Mons (or Mons Pubis)
Let’s start at the top. Your mons, or mons pubis, is the mound of soft fatty tissue where the majority of your pubic hair grows. This tissue covers the joint of your pubic bones and continues down to form your outer labia (called labia majora).
Labia Majora (outer labia)
Your outer labia are also made of fatty tissue and are covered with pubic hair. Also called the outer lips, the labia majora are the outer folds of skin surrounding the vaginal opening. They are usually larger than the labia minora, but it is not uncommon for the inner lips to be the same size or larger than the outer lips. The labia majora can vary in color—pink, crimson, reddish brown—all of which are considered normal. They can also vary in length from short to long and may appear smooth or wrinkled. The outer lips serve as a protective layer to shield the genitals from dirt and bacteria.
Labia Minora (inner labia)
If you pull your outer labia open, you’ll see your inner labia. These inner labia are just as important as your outer, though they look much different. Labia minora contain sensitive nerve endings which help with sexual pleasure (yas!) and the keep harmful bacteria out of your vaginal opening. Basically, they’re an added layer of protection (and pleasure). The inner labia connect under your mons to form your clitoral hood, which we’ll talk about in a minute.
Inner labia, like all other parts of your vulva, look different from person to person. Some people have inner labia that hang down past their outer labia, while others have labia that are so small you can barely see them. One person could even have inner labia that looks different on each side — totally normal!
Clitoris + Glans
Right below your mons, your inner labia connect to form your clitoral hood. This hood is connected to your glans, which is the very tip of your clitoris (the part you can see outside of your body). The clitoral hood protects your very sensitive (think: over 8,000 nerve endings!) clitoris.
Many people think that the tip of the clitoris is all there is to it, but that’s not the case. In fact, your clitoris is almost as big as a penis but it extends back into your body, making a wishbone shape, called your crura. Each side of your crura is about 3 inches long and is made up of erectile tissue that plays an important role in sexual pleasure and orgasm. Your clitoris is the only part of your body that is made entirely for your sexual pleasure.
Pretty amazing, right?
Below the clitoris is your urethral opening, which is barely visible. This is the outer opening of your urethra, a thin tube that leads to your bladder. The hole is where urine comes out.
When people say “vagina”, what they often mean is their “vulva”, which is the female anatomy we’re talking about here. The word vagina really refers to the internal canal (where penises or toys go in and babies come out). Below your urethral opening is your vaginal opening, where you insert things like your menstrual cup. The vaginal opening expands and contracts but, despite what some people say, they don’t stay stretched.
We’ve worked our way from the mons all the way back to the perineum, the short stretch of skin that starts at the bottom of the vaginal opening and goes back to the anus. This part of your body has a lot of nerve endings and can feel good when stimulated and acts as a connector.