Vaginas are dope. That's why I write about 'em so much. I like to provide tips on how to care for them, facts that you may not know about them, ways to keep them as youthful as possible, how to properly wash them, foods that you should feed them, what to do if yours is stressed TF out—the list really does go on and on. Well today, in honor of being just a couple of weeks away from Christmas, I thought it would be a good idea to offer up a wish list on behalf of every vagina owner who is reading this right now. Because, when you really stop and think about all that your vagina—and vulva and clitoris—do for you, don't you think you should put together a little stocking with your vagina's name—relatively speaking, of course—on it? Me too, sis. Here are 10 gift ideas that your va-jay-jay will be oh so very thrilled with. I can promise you that.
1. Some New Panties
As we all prepare to go into a new year, an article that I wrote for the platform, a couple of years back, that I would encourage you to check out sometime is, "When Should You Replace Underwear, Make-Up, Bedding, Washcloths & Towels?" You might be floored by how much stuff you should've tossed—chile, years ago. When it comes to panties specifically, did you know that we're all supposed to get new ones every six months? A big part of the reason is because between passing gas and the washing machine, our panties eventually end up with tiny amounts of fecal matter that remain in them and can ultimately lead to an infection. So, if some of your panties have been in your life, shoot, since your college years, I can confidently speak for your vagina when I say that it's begging for you to treat it to some new underwear this year. At least 12 pair. Oh, and organic cotton is best if you want your vagina to "breathe", by the way.
2. A Menstrual Cup
As I sit here waiting to go into menopause (I'm not kidding; at 46 and in total peace about not birthing children, every time my period rolls around, I'm like "REALLY?!"), something that I wish I took more seriously, hell, years ago, is menstrual cups. I've been using one for many months now and it truly is one of the best things to ever happen to me. Since most have the expiration date of a decade, I don't have to spend money on pads (which makes them economical and good for the environment). When I make sure that it's "sealed in" properly, there is absolutely no leaking. Also, since they're made from silicone and adjust to the shape of my body, I don't feel them at all.
While there is a learning curve when it comes to putting a menstrual cup in and taking it out (without making a mess), I really could do an entire commercial, TED Talk and novella on the benefits of having a menstrual cup in your life. If you don't own one yet, it's a stocking stuffer for your vagina that you definitely will not regret.
3. An Herbal Heating Pad
If your period comes with cramps that would make you say all of the worst cuss words, if only you had enough strength to do so, I'm pretty sure that you probably already have a heating pad. This year, take it up a notch and cop yourself an herbal one.
The cool thing about products that have all-natural herbs in them is the aromatherapy benefits are unmatched. Aromatherapy reduces stress, soothes discomfort, strengthens immunity, induces sound sleep and even kills bacteria.
And the great thing about a lot of the herbal heating pads that are currently on the market is you can zap them in the microwave for 60-90 seconds and they're ready to go. An affordable one that's worth checking out is located right here.
4. Padded Biker Shorts/Panties
If you like to ride your bike or you're in a spinning class, do your vagina a huge favor and invest in a pair of padded biker shorts. Not only will they help to take stress and strain off of some of your lower pressure points, they can reduce any irritation that can occur from all of the friction that comes from riding too. Another great perk? Padded biker shorts tend to absorb more moisture than regular ones, so that your nether regions don't cause you to end up with a nasty lil' yeast infection. Give thanks.
5. Vulva Exfoliant
Something that I don't think gets brought up enough is the importance of exfoliating—not your vagina (the inner tube that extends from your vulva to your uterus) but your vulva which is the outer part of your vagina (the outer skin that is around your vaginal opening). If you're prone to getting ingrown hairs there or you notice that your skin is slightly scaly or discolored, something that can help is a vulva exfoliant. Certain brands on the market that can help you out include Bikini Bump Blaster Ingrown Hair & Bikini Bump Eliminator, Grumari Body Exfoliant or (a personal favorite because it's Black-owned and I totally dig the name) Nookie For Your Cookie Scrub.
6. Sweet Almond and Avocado Oil Blend
When it comes to keeping the skin of your vulva nice and moisturized, it really doesn't get much better than sweet almond oil. That's because it's an oil that contains vitamins A and E, along with omega 3-fatty acids and zinc. Vitamin A helps to produce new skin cells, Vitamin E supports the healing of damaged ones, fatty acids prevent premature aging (yes, our vulva can age, just like the rest of us) and zinc has anti-inflammatory properties that can fade any scarring that you may have. If you add to sweet almond oil, some avocado oil, its Vitamin E, potassium and lecithin will help your vulva to produce more collagen while keeping its skin super smooth too. This non-irritating blend is ideal as a lubricant (only if you're NOT planning on using a condom; oil and latex do NOT mix) or if you want to apply an all-natural moisturizer to your vulva after stepping out of the shower or bath.
7. Rosemary, Mint and Parsley
This is definitely the cheapest recommendation on the list, but that doesn't make it any less relevant or necessary. Now listen to me on this—the belief that foods can make your vagina taste just like them is about as ridiculous as thinking that there is a product that can repair your hair's split ends (there's not). The reality is that, for the most part, vaginas taste like a combo of water, metal (blood), salty/sour (sweat). Based on how much water you consume and the time of month it is, some of those tastes may be stronger than others—and all of them are perfectly natural and normal.
That said, there are foods that can make your vagina taste less acidic and/or smell more inviting. For instance, try drinking water that has some rosemary, mint and/or parsley leaves in it. Because rosemary is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, mint is a great detoxifier and parsley is loaded with antioxidants, putting one or all of these into your water can help to make your vagina smell and even taste more refreshing (still like a vagina, though which is just fine).
8. Nonporous Sex Toys
Looking to get yourself a new (or upgraded) sex toy this year? If so, please make sure that you go with one that is nonporous. Not only do they feel a whole lot smoother, since they are also water-resistant, you can enjoy them in the bath or shower. Actually, though, those are not my main reasons for making sure that this goes on the list. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out in these streets who don't clean their sex toys as often and/or thoroughly as they should. As a result, bacteria gets stuck up in them and—I'm pretty sure I don't need to expound on where that can lead (eww). Nonporous sex toys make this a non-issue. So, although you still need to cleanse those bad boys, you significantly decrease your chances of irritating your vagina in a major way if your toys are nonporous to begin with.
9. At-Home pH Balance Kit
I'm pretty sure that you know, at least a little something about what a pH balance is. Still, just to make sure that we're all on the same page, the simplified technical breakdown is it's the balance that lies between the acidity and alkalinity levels that are within your system (for the most part, your lungs and kidneys play a key role). When it comes to your vagina specifically, a healthy balance is somewhere between 3.8-4.5. When it's too acidic (above a 4.5) or too alkaline (below a 3.8), it can result in an overgrowth of bacteria. One way to proactively prevent this from becoming an issue is to test the pH balance of your vagina from time to time. You can do this by taking an at-home pH balance kit.
And what if an at-home test does reveal that your va-jay-jay is a little "off balance"? Well, if you're not noticing any itching, burning or irritation (and you've been having safe sex), drinking more water, taking some probiotics, eating garlic (it is a powerful anti-fungal food), using condoms (semen can throw off your pH balance), getting more exercise, sleeping naked (so that your vagina can breathe) and de-stressing are all things that can help to bring your balance back. If you'd like to get yourself a few pH balance tests, some options are here, here and here.
10. At-Home STI/STD Kit
Here's the deal about STDs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 20 million new STD cases annually with half of them being people between the ages of 15-24. Y'all, not only is that a good enough reason to wear a condom during sex, it's also a reminder of why it's important to get tested, preferably every six months, too. And when it comes to a new sex partner, if you want to be extra sure that they're "I'm good" is accurate, there are at-home STI/STD tests that you both can take. Many of them, you can take in five minutes and get your results back within one business week. I won't lie to you, at-home STI/STD tests aren't the cheapest things on the planet (they are roughly around $100). But if they can assure you that you and your partner and your vagina are safe—isn't it worth it? I totally agree. Happy Christmas (Va-jay-jay) Shopping, y'all!
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