Do remember the first time you saw your genitals and thought to yourself, “What the hell is that?”
Because I do.
I was hella confused at what I was looking at and did not know the difference between the labia or the vagina.
Since I know that the US sex education sucks at teaching people about their own bodies and how to get comfortable with them, I thought I take matters into my own hands (figuratively).
I behold to you, the top three ways to get comfortable with your down under!
Before We Begin
Before we get started, I want you to know that these tips are universal. Meaning they are for all types of genitalia, not one specific type.
So whether you have a penis, a vagina, or are intersex, these basics tips will help you become more comfortable and confident with whatever you have going on down under.
Do what you feel is right for you, and don’t rush into any of these techniques if you feel as if you are not ready for them!
Keep in mind that these tips are not a substitute for a doctor’s visit. Even if everything looks fine and dandy down there, you still need annual checkups!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Let’s take it back to freshman biology class, where you had to carry those really heavy textbooks that contained eerily detailed images of genitalia.
Diagrams are a great first step to get comfortable with what’s down under because it’s not intrusive and it sets a blueprint for what your genitals may look like.
I highly recommend that you google some SCIENTIFIC diagrams of genitalia.
I specify that they be scientific diagrams because I want you to have a realistic picture of what is going on down there. The diagrams will help you develop your understanding of the different parts of your genitals and the reproductive systems that accompany them.
For instance, if you are a vulva-owner, you will want to understand where the clitoris is, where the vaginal canal is located, and its proximity to your anus.
If you have a penis, you will want to know your scrotum, where your anus is located, and how vital your prostate is.
Moreover, if you just google the terms “vagina” or “penis” compared to “scientific diagram of vagina or penis,” different things will come up. Most likely, Google will direct you towards a porn site, and I feel the need to say this PORN IS NOT A GOOD REPRESENTATION OF ANYTHING.
Like movies, porn makes everything look perfect, even the actors’ genitalia. Please don’t compare your genitalia to that of an actor with good lighting and has probably received different cosmetic treatments for it to look like that.
Stick diagrams. They are your friends.
Look at them, study them, identify where your equipment is.
I’ve linked some of my favorite diagrams below (they’re the Planned Parenthood ones).
Related Article: The Fundamentals of Owning A Vagina
If you are ready, we are now going to take this a step further, and you will be looking at your genitals.
Now, this isn’t the same exam as the doctor performs. Those go more in-depth (literally if you have a vaginal canal) and explore more areas.
With the help of WebMD, you are going to get to know the outer region of your genitals.
So drop your pants and get the following appliances:
- A hand-held mirror
- A flashlight (optional)
- Diagram (optional)
Easy To Follow Steps
Step 1: Wash your hands before you go exploring down there. Your fingernails hold many bacteria, and the last thing you want is an infection, so scrub those nails.
Step 2: You will want to get in a comfortable position to get a good view of the goods.
Two options include:
- Laying down with your legs open while you angle the mirror towards your genitals
- Having one leg perched on the toilet and angle the mirror up
Step 3: Now that you are flashing yourself with your genitals, start exploring. Look around and take note of what you see.
- What color are your genitals?
- Are they more earthy tones, or is there some pink thrown in there?
- How big are your testicles or labia?
- Are certain things hanging lower compared to others?
Side Note: If you have made it this far, I want to congratulate you! You now have an excellent mental picture of what you are working with down there, and trust me, I know it wasn’t easy, but it is important!
Step 4: Using the diagram, you can start identifying what is what. Think of the diagram like a treasure map, and you have to locate all its parts. Remember, the diagram is only a blueprint, not an exact copy. Your genitals are unique to you.
Step 5: This is for those who feel a bit braver and are ready to explore more. If that is not you yet, THAT IS TOTALLY FINE! Your genitals can be super intimidating, so do it when you are ready.
- For individuals with vaginas, if you are comfortable, feel free to slowly and gently enter a finger into your vaginal opening and feel around.
- For individuals with penises, use your fingertips to touch your scrotum, aka ballsack, gently.
Now you may be wondering, “okay, why am I doing this?”
What you are doing is feeling around your genitals and noticing what your genitals typically look like. This way, if any unusual colors, bumps, lumps, or sores show up, you will immediately take notice and seek help from a doctor.
Now I can’t think of a better way to get to know your genitalia than by touching yourself. Unlike the Self-Exam, where you are holding a mirror up to your genitals and taking note of every curve and bump you see, you are just feeling things out. Literally.
Step 1: Wash your hands. You don’t want an infection.
Step 2: Get in a comfortable position, preferably lying down. We are not trying to see anything. We are going to be using our fingers and palms to feel around.
Step 3: Just start gently and slowly.
- Take your hand and feel around down there. Don’t jab, poke or pull. You can use your fingertips to touch the area lightly.
- Vulva-Owners: Use your fingertips to touch your labia and gently feel your clitoris. If you want, you can gently insert a finger into your vaginal opening. Feel around, and if you want, you can go deeper into the vaginal canal. At some point, you will hit your cervix, so be gentle.
- Penis-Owners: Take the palm of your hand and stroke up and down the shaft of the penis. Feel the tip of the penis. You can also take one hand and feel your testicles. For the love of God, do not squeeze. Just gently massage and take note of how it feels.
Now there is no right or wrong way to do this. What you are doing is just getting comfortable with how your genitals feel. Just remember to be gentle, take things slowly, and do what feels right to you.
Related Article: The Glory of Masturbation & What I Wish I Knew
Keep in Mind
Something super important to remember is that no two people’s genitals look exactly alike.
Like your fingerprint, your genitals are unique to you.
While I know these techniques can be intimidating, I believe that getting comfortable with your body is an essential aspect of not only your sexual health but also your overall wellbeing.
Just go slow, be gentle, and if you have any concerns, contact a doctor.
If you enjoyed this guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, then I suggest that you look at my blog, where I have more articles surrounding the topic of sex, sex education, and how it fits into your life!
Lastly, I want to thank you I am so excited to have you join my community and start your sexual health journey with me!