Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

Sextras: The best vagina

Hey ladies—how often do you find yourselves sitting in a circle, remarking about the differences between various lovers’ penises? Well, for me, this happens quite often (don’t be scared, boys!). No matter how many lovers we have, it seems, a penis is always a novelty. By novelty, I am not referring to Freud’s infamous “penis envy” or “castration complex” constructions. Rather, I mean that every penis has its own shape—silhouette, even—and its own sort of character. For example, I once met a guy who described his penis as particularly curvaceous. Far from full-figured, his penis resembled a classically arched banana. Most penises I’ve come across are customarily straight, so his was a “novelty” that I was unable to forget. So what about females and their genitalia? I imagine that vaginas and their perception by both males and females figure in a similar fashion to the penis.

Beyond novelty, however, is the age-old question—what makes a “good” or “nice” vagina compared to an undesirable one when there is so much variation? Is it similar to what makes a “good” penis, and how so? I’ll start by defining a “good” penis. In my eyes, this penis is one that projects no distinct odors, is not too small but not so big as to stretch the vagina/mouth or puncture the cervix, and has the ability to maintain a stiff erection. Straightness, or lack thereof, is an issue I feel cannot be generalized, because most “curvy” penises, such as our previously mentioned classically arched banana, still maintain some level of straightness when erect and only carry a subtle bend (unless one is suffering from extreme circumstances such as Peyronies disease). But I can imagine that an overly curved penis would be difficult to insert into any orifice; therefore, some level of straightness can be added to our “good” penis criteria. Beyond that, to each his own with penile idiosyncrasies. One with an overly enlarged head might be fun; even that subtle curve could be an interesting experience.

But are vaginas considered in the same way? Let’s consider some opinions of experienced heterosexual males at Washington University with a mean age of 21. As a whole, nine of 10 males in my unscientific sample reported the same three properties of a “good” vagina: tight lips and vaginal canal, responsive and pervasive wetness, and a scent that reflects cleanliness. Specifically, one referred to the importance of tight lips as “no beef curtains,” while another elaborated “one that contours itself around the penis.” Referring to wetness, one Wash. U. graduate offered, “The wetter, the better,” while others simply reported that a “moist” climate was preferable. On the subject of scent, one Wash. U. senior suggested, “I think that a good vagina smells like it’s being taken care of. While saying ‘odorless’ would be putting it way too strongly, I think it ought not smell neglected.”

Outside of these popular criteria, other vaginal attributes were pinpointed. One Wash. U. junior noted that “Kegel usage” was a preferable characteristic—referring to the rhythmic contracting and relaxing of Kegel (pubococcygeus) muscles that are present in both men and women. Control of these muscles is known to help with urinary incontinence, as well as to contribute to stronger orgasms. Another senior mentioned, in contradiction to the importance of labial tightness reported above, that vaginas with a slight looseness on the outside could be pleasurable as well. He explained that a loosened outer lip “can create a nice drag effect on the surrounding sensitive skin,” adding an element of extra stimulation to the head of the penis during intercourse.

Loose lips or tight lips aside, “good” vagina criteria seem to match up with that of the penis in the area of smell. But as a mostly internal organ, the vagina’s characteristics seem to contain more subtleties. All this, and we haven’t even begun to speak about the clitoris! Or the consistency of wetness! What about the way people work their Kegel muscles? Perhaps I have not fully addressed the penis, either. Anyway, there is no “right” or “wrong” penis or vagina. But like any part of one’s body, each has its own characteristics that one can be proud of and become comfortable with sexually. Have a big clit? A “curvy” penis? Own it!

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Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878