Self, Health And Wellness

What It Means If You Have An 'Innie' Or An 'Outie' Vagina

Photo: Ava Sol on Unsplash
Find Out Which Of The 2 Types Of Vaginas You Have: An Innie Or Outie (Big, Long Or Small Labia)

I'll never forget the moment I learned that there are two general types of vaginas in this world — innie vaginas and outie vaginas.

When I first got my period, my mom did all the embarrassing stuff moms do when their first daughters get their periods.

I believe I was finally allowed to get my ears pierced, but not before my mom let everyone at Claire's know about the exciting rite of passage taking place between my legs that had brought us to their cheap jewelry store that day.

(Wondering what pierced ears has to do with your ability to get pregnant? Me too. And tragically, my mom's thinking there is something we may never know, as I go 100% out of my way never to discuss sex with her ever.)

In addition to the studs I got gunned into my earlobes, I also got some wisdom from my mom regarding taking care of all that uterine lining I was shedding now that I was, ostensibly, a woman.

"You can wear pads, and that's fine, but I can say just from changing your diapers that your vagina is big enough for you to use tampons already if you want to!"

RELATED: 8 Things Your Vagina Desperately Wants You To Know

I wanted to die.

I think you'd probably also want to die if your mom was basically like, "Oh yes, those halcyon days of your newborn babyhood when it was all I could do not to gather the neighbors to stare in hushed wonder at the massive cavern between your legs."

It's funny how ashamed it made me feel.

I hadn't even really had any experience with my vagina or talking about my vagina. I was just nine, after all. But already I knew that having a "big vagina" was not something to be proud about having.

While that's changed for me as I've matured into a sex positive, vagina celebrating woman of 34 years old, I still understand why women carry shame about the way their vaginas look. It's because we live in a world where as a woman you are defined by what's between your legs and by what you choose to do with it.

A great example of this is the typical conversation you can find online about women and their vaginas is the dialogue about how a woman's labia are supposed to look.

There's a great debate about which is "better" and which is "worse" — having long inner labia that extend past your outer labia, or having outer labia that extend past your inner labia, keeping them nice and contained.

Yes, we are now discussing whether you have an "innie" or "outie" vagina.

While I can roll my eyes and move on when confronted with men dictating how a woman's pubic hair should look, the natural shape of a women's labia (which is what we're really talking about here) isn't something that should be put into a man's hands.

There are women who are so concerned about their "outies" that they have plastic surgery, known as labiaplasty, to cut back their inner labia and make them look more appealing.

No one comes out and directly says that having longer inner labia makes you look slutty, but the connotation is there.

Have genitals that take up space, that hang, that doesn't look like what men see in porn, that's considered undesirable, and the lengthening a byproduct of excessive use.

Isn't it funny how the longer a man's penis is the more we praise him for it, but the longer a woman's labia are the less desirable she is considered to be?

That, my friends, is what we call a ridiculous double standard.

RELATED: 5 Reasons To Love Your Labia — No Matter What They Look Like

Your two sets of labia serve very important functions.

  • Your outer lips (labia majora) are kind of like the female equivalent of a scrotum. They are there to protect the rest of your sexual organs. They just bacteria from entering, and they produce sweat to regulate your body's temperature and to keep you healthy.
  • Your inner lips (labia minora) exist to further protect your crown jewels: you know, your clitoris. They are characterized by their different sizes, shapes, and colors. They are rich with blood vessels which accounts for its darker color. They also become engorged during sex which can enhance the stimulation and your pleasure during foreplay and the act of sex itself.

I do believe that it's every woman's prerogative to change her body if she thinks it will make her feel happier. But if she's hacking away at her labia to please a man or to convince a man that she isn't a slut, that's not a reason for going under the knife that I can support.

You weren't born with labia so that you could be judged for what they look like. You were born with labia to help protect your genitals and to help you get the most pleasure possible out of sex.

It doesn't matter if you have an "innie" or "outie" vagina provided that what you've got beneath the hood is doing it's job well.

RELATED: What Men Think Of Each Of The 8 Different Types Of Vaginas

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a sex, humor and lifestyle writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman.