From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The vagina (from Latin vāgīna, literally "sheath" or "scabbard") is a fibromuscular elastic tubular tract which is a sex organ and has two main functions: sexual intercourse and childbirth. In humans, this passage leads from the opening of the vulva to the uterus (womb), but the vaginal tract ends at the cervix. Unlike men, who have only one genital orifice, women have two, the urethra and the vagina. The vaginal opening is much larger than the urethral opening, and both openings are protected by the labia. The inner mould of the vagina has a foldy texture which can create friction for the penis during intercourse. During arousal, the vagina gets moist to facilitate the entrance of the penis.
The Latinate plural "vaginae" is rarely used in English. Colloquially, the word vagina is often used to refer to the vulva or to the female genitals in general. However, by its dictionary and anatomical definitions, vagina refers exclusively to the specific internal structure.
- Vaginal lubrication
- Vagina dentata
- Yonic symbolism
- Vagina and vulva in art
- The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History (Bloomsbury, 2013) by Emma L. E. Rees.