5 Amazing Facts You May Not Have Known About Sex As It Relates To The Vagina

by Kristen Mae
Originally Published: 
A pink-red-orange paper cutout of a uterus placed on a person's palms
Orawan Pattarawimonchai/Shutterstock

For a physical act that makes up a tiny percentage of our lives, sex sure does take up a lot of space in our brains. And yet we’re still learning so much about it — especially when it comes to the vagina and its surrounding parts.

It will come as a surprise to no one that despite significant study and pharmacology dedicated to the understanding and maintenance of the workings of the penis, the vagina is only now, finally, starting to get the attention it deserves.

Hey, just like cis-het sex!

Kidding. I’m kidding!

Anyhoo, it seems like every day we’re learning more about the magnificence and depth (literally) of the vagina. We’re normalizing sex and all that goes along with it. We’re realizing that the “100 Sex Tips to WOW Him in Bed” headline should always have read “100 Sex Tips to Make Sure You Get Yours Too.” Sex may have always occupied a disproportionate amount of human thought, but not nearly enough of that headspace has been devoted to the vagina and its capabilities. So we’re gonna talk about five amazing facts about sex as relates specifically to the vagina.

The Clitoris Is Way Bigger Than You May Have Realized

For decades, or for…ever, probably, anybody who even bothered to think about the clitoris just assumed it was a tiny little bud snuggled at the crux of the outer labia. Even when people figured out that it was a major pleasure center for people with vaginas (and not something that caused “paroxysms”), we still assumed the clitoris consisted of only that small nub.

But that little nub is actually the glans clitoris — the very tip of the body of the clitoris, a larger organ that extends internally and splits into two shafts, also known as legs or “crura.” When flaccid, the clitoris is four inches long. When erect, it can swell to two to three times its usual size, ending up longer than the average penis. Two vestibular bulbs snuggle behind the labia, coming into contact with both the urethra and the vaginal canal. But yeah, almost the entire clitoris is inside the body, and it’s as big as a penis.

Clitorises: the icebergs of human anatomy.

All Humans Have Erections

Just like penises, the clitoral shaft contains “erectile tissue,” or tissue that can become engorged, or erect. This tissue is very similar to the erectile tissue in a penis. They even share the same Latin name — corpora cavernosa (f) or corpus cavernosum (m) — which translates to “cave-like bodies.” A vaginal erection (or clitoral erection, to be more accurate) presents as swelling of the labia, which happens as a result of swelling of the clitoris beneath. A penile erection presents as … swelling of the clitoral caverns inside of the penis.

Penises and Vaginas Are Remarkably Similar In Terms Of Tissue And How They React During Arousal And Orgasm

Many people with vulvas reach orgasm primarily through the stimulation of the clitoris’s tip. With penises, it seems obvious, taken for granted even, that stimulation of the shaft alone doesn’t generally get the penis owner all the way to orgasm. But for folks with vaginas, it’s only been recently, like in the last half century, that it’s become more widely recognized that the clitoris needs to be stimulated in order to achieve orgasm — just like the head of the penis. Messing around with the shaft alone (in other words, vaginal penetration only) typically won’t cut it.

The interior parts of the clitoris do become engorged with blood just like a penis, but for most people with vaginas, stimulation of that part alone is not enough to produce an orgasm. There are certainly exceptions, but in general, the tips are super important, regardless of which genitals you’re working with.

Your G-spot … Is Part Of Your Clitoris

Much ado has been made of the G-spot, to the point that I came to think of this magical spot as a whole separate body part. Was it, like, a … bumpy bulb inside of me? What exactly was I looking for? Supposedly, stimulation of this part, especially when paired with stimulation of the glans clitoris on the outside, could produce deep, body-shaking orgasms. I used to try to feel around for it, expecting an instantaneous explosion of pleasure once I “found” the spot.

Well, the G-spot is not technically its own separate part. It’s actually a section of the internal part of the clitoris. It’s also not a magical spot that you hit with your finger or a penis or a toy and instantaneously erupt, like a magic wand transforming a pumpkin into a sparkling stagecoach. Arousal needs to happen first. The whole clitoris needs to be engorged, or erect. (No wonder I wasn’t “finding it” when I used to go spelunking with a leg propped on my bathroom counter.)

The G-spot is the reason people with vaginas sometimes “squirt” or ejaculate — no, this liquid is not always “just pee” the way some accuse, though sometimes it is. The G-spot is the inner part of the vagina that presses right against the back of the urethra (where urine comes out) as well as the clitoris. When the clitoris becomes erect and everything in the area swells, it presses against the urethra. Studies have shown that sometimes the fluid that expels during a G-spot orgasm is at least partly urine, and sometimes it’s a milky-watery substance that resembles “secretions from the male prostate,” according to an article in The Conversation.

Either way though, if you experience deep, body-rattling G-spot orgasms, you can thank your clitoris for that.

Vagina Orgasms Last Longer

Penis orgasms last from 10-30 seconds on average. Vagina orgasms last from 13-51 seconds on average.

But we always knew we had more endurance, didn’t we?

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