Have you got a Vulva? No I drive a Volkswagen.

Am musing on terminology of “women’s bits” given that I came across a very interesting scarleteen article on the artist formerly known as the “hymen” (and henceforth known as the vaginal corona).

You can read it here:

Now as a science teacher originally, it used to drive me wild that when teaching the female reproductive tract, schools often only ever used diagrams of the internal organs.  I always ensured my students learnt about the external female genitals too including the clitoris and labia and explaining the difference between a vulva and a vagina.   It always struck me as so important especially as so many girls don’t appear to realise they have three holes down there! “no love you don’t wee and have a baby out of the same place” Sigh!

But I have to be honest I never realised the hymen was a patriarchal invention and that technically it was the “vaginal corona” . Now I have always explained that contrary to popular belief the “hymen” doesn’t cover the vagina  and that the idea of “cherry popping” wasn’t really true and that sex should never hurt but on the first time someone who is tense may feel discomfort etc etc (solutions being lube and foreplay and being comfortable with partner and 100% ready to have sex etc etc.) so I was a little cross to read this on the likeitis website under “sex”, “does it hurt?” ) “No, Though sex for the first time for a girl can be painful as the penis breaks through the hymen, the hymen is a thin membrane that covers the vagina”.   What!?  This is a well respected Sex Education website. ( Not to mention its heterosexist approach).  but really!  I may have been wrong to call it a hymen and not a vaginal corona but the rest of what I was saying was correct, so come on you sex ed peeps- lets get this right for our girls…..

….Lets talk about the clitoris as the only organ in humans whose function is solely pleasure, lets talk about the vaginal corona and not “hymen breaking” and lets distinguish between vulva and vagina. I mean I am not going all vagina monologues on you and wanting to shout “c***” in the street (that sort of thing could get you fired in a school!) but really we do need to be doing something to educate our girls FACTUALLY about their bodies. And you know what?- we should also be de-stigmatising female masturbation while we are at it.  Maybe then when women know and understand their sexual organs they can reclaim their own bodies as a source of sexual pleasure and to be quite honest I wouldn’t be surprised if that had an impact on unwanted pregnancy and STI rates.

Happy educating.

P.S In the interests of factual accuracy I have to admit I actually drive a Corsa