Let's be real: Your vagina does a lot for you. She births children. She bleeds every month. She leaves herself open for penis, fingers, and tampon insertion. She takes on vibrators and dildos and other sex toys. After all that you've been through together, have you ever stopped to wonder what it would be like to talk to your vagina and/or vulva? If you haven't already noticed, she probably has been trying to have a conversation with you for ages. She speaks through her preferences, wants, needs, and desires — not to mention her discharge, odor, and rashes.
Because she's a queen and your biggest champion, it might be worthwhile to cement a friendship between you and start talking. If these vaginal walls could talk, here's what she would tell you.
1. "Masturbate more for better orgasms!"
Masturbation is a great way to bring pleasure into your everyday life, but often, we fall into an orgasm routine. Your vagina can experience pleasure in many ways, says Kristen Tribby, director of education at Fun Factory, so a great way to honor yourself is to prioritize trying new things. "If you typically lay on your back and use your hand, try using a vibrator while standing up," she says. "The key is to change the type of stimulation you are providing, try new locations and positions, and keep your body open to experiencing new types of pleasure."
And while having better and more orgasms will be different for each person, Tribby suggests spending time waking up your nerve endings by massaging your body with your hand or vibrator. "This helps alert your body to receive pleasure for a full-body orgasm. Use lube to enhance sensations and reduce any discomfort," she says. "Try simultaneous internal and external stimulation for a blended orgasm."
2. "Make sure your sex toys are clean."
According to Tribby, mild soap and warm water are all you need to clean silicone toys. If your partner has a penis, she recommends asking them to wear a condom, especially if you're not fluid bonded with that person, and "make sure that nobody is moving a toy, their penis, or a finger from the anus to the vagina," she says. "Using gloves for hand sex adds extra protection as hands and nails can be dirty and/or create micro-tears, which can make you more susceptible to infections."
3. "Play with my G-spot more!"
Playing with the G-spot feels really good to the vagina, says Tribby, and most people don't know that! "Pressing on the G-spot from the outside — so, a fleshy area a few inches below your belly button and above your pubic bone — feels great during penetration," she recommends. "Placing a rumbly wand vibrator on that area will externally stimulate the G-spot and access the internal clit."
4. "Protect me against UTIs and other infections."
"I think a place to start is to remember vaginal health isn't one size fits all, and what works for some people may not work for you," Lindsay Wynn, CEO and founder of Momotaro Apotheca, tells Scary Mommy. "This feels important to mention because understanding your triggers and solutions is so crucial to managing your health long-term. I think a multi-pronged approach is always the best as these infections can be caused by so many different things."
Below, Wynn outlines her best tips for protecting your vagina:
- Drink water. "This is my #1 tip for all things vulvovaginal health," she says. "Healthy, hydrated tissue is so important and, of course, helps you flush out bacteria, helping prevent UTIs."
- Take a probiotic. "Our gut and vaginal microbiome are connected; maintaining bacterial balance is crucial to preventing all types of infections, including BV, yeast, and UTIs," Wynn explains. "Bonus points for a probiotic that helps increase immune health. As a strong immune response is important for fighting off infections."
- Yes, pee after sex. Tried and true, this is still helpful.
- Change out of wet, damp, soggy clothes after swimming, exercising, or a long day.
- Sleep naked. Let your vulva breathe.
- Wear 100% cotton underwear that fits.
- Use a salve at the first sign of itching, irritation, or infection. "Use after sex of any kind, during your cycle, or any time you feel off," Wynn recommends.
5. "Massage and moisturize me during menopause."
While Tribby acknowledges everyone experiences menopause differently, she says using a good lube to support your changing body is essential. She recommends SUTIL as it is "the first lubricant to include hyaluronic acid, which builds up your tissues' hydration over time while providing long-lasting lubrication in the moment. A pro tip is to apply lube vaginally every day, as part of your self-care routine, to keep the area moisturized."
Another important tip during menopause, says Tribby, is to massage the vaginal canal regularly to encourage blood flow and fight against vaginal atrophy. She suggests doing this with a partner or by self-massage.
6. "Don't forget your Kegels."
"Some people erroneously believe the vagina gets permanently stretched after childbirth," Tribby says. "While childbirth can cause damage to the pelvic floor muscles, most birthing people recover fully. Kegel exercises also help to strengthen the pelvic floor. They can be used in preparation for childbirth and to support healing after childbirth." She suggests creating a daily Kegel practice to strengthen your pelvic floor.
7. "Take care of me, please."
"Your vagina is amazing, your vulva is unique, infections are common, and daily or monthly changes to our vulvovaginal health happen to everyone," Wynn says. "Do not let society shame you into thinking we shouldn't talk about or normalize the care of vaginas. Our bodies do incredible things, and we should all take care of, be proud of, and love them."
Adds Tribby: "Your vagina just wants you to be healthy and have a good time!"