Both of them were medical professionals, and yet they had no clue about what to do in bed with each other. Just days after their ‘first night’ after the wedding, they were out looking for help from a sex therapist.
The absence of knowledge and understanding of sexual anatomy is one of the leading reasons for dissatisfaction among couples in India. Several couples, well into their twenties, don’t know the basics of human sexual anatomy. Some think they know enough, but they don’t, or worse, know wrong.
A healthy sex life is imperative to any good relationship. There are several things which keep a relationship afloat, but as Indian society slowly liberates itself sexually, men and women look for better sexual experiences from their partners.
So, do you know enough about your own, and your partner’s, sexual organs?
And is it enough to pay attention to just what’s down there, and not what’s between your ears?
Understanding our sexual organs
For the male, on the outside there is the penis and the scrotum or the testicles.
For the female, the external organs are the vulva and the mons veneris. The vulva is made up of two sets of lips – the outer and the inner. It also has the opening of the urethra and the opening of the vagina. The mons veneris is the space above the vulva that has pubic hair growth and protects the pubic bone. All of these organs are packed with sensitive nerves which is what cause those explosions of pleasure during sexual activity.
In fact, the vagina is barely a sexual organ, considering inserting a tampon into it doesn’t cause any kind of sexual pleasure. It is not external either, often being confused for the vulva. It is indeed an internal organ that joins ranks with everything from the G-Spot to the fallopian tubes.
For the male body, there’s the prostate gland, the cowper’s glands and the vas deferens – all of which serve their own purposes in the body like sexual activity, reproduction or even urination.
Most of these organs also serve purposes other sexual pleasure, except for one organ, the clitoris. It is the only organ in the body whose sole function is sexual pleasure.
The tip of it is externally located in the vulva while the rest of it extends a good 5 inches into the body. No wonder it’s hard to find! But the only way one can even find the tip is when the body is sexually aroused because it swells up. It has as much erectile tissue as a penis, imagine that.
Now that we’ve covered the obvious organs that come to mind, we can move on to the less obvious ones that are present in our erogenous zones. These are areas that cause sexual arousal on stimulation.
Most people when asked would list out the butt, breasts, nipples, lips, tongue, neck, ears, toes, anus, armpits… the list could be endless. So how do we define the organs that are in our erogenous zones?
We call it the largest organ of sexual anatomy which is the skin. Any part of the body could be an erogenous zone for someone.
A head massage could put someone in the mood if that’s their thing. Erogenous zones are different for different people. One might find being touched in an area during sexual activity enjoyable while another might find it uncomfortably ticklish.
Enhanced sexual activity is possible only when the penis becomes erect and the vulva gets lubricated. It is the stimulation of these areas that can cause an erection or increase lubrication which is what makes skin a sexual organ.
The most important sexual organ is not down there
The most powerful sexual organ is actually up here, the brain.
Sexual activity has so many sides to it – it is physical, chemical, emotional, psychological, social and multi-sensory. All of these things happen in the brain. This is why some people or situations turn us on and why what pleasured you with one person may not work with another.
The brain is also responsible for sending, receiving and translating all of the sexual activity as pleasure while influencing it to begin with; making it the most important sexual organ in our bodies.
Explore your bodies
So it’s not just down under. It’s up here and everywhere in between. And it is only with exploration that we can fully understand the extent of our sexual anatomies, be confident about our bodies and aim at having healthy and happy relationships.
Start by looking at your body in a mirror and observing every little inch of skin and what it looks like. Most women have never looked at their own vulvas!
If you are in a relationship, you can observe each other’s bodies - not as a sexual activity but as a way of learning about each other’s sexual anatomies.
Size does not matter
Of course, there is a tension that comes with observing bodies, especially our own. We tend to worry that we may be limited in some way, but the good news is that size does not matter.
There is no right or wrong size.
There is no right or wrong colour.
Penises come in all sizes and as long as it is 3 ½ inches on erection, intercourse can occur. There is no proven treatment to increase the size of the penis.
Sometimes the outer lips of a vulva are bigger and sometimes the inner. Vulvas may be anywhere from pink to dark brown, depending on the skin colour of the person. Breasts come in all sizes too and so do butts and vaginas.
So tonight, take a look in the mirror and get to know your body. And when you go to bed remember that the magic of sex and orgasms is powered not just by that which is between your legs but also that which is between your ears.
(This is a part of the Sexual Health series bought to you by The News Minute in association with Happy Relationships. Happy Relationships is an enterprise that works in the field of sexual health and relationship wellness.)