Ep #149: Becoming Friends with Your Vulva

The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast with Dr. Sonia Wright | Becoming Friends with Your Vulva

Did you know the name of your vulva growing up? If you’re like a lot of women, your vulva was either not given a name or it was given a cutesy name, like “noo-noo.” We weren’t taught about its anatomy, its function, or how it is a source of pleasure. Maybe you even grew up thinking your vulva wasn’t for yourself, but to be saved for your future husband.

The sad truth is that many women have never been properly introduced to their own body. It’s time we uncover the truth about how women have been discouraged from exploring our vulvas and understanding its intricate structures. I invite you to join me in breaking free from the confines of societal expectations and reclaim ownership of your vulva.

In this episode, I explore the importance of knowing and appreciating your clitoris, labia majora, labia minora, and other components of the vulva. I also provide practical tips for self-care and maintaining a healthy connection with your vulva over time. From breaking down hormonal changes to learning how to embrace the uniqueness of your body, I’m here to guide you on this journey. Diamonds, it’s time to unlock a world of pleasure and celebrate the beauty and resilience of your own body! 

My team and I have created a sex coaching and life coaching monthly membership program called The Lit Clit Club where you get to ask all the questions you ever wanted to ask about sex. You get to dream big and create your life your way, inside and outside of the bedroom. Come to the club for the sexual intimacy coaching and stay for the empowerment and the freedom. Click here to find out more.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • The differences in how boys and girls are taught about their genetalia.
  • Why using clear terminology like “vulva” is important.
  • The key anatomical parts of the vulva.
  • How to build a friendship with you vulva.
  • How hormonal changes and childbirth affect the clitoris.
  • Why you should embrace and be proud of your vulva.
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast episode 149.

Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.

Hello, Hello, Hello, everybody. So good to see you. It’s Dr. Sonia. I am so happy to be here, that’s all I have to say. I am so happy to be connecting with all of you. It’s been a moment. So how have you all been? It’s really been a whirlwind month in May and in June, that’s all I can say. And we’re ending up June with our honeymoon and we’re heading into July with adding a new child to our family. It’s just going to be a great time in our life. So there’s a lot happening right now. And we’re pretty excited.

Also, I am just excited to be here with you today and to talk to you and just to catch up, see what’s going on. How are you enjoying your summer? So good to see you all. Okay, so in May we had all the soul bursting activities for the Lit Clit Club, which, by the way, is going very well. And if you’re interested in joining, there will be notes and links in the notes. Go ahead and click on the link and find out more about the Lit Clit Club. But as I said, that is going fabulous. We’re having such a good time with that. And as I was saying, it’s just been too long since I’ve seen you, just you and I, so how have you been?

And I’ve missed you, and as I mentioned, we had May was pretty busy and then the end of June was all about Pride month. And then we started with our last episode, which was with Coach Lisa, who’s wonderful and we were talking about body image. That was so good. It’s such an important aspect of life. Women and body image, we should be in a place where we just love our body. We just know how incredible it is and we celebrate all different bodies and recognize how amazing the human body is and how amazing our body is in particular.

And we just need to get rid of all the shame and this notion, this concept that there’s only one body type for everybody. That is not true at all. So I was so happy to be able to do that segment with Lisa.

Alright, so let’s talk about something else today. Today I want to talk about a specific part of your body, not specifically body image, but a specific part of your body, one that doesn’t get that much attention. It’s so lonely and it’s so sad and it’s time to shed some light on it and to get some more attention. And what am I talking about? I am talking about your vulva. So for those of you that are joining me online and can see the video, this is my vulva puppet, Iris. And the vulva is just an amazing structure. It is basically the external genitalia, the female external genitalia.

And if we’re talking about things we’re talking about structures. There’s the mons pubis. That’s that hairy fat pad that’s basically anterior or in front of your pubic bone and it’s formed from the fusion of the labia majora. This is the labia majora on my puppet and it comes together here and then we have the mons pubis. And then we have the labia majora, which are the outer lips of the vulva and the labia minora, which is the inner lips of the vulva.

And then we also have the vestibule, which is protected by the labia minora, which is the inner tissue of the vulva, and it surrounds the opening of the vagina and it also surrounds the opening to the urethra, which is the tube between our bladder and the outside. So those are the structures, the main structures that make up the vulva. There’s also the Bartholin glands as well. And then there’s my favorite, favorite, favorite, favorite structure of the vulva and that is the clitoris and we’ll be talking a little bit more about the clitoris.

But before we jump to the clitoris, which we all love, I wanted to spend a moment talking about the vulva. And I love this section in the Vagina Bible by Jen Gunter. She has this section that I just think sums it all up. And so I wanted to read it to you. So no woman has ever benefited by learning less about her body. The vulva is the ultimate multi-tasker. It’s the most important organ for sexual pleasure. It protects the tissues at the vagina opening. It’s built to handle the irritation of urine and feces and it can deliver a baby and heal as if nothing has ever happened.

And let’s not forget the orgasms, and it’s just amazing, but the vulva is also often neglected. A lot of this vulva neglect is a result of patriarchal society’s lack of investment in and fear of female pleasure. We exclude the vulva from conversations about women’s bodies and sexuality. We erase the organ responsible for female orgasms. We also make it harder for women to communicate to their healthcare providers about their genitalia. So there’s some important things to be aware of here and I definitely love what Jen Gunter has to say about that.

So why am I spending so much time talking about the vulva? Because it is amazing. And as women, we may not have been given the opportunity to become friends with our vulva. This is something to think about. Some women grew up in families where they were encouraged to learn more about their vulva. They were encouraged to spend time with themselves and understand their body more but that doesn’t necessarily happen in all families. So at some point in our life, and maybe that point is now, we get to have a relationship with our vulva.

You might be asking, “Why do we need to be friends with our vulva?” The answer is because it’s one of the most important relationships you’re ever going to have in your entire life. As I said before, traditionally women have not been afforded the freedom, or at least as much freedom as men to explore their bodies. From a young age, boys and then men, form a bond with their penis. They learn that it’s for urination and for pleasure. And even if a boy is not encouraged to masturbate, at least it’s generally tolerated with expressions like boys will be boys.

So from a very young age, boys form relationship with their penis and as they grow older and into men, they still have that relationship with the penis. But women are not encouraged to have that relationship with their vulva. And as little girls, were often scolded if we touch down there. It doesn’t even have a name, it’s like down there. And then often, very often down there, the vulva is not even acknowledged as kind of existing.

I’ve done a lot of coaching around women and sexuality and there’s a fair percentage of women that I coach that tell me that it didn’t have a name growing up. And if it did get a name, it’s often a cutesy name and it’s a name that’s only known in the family and not necessarily outside of the family. So if somebody says nunu, which was the word that I was taught growing up, nunu. What exactly is a nunu? If I said nunu to somebody on the street maybe they would know what I was talking about, maybe they wouldn’t. So that name is not universally understood or known.

So if a woman were going to her doctor or even if something happened to a young girl and she had to say that she was having pain or a problem or difficulty or something with her nunu, nobody would understand what she was talking about so we need to be clear. We need to name it, call it the vulva and the vagina, the two of them, the external, the internal but instead we say things like nunu and pocketbook and kitty or treasure chest or the in between.

The infamous in between. In between what? Okay, in between the legs but there’s a lot of people that don’t know what in between means. So this is why we need to use the terms. We need to use the term vulva. We need to use the term vagina. And vulva, even if people are using the word vagina, they’re not recognizing that their vulva is a separate structure from their vagina. So this is why I’m having this conversation today with you.

And so for many women, they were discouraged from learning about their body when they were younger. And then they got into their teen or preteen years and then their menses came. So that was the next time they were introduced to their vulva. So first of all, you really don’t know what’s happening between your legs and now it’s bleeding. That just seems like a setup for not wanting to go near it at all if you don’t have to. That’s not going to make for a great foundation with your vulva. It’s going to make for a lot of people to try to avoid it and to feel squeamish about it and to not get to the place of comfort.

And so this is why I am talking about the vulva today and making friends with your vulva. And maybe, just maybe, you were given the idea that your vulva is not really your own. Instead, maybe you were given the thought or the belief that it’s something like a gift for your future partner or your future husband or something. And you’re just holding on to it like a future birthday or Christmas present for somebody else instead of the amazing present that it is for you right here right now with your body and with all the pleasure that you get to have from it.

It’s almost like it has a label on it, don’t open till Christmas. It’s time to pull that label off and it’s time to open your Christmas package that is meant for you and nobody else. So hopefully somewhere in the last 30 or 40 years you’ve had a chance to explore your body and explore your vulva. But based on the number of women that I’ve coached, there’s a fair number of women out there that really don’t know or understand the structures of their vulva. Well, the time has come to understand and connect with your vulva, especially the star of the vulva, which is your clitoris. So good, so good.

So talking about the clitoris, the clitoris is about three to four inches in height. It’s made up of the glans, which is the tip, there’s also the neck and the body. And for those of you that are not watching the video of this podcast I’m also going to be including some illustrations so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about. So it has the glans, which is the tip. It has a neck, it has a body and it has four legs, the vestibular bulbs and the cura. And its only function in this beautiful little thing, its only function is for your pleasure.

And I think that is so fabulous that there’s one structure on your body that is meant just for you. And so often we come about it at a different way. We’re like, we first of all, we think that this is the clitoris, it’s just the little tip that’s peeking out. But the structure actually goes deep under your labia and if you are maybe one of those people that’s really sensitive to the tip, you don’t have to touch the tip. You can massage the labia and you can get stimulation to your clitoris and have pleasure that way. So you get to determine how you want to interact with your clitoris.

But it has thousands, it has over 10,000 nerve endings. It has the same amount of nerve endings, actually probably a little bit more than the penis, but it’s on this smaller structure. So it’s so amazing. It’s shaped like a wishbone, so, hey, make some wishes. Yeah, make some wishes come true with this thing. And it’s highly responsive to tactile stimulation. And for those of you that may not know it, 85% of women need clitoral stimulation. Only about 15% of women can come from penetration alone.

The majority of women will need some stimulation to their clitoris in order to have an orgasm. So penetration alone, penetration is great but we need to understand that only 15% of women will come from penetration alone. And yet the misinformation that’s put out there is that somehow the best type of orgasm is a vaginal orgasm and coming with your partner and all that stuff. No. Let’s involve the clitoris. Let’s get to know our clitoris. Let’s become best friends with our clitoris because this is your ride or die. She’s always with you and she always has your pleasure and mind.

So we just need to give her some kudos and love and to appreciate her. And she gets to be your bestie. Why not? It goes everywhere with us. It’s probably one of the most neglected parts of our bodies. The clitoris is lonely. We don’t spend that much time with her. We really need to spend time with her. All it wants is our appreciation, wants to be our bestie and we have been taught to focus on the vagina and to focus on other people’s pleasure. And it’s time to shift that focus. Your clitoris deserves your love and attention. That’s all I have to say, yeah, ask her how she feels.

Spend some time with her. Get to know your lit clitty. I call her lit clitty. Lit clitty is the best thing in the world. Get to know lit clitty. She loves you. She just wants to be your bestie. And understand that everybody’s lit clitty is different. My BFF lit clitty is different from your BFF lit clitty and you get to find out all about your lit clitty. That’s the part that I love about this is, it’s an exploration and understanding that no two are the same like Diamonds. And that’s why I call you guys my Diamonds because no two of you are the same.

And be aware that your lit clitty can change with time. As your hormones, your androgens, your estrogens, decrease in your body, it affects your clitoris. The nerve endings, the stimulation, things might need to change. As estrogen drops, your clitoris is affected. And so the lit clitty that you had at 15 may not be the lit clitty that you have at 55. So you’ll need to know and keep knowing and have a relationship with your body and your clitoris so that you understand it as time goes on, because it will change. It will be different.

So our vulva changes as hormones change, as we give birth. Just because we enjoyed one form of stimulation at one point in our life doesn’t necessarily mean that we enjoy it now and that’s okay. Take the time to know the lit clitty that you have right now. Take the time to know the clitoris that you have right now. So that’s what I have for you today, Diamonds, is an appreciation of your clitoris, of your own BFF of your lit clitty and maybe spend some time thinking about your vulva and your clitoris. What would you like to know about your vulva? What would you like to know about your clitoris?

What would you like to ask her? Is there anything you’d like to say to her? Maybe you’d like to say, “I’m so sorry I haven’t spent enough time with you but from now on we’re going to have a weekly date.” Maybe that’s what you’d like to say to her. Maybe you’d like to say, “I appreciate how you always make sure that I have an orgasm. Thank you for being you.” Maybe say something like, “You know, I haven’t learned that much about you but that is going to change because you are my ride or die. You are my BFF. You’re always there for me. And you’re just a hand reach away.” It’s so good.

So that’s what I have to say today. It’s so good to be back. It’s so good to see you all and I will talk to you pretty soon. And I have a friend that’s going to be drawing a picture of my cartoon lit clitty. So we’re going to have a little bit of fun with her over the next couple of weeks. This is the first installment when we’re talking about lit clitty and I will be talking to you soon. It’s so good to see all of you. Have a great time and take care. Love you so much, Dr. Sonia out.

Hello, hello, hello, Diamonds, have you heard the amazing news? Dr. Sonia, that would be me and my amazing team has started a sex coaching and life coaching monthly membership program called The Lit Clit Club. The Lit Clit Club was made just for you. It’s a safe place where women can come to create the lives that they want, the lives that you want. It’s a place where you get to talk openly about your sexual concerns and be heard. There’s no judgment, no reprimand, no labels, just acceptance, knowledge and freedom.

It’s a place where you get to ask all the questions that you ever wanted to ask about sex and about life too. You get to dream big and create your life your way inside and outside the bedroom. You know I love the concept of creating the life that you want inside and outside the bedroom, that soul bursting life that you deserve. So come to the club for the sexual intimacy coaching and stay for the empowerment and the freedom.

Do you have questions about libido, menopause? Lord help us, menopause is no joke. Sexual health, relationships, sexual orientation, pleasure equality and orgasms, religion and intimacy? I am not finished with this list yet. Maybe you have questions about toys, maybe about non-monogamy. Perhaps you’re interested in BDSM, maybe self-love, self-pleasure. Maybe you have questions about self-orientation. Maybe you need to work on healing from trauma.

Maybe body image is something that you want to focus more on and definitely embodiment. Perhaps creating the life of your dreams or journeying to your authentic self. Maybe you just want to stop people pleasing. Whatever questions you have and concerns you have, we have the answers and the coaching that you need. In all actuality, you have the answers inside of you. And the coaching will help bring that out. And you know what? You get to choose how you want to be coached.

You can be coached by video, by audio only or you can use the questions and answers session, it’s whatever works for you. You get to sit back and relax and get the help that you need and your cameras are off. And every month we have a new workshop in addition to our regular coaching sessions. So click on the link below in the show notes and find out more about The Lit Clit Club. We can’t wait to see you there in the club, come join us. Things are just starting to heat up. Alright, Dr. Sonia out. Love you all, Diamonds.

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Sonia Wright MD

Hi, I’m Dr. Sonia Wright and I’m YOUR SEX COACH! I’m on a mission to end the pain and isolation associated with sexual difficulties and to help women create satisfying sex lives.

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