Getting to know your vagina
By Luana Ross, Contributor
You can’t totally lose something in your vagina thanks to your cervix wall. Buttholes are a different story.
Anyone with a vagina should get to know the important basics about maintaining their genitals—but there is simply too much to know. Here are some facts you might have already known, and some you certainly won’t know (unless you’re some sort of vaginal-health wizard).
SEX-RELATED HEALTH TIPS
Sex is a potentially perilous activity for your vagina, so it’s very important to do your research before embarking on a sexual journey. Any foreign objects entering your vagina have the potential to bring bacteria—so make sure to pee after you have sex as that clears your system out and can prevent potential STIs.
Cleaning yourself after sex is just as important as keeping clean while practicing the act, however. Putting a penis or sex toy into your asshole and then immediately putting it into your vagina will transfer fecal matter and other types of unwelcome bacteria into the sensitive area; if you’re going to do anal it’s essential to change condoms—or, alternatively, go from vaginal sex to anal.
On the topics of condoms however, if you are new to using condoms you should really test if you are allergic to latex. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1 and 6 percent of the population is born with a latex allergy; do a skin test with latex, and if you are allergic, explore alternative methods of protection (there are many non-latex condoms for example).
Porn definitely can confuse many about what is normal and what is not—and most times, porn is an utterly abnormal representation of sex. While hardcore porn may look fun, reproducing it at home may lead to vaginal trauma if you aren’t safe. Another point to consider is that most women in pornographic videos tend to have a very skinny or flat labia (vagina lips)—and while you feel like your vagina might be abnormal, it is actually quite common for porn stars to get a cosmetic surgery called labiaplasty to reduce the size of their vagina lips.
YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE
On the topic of feeling abnormal, there are so many misconceptions what is normal when it comes to vaginas. While hymens are often a big part of the discussion when it comes to a girl going through puberty, many women are simply born without hymens. And while women’s sexual pleasure is often portrayed in media to be associated to penetrative sex, in fact, the majority of women do not experience vaginal orgasms reliably—so clitoral orgasms are actually the priority for most.
Also, if you’re worried you are the only person who has gotten something stuck in their vagina—you’d be totally wrong. Many will misplace a tampon or condom up there. Getting something stuck in there may seem terrifying, but your cervix wall will save the day and prevent anything from going further into your body. (Buttholes are a different story, however.)
Last but not least: vaginas love to breathe. Always wear cotton underwear—and consider sleeping in the nude!