The name that refers to all of the external female genitals - those you can see - is the vulva, meaning "covering". The mons, also called mons pubis or mons veneris, after the Roman goddess of love, is a soft mound of cushioning fatty tissue covered by skin and pubic hair (after puberty).

This region has numerous nerve endings, so touch or pressure here may lead to sexual arousal. Many women find that stimulation of the mons area can be as pleasurable as direct clitoral touch.

The labia are the visible parts of a woman's genitals, commonly called lips. There are outer lips (labia majora) and inner lips (labia minora). The labia majora are folds of skin, or fatty tissue, covering a thin layer of smooth muscle lying along each side of the vaginal opening.

After puberty, the sides of the outer lips are usually covered with hair. The labia majora contain numerous sweat glands, oil glands and nerve endings.

In their sexually unstimulated state, the outer lips usually are folded together, meeting in the middle to cover and protect the vaginal and urinary openings.

During sexual arousal, the labia majora swell and flatten out, exposing the vaginal opening. This is caused by blood collecting in the many vessels there.