Touring Your Female Private Parts

Learning about your vagina from diagrams is helpful, however for some, to really know your own body and become comfortable, it can help to look at it directly. Maybe you have looked at your genital area in a mirror and it is familiar to you. However, many women have never seen their own vulva.   

Getting Ready

Looking at your vaginal area in the mirror may make you nervous, this is not uncommon.  Find a private time and place where you will not be interrupted. If you have children at home, you may want to wait until they are asleep or outside of the home. Some may want to take a bath or shower so that you feel clean and relaxed. An ideal spot is a bed that has pillows or a headboard so that you can lean back comfortably but remain partially sitting. You will need a hand mirror to easily see. A lighted make-up mirror is ideal, but even a big mirror in a compact can work. A mirror that can stand up or be propped up against a pillow will work best. If the room is not well-lit you can place a flashlight next to you, pointed at your vaginal area.  

Here are a few suggestions on which body parts to find:  

  • Hood of clitoris  

  • Head and shaft of clitoris  

  • Urinary opening  

  • Vaginal opening  

  • Inner lips  

  • Outer lips  

  • Perineum  

  • Anal opening (you may not be able to find a position that lets you see the anal opening easily)  


After you have looked at yourself for a few moments, notice your feelings and thoughts. You may be surprised by the way your genital area looks. Women's vulvas can look very different from each other. Sometimes the hood over the clitoris hides it completely. You may be able to see the head of the clitoris, especially if you gently pull back the hood; each vulva is unique. 

Sharing with a Partner 

Once you feel more comfortable with your vulva, you may want to share what you have learned with your partner. You can tell your partner in words or guide your partner's hand to show the types of touch that give you the most pleasure.  After some cancer treatments, you may have sore areas on the vulva or in the vagina. Try to identify both pleasurable areas and painful areas that may help guide you and your partner during sexual activities.