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The cleft of Venus (rima pudendi), otherwise known as the "pudendal cleft" or the "pudendal fissure", is a cleft running from the base of the mons pubis, along the lateral boundaries of the labia majora, and ending at the perineal body. It is considered one of the major structures of the vulva. In particular, both the urethral and vaginal orifices open onto the cleft of Venus. Physical details beyond that, however, tend to differ from one particular woman to another. Just as one, for instance, might find that only her mons and labia majora are visible (that is, without parting her labia), still another might find it her experience that her labia minora (or, perhaps, her clitoral hood) had been exposing itself all along.

The cleft of Venus's name, of course, originates from Venus, Roman goddess of love. Perhaps, it may relate as well to an older, dated name, from Latin, for the female pubic mound: mons veneris, the "mound of Venus".

Though otherwise inconspicuous, the cleft of Venus has been further singled out of late, the root cause of the faux pas known as the camel toe.


  1. Anatomy of the Human Body by Henry Gray (1918)
  2. Women's sexual function and dysfunction: study, diagnosis and treatment by Irwin Goldstein, et al. (2006)

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