second feeling of breathing through your nose again and you like ahh that's what I aspire to at the moment."
"Or the very last sneeze of your illness. During a fire drill in high school, I was ambling out after fighting a head old for a few days. The alarm was killing my head which was already throbbing from the sinus pressure."
"I was nearing the field, well away from my classmates, when I cough/sneezed out a huge, green loogie - cleared it about three feet, no icky trail - and by the time I was walking back to the building I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No more head cold after that. Never had something like that ever happen again where there was such an abrupt end to the head cold."
"Right after a migraine goes away. It's almost a spiritual experience."
"This was going to be my answer. I was in the ER one time for a really bad migraine. They gave me what they called a 'migraine cocktail.' When they pushed it through the IV I could feel the cold liquid make its way through my body, up to my head. Once it hit my brain, the migraine was gone. It was pure ecstasy. Even better was that cocktail had Benadryl in it so I fell asleep not long after and slept so good."
"That stretch til you shake when you wake up."
"I once stretched too hard in the morning and got the worst calf cramp ever... it looked like a prune and I thought I would die from the pain. Couldn't stretch in bed for months afterwards out of fear it would happen again."
"When you move over 50, it turns into that stretch til you put your back into a muscle spasm that lasts days."
The ItchScratching Feel Good GIF by 60 Second DocsGiphy
"I had a cast and splint on both my legs for 2 months. When they cut it off, they scratched my legs for me and the itch was just top notch! Yeah."
Itching an itch can change a life.
YUM!Emma Stone High Quality GIFGiphy
"When you're starving all day and devour a bomb a** meal."
Sleep for Life
"When you’ve been up for 20 hours+ and finally get into bed and you just know it’ll be the best sleep of your life."
"But man, after 36+ hours, the body sort of aches and it's hard to fall asleep despite being completely exhausted. Then the restless legs kick in... ugh. I do agree that a 20hr-ish stint is amazing to cuddle into, especially if you don't have to get up at any specific time the next day."
"Makes it better when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks and know you have NO PLANS tomorrow and can sleep as much as you need."
"When you're absolutely busting for a pee and you can finally go!"
"Apparently there’s a thing called a 'pee-gasm' that people (usually women) have that causes an orgasmic feeling when you pee after holding it for a while! I’ve definitely experienced this and I’ve intentionally waited a while so I could have that good feeling... lol."
I Can Hear!!
"The feeling of water leaving your ear after being there all day."
"I had some impacted earwax for a week in one ear, and when it finally got removed it was the best feeling in the world. Initially it was like having a tv or radio in my ear that only had static, but then I could hear. Good god, I could hear. It was amazing."
"Oh man, and it’s WARM from being in your head, and the warmth makes the sensation of leaving even better."
A Good Restdog puppy GIFGiphy
"Sleeping in a warm blanket in winters."
"Or sleeping in a cold blanket in summer."
I am enthralled by all of those things.
People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.
And when it is requested, think before you speak.
People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."
Redditor Gold-Ad-2827 asked:
"People with mental disorders: What do you hate being told the most?"
I hated being told to just smile. You smile and go away.
Duhseth meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"It's all in your head. Where else would it?! My colon?"
"Everybody goes through that."
"This saying makes my blood boil. Or the 'I was that age once too ya know' yeah no sh*t you were that age once. And just because you were that age once doesn’t mean we have the same experience."
"They try to minimize it."
"You're worried? Just stop."
"You're sad? Just don't be."
"You're compulsively binge eating? Eat less."
"Thanks for that stellar advice."
"Or even better, 'Just do it!' As if ADHD paralysis can be stopped with a can-do attitude."
"I get so frustrated when people treat the idea of 'holistic medicine' as some kind of woo. How does it escape so many people that the body works holistically? Even a lot of doctors seem to ignore this. It's very frustrating when you have 2 or 3 or 4 illnesses that are all affecting each other, and your 'physical health' is held distinct from your mental health, and nothing anyone is doing to treat you works because no one's looking at the whole system."
"I just got a lecture from a psychiatrist I am seeing about nutrition, and he apologized to me for doing so but I told him, 'No, I appreciate it. Do it for all your patients.' because it told me he's trying to look at the whole picture and actually fix what's wrong. It gave me faith in him."
RelaxCalm Down Golden Girls GIF by TV LandGiphy
"You need to calm down."
"Never is the history of calm down has calm down ever caused anyone to calm down."
Calm down. I hate that one. You calm down.
TipsSeason 23 Reaction GIF by Law & OrderGiphy
"When they try to give me tips on what to do, like bruh as if I didn't already try that."
"You don't look sad. No crap... that's so I can avoid having this conversation. Also depression isn't 'being sad' like people think."
"God, I hate this. It's because saying 'I'm depressed' has been standard for people expressing that they're slightly unhappy about something dumb like not getting enough croutons on their salad or some crap. Now that's just what everyone assumes you mean when you say you have depression."
"'Stop being lazy.'"
“'Lazy' is when you don’t want to do anything at all. 'Executive disfunction' is when you can do everything at all, but that one easy quick thing that you do want to do just makes you and your brain freeze completely days ahead. I’m tired of people not understand that even when I explain and look at me like I’m bullshitting instead."
Ways to Cope
"Maybe you should try praying harder. I did, He prescribed medication."
"Praying is a way to cope for a lot of people, I think. That's totally fine, but insisting on praying in lieu of getting real help or actually addressing the issue is when it is not only unhelpful, but dangerously detrimental."
"Religious people will bypass everyone’s cultures, identity, views, and feelings just to be right and make a point. it’s disgusting. I read somewhere that real so called Christianity is all wrong. The real faith is from the Aramaic history and all the meanings were misinterpreted and the stories and all were made up by Catholics wanting to control their people. Yuck."
'contamination'Disgusted Season 6 GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy
"As someone with OCD with a lot of attention to 'contamination', having someone try to explain contradictions in why I'm doing something that is technically unclean when I wouldn't do something that is technically clean due to OCD. There are a few doorknobs that I will not touch no matter how much you clean them in front of me and I know it makes no sense, if it made sense I wouldn't have OCD i'd just be cleanly."
Stop trying to be an armchair therapist. Be empathetic to people first.