I recently came across a discussion on social media regarding the supposed increased sexual pleasure that comes from having intercourse while the vagina is ‘dry’. As per some of those involved in the discussion, a wet vagina equalled a loose vagina! Well, now is a good time to have a discussion on vagina myths, starting with three common ones on wetness, dryness and looseness.
Myth 1: A wet vagina is a loose vagina
This is a socially and psychologically damaging myth because it plays on the cultural expectation that women remain untouched – tight, in this case to mean dry – so as to maintain their image of being pure. This is 100 per cent a myth; vaginal wetness is part of a biological function in all of us, males and females, to prepare for sexual activity. The only thing it means is that your body is functioning just as it was intended to function. It is also directly responsible for the dangerous practices addressed in the next myth.
Myth 2: A dry vagina is better than a wet vagina
This myth seems to have been there long before academic study of the same. We know that even some of our African communities encouraged women to insert substances such as leaves from particular plants, certain rocks/stones, newspapers, chalky substances like chalk or talcum powder, lemon juice, alcohol and more just to dry it out. The idea here has been that the drier a vagina is, the tighter it will feel to the male partner because it will create greater friction. Unfortunately, not only is this patently false, it is also painful and dangerous to both partners.
For the woman, sex without vaginal lubrication is the equivalent of sandpaper rubbed hard against the skin; painful! For the man, it can be also be painful because the absence of vaginal lubrication causes him to use more force to get himself inside his partner, over and over and over – distracting, exhausting and painful.
In addition to the pain, a dry vagina tears more easily and vaginal tears are not only painful but dangerous because they provide more entry points for STIs as well as other vaginal infections. This then creates a situation of infection and reinfection between the partners and/or anyone else that they may have sex with. Stop drying out your vagina as you are harming it and yourself in the process. It is perfect as it is.
Myth 3: The more sex you have, the looser your vagina becomes
As best as I can tell, this myth comes from the school of thought that women should ‘save themselves’ or ‘remain pure and untainted’ for their future partner. Logically speaking, this cannot be because sex with 1000 different men will have the same impact on vaginal ‘tightness/looseness’ as sex 1000 times with the same partner.
The vagina is a muscle that contracts and expands as needed. That is one of the reasons why God/biology produces vaginal lubrication prior to intercourse; to allow for the elasticity needed for the necessary expansion and/or contraction. It is also the reason why over the course of a pregnancy, the body allows it to expand enough to pass a whole baby, and then shrink back to be able to comfortably accommodate a penis. You have values but none should be used to shame you into believing a psychologically harmful myth about your body; on this one, logic and biology rule.
Sometimes, due to trauma, injury, childbirth and even aging, a woman may feel like her vagina is not as tight as it was. Whether or not this is real i.e. psychological or physiological, the recommendation is that women do Kegel exercises, so named after Dr Arnold Kegel, an American gynaecologist. Mind you, Kegel exercises help to tighten your pelvic floor muscles, not really your vagina. However, stronger pelvic floor muscles do make everything feel different.
My hope is that these three myth-busters have helped you understand that your vagina is perfect as it is. It is a self-cleaning and self-regulating organ so please do not shove things in there to change how it feels, looks or smells. In case of any lingering concerns, please consult a qualified, trained professional, otherwise allow yourself and your partner to enjoy your vagina as it was created; perfectly.
Maggie Gitu holds an MA in Marriage & Family Therapy. She practices as a Marriage, Family & Sex Therapist. Reach her at [email protected] or via her Facebook page: Maggie Gitu