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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Vaginal tightness and sex

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Author Topic: Vaginal tightness and sex
IAskQuestions
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My question is about vaginal tightness. I have seen a lot of posts on this site claiming that penis girth affects the feel of intercourse for both partners (referring to vaginal intercourse). I am not disputing this claim however when ever a question is asked about tightness it is never properly answered often referring back to older posts which again do not answer the question at hand. I get the idea that the people on this site want to say (although not directly) that vaginal tightness is the same for all women and the feeling will be the same (or very similar at least)for all men or that the only genitalia that effects the pleasure within sex is males.

Now I know and understand how the vagina works I have read many posts and completely agree with the information, however I would like to ask:
Do you believe that generally (I says this because tightness varies among us daily)one women can feel tighter at the same degree of arousal to that as another woman to her sexual partner, specifically males?
I have spoken to a few guys about this and they tell me they can pick up the differences between different long term partners (so you would expect them to be close to fully aroused when intercourse begins) as well as the subtle differences between their partners regularly. Also considering human variation and the amount of factors affecting vaginal tightness specifically variations in muscles surrounding the vagina, lubrication given off and bone structure effecting how much the vagina can expand during arousal. Even if vagina tightness does change somewhat day-to-day wouldn't still expect to find some women who are tighter and some looser than the average woman usually is?

I would just like to add, with this question I do not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable or want to make people feel insecure about vagina tightness. However I see a lot of posts discussing lack of friction in sex etc and only penis girth being mentioned as being a genitalia factor. I believe this is putting even more pressure on men who might be insecure about their penis size (particularly girth) rather than stating that both genitals vary in size (or tightness) and this can affect how one or both partners feel, and then stating how through communication with mature sexual people both parties can be fully satisfied with whatever size genitalia they have. This would be a far better way than almost targeting men for them being solely at fault.

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Karybu
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I'll be honest: I'm not entirely sure what you're asking here. Maybe it would help if you could point to some of the posts you're mentioning, and specify which parts of them you don't agree with/are concerned about? If the impression we're giving is that people with penises are at fault for vaginal intercourse not feeling good, obviously that's something that needs to change.

I will say though that we have always tried to make it clear that communication and trying different kinds of sexual activity is really the way to go for anyone wanting to have enjoyable sex. If we haven't made that clear enough, again, please do point to a few examples of posts where you feel we could do better.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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IAskQuestions
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Thanks for the reply.
The point I was trying to get across is that vaginal tightness is often ignored on this website as if it is not a factor.
For instance the link below has a passage at the bottom stating how thinner penises affect a woman's pleasure. This includes nothing about how a woman with a looser feeling vagina might have the effect of creating less pressure and stimulation as stated about the thinner penis.

I feel like statements like this just makes men with thinner penises feel insecure and making them feel solely to blame. If the author had wrote about how a genital mismatch may have been the cause of the problems and not pin-point it on one gender it gets rid of the feeling that one person is at fault.

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/lets_let_this_be_the_last_word_on_worn_out_vaginas_shall_we

I could provide more links to similar posts if one is not suffice.

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Karybu
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From my reading, I don't think Heather is implying that it's all the man's "fault" in that piece at all. In fact, she makes it pretty clear that it's just the opposite:
quote:
For men and women both, everyone also has different curves, and doesn't fit together exactly the same. As well, things like wetness and warmth, angles and positions, how fast or slow someone moves, deep or shallow -- all of these things create different feelings, and all are things people can change, no matter their size or shape.
The paragraph I think you're referencing mentions penis size in terms of pleasure because that's what the original question was about: penis size as it relates to pleasure. But Heather does go on to say that penis size is really only one part of how enjoyable sex can be, and that really, it's not a very big part. I don't see any blame happening.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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IAskQuestions
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The fact that only men's size is being mentioned and not female tightness does show some targeting in my opinion and the fact that she goes on to say that its 'not a very big part' really doesn't put any problems or insecurities created from this article away.

Maybe the previous article was referring to only penis size being a factor because that was what was stated in the original question.
However the link below shows a question about her boyfriend losing sensation. In the first line both circumcision and penis girth are mentioned as factors yet not vaginal tightness. So again this seems to put men at fault and not women. It also seems to say that vaginal tightness is not a major factor like penis size (since it is worth mentioning) is Heather really implying that? If she is I seriously disagree with that reasoning, and so would a lot of sexual health experts who use the expression genital mis-match when discussing size problems of both genders.

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/too_wet_for_good_friction

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Heather
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I think what you may be missing here is that we really cannot talk about size and vaginas the way we can about penises.

That is, in a word, because while there are some day- to-day variations when it comes to a given person's penis and erections per size, those differences are pretty subtle. The size of a given erect penis, in all respects, will mostly be about the same, and is not determined or influenced by the size of anything around it.

On the other hand, the size of the vagina, in most respects, is very much not static, and is highly variable, and is a closed tube when nothing is inside of it. Then if and when somethjng is, it's size, for lack of a better term, is greatly influenced by what is inside of it.

Regardless, none of this is about gender (especially considering that not all men have penises, nor all women vaginas), nor is it about anything being the fault or responsibility of one gender versus another.

Can I ask what your personal concern - in terms of how this issue is about you - is with this?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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IAskQuestions
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In both the posts I linked before you only mention penis size as being a major factor, and not Vaginal tightness (I am referring to tightness such as muscle tone, general bone structure as well as lubrication produced not size).

My problems with this are that I would like to know are you implying that on average (I know it varies daily overall per say) one woman is not tighter that another or vice versa.

My second problem is that when you have an article that does not directly include penis size in the question, why do you only include penis size in the answer. I have seen many questions like this answered by sexperts where they answer the question by including both genitalia or merely state a genitalia mis-match may be the reason. The problem with the way your article was written is that it seems to target men with thinner penises as being a major problem in the sexual pleasure.

I actually came across this article as a male friend of mine had this concern that he was at the blame alone. From his view point his partner could either try to work things out with him, or simply leave him for a thicker penis. Now we both know that thinking is ridiculous and I have put some of his issues to rest but you can see the issues statements like 'This can be an issue with men with thinner (less wide) penises during intercourse' make.

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Heather
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Again, you seem to be asking to discuss the penis and vagina as if they are analogous organs, or we can soundly talk about "size" and those organs similarly, something I am telling you we really cannot do soundly. Doing so would kind of be like talking about the size of a foot versus the size of a stocking, at best: one is static, but the other mostly depends on the foot that is put inside of it.

Per the vagina and the diversity of "size," or much more to the point, tissue and muscle tension, since again, there is no static vaginal size for even any one vagina, there are some differences from person to person. However, those are mostly about age - and primarily if someone is or is not pre-puberty or post- menopause - and parity, related to someone's history with pregnancies. Otherwise, on the whole, we simply do not find the kind of variations we find with the penis in any static way.

I do not feel that article does what you are suggesting, and all of us who work in this field do not talk about things the same way. There also is no one term or way to talk about this in practice at this time, for a lot of sound reasons.

It sounds like your friend's framework of " blame" is the problem to me, rather than any given article here, especially if he did not find he felt that way after reading any of these specific pieces. That is not a framework we use or employ, in any content we create like this.

But too, his thinking that a partner who might, in any way, fund his body is not a good fit with theirs and seek out a partner whose was? That can happen, and everyone gets to do that, and it does not have to be a big deal. We all do not fit together, per any body parts, in the ways we like best or, sometimes with some pairs of people, just really do not seem to fit much at all, or in ways we find satisfying. That, when it happens, is not about a body or part being someone's "fault," but is just about how different we all are physically and how different we all are in what we want and like.

[ 04-11-2014, 01:37 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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IAskQuestions
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I think we maybe referring to different things here.

Firstly I am not referring to static vaginal size, I am referring to overall tightness. As we know this changes on a day-to-day basis as well as being affected by factors such as age and pregnancy. But bearing in mind general human variation you would expect to find on similar women in regards to age and pregnancy history some women may have greater tension, less lubrication, generally less room to expand and thus creating a tighter feel for their partner.
If you have any studies that show aroused vagina tightness being similar enough to not be a major factor in pleasure I would be happy to read. However as far as I am aware no sure studies exist and therefore statements saying vaginal tightness does not vary when compared to men's penises sizes would not be correctly made.

Now you last point suggests that vaginal tightness is a factor equal to penis girth by saying both partners are after a good fit, implying that a male partner might leave his female partner due to not getting enough sensation such as tightness from that partner. Now I have nothing wrong with this statement as long as it goes both ways and therefore does not seem to target one particular party involved.

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Heather
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Why on earth would we suggest it would only be okay for one gender to have preferences about bodies? Of course we would support everyone's right to choose partners based on their own preferences.

It might be helpful for you to take a look at the range of menstrual cup and speculum sizes, to get an idea of, again, how little size variation there is with vaginas on the whole. There are only two sizes of menstrual cups, to give you a clue.

We certainly have plenty of data acquired over time about this, and we can see that utilized with things like the manufacturing of menstrual cups and diaphragms. Per what you are asking for with pleasure, there are not really studies there, but that, IMO, has more to do with looking for data that matches a certain framework that is not so sound than with the general information not being available. It is available in sound ways, and you will find it in places like basic OB/GYN reference books.

It is clear you do not like a piece or two you have read here, and have language terminology around some of this you prefer. Obviously, both of those things are fine, but we can only out so much more time into a discussion like this that seems primarily about a piece or two just not fitting with a framework you or your friend have going. That honestly just cannot be avoided sometimes, given the diversity of our userbase and the vast amount of content here.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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IAskQuestions
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Okay I think I know where I maybe misleading you in what I am saying.
First of all I want to clarify that Vagina size does not vary or at least not to any major degree (talking cm here) especially when a woman is fully aroused as I don't need to tell you that the vagina sizes molds around whatever is inside it. I understand and agree with what you and this website says on this completely.

What I have been trying to get across is that when aroused two women with similar age, pregnancy status etc, may have different vaginal tightness i.e. their vaginal muscle strength/tension differs, the degree to how much their vagina loosens and how much lubrication they produce. These factors will on average (I say 'average' due to women varying daily) varying degrees of tightness which may be different between women will have a similar impact of feeling as does penis girth. Would you not agree with this statement?

Your last statement is where my original post was aimed at and I understand where you are coming from. However I just see a pattern of including penis girth to be a factor effecting feeling during sex and no other genitalia, seeing first hand what comments such as the ones mentioned can do I can only say in the future creating posts such as the ones above it should be beard in mind what responses/feelings they can deliver.

I would just like to add I don't feel like this is anything intentional or blaming anyone and I apologize if you feel like your time is being mis-used. But as I said before after seeing my male friend in the light I did I thought I should bring up the points I have.

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Heather
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I assure you that we put great thought and care into the content we have created here over the last fifteen years, and you can rest assured that will not change.

You know, you will see more here from and for people with vaginas, both because we are a user-directed organization per what content we provide, and more people with vaginas than penises tend to use sex education information, but also because of the pretty ooky history around people's perceptions of vaginas. Like you, I too want people to feel good about our bodies, however, historically and culturally, issues of size and these organs do not carry the same weight. People with penises are rarely abused, thrown out of homes, even stoned in the street because of someone's ideas or perceptions about their genital size or feeling or how they appear to partners. The same has not been, and in some areas, still is not, the case for people with vaginas. So, you will see more attention and time given there for that reason as well. Misconceptions and busted frameworks around the vagina have literally, not just emotionally, hurt women.

I do not understand what you are trying to get at or ask in your second para there, but if you are asking if women of the same parity and age will have similar vaginas by those tokens alone, no, we cannot say that. Even when those two things are similar, there is still a lot of variation. And again, you seem to be asking me to talk about penises and vaginas in an analogous way that I just really cannot soundly do per sensation: how those body parts, and parts of those body parts, are constructed and operate when it comes to nerve endings, kinds of nerve endings and the impact of pressure, is just too different to do that accurately.

[ 04-11-2014, 01:48 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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IAskQuestions
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About your first point, I would of thought that most of the people on this site come from countries where the cultural issues you mentioned do not happen. In places such as America and Europe, I greatly believe the opposite to be true. In that men's size has a greater impact, it is still being talked about and preference among size is being readily talked about and accepted. Not that this is a bad thing. However the physiological impacts that have shown by studies where its shows 55% of men being dissatisfied with their penis size is potentially very damaging to individuals. I feel like the points I mentioned only worsen the situation where men with thinner penises instead of previously thought shorter penises feel these effects.

Now I do not mind a website giving more attention to one particular gender but to not deal with the other gender in the same way I have a problem with. If you do not like the idea of telling women that their vaginal tightness may be an issue in pleasuring a future partner why do you see it as OK to tell men their thinner penises effect what their partners feel pleasure wise.

In response to your second para. What I am trying understand is whether or not you would agree that a Male partner may experience different sensations of tightness generally overall (taking into account daily variations)from one female partner to the next. This is not saying tightness alone is a factor but bar all other factors it could possibly effect his/her sensation/pleasure. Im not saying like penis size does, but it is as much as a factor like penis size.

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Heather
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Our userbase is highly diverse, with users from all around the world. Only around 50% of our users are from the US and Europe. However, you may also want to bear in mind that sexism and misogyny, and gendered violence towards women, is a universal problem, not one only tied to certain locations. And when issues around these things come up around ideas about the vagina, these, too, happen everywhere (particularly when you bear in mind that the cultures and belief systems where this is the most severe also exist in the states and in Europe).

As well, body image is an issue for people of all genders, and a problem for many, not just for men and not just with penis size.

We do not tend to hear, from the people of the gender you seem to be speaking for, that male users here feel disregarded or that they are having the kinds of issues with some of our content that you are presuming they will have. And you can know that when we do, we engage that person or group directly. That also tends to work better anyway, than talking about concerns someone has for a group they are not themselves a member of or experiencing life as.

For sure, people will feel different to different people. But I keep hearing you wanting me to talk about this in regard to vaginal size in ways that I don't know how else to tell you I do not feel I can do accurately. And I say this as someone who works with and has trained clinicians and medical students around these things. I assure you, I am not blowing you off or trying to avoid something: I simply cannot talk about vaginal "size" in the way you keep asking me to in a sound way. This piece, which comes from the bulk of the workshop I do with one group of med students each year, is a good example of the way we can talk about sexual anatomy and pleasure in a framework I find to be sound, both in terms of taking gender out of the equation entirely, but also per not oversimplifying sex, pleasure or any given genitals: With Pleasure: A View of Whole Sexual Anatomy for Every Body

Once more, I hear you disliking some of what you have read here from us, or presume to be implied: I can't change that for you, and given how much content is here, there's likely something everyone won't like or land with.

I have heard and taken note of your complaints and concerns, so know they have been heard and noted.

[ 04-11-2014, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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IAskQuestions
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Just because you do not hear from them doesn't mean their issues are not their. As a gender it has been seen men generally bottle up emotions and therefore are less likely to talk about it. And so while you may have more female users it does not mean more females are visiting the site. But I do believe the concern I had over not viewing males in the same light as females on this matter has been cleared up.

However I still am not sure why the issue of vaginal tightness cannot be discussed.I just want to be clear that tightness for me is not the same as size.

I would also like to add I go to other credible sources for sex advice, and vaginal size(tightness) is seen as much as a reason for sexual pleasure. (Both of which are seen as a non-issues that can easily be sorted out.) Just to illustrate that these view points that vaginal tightness is a factor are not from my POV or any other un-creditable source.

If we cannot talk about vaginal 'size' in the way we have been. Could we discuss differences in vaginal muscle strength/tension, lubrication, degree of expansion. And how these 'may' effect the feel or pleasure of a male partner?
Or at least tell me the reasons why you believe Vagina tightness (of an aroused women)is not worth mentioning.
If you can make statements on pleasure such as
'thin penis won't create a lot of friction or that feeling of fullness and pressure'(this is just one example) which is not a universal feeling (due to women having sex lives with men with thinner penises and experience little if any variation in feeling/pleasure.)then why can't the reverse happen to Vaginal tightness?

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Heather
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Again, this is like trying to talk about a foot the same way you talk about a sock. I cannot soundly do so, and I need you to hear my expressly stated limits on that. I get that with the frameworks you are bringing to this, as they are quite different than the way I, as a professional, think and talk about gender and genitals and sex, it might seem like I should be able to give you what you want. But I can't, because that asks me to get on board with some frameworks I find to be totally busted.

And again, while your kind-of-quote from me there isn't actually a quote and is quite out of context, we just cannot talk about these things the same way, since the way a vagina "fits" whatever is inside it is almost entirely based on whatever thing, including a penis, is inside. The same is not true of a penis.

Bear in mind, particularly, the general age and parity history of our users: I don't talk about vaginas post-menopause with them because most are still in, or barely outside of, puberty. I don't talk about post-birth changes with them because few have been pregnant and delivered. We talk about things the way we do here aiming them at our specific readership. Our users having issues like loss of vaginal muscle tone due to aging or post-pregnancy is highly unlikely, which is why when we get so many concerned about their vaginas being "loose" at say, the age of 16, we answer the way we do, and without discussing issues not at all likely to be pertinent to them or our other readers.

I assure you, people with penises, male users, or both, when they are the same, speak here, ask questions here, and engage in discussions here. No one truly needs to speak on behalf of someone here, because everyone can and does do that for themselves, and usually far better than a proxy will. And a big part of our model and how we run means doing that directly, not via proxy.

I have never said anything is not worth mentioning, and there is PLENTY of content here, including in the pieces you have linked, that do address the vaginal anatomy.

I am not going to be able to give you what you want here, and I also feel like the limits I keep trying to set are getting dismissed, so I'm just going to go ahead and close the thread. Since you are asking expressly about my own written material, and I have already addressed this as much as I have time for, and within the ways I feel I soundly can, there just is not more to discuss here.

Like I said, your comments and concerns have been duly noted, and we understand you have them, and assure you we take care with sensitivity around people's gender identities and body image issues when we create content. If it is not to your satisfaction, other than simply continuing to do our best, there's nothing we can do to remedy that.

[ 04-11-2014, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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