Vaginas are confusing, we know

Men see their lovers’ vaginas in a way women don’t, which is front on, from behind, from the side, with tastes and smells that few heterosexual women ever enjoy. Women experience their vaginas primarily by touch, a lot of imagination, and a top-down approach.

The vagina is largely invisible to the person who owns it. There are so many bits of wet or dry, wrinkly skin, it’s amazing anyone ever figures it out. 

Lots of women don’t know much at all about their vaginas, so next time you find yourself perplexed, you can consider yourself in good company.

As we go through life, there are many vulvovaginal or reproductive issues that women and people with vaginas will face.

Often, a partner will be there, going through these issues with her. These problems can range from annoying infections to devastating diseases. Life is not always kind.

Having a bit more information on these issues as a partner can be extremely useful, since there is so much tied up in our pelvis besides our reproductive system.

This section is for men who have sex with women or people with biological vaginas. 

Welcome! Don’t forget, if you have any questions, Aunt Vadge knows everything and she’d love to help.

FOR DADS

Anatomy

Know your anatomy

There are so many jokes about clueless guys not being able to find the clitoris, but it’s not that funny when it’s you who can’t find it, or worse, thinks you’ve found it, and it’s not it. 

Knowing your anatomy starts with naming body parts and understanding how each one functions and how it relates to the other parts. The inner labia, for example, is highly vascular and extremely sensitive, whereas the outer labia are just not cut from the same cloth at all. 

Knowing where everything is is your first job.

The best teacher of a body you have is your lover, so if you’re not sure, stop and ask for lessons. Each woman is a bit different, since her pelvic nerve bundles are packed in there somewhat higgildy piggildy compared to men’s pelvic nerve bundles, which means what feels divine to Kiara will be different to what feels divine to Rebecca.

The pelvic nerve bundles are one of the reasons why each woman is genuinely built differently to another when it comes to what gets them off. 

The pelvic nerve bundles

Think of an orderly row of street lights standing to attention down your spine and into your pelvis. Those are your pelvic nerve bundles. Now think of a tangle of 100 fairy lights thrown into her pelvis. That’s what her pelvic nerve bundles look like. It’s now your job to find the access points, the sweet spots, to the bundle – from the outside.

Like a challenge? Good. You’ve got one. She might have no idea where these sweet spots are, so you may have a choose-your-own adventure on your hands.

The arrangement of these nerve bundles is why every woman can be so different in terms of what she likes and doesn’t like in terms of touch and sex, and why generally speaking men’s sweet spots are pretty predictable. Some women orgasm intensely from anal sex, while others just have no idea what the big deal is, despite a good effort – thank you nerve bundles.

These nervous arrangements are also why finding the magic set of areas on her body that she may not even know about is so important for her to be satisfied sexually. If you manage to find them, then you have to learn how to touch them, but that’s another story. (We suggest OMGYES for you both for this undertaking.)

You may not know, but the clitoris is more like the Starship Enterprise than a cute little button. It has legs and arms that get erect, just like your penis does, but inside her body. Your job is to give her a ‘lady boner’, or sex won’t work, just like with you.

If you are paying attention, you will see that a turned-on woman’s vagina and vulva are quite different to when she is not turned on or not turned on enough.

Vag basics

Here we take you through the anatomy of the vulva and vagina, with pictures so you get a clearer view of what's going on downstairs.

The vulva and vagina through ages and changes

An overview of how your vulva and vagina changes throughout your life, from being a newborn to old age.

Understanding female anatomy

Here we take a closer look at what the female reproductive system looks like.

What does it feel like for a girl? A flesh comparison

Ever wondered what a penis or clitoris feels like? You have what you need to find out!

Sex

Having better sex is everyone’s problem to solve, and while having a real-life lover who teaches you everything you need to know is ideal, it doesn’t always work like that.

Here are some basics to get you started:

How do lesbians lose their virginity?

When you are still technically a virgin or not is a complicated question based on old ideas of purity. You lose your virginity when you say you do!

Pain and bleeding after fingering – is it normal?

A young lady bleeds after being fingered by a boy she likes. Find out why.

Sleep sexing – understanding sexsomnia

Sexsomnia means acting in a sexual manner during sleep, ranging from aggressive sexual advances to moaning. We discuss the consequences of sleep-sexing.

Understanding period sex

We discuss period sex and what's good and what's gross, from orgasming to how to get bloodstains out of sheets.

Fingering basics for men

A guide for guys on how to use their fingers to pleasure a woman.

How to get better at talking about what you like sexually

Trying to have better sex without feeling like you are bumming the other person out takes some tact, so here are some tips.

Are female virgins tighter and better to have sex with?

We discuss the idea of female virgins being better to have sex with.

Understanding consent

If you are confused about consent, we explain and here's a fun video!

Infections

Vaginal (and penile) infections you should know about

Men can and do catch and pass on the bacteria from the women they have sex with, since vaginas are full of bacteria. Usually it’s friendly, but it can very easily not be.

Men can catch:

  • Your regular, run-of-the-mill sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes, etc.)
  • The bacteria that cause women to have fishy-smelling vaginas (bacterial vaginosis), but men get no symptoms usually
  • Yeast infections

Men with foreskins collect more bacteria and pass on more bacteria to female partners, particularly bacteria that form biofilms. These biofilms can develop in the urethra an around the head of the penis, being conveniently deposited into vagina after vagina. You may get a clear STI screening, but this does not mean you haven’t left a trail of bad vag behind you.

If you have a history of women with smelly vaginas or vaginal problems, including urinary tract infections, consider reading Killing BV: Guide for Men. If a lover has bad smells, you need to tell them, so they can go and get tested, and you can both be treated if necessary.

Don’t ever put your penis into a vagina that smells bad without a condom. It’s got bad germs, and you can catch them.

BV penis treatment for men

Men need to be treated too.

How gentian violet works

An old study examines gentian violet's antimicrobial properties against bacteria.

Microbes that gentian violet is effective (and ineffective) against

Look over the list of bacteria that gentian violet will be effective against to make sure your bacterial vaginosis bacteria is on the list. If it's not, you'll need to check the support section for the comparison chart of treatment options.

Pubic lice (crabs, pediculosis)

Pubic lice - crabs - are reasonably easy to treat using medication or natural treatments, but can be persistent and spread easily.

HPV vaccine – Gardasil and Cervarix – for men and women

The Gardasil vaccine is used in boys and girls up to age 26 to protect against various HPV strains.

The ultimate guide to bacterial vaginosis (BV)

A clear explanation of why BV occurs and understanding effective treatment options.

How and why BV is sexually transmitted

BV can be sexually transmitted, and here's the evidence.

STI testing

Getting an STI test is a good idea, especially if you (or your partner) likes sex with more than one person.

Birth Control and Contraception

Reasons to think harder about contraception:

  • Be in charge of your first-born (or second, third or fifth)
  • Don’t spread bad vag around
  • Don’t catch an STI

We’ve written up an important post about how men can start being more in charge of no babies. If you are enjoying many lovers, you need to be careful where your sperm ends up. Don’t leave it to chance or up to someone you don’t really know.

Choosing the best birth control for you

Choosing the right birth control can be tricky, but there is one out there for you!

How men can help take responsibility for no babies

Be the boss of where your first-born comes from, understand why it's best to err on the side of caution when it comes to who you trust, and what to do with a full condom.

Abortion (pregnancy termination)

Learn what an abortion is, the different types of pregnancy terminations available, and what the abortion procedure is like.

How to catch an STI (the complete guide)

This is the complete guide to catching an STD on purpose.

What’s new in abortion rights around the world for 2018

News update on abortion law and social changes ahead for 2018.

How babies are made

We explain in plain English how an egg and sperm turns into a baby, and how that all goes down inside our bodies. Important to know if you are wondering how you can get pregnant!

Pregnancy tests – how to get accurate results

Understanding the ins and outs of home pregnancy tests.

How fertile is precum?

The pull-out method has been used successfully for all of humankind, but why does it work for some people and not for others? We explain.

Understanding Hormones

Know thine enemy and become friends – hormones

Women’s hormones go in a predictable cycle of – if we take vaginal fluids as our cue – bleeding, dry, bit moister, silky smooth egg-white ovulatory phase, bit moist, wetter, bleeding again. The lowest ebb of her cycle is the bleeding and dry bit at the end of her period. The most fun part is while she is ovulating. That is, in a woman who is not on any hormonal birth control and has regular monthly cycles.

We don’t live in a perfect world – many women have irregular cycles, underlying medical concerns, and even more are on a form of hormonal birth control that dulls out everything cyclic. If you don’t live in the perfect world of a healthy menstrual cycle, it would pay to educate yourself on how your lover’s cycle may differ from the norm, which will help you to understand what to expect from her.

Hormones do not exist in a reproductive vacuum – they affect every single part of who we are and how we do things, just like men. If you take testosterone away from a man’s body, he’ll get fat and depressed. This applies, albeit differently, to women’s bodies – women need oestrogen and progesterone for their bodies and minds to work optimally.

Progesterone, for example, is a hefty natural anti-anxiety, but you have to ovulate (e.g. not be on hormonal birth control) for progesterone to be released.

The reason progesterone is only for two weeks of every month is because it’s what holds a fertilised egg in the side of the uterus when a woman gets pregnant, until the little foetus can start its own food supply chain. It is also the base hormone from which adrenaline and cortisol are made.

That’s just an example. Your lover(s) may or may not have much idea about their own hormones, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take an interest. It’s pretty interesting stuff!

The real cause of acne (plus the solution)

We explain what is really behind acne and how to fix it.

How your gut bacteria affect oestrogen

Your gut bacteria and oestrogen have much more to do with one another than you might think. Your gut bacteria regulate oestrogen metabolism, by producing enzymes that cause a cascade of reactions. The key event in the digestive tract is the deconjugation of oestrogen, meaning the splitting apart of bonds, turning oestrogen from its inactive form into its active form. We need hormones in both states – active and inactive – depending on what their task is. Free, deconjugated oestrogen circulates in the bloodstream, where it is distributed throughout the body to find its target receptors. You can think of… Read it!

Hormones and the menstrual cycle

When we are fertile, when we get our periods, and how we feel is all down to hormonal balance in our bodies.

How to get hormone and blood testing

Learn how to get hormone testing on the right day for the most useful results, and what to do with the results.

How to track your menstrual cycle and identify ovulation

Not sure when or if you ovulate? We run you through charting your cycles and how to check if and when you are ovulating using some very simple tips and tricks. No temperatures!

The HPO and HPA axes

The HPO and HPA axes are two critical feedback loops that govern our stress response and the intricate hormonal interplays of the menstrual cycle.

Do I have PCOS?

How to tell if you have PCOS

Acne and PCOS

Acne and PCOS are deeply linked, since PCOS is mainly a blood sugar dysregulation issue, not a hormonal issue. We explain.

Ask Aunt Vadge

Aunt Vadge: which BV treatment is right for me?

A 22-year-old has had BV for five periods in a row and isn't sure which BV treatment is best. What should she do?

Aunt Vadge: I jumped off a 30-foot bridge and now have an inch-long tear

A 19-year-old has jumped off a massive bridge, causing a tear on her vulva an inch long.

Aunt Vadge: Do I need to tell my partner?

She wants to know if revealing her history of BV is something she should do in her new relationship.

Aunt Vadge: chronic vaginal pain and redness

A vulvodynia sufferer needs help with vulvar and vaginal pain that just won't go away.

Aunt Vadge: Am I pregnant?

Is she pregnant or has she just ovulated late? We find out.

Aunt Vadge: I have to change my undies 4 x day

She's had on and off problems for a few years, with vaginal burning and discharge. What should she do next?

Aunt Vadge: chronic constipation, vaginal rash and painful sex

A woman has had a vaginal/vulvar rash and chronic constipation from the age of 11, and now sex is painful and she's running out of treatment ideas.

Aunt Vadge: can fingering bring on my period?

Fingering does not bring on your period, but why not? Find out how it works.

Aunt Vadge: fingering cut is healed, but when can I have sex again?

Her boyfriend cut her with a fingernail by mistake, and they landed in the emergency room. All seems well, but when can they have sex again?

Aunt Vadge: sandy vag scratches or something worse?

They were at the beach getting handsy, and now she has cuts and it hurts when she pees. What went on under that blanket, and are they just cuts?

Aunt Vadge: fleshy bits come out of me after being fingered

She has fleshy bits coming out of her after being fingered by her boyfriend. Why?

Aunt Vadge: fingering woes

A girl masturbated, then bled a bit after - did she do something wrong?