Located just inside the larger flaps of tissue known as the labia majora, the labia minora, or "inner lips" as they are sometimes called, serve to protect the vaginal opening. According to Labia Library, they also help provide stimulation and lubrication during sexual intercourse.
A part of the female genitalia, the labia minora are two folds of soft tissue that are folded lengthwise on either side of the vaginal canal. Comprised mainly of connective tissue, they are also richly supplied with blood vessels, according to Inner Body. The labia minora are pinkish in color. They merge towards the back of the vulva, near the anus, and they extend forward to converge over the clitoris, forming a hood-like structure.
The labia minora are just one of several parts of the external female reproductive anatomy. The labia majora, found outside of the labia minora, help protect the more sensitive labia minora from irritation and damage. The clitoris, found under the hood formed by the labia minora at the front of the vulva, is well innervated and involved in sexual arousal. Pubic hair, which is found on the labia majora and the surrounding area, provides cushioning for the genitals and transmits sexual sensation.