Healthy Kids     K-12    

Exploring your body is not naughty

Many women who have contacted me regarding sexual questions refer to their intimate body parts as “down there.” Obviously they feel shy about being specific or have only vague ideas what the most intimate parts of their bodies are named, look like or how they function.

The inability to talk openly about sexuality is often the result of beliefs our parents or religious leaders instilled in us during childhood or young adulthood, when we first learn about sexuality. These beliefs we grew up with are not easy to change or abandon.

Unfortunately they prevent us from talking openly about our sexual needs, fears or desires with our partners. More damaging, they interfere with our enjoyment of intimacy and sexual joy. The data speaks for itself; sexual unhappiness and malfunctioning is a prime reason many marriages and relationships break up.

Yet this problem is not irreversible. The solution requires a re-evaluation of our beliefs about love and sexuality as well as a journey of discovery of our body and its functions. We may require the help of a professional counselor to learn how to change our behavior patterns if we are determined to find pleasure and satisfaction and a sexually happy life. 

Body exploration is easier for men since their sexual tools are all out in front. For women to learn what their sexual realm looks and feels like, the help of a mirror is needed to actually get the picture. We initiate our exploration by letting our eyes watch our fingers. Each time they touch a different secret spot, we need to focus on how that feels, starting with the vulva, the soft mound with pubic hair which is exposed. Then we learn about the outer, then inner vaginal lips.

Next we explore the hidden perineum, the smooth area between vaginal opening and anus. Next we experience touching the most erogenous zones, starting with the vagina. Its opening is actually a muscle that can contract and expand, not just an entry way for the penis.

Next the clitoris; it is that tiny button that is most sensitive to touch and stimulation, and also the only part of our body that’s purely there to give pleasure. Even though the “clit” is four inches long, only the very tip is exposed. Most women can reach orgasm through clitoral stimulation.

Only half of all women, data says, can enjoy orgasm through intercourse. Important to know is that men can reach orgasm in two to three minutes. Women need 10 to 20 minutes until they are ready for penetration. Yet women can enjoy the actual orgasm about three times longer than men do.

Finally, the urethra is the small opening through which urine is passed and also part of the intimate zone.
Next comes touching every inch of our entire body to learn where our “sensitivity” spots are. By exploring our own body we discover what turns us on, what feels sensational, and then tell our love partner what feels good and where, clearly and specifically. No hinting or vagueness.

A caring partner wants clarity, wants to know where we like to be kissed, stroked or touched. Sometimes we have to help by guiding our partner’s hand to show the very spot.
To be a good lover means getting the directions right from the start and being clear what we expect. Sharing this intimate information can wipe out many misunderstandings, especially if it is delivered with a twinkle.
In summary, exploration first, open communication second. There’s nothing naughty about finding a way to greater happiness.

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Jacqueline Brandwynne has worked in the health and beauty industry for more than 25 years and is creator of the Very Private line of products. Visit her at