I've shared before that I'm a doula. Personally, I think the gig consists of tending to the mother, ensuring the safe birth of her child and also making sure that her partner (and kids, if she has other children) has all of their questions and concerns addressed. You know what's a trip about the partner part? Whenever the topic of body positivity and sex comes up, it's very rare that a man will be nearly as critical of a woman's body as a woman is. At the same time, if there's one particular concern that both men and women have when it comes to life after giving birth, it's how the vagina is going to be following it.
It's a fair question because while having a child is one of the most beautiful and miraculous things that can even happen to us, anyone who tells you that it won't change your body is either lying or they're delusional. It will. And yes, this includes your vagina. However, when it comes to the whole "loose vagina" fear, there are a few points that I want to address today. One reason is so that I can dispel certain assumptions and myths. The second is so that I can put both you and your partner at ease. So, are you ready to know the facts about the so-called loose vagina?
So, Is There Really Such a Thing As a “Loose Vagina”? If So, Why?
Let me start off by saying that when it comes to the term "loose vagina", it is more of an exaggeration than anything else. Goodness, there are so many reasons why our vaginas are pretty damn amazing. One of them is it's got a ton of elasticity in it. Just think about it. If you've had a child before, then you can already attest to the fact that while an entire body came out of your vagina, it has pretty much gone back to the way it was before you gave birth. And how long does this process take? You definitely need to wait the standard six weeks after giving birth for your vagina to heal. Following that, it may take a few more months for things to feel way more normal to you—and to your partner.
Now, I won't lie. If you want me to say that things will be exactly the same, the answer is "probably not" because, again, an entire baby came out of you. At the same time, to be honest with you, there are much bigger changes to look out for like maybe a shift in shoe size, your breasts not being quite as full, needing to get your sex drive back to the way it was and perhaps experiencing some hair loss. And what about how your partner will feel about your vagina? While some men have felt pretty intimidated after watching the birth of a child (I'm sure you can get why), when I've done follow-ups after about six months or so, most of them say something along the lines of 1) they were just thrilled to be able to get some again and/or 2) the fact that their partner was able to birth a child makes her sexy AF and/or 3) it's not a big enough of a change to be that big of a deal. So, as you can see, as far as a loose vagina when it comes to vaginally giving birth goes, there really is nothing to worry about. Let's keep going.
Is there anything else that can result in a vagina being…loose? Well, let me knock one myth totally out of the way—it definitely can't happen from having numerous sex partners. Think about it. If a vagina is able to bounce back from a body coming out of it, what kind of damage is an organ that averages 5" erect really gonna do? Exactly.
What can cause a vagina to become less "tight" over time is age. That's because, once we hit around the age of 40 (which is perimenopause for a lot of women; menopause averages around the age of 51), our system can start to produce less estrogen which can cause our vaginal walls to become thinner; drier too. So, if you don't have kids or it's been a while since you've given birth and either you or your partner are noticing that things are a little bit different down below, getting your hormone levels checked could be beneficial; especially if you're around 40 or over it.
Honestly, a “Tight Vagina” Could Be More Problematic. Here’s Why.
Now that you hopefully have a greater understanding of what a loose vagina is all about (along with why it really isn't something to be too concerned about), let's touch on tighter ones, shall we? Aside from virginity, if you're having sex with someone and your vagina feels "tight" in the sense of being uncomfortable, that isn't really a good thing. While yes, sometimes adjusting to a new partner can result in needing a couple of tries in order to get used to his size (that doesn't rhyme on purpose), honestly, sex is meant to feel good. So, if you don't, that can kinda fall on him.
Why and how? Well, two things that we need in order for our vagina to feel great during sex is arousal and lubrication. If your partner sucks at foreplay (and not in a good way), if he is sexually selfish and/or if ole' boy is a minute man, all of these things could keep your vagina from relaxing and expanding as it should.
That's why, whenever I hear some dude go on and on about tight va-jay-jays being his thing—I'll be honest with you, a part of me wonders if he's way worse in bed than he thinks that he is because, when it comes to a fulfilling sexual experience, getting in a "tight" vagina should not be the goal any more than being with a guy with a huge member should be (check out "BDE: Please Let The "It Needs To Be Huge" Myth Go"). Having a pleasurable time should be the focus and the most your vagina expands in order to comfortably accommodate your partner, the better. And yes, he plays a huge role in making that a possibility.
5 Things You Can Do to Increase Vaginal Elasticity
So, what if, after taking all of this in, you feel like your vaginal is not as "elastic" as you would like and you want to do something about it? That's a good question. Here are some natural things to try at home.
Do some kegels. Most of us have heard of kegels before. At the end of the day, they are simply a series of exercises that consist of your vagina clenching and then releasing so that your pelvic floor can feel stronger and your vagina can seem less loose. Since kegels also help to increase blood flow to the genital region, it can actually benefit your partner to do them as well since they could make his erections fuller in the long run. Some kegels tips for women can be found here. For men, it can be found here.
Eat some phytoestrogen foods. Remember how I said that a dip in estrogen could be a part of the reason why your vagina doesn't feel quite the same? A natural approach to this particular issue is to consume more phytoestrogen foods. What exactly is phytoestrogen? It's a plant-based source of estrogen. Some foods that contain phytoestrogen include lentils, wheat germ, cherries, oats, barley, apples and carrots.
Cop a vaginal cone. Some people like yoni eggs. Others prefer vaginal cones. Either way, if you want to strengthen your vaginal floor, get yourself one (or one of each). All you basically need to do is insert one into your vagina. In response, your vagina will contract in order to keep the egg/cone from slipping out. Some women use them to make their vagina "tighter" while others use them to combat urinary incontinence. If you use them consistently and correctly, they can actually be pretty effective.
Spoon. When I say "spoon", I mean sex not sleep. The truth is, any sexual position that requires you to keep your legs closer together can make things feel more snug up in there. So, next time you have sex, get into the spooning position and let him enter into you that way. Things will feel "tighter" and it can increase your chances of climaxing too.
Have sex more often. One more. Should it come as any surprise that one way to get your vagina to become less loose is by strengthening your pelvic floor via sexual activity? The reality is that when you have an orgasm, your vaginal walls contract multiple times and then relaxes. You know what this means, right? The more you cum, the more contractions you have and the better your vaginal walls end up becoming. So, check out "10 Irrefutable Reasons To Have An Orgasm A Day" for more inspiration, go find your partner and then get into that spoon position I mentioned. Your vagina will thank you. Hell, you will thank you. #wink
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The first big leap was moving to a new city and getting settled into my new home. The next big leap? Was finding community and belonging. Moving to a new city excited me! I looked forward to having my own apartment, decorating it, and exploring what the city had to offer. I also found excitement in the thought of meeting new people and expanding my connections. When it actually came down to it, I felt nervous. I heard that making new friends as an adult can be hard because we all have different responsibilities and schedules that may not align. I knew in order for me to really feel at home in my new city, I had to create community.
Having a community of people who I can share memories with, lean on in times of need, and inspire each other is something I always valued. I took a moment to truly center in on what I desired from the new friends I would make. Then I realized it all would have to start with me. I had to be centered and confident in who I was to attract who I desired to be aligned with. As someone who moved to a new city and established quality friendships, I gathered these six tips that helped me feel grounded and create community in hopes that it will help you, too.
6 tips to start building community and making new friends in a new city:
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Be true to yourself
Do you know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in three words, what words would you use? In order to develop deep friendships, you must be a friend to yourself first. Know what refuels you and what zaps your energy. Self-study your habits and why you do the things you do. All this will be important to keep in mind when looking to create bonds with others. Every day there’s all kinds of people telling you who you should be, how you should act, or what you should wear. At the end of the day, the only opinion about yourself that truly matters is your own. Spend some alone time with yourself indoors or out at an event you like to truly discover who you are in this season of your life.
Pray about it
Before you step out into the world and cross paths with all kinds of people, it’s important to pray about building your community. God outlines what true friendship looks like in numerous Bible verses such as "Iron sharpens iron." - Proverbs 27:17 and “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. If you desire friendships that last, pray about what you seek in friendship. I remember praying for mentally stable, happy, and whole women who moved through life with abundance mindsets. Take a moment to journal about the community you want to build and then pray on it.
Go to fun events to meet people who share your interests
Most metropolitan cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Atlanta are known to have strong young professional communities and events where you can connect with others. I highly encourage you to attend events in or near your community to see what the city is like and meet people. It’s likely that the people at the event have the same interests as you, which is a great way to start a conversation. You can start by searching for events on Eventbrite or following Instagram pages that highlight events happening in your city.
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Accept that you won’t be compatible with everyone you meet
While living in your new city, it’s likely you’ll meet a variety of people. Please know that everyone you meet will not bud into lasting friendships, and that’s okay! You are uniquely created and not made for everyone. Then you’ll meet people who are good for only surface-level connections, and then you’ll have your girls who you can get deep with. I think sometimes people can look down on surface-level friendships, but not everyone needs to fully know you. That’s a privilege to have and to accept within yourself. Continue to check in with yourself and be real about who you crave to spend more time with and who is nice to see for a monthly or quarterly catch-up.
Join Facebook groups & GroupMe chats
If you haven’t used Facebook in a couple of years, it’s time to dust your profile off. Facebook Groups is a great place to join online communities for people who just moved to a new city like you. Typically, you have to agree to the group’s guidelines, and then you can join. For example, you can search for groups in the Facebook app by using keywords like women, Black girl, or [the name of your city] foodies. With the GroupMe app, you’ll have to be invited to join an already existing group. While you’re out and about networking, don’t hesitate to ask if they’re in any online groups/communities they recommend you join too.
Be friendly to folks in your neighborhood
When I first moved to my new apartment, I spent the first week walking around the complex and working in the community spaces to get a better feel of it. I was able to meet people in my neighborhood, enjoy small talk, and learn more about what the community has to offer. Step outside of your comfort zone and work in your apartment’s community space or a local coffee shop to connect with others.
Overall, you may feel alone in your new city, but I guarantee you’re not. There are other people experiencing living in a new city too, and all you need to do is find each other. I hope these tips help ease the nervous feelings you have about building a new community and inspire you to make a new friend today!
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