Don’t give into the fear and don’t mess around with your body’s chemistry
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
A vagina is no bed of roses. It’s not a mango, a peach, or a basket of raspberries, and it’s certainly not a pink-coloured Starburst. So why do so many people think it has to taste or smell like one?
Your vagina is not supposed to taste like candy, it’s supposed to taste like, you know, a vagina. Every person has had a fear of their nether regions not tasting or smelling like a fruit basket, but this is a concern that is ultimately directed at people with vaginas. The number of people who refuse to receive oral sex from their partner but are fine to give it because they’re self-conscious about the odour of their vaginas is concerning. They miss out on a crucial element of sex and pleasure because of this genital shame.
What’s more is that most cisgender men don’t often have to worry about the smell or taste of their privates or semen. This burden of anxiety to have your genitals taste and smell like an edible arrangement is dumped on many women. It’s an anxiety that has no basis for truth, but that doesn’t stop businesses from exploiting that fear to make money.
Many companies are using people’s fear of not smelling or tasting “fresh” to sell their products. They say their supplements have all-natural and herbal fruit extracts with wheatgrass that can make your genitalia smell like potpourri. Or, in one company’s words, the product “adds a semi-fruity taste and sensual smell to your intimate body fluid,” but the same page also says, “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
Other companies claim that douching, steaming, or using certain creams or sprays will make your vagina cleaner, smell nicer, and therefore be “fresher.” They’re lying. Some of these products are either a cheap gimmick or can wind up doing more harm to your body, and your vagina, and I’ll tell you how.
The taste and smell of a vagina does not depend on anything except your body’s chemistry. Vaginas are self-cleaning organs and have special bacteria that help keep them clean and prevent infections. By douching, or applying any special creams or gels, you are getting rid of these bacteria and instead making yourself more susceptible to infection and therefore unpleasant odour. Vaginas also have a natural pH balance of about 3.8 to 4.5 and are naturally acidic, so they’re going to taste acidic. However, generally the taste of one’s vagina varies from person to person.
No products can make a significant change to your genital odour or taste; only your diet can change this. For instance, if you drink alcohol, or eat a lot of garlic or spicy food, you might not taste as good. Lots of healthy food, fluids, and breathable underwear are factors to a healthy vagina.
However, at the end of the day, vaginas are vaginas, so they’re not always going to taste or smell amazing. If you’re picky about the smell or taste of your partner’s genitals, you probably aren’t mature enough to be with them.