Anatomy Comparison When discussing anatomy with a client I would personally want to refrain from assigning gender to any set of genitalia, because not all men have penises and not all women have vaginas. More importantly, not everyone identifies as a man or a woman and they might not define their genitals as female or male. If I were working with a transgender client who is either pre-gender confirmation surgery or does not have the intention of getting gender confirmation surgery it could be harmful for them to hear that certain sets of genitalia belong to only one gender. In talking about genitalia with a client I would most likely take a matter of fact approach to describing these characteristics. Anatomy of the Vulva and VaginaVulva (External) The vulva contains all of the external features of what is generally referred to as the “vagina.” Typically, a vulva will have a mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, a clitoris, urethral opening, vaginal opening, and the vestibule. The mons pubis is the area above the vulva that covers the pubic bone and is often covered in hair. One misconception about the vulva is that there is only one hole to serve the function of urination, menstruation, birth, as well as penetrative sex. Many folks, unfortunately, do not know that there are two openings on the vulva. The first is the urethral opening and this is where urine exits the body; the second is the vaginal opening and this opening is where birth and menstrual fluid leaves the body. It is also, sometimes, the place where penetrative objects could enter (i.e. a penis, fingers, sex toys, etc.). In addition, not many people know about the clitoris. The clitoris is a small bundle of nerves that sits right above the urethral opening; the clitoris’ sole purpose is to provide sexual pleasure. Orgasm can be achieved by stimulating the clitoris during sex or masturbation. Under the urethral opening and above the vaginal opening is a small patch of skin known as the vestibule. Starting under the mons, surrounding the clitoris, and down to the vaginal opening is the labia minora, followed by the labia majora. These flaps of skin are also sensitive to stimulation and may swell and become engorged when aroused. The appearance of the labias varies from person to person. Below the vulva there is the a patch of skin known as the perineum and this separates the vulva from the anus. Vagina (Internal) The internal structure of these genitals includes the vagina, hymen, G-spot, ovaries, fallopian tube, fimbriae, and cervix. As mentioned earlier the vaginal canal is the passage that allows babies and menstrual flow to leave the body and also allowing penetrative objects to enter during sex and masturbation. The hymen is located at the opening of the vaginal canal; it is a webbed membrane that may be broken during someone’s first time having penetrative sex––if it was not already disturbed prior through masturbation or use of tampons. With enough lubrication and arousal the hymen breaking should not be painful. After the hymen, a couple of inches up and on the front wall of the vaginal canal, there is a quarter sized patch of spongy flesh called the “G-spot.” For some people stimulating that G-spot can be a source of pleasure during sex and/or masturbation; reaching an orgasm through stimulation of the G-spot alone is possible, but rare. Higher up in the vagina is the cervix; this expels the unfertilized eggs during menstruation. Behind the cervix is the uterus. This part of the vagina is also known as the womb and is essentially where a fetus will develop if an egg is fertilized. The ovaries are where all of the unfertilized eggs are stored; the ovaries are also responsible for creating hormones such as estrogen. The fallopian tubes, connected by the fimbriae to the ovaries, help the unfertilized eggs travel from the ovaries into the uterus during ovulation. Other structures within this region include the urethra, crura, pubic bone, and bladder. The urethra goes from the bladder to the urethral opening and this allows urine to exit the body. The crura is part of the internal structure of the clitoris and it is responsible for causing the clitoris to swell when aroused. The pubic bone is simply the bone that rests behind the mons pubis and protects the bladder. Behind the reproductive structures is the rectum. Anatomy of the Breasts Though everyone has breasts, reproductive breasts serve a different function and purpose than non-reproductive breasts. On the outside of the breast are the areola and the nipple, both of which can be erogenous zones. Additionally, they are what a baby suckles on during breastfeeding. Internally, the breast is predominantly made of fatty tissue. This fatty tissue surrounds the mammary glands and alveoli, which produce milk following the hormonal release that happens after childbirth. Anatomy of the PenisPenis (External) The external structure of the penis includes the shaft, root, scrotum, glans, and urethral opening. The shaft of the penis is connected to the root and it is the freehanging part of the penis. The scrotum is located behind the shaft of the penis and is the skin that holds the testes. The glans of the penis is the head. Some people will also have something called foreskin if it was not removed (in a process known as circumcision) at some point in the person’s life (in Western culture it is usually removed at birth). The foreskin is just extra skin on the penis that covers the head. It can and should be pulled back when maintaining personal hygiene to reduce the growth of smegma. The urethral opening at the head of the penis is where urine and semen exit the body. Penis (Internal) The internal structure of the penis contains the corpora cavernosa, corpus spongiosum, testes, spermatic cord, epididymis, vas deferens, ejaculatory duct, seminal vesicle, prostate gland, and the Cowper’s gland. The corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum are the erectile tissues that extends along the shaft of the penis and it help become erect. The testes, as mentioned prior, are located in the scrotum and similar to ovaries they are in charge of hormone production; however, unlike the ovaries they do not host unfertilized eggs, instead they produce semen. The spermatic cord holds the testes in place within the scrotum. The epididymis is located within the scrotum as well and it sits above the testes; this is where the sperm go to mature. The vas deferens are tubes that carry semen from the testes out through the urethral opening during ejaculation. The ejaculatory duct is located within the prostate and it connects to the vas deferens. The seminal vesicle and the prostate gland both produce the seminal fluid that is ejaculated with semen. Finally, the Cowper’s gland produces the fluid commonly referred to as “pre-cum.” Pre-cum helps create a more sperm friendly environment for vaginal sex. It can also contain sperm from prior ejaculations so it is still possible to get pregnant from pre-cum.