A couple of years ago, while in a session with a married couple, the husband was sharing that he wished that his wife was more comfortable with having sex during daytime hours. When I asked her to break down her hesitation, she said, “It’s weird. When it’s dark, he can get me to do just about anything, but in the light, I’m just not that confident.” When I inquired if she meant when it came to her body, she said, “No, it’s more like my vagina. Beyond washing it and getting pap smears, I don’t really know what’s going on down there. I’m a bit self-conscious.”
Honestly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a woman say something along those lines. It’s like, aside from peeing, periods, and intercourse, too many of us don’t give our vaginas very much thought at all — and that’s not good.
The solution? It’s in the title of this article. For years now, my motto has been to treat my vagina like a plant and watch how it flourishes. If that kinda-sorta makes sense to you in theory, yet you’d like me to break it all down just a bit more — sure. I’d be more than happy to, sis.
Most of us learned in, what, elementary school that over 60 percent of our body is made up of water. And even though I am well aware of this fact, I will be the first to say that water (drinking it, that is) is not my favorite thing on the planet. I always describe it as “wet air” — just boring ass fluid.
Yet, isn’t it interesting that, just like plants need water in order for seeds to germinate and leaves to stay alive, our vaginas need water to 1) create natural lubrication so that sex is more comfortable; 2) to help to flush toxins out of it, and 3) to keep cervical mucus in great condition so that it’s easier to conceive a child.
And just how much water does “she” need in order to keep all of this going strong? Although most of us grew up hearing eight glasses a day, many studies are now saying that somewhere between 4-6 will get the job done. And what if you’re like me and you’re not a fan of H2O? Barely flavored sparkling water (like Bubly or Waterloo) with some fresh lemon or lime juice or even one-third of juice mixed in can make consuming agua so much easier to do. Your vagina will thank you. The rest of your body will too.
A big mistake that a lot of novice plant owners make is assuming that, so long as they water their plants and put them in a window to get some sun, it's all good. Nope. There are certain nutrients that plants need as well, so if you've got one and it seems to be struggling a bit, you might want to give it some nitrogen (to create chlorophyll), some magnesium (it helps with the whole photosynthesis process) and some potassium (to keep any plant-related diseases at bay). As far as your vagina goes, it needs to "eat well," too. To see a list of things that you should consume, check out "The Foods Your Vagina's Been Craving."
As far as the ones that you should be avoiding, "Here's What Your Vagina Wishes You Would Eat LESS Of" has you covered. For now, I'll just say that berries are your vagina's friend because the acid in them will help to keep infections like urinary tract infections (UTIs) from becoming an issue; plus, they are great at decreasing your chances of experiencing a yeast infection as well.
One day, I really need to pen something for the platform about how it's important to do pruning in one's life on a consistent basis in order to flourish. For now, when it comes to the tree, shrub, flower, and plant world, pruning is all about getting rid of diseased and damaged foliage that hinders greenery from thriving.
When it comes to your vagina, I'm actually thinking about pubic hair on this one. Even though pubic hair has trends, and there are still women who continue to go without any at all, it really does need to go and stay on record that hair down there serves a purpose. It helps to reduce friction from your clothes while working out and during sex. It can help to protect you from STDs and other infections (to a certain extent; still use condoms, tho). It can also amplify pheromones which can make for a really good time as far as sexual activity goes.
So, where does the pruning come in? Well, even if you're someone who likes to go the full-on bush route, still make sure to give your pubic hair a trim from time to time. Any hair that has some length on it needs to have errand hairs and split ends (yep, pubic hair can get those, too) removed. Also, look (and/or feel) around for ingrown hairs that need to be tweezed out (they can be the worst!). I can't leave this point without saying that pruning can also make oral sex for/with your partner much more pleasant. Hey, don't take my word for it. Ask them.
Talk to It
If you're someone who thinks that people who talk to their plants are crazy, you might want to do more Googling. There is something known as "sound science," and it actually backs up that when plants have someone verbally engaging them, it can help them to grow faster. In fact, the ranges of tone in a woman's voice increases their chances even more than a man's voice does.
Am I about to roll up in here and say that you should talk to your va-jay-jay too? You already know. I mean, at least feel good about talking about it (you know, to your partner, your physician, and even your friends based on the issue and context). If that's something that you've never really considered doing before, check out an article I wrote a while back entitled "Why 'Vaginal Mapping' Needs To Be Part Of Your Healing Journey."
Doing things like looking at your vagina, speaking your thoughts out loud, and journaling some things as well can boost your self-confidence about that part of your body. It can also help to release some mental and emotional walls that you may have built up that you didn't even consider…because you never thought to interact with your vagina on that type of level before.
Give It Some Vitamin D
Plants need sunlight. The main reason is that there is a process that plants go through known as photosynthesis in which, thanks to the help of the sun, it is able to make its own food. Listen, unless you’re cool with being naked outdoors, there’s a pretty good chance that your vagina won’t be taking in many natural sun rays. That doesn’t mean that it can’t benefit from something that the sun offers, though — Vitamin D.
When it comes to your vaginal health specifically, Vitamin D is awesome because it helps to prevent vaginal dryness. Plus, it can make going through menopause a lot easier. Foods that are high in this particular nutrient include salmon, tuna, fortified orange juice, egg yolks, mushrooms, dairy, and dark leafy greens. By the way, you can also take it in supplement form.
Give It Some Space Too
I’ve got a little love sister who has a ton of plants inside her tiny apartment. Some are growing by leaps and bounds, while others are limp and looking like they are basically on their last leg. I’ve been trying to tell her that overcrowding does them no good, but you know — some folks choose to learn the hard way.
And yes, vaginas also need some space. I could go real deep and talk about how seasons of abstinence ain’t neva hurt nobody; however, what I’m really talking about here is sleeping naked. When we’re wearing clothes all day long, it’s a good idea to give your vagina a break at night because, since it’s already moist and warm down there and because that is a breeding ground for bad bacteria in your vagina to grow, it needs air in order to “dry out” a bit and to also regulate its own temperature.
Since sleeping naked can also improve your quality of sleep, reduce stress levels and even lower your risk for diabetes — how can it not be a win, all the way around, to roll around in your birthday suit tonight (hell, every night)?
Properly Maintenance It
Other things that plants need include good air circulation, to be put into the right kind of soil and to be in the proper temperature (for house plants, somewhere between 65-75 degrees) — bottom line, what they also need is routine maintenance.
Vaginas are no different. If you want yours to remain healthy, it’s important that you:
- Not douche (that throws its pH off)
- Avoid products that contain heavy perfumes (those can irritate it)
- Wash your bedding on a weekly basis (lots of dead skin cells are in sheets)
- Change your razors if you shave down below (every 5-7 shaves is ideal)
- Wear cotton panties more than ones made with synthetic fibers or thongs (again, the space thing) and get new drawers every 6-12 months
- Try to urinate after sex (to flush out bacteria)
- See your gynecologist on an annual basis (even if you don’t need a pap)
- Wash your sex toys after every use (and avoid ones made out of the chemicals listed here)
- Use condoms if you’re not in an exclusive long-term relationship
- Use all-natural lubrication (or make your own)
FULLY ACCEPT IT
Did you know that, reportedly, there are almost 400,000 different species of plants in the world? This speaks to a wide variety of uniqueness and distinction. Well, there are billions of humans, and although vaginas all basically work the same way, each one has its own “signature” that makes them especially special too.
So, no matter what your vagina — more specifically here, your vulva, which is the outer part of your vagina — may look like, just like a plant accepts itself and flourishes, commit to following its example. It’s rare, it’s a sacred space, and it’s yours…and that’s enough to make it completely and totally bomb. Amen? Exactly.
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Featured image by IRINA KROLEVETC/Getty Images
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.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
Feature image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images