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  #1  
Old 07-26-2006, 10:41 PM
diggleblop diggleblop is offline
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What purpose do labia minora serve?

I've noticed in my voyeurism of the female form, that all vaginas look different. But I've really noticed in person and in pics that some women have huge inner labia and some have almost none at all.

What is the deal with this? What purpose does it serve and why do some women have large labia and some have really small?
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2006, 11:01 PM
Drum God Drum God is offline
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In a bit of a mood, are we?
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:06 PM
diggleblop diggleblop is offline
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Just fighting my ignorance. Any ideas on the questions?
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:19 AM
spingears spingears is offline
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Originally Posted by diggleblop
Just fighting my ignorance. Any ideas on the questions?
Windshield wipers?
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2006, 08:36 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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They are to keep bees out.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2006, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Fear Itself
They are to keep bees out.
But as an unintended side effect, it also keeps the centipedes in.
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:00 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Originally Posted by bouv
But as an unintended side effect, it also keeps the centipedes in.
Holy crap. The mere thought. *faints*
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2006, 09:10 AM
malkavia malkavia is offline
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It's to give the pussy troll a bit of privacy.



What?
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2006, 09:38 AM
CandidGamera CandidGamera is offline
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Vaginal puppetry.
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2006, 09:40 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Without the lips it is more difficult to perform a monologue.
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  #11  
Old 07-27-2006, 09:41 AM
hawthorne hawthorne is offline
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Umami punani.
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  #12  
Old 07-27-2006, 09:55 AM
rhiannon777 rhiannon777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggleblop
What purpose does it serve and why do some women have large labia and some have really small?
Male and female sex organs are formed from the same embryonic tissue. For the first few weeks, a fetus has a genetic sex but it's not physically differentiated. So the same tissue that forms the head of the penis in males forms the clitoris in females. The same tissue that forms the scrotum forms the labia majora. And the same tissue that forms the phallus forms the labia minora. So it's possible that the labia minora are partially a vestigal organ--women have them because men need that tissue to do something evolutionarily valuble.

On a more practical note, the labia minora serve the purpose of additional protection for the vagina and urethra. Also, many (or most, according to Masters & Johnson) women who orgasm through sexual intercourse alone (as opposed to clitoral stimulation) are orgasming because the folds of the labia minora meet over the head of the clitoris...during penetration, the labia minora are rubbed back and forth and can stimulate the clitoris, resulting in orgasm.

As for why some many have small labia and some women have large...well, on one hand, it just chalks up to individual differences. Much like some people have blue eyes, some people have brown eyes. Some men have large testicles, some have small. There's probably an element of sexual selection at work, too...perhaps some primitive men were attracted to petite labia, some to large.
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:02 AM
bouv bouv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaamika
Holy crap. The mere thought. *faints*
Oh, so you're going to come in here and tell me that women don't have centipedes in their vaginas?
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  #14  
Old 07-31-2006, 08:24 PM
diggleblop diggleblop is offline
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Thanks, rhiannon777
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:31 PM
Nic2004 Nic2004 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiannon777
Male and female sex organs are formed from the same embryonic tissue. For the first few weeks, a fetus has a genetic sex but it's not physically differentiated. So the same tissue that forms the head of the penis in males forms the clitoris in females. The same tissue that forms the scrotum forms the labia majora. And the same tissue that forms the phallus forms the labia minora. So it's possible that the labia minora are partially a vestigal organ--women have them because men need that tissue to do something evolutionarily valuble.

On a more practical note, the labia minora serve the purpose of additional protection for the vagina and urethra. Also, many (or most, according to Masters & Johnson) women who orgasm through sexual intercourse alone (as opposed to clitoral stimulation) are orgasming because the folds of the labia minora meet over the head of the clitoris...during penetration, the labia minora are rubbed back and forth and can stimulate the clitoris, resulting in orgasm.

As for why some many have small labia and some women have large...well, on one hand, it just chalks up to individual differences. Much like some people have blue eyes, some people have brown eyes. Some men have large testicles, some have small. There's probably an element of sexual selection at work, too...perhaps some primitive men were attracted to petite labia, some to large.
Great reply and great subject for a debut! Welcome to the Board. You'll do well here.
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  #16  
Old 07-31-2006, 08:31 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiannon777
And the same tissue that forms the phallus forms the labia minora. So it's possible that the labia minora are partially a vestigal organ--women have them because men need that tissue to do something evolutionarily valuble.
Ah, so now women can look at their labia minora and say, "if I had a dick, it would be huge/small!"
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  #17  
Old 07-31-2006, 08:56 PM
CC CC is offline
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I say someone should pony up rhiannon's entry fee, and we open the gates. Anyone who can stand up against the silly and ick of the first few posts and still post such an informative and worthwhile response deserves a spot amongst the teeming millions. And failing that, she ought to pay her own way and join us anyway. Welcome, toots.
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  #18  
Old 07-31-2006, 08:59 PM
Rysdad Rysdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiannon777
So it's possible that the labia minora are partially a vestigal organ--women have them because men need that tissue to do something evolutionarily valuble.
What does drawing a little image of Fidel Castro with funny lips using a Magic Marker on a woman's groin have to do with evolution?
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  #19  
Old 07-31-2006, 09:12 PM
Sunrazor Sunrazor is offline
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Originally Posted by CC
I say someone should pony up rhiannon's entry fee, and we open the gates. Anyone who can stand up against the silly and ick of the first few posts and still post such an informative and worthwhile response deserves a spot amongst the teeming millions. And failing that, she ought to pay her own way and join us anyway. Welcome, toots.
Oh, yeah, well, anybody can Google "labia" and manage to come up with some scientific explanation -- that's the easy part. But can she keep up with the scintillating and whimsical humor of these threads? Hmmmm? Besides, nobody offered to pony up my subscription fee when I was holding forth, after great research and and fact-checking, on whether "kitchen," when used in the phrase "kitchen floor," is an adjective. Hah! Pay yer own way, kid!

Oh, yeah, and when somebody offers pie? It ain't real pie!

Errrr ... maybe this wasn't the best thread to offer that insight ...
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  #20  
Old 07-31-2006, 09:35 PM
Telperien Telperien is offline
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Originally Posted by bouv
Oh, so you're going to come in here and tell me that women don't have centipedes in their vaginas?
Haven't had a girlfriend in a while, have you?
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  #21  
Old 07-31-2006, 09:50 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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This is as good a time as any to mention Venice's Palazzo Labia.
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  #22  
Old 08-01-2006, 04:46 AM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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Originally Posted by Telperien
Haven't had a girlfriend in a while, have you?
That's just asking for a tu quoque.
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  #23  
Old 08-01-2006, 05:01 AM
Rumpleforskin Rumpleforskin is offline
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is there even a cunt hair's difference between the two?
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  #24  
Old 08-01-2006, 08:45 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC
I say someone should pony up rhiannon's entry fee, and we open the gates. Anyone who can stand up against the silly and ick of the first few posts and still post such an informative and worthwhile response deserves a spot amongst the teeming millions. And failing that, she ought to pay her own way and join us anyway. Welcome, toots.
I was going to, but then I realized that she misspelled "valuable", so instead I shall have to pit her. Pity, that.

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  #25  
Old 08-01-2006, 09:13 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrazor

Oh, yeah, and when somebody offers pie? It ain't real pie!
No, no, no, you have that all wrong. We don't offer pie, we tell you to bring pie...when come back.
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  #26  
Old 08-01-2006, 09:19 AM
cmkeller cmkeller is online now
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Rysdad:

Quote:
What does drawing a little image of Fidel Castro with funny lips using a Magic Marker on a woman's groin have to do with evolution?
Commie bastard!

A REAL American would have said Willie Nelson!
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  #27  
Old 08-01-2006, 11:02 AM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiannon777
Also, many (or most, according to Masters & Johnson) women who orgasm through sexual intercourse alone (as opposed to clitoral stimulation) are orgasming because the folds of the labia minora meet over the head of the clitoris...during penetration, the labia minora are rubbed back and forth and can stimulate the clitoris, resulting in orgasm.
There is a theory that the female orgasm is evolutionarily valuable because it keeps a woman from getting up and walking away right after sex. In other apes that's not a big deal, but because we stand upright, the vagina is pointed straight down and the semen can leak out. So this function might be important.
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  #28  
Old 08-01-2006, 11:29 AM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is offline
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They don't get up and walk away? Have I been hanging around with the wrong crowd again?
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  #29  
Old 08-01-2006, 12:51 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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There is a theory that the female orgasm is evolutionarily valuable because it keeps a woman from getting up and walking away right after sex.
There's also a theory that it's valuable because women who like having sex will do so more often. I know which theory I consider simpler.
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  #30  
Old 08-01-2006, 01:30 PM
Telperien Telperien is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malacandra
That's just asking for a tu quoque.
Well, I admit I've not had a girlfriend in a while, either. Or a boyfriend.

grumble
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  #31  
Old 08-01-2006, 01:46 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos
There's also a theory that it's valuable because women who like having sex will do so more often. I know which theory I consider simpler.
They're not really competing theories, though. And a single adaptation that makes an organism mate more often and be more likely to be made pregnant as a result of that mating is a big win from an evolutionary standpoint.
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  #32  
Old 08-01-2006, 02:30 PM
Excalibre Excalibre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bouv
But as an unintended side effect, it also keeps the centipedes in.
:: becomes gayer ::
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  #33  
Old 08-01-2006, 02:58 PM
Sunrazor Sunrazor is offline
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Originally Posted by Joey P
No, no, no, you have that all wrong. We don't offer pie, we tell you to bring pie...when come back.
Yeah, well, either way, I haven't gotten any damn pie, but it's sure been talked about a lot. I'm just sayin' -- I've had a lot of stuff e-mailed to me by fellow Dopers, but nothin' I could enjoy with a cup of coffee.
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  #34  
Old 08-01-2006, 07:09 PM
Rysdad Rysdad is offline
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Originally Posted by cmkeller
A REAL American would have said Willie Nelson!
Depends a lot on the 'foliage'.

Carrot Top?

Tommy Chong?

Jerry Garcia?

This guy?
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  #35  
Old 08-01-2006, 08:29 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrafilter
There is a theory that the female orgasm is evolutionarily valuable because it keeps a woman from getting up and walking away right after sex. In other apes that's not a big deal, but because we stand upright, the vagina is pointed straight down and the semen can leak out. So this function might be important.
Except it doesn't. Go straight down, I mean. It's tilted anteriorally (illy?) at the cervix, creating a little swimming pool when you stand up. You can see it in this very simply drawn schematic, which I think is safe for work: here. Plus, when fertile, a woman's cervix is a few millimeters lower than in that picture, dipping down into the "pool". When a woman orgasms, her cervix actually sucks semen up into the uterus if it's a fertile day. When a woman's not fertile, the cervix is high and firm, like that picture, and it doesn't matter if the woman stands on her head - no amount of semen in the uterus will get her pregnant.

So the female orgasm may be reproductively useful for the sucking of semen. But even if she stands up, most of the semen will stay inside her. (Some does drip out, but most stays in.)
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  #36  
Old 08-18-2006, 09:39 AM
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I think some field testing is in order.

:: Rings up Mrs. Spiff ::

"But Honey, who are you to stand in the way of scientific advancement?"
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  #37  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:10 AM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos
There's also a theory that it's valuable because women who like having sex will do so more often. I know which theory I consider simpler.
Oh SURRRRRRRE. Bring that damned Rasor into play...
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  #38  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:14 AM
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Slight hijack..I just wanna know why women always go into the bathroom before having sex? It doesn't always taste like they are cleaning up the equipment especially
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  #39  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:32 AM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Originally Posted by TokyoPlayer
They don't get up and walk away? Have I been hanging around with the wrong crowd again?
Or they have.

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  #40  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:09 AM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is offline
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[QUOTE=rhiannon777] women have them because men need that tissue to do something evolutionarily valuble. QUOTE]

I just Knew they were there as 'tongue-ticklers' to increase our pleasure.
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  #41  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:24 AM
twickster twickster is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priapus
Slight hijack..I just wanna know why women always go into the bathroom before having sex? It doesn't always taste like they are cleaning up the equipment especially
If your bladder is full, you're more likely to get a urine leakage, which increases the possibility of a UTI.
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  #42  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:26 AM
tashabot tashabot is offline
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Originally Posted by priapus
Slight hijack..I just wanna know why women always go into the bathroom before having sex? It doesn't always taste like they are cleaning up the equipment especially
Well, the reason *I* go to the bathroom after sex is because I have to pee.

You've gotta understand something about female anatomy: when you're having sex there's the disting possiblity and probability that the urethra is getting rubbed up against. If I have any liquid whatsoever in my bladder and that happens, I generally have to pee.

While I'm in there I also clean up - I personally think semen smells weird when mixed with vaginal fluid and no amount of smoking has made me unable to smell that when I'm trying to go to sleep afterward.

~Tasha
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  #43  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:50 AM
Monstre Monstre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telperien
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malacandra
That's just asking for a tu quoque.
Well, I admit I've not had a girlfriend in a while, either. Or a boyfriend.
In that case, she's probably just asking for one quoque. No need to set the bar too high.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tashabot
Well, the reason *I* go to the bathroom after sex is because I have to pee.
Actually, priapus asked about before, not after. But I think twickster addressed it.

or perhaps it's just centipede removal
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  #44  
Old 08-18-2006, 06:04 PM
Dag Otto Dag Otto is online now
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Originally Posted by tashabot
I personally think semen smells weird when mixed with vaginal fluid and no amount of smoking has made me unable to smell that when I'm trying to go to sleep afterward.
Wow. So that's the reason for the cigarette afterwards?
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  #45  
Old 08-18-2006, 06:31 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
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Originally Posted by tashabot
While I'm in there I also clean up - I personally think semen smells weird when mixed with vaginal fluid and no amount of smoking has made me unable to smell that when I'm trying to go to sleep afterward.

~Tasha
If you're smoking, then reduce speed of copulation and/or use lubrication. No one likes the odor of burnt genetalia.
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  #46  
Old 08-18-2006, 07:51 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is online now
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Originally Posted by WhyNot
Plus, when fertile, a woman's cervix is a few millimeters lower than in that picture, dipping down into the "pool". When a woman orgasms, her cervix actually sucks semen up into the uterus if it's a fertile day.
Which leads to another theory that I've heard; that the female orgasm makes cheating more efficient. The claim is that women are more likely to orgasm with a lover than a husband, and therefore are more likely to get pregnant by him.
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  #47  
Old 08-19-2006, 12:58 PM
The Weird One The Weird One is offline
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Originally Posted by priapus
Slight hijack..I just wanna know why women always go into the bathroom before having sex? It doesn't always taste like they are cleaning up the equipment especially
Hmm, I don't always go to the bathroom before sex, if caught up in the moment, but I try to. If my bladder is feeling even the slightest bit full, then I want to empty it so I don't feel like I have to pee at an inopportune moment. I also clean up while I'm in there. Frankly, I wish more men would do the same. I've definitely dated guys who smelled pretty funky down there.

I can't speak to why someone would go to the bathroom right before sex and not clean up.
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  #48  
Old 08-19-2006, 01:13 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
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Originally Posted by twickster
If your bladder is full, you're more likely to get a urine leakage, which increases the possibility of a UTI.
Help me out here-urine leakage increases chance of a UTI how? Logically-I'd think that flushing the mains would preclude entrance of the nasties causing a UTI.
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  #49  
Old 08-19-2006, 01:21 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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Originally Posted by bouv
Oh, so you're going to come in here and tell me that women don't have centipedes in their vaginas?

Well, the teeth down there usually take care of them...

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  #50  
Old 08-19-2006, 01:30 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Do they really need a purpose, people?

Science is all well and good, but some things just don't have to justify their existence. Next you'll be asking why puppies are so damned cute.
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