There seem to be some misconceptions floating around about vaginas — so let’s put some of them to rest.
- A vagina will have a slightly different taste throughout hormonal changes (so different times of the month), and diet changes. Vaginas also have a wide variance of smells as well. Generally, most people with vaginas will note any underlying symptoms and know if something is going on with it. But any person with a vagina will be aware of the differing discharge and scent and will probably know through whomever they’re intimate with that there are subtle taste variations. Suffice it to say just like the taste of semen, the taste of vagina is not for everyone. However, spouting that vagina is “gross” will make you seem ignorant, immature, and any person with a vagina should walk away from that noise.
- The vagina is made to be able to pass a child through and then return to the previous size; having sex with a lot of people DO NOT make vaginas loose. Vaginas widen with arousal. Some vaginas are wide set. Some vaginas are built smaller. Vaginas vary as much as penises do. So if a vagina feels very tight: make sure the person with the vagina is adequately aroused. (They may simply be smaller built, but checking on the level of arousal should be a necessary check anyway.)
- People with vaginas can achieve orgasm in a variety of ways. I think most people are aware of this, but I want to make it clear the majority of people with vaginas orgasm by methods outside of PIV (penis-in-vagina) sex. The most common method for achieving orgasm is clitoral stimulation. Most people with vaginas can orgasm multiple times but that doesn’t mean it’s necessary. Always check with your partner.
- Hymens are thin, fleshy tissue that stretches across part of the opening of a vagina. Some people aren’t born with a hymen. Some hymens wear away with things like exercise, horse-back riding, and general sports activities. Hymens are not a sign of never having sex. Hymens cannot be “grown” back. While we are it, there’s no medical way to tell if someone is a virgin — virginity is a social construct.
- Sex can hurt for a lot of reasons. If sex is painful for you or your partner, please get examined. It could be something like endometrosis, or vulvodynia, or a range of other less serious issues. Understanding your own (or your partner’s) vagina will make intimacy come easier. It could be something as simple as your body not being hydrated enough so your vagina isn’t producing enough lubricant for itself.
- We’ve been saying “people with vaginas” because it’s a misconception that everyone with a vagina is a woman and everyone with a penis is a man.
- Lastly, you are in charge of your vagina. No one else is, not your partner, not the government, no one but you. You get to decide what gets to enter it and how often. You have the right to say no whenever and however often you want. It’s okay to never want sex, it’s okay to want sex all the time. It’s okay to want only sex with people who identify as women, it’s okay to only have sex with those who identify as men, and it’s okay to have sex with anyone who identifies differently and everyone in between. The only qualifier for this is that your partner(s) must consent as well. Consent is necessary for all parties involved, no matter what, always.
Photo credit Hey Paul Studios.