Let's all pretend for a sec that we're in anatomy class again. Remember when you first learned what your vagina actually is? It wasn't your lips (those are your labia majora and labia minora). It wasn't your clitoris (did you know that the only known purpose of a clit is so you can climax easier?). It wasn't your vulva—the external part of your genitalia. No, your vagina is the internal tube that connects your vulva to your cervix (the lower part of your uterus). Babies come out of it and things like penises, vibrators, tampons and menstrual cups go into it.
Why is all of this relevant? Because, in preparation for sharing some things with you that you may or may not know about what's going on down below, technically, I'll be covering your vulva (the part of your genitalia that you do see) and your vagina (the part of your genitalia that you don't). I'm hoping that, with these 15 following facts in tow, you'll love your vagina more than you already do.
Because you already show your vagina (and your vulva) lots and lots of love…right?
Your Vagina Smells Differently Throughout the Day
If it seems like, scent-wise, your vagina keeps switching up on you throughout the day, don't stress it; that's totally normal. When you get out of the shower, you may smell nothing but once you exercise, your sweat glands may cause you to smell a little musty down there. If you're on your period, it might smell like iron, after sex it might smell a little like bleach (due to how your fluids interact with the smell of semen) and, if you have an infection of some sort, it might smell like yeast or fish.
While we're parked on this particular point, something else that can alter the smell of your va-jay-jay is your diet. The foods that can make it smell less than pleasant are onions, garlic, curry, alcohol and coffee. Oh, and due to a new partner's distinctive semen, switching up partners can change how "she" smells too.
The Shape of Your Lips Have a Lot to Do with Your Orgasms
In the article "10 Things You Didn't Know About The Male And Female Orgasm", I shared that when a woman's clitoris is about an inch apart from her vaginal opening, it's much easier for her to have a vaginal orgasm. You know what else helps? The way her lips are made. I'm dead serious.
One study revealed that women who have prominent tubercles (which is basically an elevation of extra skin on the upper part of the lips) of her vagina also gave her a far greater chance of experiencing vaginal orgasms. So, if you're one of those women who feels insecure in a bathing suit because you've got what some folks call a "fatty", don't be. You are that much closer to having what reportedly over 70 percent of women don't—a vaginal orgasm!
You’d Be Amazed How “Big” Your Vagina Can Get
Although your vagina is only 3-4 inches long, its stretching capacity is absolutely amazing! So much, in fact, that it can stretch up to 200 percent (which is how babies can come through it). It's able to do this because your vagina is lined with muscular ridges all throughout it.
What this boils down to is you can handle the size of just about any man; at the same time, in order to initially get into the swing of things, you may need to use a vaginal dilator in order to gradually and comfortably stretch the walls of your vagina in order to, umm, accommodate him.
Discharge and Lubricant Aren’t Exactly the Same Things
This point is pretty fascinating. Did you know that there's a difference between discharge and lubricant? Discharge (which is made up of saltwater, mucus and cells) is what helps to rid your body of bacteria. If your vagina is healthy, the discharge should be a clear, white or off-white color, non-clumpy or irritating and you should only produce around 1-2 teaspoons per day. Lubricant is what comes out, only when you are sexually stimulated.
While discharge comes directly out of your actual vagina, lubrication comes out of two pea-sized glands (called Bartholin's Glands) that are located on the outer sides of your vaginal opening.
There’s More to Your Clitoris than Meets the Eye
When babies are first conceived, they all have the same genetic material. Once they are around 12 weeks, that's when either a penis or a labia begins to form. The reason why you might have heard that clitorises are "little penises" is because, like a penises, they have glans, erectile tissue, a tiny shaft and even foreskin (hence, your clitoral hood). They also get erect and expand whenever you're sexually aroused.
Some other fun facts about your clitoris is it contains 8,000 nerve endings (approximately double what a man has in his penis); it's able to create between 3-16 contractions that are able to last 10-30 seconds long; it grows over the course of your lifetime (it's 2.5 times bigger when you're going through menopause vs. when you were an adolescent) and, it's bigger than you probably think that it is (four inches). It's just that three-fourths of your clitoris is located on the inside of your body.
A Healthy Vagina Is Literally Like Fine Wine
One way to know whether or not your vagina is healthy is to check its pH balance (click here if you want a kit that will let you test it from home). If it's in good shape, your pH will be between 3.8-4.5. If it's higher than that, bacterial vaginosis may be the culprit. If it's lower, it could be indicative of a yeast infection (check with your doctor, just to be sure).
Anyway, since a healthy vagina's pH is around a 4 (which means that it's slightly acidic), I thought you might be curious about what else is—tomatoes, beer and yes, wine. This means that if you wanted to compare your vagina to the best of wines, you wouldn't be lying. That is literally the complete and total truth.
A Vaginal Fart Isn’t a Fart at All
TMI? Maybe. I remember the first time I "queefed" with a partner. I was so embarrassed that I picked a fight and we didn't speak for two days. When we finally did discuss how ridiculous I was being, he said, "It just caught me off guard but it's no big deal."
It really isn't. For one thing, queefing is completely normal. Secondly, all that's coming out when your vagina makes a "fart sound" is air; not waste or gas like real fart has in it. It doesn't smell either, so the next time it happens to you, laugh don't freak out. It's all good.
Nothing Can Get “Lost” in There
Your vagina is not a black hole; it does have an end to it (for the most part, your cervix). The reason why it can sometimes be hard to retrieve a broken condom or a tampon that lost its string is because the item is lodged towards the backside of your vagina. Don't worry, though. If you can't get what's stuck out, your physician most certainly can.
While we're on this topic, my great-grandfather used to say (and I quote), "If you wear short skirts in the wintertime, you're gonna catch a cold in your p—sy." Yeah, that's not exactly true. Your vagina is not a gaping hole that's constantly open. In fact, its walls are actually collapsed on top of each other. They expand when they need to and remain closed when they don't. So, please ignore my grandpa's pearls of wisdom. If they were on Snopes, they would be marked as being "false".
Your Pubic Hair Serves Three (Main) Purposes
Something that I personally found to be a plum trip is the fact that pubic hair has a pretty short shelf life. While the hair on our head can last for up to seven years, the hair on our vagina only lasts for three weeks or so. This is why it can only get but so long or bushy.
As far as the purpose that pubic hair serves, for the most part, it's a three-way combo. First, it protects your vagina from debris. Second, it helps to prevent small abrasions from arising on your vulva due to sexual friction (the less small cuts, the less STD risks you have to worry about). Third, so long as you keep your vagina clean, its natural scent gets trapped into your pubic hair, creating pheromones that turns your partner all the way on. Bonus—a lot of my male friends are huge fans of (well-manicured) pubic hair. They say it's because it makes them feel like they are having sex with a grown woman (which co-signs on a study that says the older we get, the less interested we are in removing our pubic hair anyway). Just something to think about.
Your Vagina Doesn’t Need Douching or Steaming
You've probably known for a while now that, because your vagina is self-cleaning, you absolutely do not need to douche it for any reason. Ultimately, all that does is upset the pH balance in your vagina which can cause all sorts of infections up the road. But what you might not know is you shouldn't steam (translation—go somewhere and sit over a hot pot of herbs in hopes to cleanse and tighten your vagina) either. Aside from the fact that you run the risk of burning your vagina (ouch), there isn't really a lot of evidence to support that it does any real cleansing or tightening. You'd be better off using a DIY cleanse and applying it to your vulva (only) instead.
Vulvas Sag over Time
Something that our body produces less of over time is collagen. When this happens, our skin begins to sag, including when it comes to our vulva. It's nothing to feel bad or embarrassed about (men love vulvas and vaginas regardless), but if you do want to give your vulva a bit of a facelift (so to speak), take a collagen supplement and do some kegels regularly. That should do the trick.
Food in Your Vagina IS NOT a Good Idea
Years back, I told a few of my girlfriends a story I heard about a woman who got maggots in her vagina. No one believed me. I can't wait to forward this to them because there is a documented case of a 79-year-old woman who experienced just that (the technical term for it is vaginal myiasis). Although it is rare, I did look for some medical insight on how to insure that it never happens to you. The best way to avoid vaginal maggots (eww…just eww) is to keep food (dark chocolate, frozen bananas and whatever else your creative mind comes up with) OUT of your actual vagina. Vulva (outside) is fine. Vagina (inside) is not.
Multiple Partners Doesn’t Make It Looser. Abstinence Doesn’t Make It Tighter.
Chile, I ain't had sex in so long that I can only hope this point is true! If you are sexually active and you worry that it's "stretching you out", remember, we are able to birth babies through our vagina and still master the vaginal snapback. Ain't no penis able to match a baby's head. You're good. On the flip side, being abstinent for a long period of time is not gonna make your vagina any tighter either (are you surprised?)
According to many medical professionals, the initial discomfort after a dry spell is probably due to not being aroused enough, needing more lubrication upon entry or your partner not knowing what the heck he's doing; not because going months (or even years) without got you "tight and right".
There goes granny's theory about what makes a va-jay-jay looser or tighter. I can't wait to hear what she says when you tell her.
You Can Get an STD. Even with a Condom.
Finally, if you want or need another reason to make sure that you get tested on a regular basis and that you should require to see a new partner's bill of health before doing the do, I've got one. Even if "he" wears a condom, you can still get an STD.
How is that? It's because if he happens to have warts, a herpes flare-up, or pubic lice, your vulva has the ability to come into contact with his scrotum, and—BAM! You could end up sharing more than a good time. Just one more reminder that a condom is not Teflon, so make sure to choose your partners wisely. For you and your vagina's (and vulva's) sake.
There Is No Such Thing as a “Normal Vulva”
Finally, your vulva is a lot like your fingerprint in the sense that no two are exactly alike. The reason why I said "vulva" and not "vagina" is because most of our vaginas are basically the same. But, as far as the genitalia that we can see, there are different colors, shapes and sizes and they're all beautiful.
So, don't spend a lot of time worrying if some extra skin is hanging or your clitoris is on the larger size. God made it that way by design. The right partner will agree—and then some.
Featured image by Getty Images
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Originally published on June 19, 2019
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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.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy