You Can’t Shave a Vagina

I’ve got some pretty major pet peeves when it comes to the written word, particularly when talking about sex. I wrote about all the sex slang words I hate, but the incorrect use of “vagina” when what is actually meant to be “vulva” is really friggin irritating. And I don’t just hear men saying it, I see it from a lot of women.

And I boggle to try and figure out why they word it that way.

You cannot, really and truly cannot, literally shave your vagina. You are shaving your vulva, your mons, your pubic region but most assuredly NOT your vagina.

While gathering photos and links from Wikipedia, I came across this article from 2003 which was written in part because of language used in The Vagina Monologues. I’ve never seen/read/heard this play, so I’ll have to take her word for it, but the point remains the same. Vulva and vagina are not interchangeable.

Let’s have a little anatomy lesson, shall we?

From the Wikipedia page on “Vagina“:

The word vagina is quite often incorrectly used to refer to the vulva or female genitals generally; strictly speaking, the vagina is a specific internal structure.

From the Wikipedia page on “Vulva“:

The vulva has many major and minor anatomical structures, including the labia majora, mons pubis, labia minora, clitoris, bulb of the vestibule, vestibule of the vagina, greater and lesser vestibular glands, and vaginal orifice. Its development occurs during several phases, chiefly the fetal and pubertal periods. As the outer portal of the human uterus or womb, it protects its opening by a “double door”: the labia majora (large lips) and the labia minora (small lips). The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, sustaining healthy microbial flora that flow from the inside out; the vulva needs only simple washing to assure good vulvovaginal health, without recourse to any internal cleansing or douching.

I’m not going to post the photos from the Wikipedia pages on here, you can see them for yourself there. I wanted to particularly point out one that I found to be fascinating (ok, and a bit arousing if I’m honest, I am a full-fledged perv after all): Comparison photo of the same vulva in an aroused and unaroused state. Why am I fascinated? In part it’s in the same way that watching close-up video of a woman orgasming is fascinating/erotic to me. But I can’t say that I’ve ever taken such a comparison photo or noticed such a difference on my own body from unaroused to aroused.

8 Responses

  1. MissPtunia says:

    Thank you! I feel the same way and get so irritated, frustrated and sometimes just pissed when people, especially women, call everything between their legs…their vagina. Give me a damned break! If you own it, you should know what the heck it is! Sorry for my rant, but this is one that really gets to me.

    ~ Carry on darlin! Mi rant es su rant.

  2. Britni TheVadgeWig says:

    Thank you!! This is one of my pet peeves, too. What I do notice, though, is that even people that would know not to say “I shaved my vagina” will say “I shaved my pussy.” And isn’t “pussy” just slang for “vagina?” That confuses me.

    ~ eh, no that doesn’t bother me as much. I think cunt & pussy (and others) can be either/or slang. I could use them in sentences in place of either vulva or vagina and most times it works I think.

  3. Aurore says:

    I rarely use the word vagina…but thank you for this. It’s amazing that grown women don’t know their own anatomy better!

  4. Love that photo:
    Me thinketh that there is space in the blog world for a blog where readers could anonymously submit similar pictures of themselves aroused and flaccid..
    You know – for educational purposes…

    For all the wide open gonzo shots there are out there in porn land I’ve never seen anything like that before

    ~ Actually there is, but it’s in a fairly clinical setting:

  5. Ashly Star says:

    Great post! :) Though, it doesn’t really bother me too much. A little but not too bad. It more so just makes me wonder if they don’t want to use the proper terms or if they really don’t understand their own anatomy.

    I wasn’t going to check out the pictures but then I couldn’t not look. I had to see what was fascinating/arousing. ;)

  6. Kristen says:

    I love when you get ranty. :)

  7. moth boy says:

    Oh why didn’t they have encyclopaedias like this when I was a impressionable youth?

    BTW, the rant is totally appropriate and justified.

  8. Hillyjilly says:

    I actually have similiar photos of myself. I know my labia enlarge, get darker, and will open slightly as I get aroused.