My Vaginal Opening Is Covered By Flaps of Skin

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Carlin Ross

Hello Dr. Betty,

I seem to have a problem with my vaginal opening, it's covered by various sized flaps of skin. Not thin skin, either, they're a little thicker than a quarter. Now, I've taken a lot of time to research and find drawings and photos of vulvas/vagina openings to compare mine with. Some have been fairly similar in that the opening had an irregular border kind of like an open version of my my own, was mine not completely closed up. A good one that I found was in a 1978 copy of "Woman's Body: An Owner's Manual." Still, my "flaps" keep together like a clamshell, and I have to pull them apart to even get a look at the entrance itself. (It's really small, I'm assuming it's because I'm a 15 year old virgin.)

I'm worried that because these skin "flaps" are a bit difficult to move to see my vaginal entrance, and that I have to relax every muscle in my body to get them to separate naturally (I've only done it once), that I'll be a virgin forever. Having a penis or fingers (I'm bisexual, and would lose my virginity to either) just trying to push through seems like it'd be very painful, and not at all a good way to have a first sexual experience.

So, after that long intro, my questions would be: a.) is having a covered vaginal entrance normal? b.) will I be able to have sex, use tampons, etc. c.) is there anything I can do to try to keep them apart so that they won't be clamshelled together all the time? and d.) if it's not normal or if there's no way to keep them apart, is surgery too drastic an option? I apologize for it getting to be so long, I really didn't intend it to be that way, but I wanted to supply as much relevant information as possible.

Thank you for your time,

Dear M,

I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say, "my flaps keep together like a clam shell, and I have to pull them apart to even get a look at the entrance itself." I believe you are referring to your inner and outer labia. What is that same area called in the illustration your mentioned?

First let me ask you, what did you expect? A gaping hole? Nearly all vaginal entrances are small and/or partially hidden. Instead of being so focused on your vaginal opening, you'd be spending your time more constructively by locating your clitoris and exploring the sensations this powerful little organ can give you when you touch it gently with your fingers dipped in massage oil. I suspect you are thinking that sex with a partner will be vaginal penetration only. That's procreative sex and at your young age, a long way off I would assume. Learn how to give yourself orgasms with masturbation. That's the best preparation for a successful sex life later on.

Dr. Betty

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