The following post is NSFW. Just so you know.
So you're a person with a pussy.
Depending on your age, you might be thinking you've got a pretty good handle on the care and upkeep of said pussy. Keep it clean, make sure it doesn't smell, the usual. But the reason I'm writing this post is because I have encountered FAR TOO MANY GROWN ASS WOMEN who have no clue as to what is going on between their legs.
You might remember my story about the women who didn't know where their pee came from, and that post nor this one were meant to shame them in any way. It was just a shocking realization that apart from more comprehensive sex education, we need to be talking specifically about the maintenance of our lady parts. Like, it's yours. Forever. You should know it inside and out.
Due to the nearly universal taboo around bodies and sex, we don't ever talk about the things we NEED to know, usually until it's too late.
I'm going to list seven of the things I've seen or heard that are just not okay to do (or not do) with your vagina. And for the record, none of them involve who and what you allow up in your pum pum. That ain't nobody's business but yours, girl. I'm just trying to make sure you're healthy.
So here are some things you should probably not be doing:
1. Expecting your penised partner to know more about your vagina than you do.
I heard this so many times in college. "Well, I don't know what's supposed to happen...he/they should know what to do and where to go. They should know how to....." Stop. Right. There. Howwwww, Sway? This person has had a penis their ENTIRE life. What makes you think he went and studied up before he came to see you? He probably barely knows the ins and outs of his own parts. Girl, bye. Make sure YOU are the expert on your coochie. Learn what you like, what you don't like, what you need, and what you will not allow. If they can't get with it, they can get lost.
2. Not thoroughly washing any part of that area between your legs.
Just to be clear, yes, the vagina is self-cleaning. We like to call everything in the entire groin area the "vagina". In this instance I'm specifically referring to the part of your body that a baby could come out of. That part is self-cleaning. Now the labia, clitoris, vulva, hood, and all those other things on the outside of your kitty cat need some attention. You sweat and all kinds of fun things get caught up in the folds of your cooch. But please....no harsh soaps. Your daily body wash does not go between your legs. You want mild, unscented soap for this task. And you probably shouldn't use the same washcloth you use to wash the rest of your body on these parts. Best idea is to use your hands when in the shower for a gentle cleansing.
3. Your panties, girl.
Main rule: cotton or nothing. And no powder.
The most important part of your undergarments is that they allow your vagina to breathe. When it can't breathe, things get real hot and wet, creating the prime environment for bacteria to grow and thrive. Most panties and other garments have the patch of cotton in middle. If you see that, you're good. The silk panties, the thongs, and all the other non-standard panties come out for special occasions and you take them off immediately.
If you find that you get sweaty down there, please do not resort to using powder to stay dry. Most powders that are composed of talc can increase your risk for ovarian cancer and can cause inflammation. Nobody wants their coochie to be swollen shut. Just stick with cotton panties and try not to wear your pants too tight.
And while we're on the subject of undergarments, take them off at night.
4. Not going to see your coochie friend.
Seriously. Even if you think nothing is wrong, go see a gynecologist at least once a year if possible. They are vagina professionals and the ONLY person who should know more about your vagina than you do.
5. Thinking heavy periods and crazy-painful cramps are normal.
What if I told you that your period did not have to suck? You would probably tell me "No because my flow has been heavy my whole life and I have had bad cramps since I was 10 and my mama had bad cramps and my grandma had bad cramps" and on and on and on.
I'm going to say this and you can do with it what you will:
Heavy bleeding and painful cramps are usually the result of an imbalance in the body.
This imbalance can progress to fibroids, endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and all the other annoying, inconvenient, frustrating as hell reproductive issues (can you tell I know this struggle personally?). So how do we fix this imbalance? You have to change your diet. Like I've said before, I'm not going to tell you what you SHOULD be eating. All I'm going to say is you have to be aware of how certain things affect your body and your health. Experiment by removing some of the things you know you could probably lay off a little bit (here's some help: sugar, dairy, and bread/carbs) and see how you feel at your next period. When I did this, I barely noticed my period had started. From cramps that made me vomit and pass out and miss school regularly as a pre-teen, to the mildest of sensations in my uterus. It was like.... the intensity of a bit of gas passing through my system. Just enough to make me go "Hmm. That was weird." And that was it. No pain. No heating pads. No pain killers. No sickness. In addition to that, taking these things out of my diet took my period from a miserable six to seven days of heavy flow to a mild, dare I say pleasurable three to four days.
Again, not telling you what to do. Simply making a suggestion.
6. Not demanding cleanliness of your partner
Okay, now I am telling you what to do. You do not, I repeat - DO NOT, allow ANYBODY up in your box who is not CLEAN. Not even in terms of having diseases or things like that, but I mean if you haven't seen this person at the very least wash their hands before touching you, you need to pause the sexy time. You might think it's harmless for he/she/them to slip a finger or two in you, but if those fingers and fingernails aren't clean, that's a whole host of bacteria that was just inserted into you which could give you anything from a UTI to bacterial vaginosis, even an STI. Don't be afraid of "killing the vibe" or turning your partner off. If they are turned off by the fact you want them to be clean then you should probably let that go anyway.
If you use toys, you need to clean those things like the Department of Health is coming to inspect them. The material that sex toys are made of can hold on to and grow bacteria. You don't clean it correctly, and then use it again, you are setting yourself up for a trip to the doctor and a prescription for antibiotics.
7. Ignoring strange smells
Yes, you should acknowledge and embrace your own unique scent. Don't fall for that "pussy smell like water" or "pussy ain't supposed to smell like nothing" foolishness. Every part of you smells like something, and your pussy is no different. When that scent becomes a little....stronger.....it's time to pay attention. Stronger than normal or otherwise foul smells coming from between your legs can be a sign of imbalance in your vagina. Could be for any number of reasons, but it shouldn't be ignored. If it lingers for a few days or is strong enough to smell through your clothes, you need to get that checked out.
If you're doing any or all of these things, try your best to do better. Don't play about your pussy. And share this with anyone you think might need to read it.
Here's to happy and healthy vaginas!