Female Anatomy Basics

By Jade Muratore

This overview is by no means exhaustive and as the titles suggests is just the basics! If in doubt consult a medical professional.

It should be acknowledged that some female-born people who identify as women (cisgender), transwomen and intersex folks can and do have different anatomical make up to what is presented in this article and that the anatomy depicted here is just one facet in a fluid and expansive landscape.

THE VAGINA

The opening of the vagina sits below the clitoris (clit) and the urethral opening, and above the perineum and anus. The vagina is made up of elastic tissue that expands during arousal (and childbirth). When not aroused, the tissue is contracted causing the walls to touch.

THE CLITORIS

The clitoris is the only organ in the human body (either male or female) whose sole purpose is to transmit sexual sensation.

BARTHOLIN’S GLAND

The Bartholin’s Glands are found slightly further back, on either side of the vaginal opening, and becomes swollen during sexual excitement. The glands secrete a discharge which acts as a lubricant inside the vagina.

FALLOPIAN TUBES

The Fallopian tubes are a pair of long narrow tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus. Ova (egg cells) are carried to the uterus through the fallopian tubes following ovulation.

OVARIES

The ovaries’ role is to produce both hormones that control reproduction and the female gametes (the aforementioned ova) that are fertilised to form embryos.

CERVIX

The cervix attaches the vagina to the uterus.

The cervix produces mucus that aids in carrying sperm from the vagina to the uterus, where it can fertilize an egg if the woman is ovulating. When the woman isn't ovulating, the cervical mucus thickens and serves as a barrier to keep sperm out of the uterus.

UTERUS

The uterus, also known as the womb, is a hollow muscular organ of the female reproductive system that is responsible for the development of the embryo and fetus during pregnancy.

Interesting fact! At the peak moment in your menstrual cycle right before your period your uterus expands to twice the size! No surprises why so many women feel bloated right before their period.

PERINEUM AND VULVA

The vulva refers to the external genital region as a whole, encompassing everything between the pubes to the anus.

The perineum is most commonly referred to as the small area of connecting tissue between the vagina and the anus. More generally the definition extends to the whole muscular system within and around the vagina and anus which is quite complex.

ANUS

The anus is a very sensitive area rich in vascular tissue, nerve endings and blood vessels, making this area very responsive to sexual arousal. Its main function is to allow the exit of faeces, however due to the relatively high concentration of nerve endings; it can also be an erogenous zone.


Male Anatomy Basics

By David Vu

This overview is by no means exhaustive and as the titles suggests is just the basics! If in doubt consult a medical professional.

It should be acknowledged that some male-born people who identify as women (cisgender), transmen and intersex folks can and do have different anatomical make up to what is presented in this article and that the anatomy depicted here is just one facet in a fluid and expansive landscape.

THE PENIS

The penis is the male sex organ and on top of its sexual functions, the penis also dispels urine out of the body. The penis stiffens during sexual arousal, leading to an erection. Increased blood flow during arousal causes the blood vessels inside the penis to expand, hardening the tissues. 

THE PENIS

The penis is the male sex organ and on top of its sexual functions, the penis also dispels urine out of the body. The penis stiffens during sexual arousal, leading to an erection. Increased blood flow during arousal causes the blood vessels inside the penis to expand, hardening the tissues. 

THE SCROTUM & THE TESTES

Acting as protection for the testicles, the scrotum is a pouch-like structure that hangs out behind the penis. It contains a great number of nerves and blood vessels. Its size and shape shift in order to maintain the optimum functioning of the testes for producing sperm, as a specific temperature is required.

The testicles are responsible for two main tasks: manufacturing sperm and testosterone. Testicles are susceptible to move around in order to maintain perfect functioning temperature.  It is common for one testicle to be bigger than the other and is also common for one to hang lower than the other.

THE EPIDIDYMIS

A tightly coiled mass of thin tubes that carry sperm from the testes to the vas deferens; sperm matures as it passes through the epididymis. 

THE VAS DEFERENS

The vas deferens carries sperm through from the epididymis to the reproductive tract.

THE ACCESSORY GLANDS

There are 3 accessory glands in the male reproductive system that provide fluids and nourish sperm:

1. Seminal Vesicles: small sacs where seminal fluid is stored.  

2. Prostates: these secrete a large portion of the fluids that become semen. 

3. Cowper Gland: a pea-shaped little gland; the secretions serve to protect sperm as it passes through the urethra during ejaculation. It also produces pre-ejaculate during sexual stimulation to lubricate the urethra. 

THE URETHRA

The urethra is a tube that carries semen and urine out of the body through the penis. 

ANUS

The anus is a very sensitive area rich in vascular tissue, nerve endings and blood vessels, making this area very responsive to sexual arousal. Its main function is to allow the exit of faeces, however due to the relatively high concentration of nerve endings; it can also be an erogenous zone.


Different Kinds of Sex

Kissing

When people use their lips for pleasure - either touching each other's lips, or other parts of the body with their lips.

French kissing.

When two people put their mouths together, using both their lips and tongues for pleasure.

Masturbation/self-pleasuring

When you touch or stroke a part of your own body to become aroused. Different people find different things erotic. Body parts could include the clitoris, breasts, nipples, vagina, penis or anus.

Exploring your own body through masturbation can be a good way to find out about your sexual feelings, your body and what feels good for you. Masturbation is not bad for you. It's your choice whether or not you do it or not.

Fingering

Fingering and touching the sensitive parts of each other's bodies. Using fingers to stimulate another person's genitals.

Foreplay

The word used for any kind of kissing, massage and touching that leads to intercourse. It helps people get more aroused and can make sex more enjoyable. Foreplay doesn't always have to lead to intercourse and can be a good way to get closer to your partner if you don’t want to go further.

Oral sex

Using the mouth and tongue to stimulate your partner's genital area.

Non-penetrative sex

Sex that does not involve penetration of the vagina or anus.

Penetrative sex (also called sexual intercourse)

When something (like a penis or a sex toy) goes inside someone else's vagina or anus. Think: whenever one thing goes into another. Vaginal, anal and oral sex are all types of penetrative sex.

Vaginal sex

When an erect penis goes inside a vagina.

Anal sex

When there is stimulation or penetration by a finger, sex toy or penis of another person's anus.