It seemed like yesterday when my husband and I were laughing at the episode of Orange is the New Black where Sophia explained the anatomy of a vagina to several Litchfield Prison inmates.
Long story short, they didn't know what the heck was in there. Unfortunately, they're not alone, because many women don't know what's in their love boxes, and have never, ever taken a peek under the hood.
The sad part is that there are women who would let someone slide a dong, a tongue, a toy, and sometimes vegetables, in their love cave without ever knowing what's going on downstairs. Also, it's an election year, and people who don't even have vaginas are trying to make laws about them. So yeah, you should care about what's in there.
Despite popular belief, there is no calm, warm ocean inside your love box. So here's a short owner's manual for your lady parts. After reading this article, I hope you can muster up the courage to bend over a mirror and take a look at your no-no bits, because YOLO (and it's yours).
- It's supposed to look like a deflated tube. You read that correctly. The outside of your vagina looks like a deflated tube that's 2 to 4 inches long, and ¾ of an inch wide. It connects the outer sex organs with the cervix and uterus (where the blood flows, and the baby grows).
- It's supposed to be multicolored and oddly shaped on the outside of the hood. All vaginas aren't pink, depending on your race. Your labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening can range in colors from pink to a deep reddish brown. Also, a nurse told me that the labia comes in different shapes and sizes, and has zero to do with vaginal tightness. If you thought this, you're wrong.
- The whole package is called the vulva. All of your external love box organs is called the the vulva. It consists of the outer lips (Labia Majora), the inner lips (Labia Minora), and the clitoris. You're supposed to have one of each. But if you have more than one of each, then you should call your doctor, or get into porn. Or both.
- You have a hole for peeing, and two other holes for “other stuff." You have a urethra (where your urine flows), a vaginal opening (where the penis/toys/veggies and tampon goes), and further down toward your booty is your anus (where you poo). Either way, you should know which is which.
- Bacteria grows in there. If you can go five hours without having to clean that thing out, or rinsing your panties after lusting over one of our #xomen, then you're a rare woman, and we salute you. But for the rest of us, it's a paradise for good bacteria, and that's normal. The good bacteria keeps your lady parts in check, so you don't get an infection.
- You're supposed to have discharge. Yes, your vagina is built to have stuff come out of it, and that's normal. Dr. Oz says,
If discharge is clear or milky white, that's normal. It can also look very pale yellow when it's dried. If you are seeing grey, green, yellow, pink or red, that's not. Blood-tinged mucous may be a sign of pregnancy.
- It cleans itself. My good friend, who is a lesbian, once told me that the best way to make sure you had a squeaky clean vagina was to stick a whole bar of soap in your box. After I gave her the side eye and told my doctor (who was horrified), he quickly dispelled that rumor. Turns out, vaginas are self-cleaning. According to WebMD:
If anything, you just need a mild soap or shampoo on your pubic hair and the outer vulva. Avoid rubbing with a washcloth. Don't douche or use other special cleaning products for your vagina. These can ruin the normal balance of bacteria and cause problems.
- It's best to shave it. Back in the 70s, it was cool to have a hairy bush. But with advancements in medicine, gynos today usually suggest that you “trim the hedges." By "trim the hedges," I mean keep the hair low, because doctors don't suggest you go completely bare down stairs. But if you have a partner who is old school, and likes the 1970s look, go for what you know. Just don't be surprised when your gyno shakes his or her head at you.
- Give it a rest. Some women love to use their vaginas a lot, and that's cool if that's your thing. But you should also make time to give that monkey a rest. Too much sex can lead to a urinary tract infection (which is super painful), or a sexually transmitted infection. Hopefully, the horror stories associated with urinary tract infections will be enough to convince you to put that thing on ice every now and then.
- Take your vagina to the gym. A good workout can help tighten up your box, and it can also keep your “fluids" regular during sex. Here are some tips on how to get your Kegel exercises on.
- A dude hung like a horse won't ruin it. But it probably won't stop him from trying, and it probably won't stop you from letting him. Your vagina returns back to all its glory in size after sex, so relax.
- It's not supposed to taste or smell like cupcakes and ice cream. It's supposed to taste and smell like a vagina, no matter what your partner tells you. Stop letting them gas you up, and take Dr. Shelly's advice:
A healthy vagina ranges in taste from salty to tart to sour, depending on your cycle, diet, and lifestyle habits. Your vagina sweats just like your armpits. Have you ever eaten a meal heavy with garlic and noticed that your skin reeked of a garlic-y smell for a few days afterwards? Your diet can also affect your vaginal secretions.
If you want to avoid your vaginal secretions tasting bitter, avoid coffee, excessive amounts of sugar, red meat, most dairy products, cigarettes, alcohol, and recreational drugs.
If you want your vaginal secretions to taste sweeter, eat more leafy green vegetables, black beans, yogurt, fruits (especially strawberries, watermelon and pineapples), cardamom, mint, cranberry juice, cinnamon, and lots of water.
Related Post: How To Taste Sweeter Down There
But it's not supposed to smell like fish. No matter how many times your gay bff calls you “fish," it's not supposed to smell like it. Mayo Clinic says:
It's normal for your vagina to have a slight odor. But, a strong vaginal odor — for instance, a "fishy" smell — might be abnormal and could indicate a problem.An abnormal vaginal odor is usually associated with other vaginal signs and symptoms such as itching, burning, irritation or discharge.
- It's nothing to be embarrassed about. Asking your doctor or a trained professional about your lady parts is nothing to be embarrassed about. If someone makes you feel embarrassed about a part of your body that belongs to you, then you should consider the source, and the run away from that person as far as you can.
Your vagina is your own, and it's the only one you have. So take care of it, drink plenty of water, and treat it like the awesome prize that it is.
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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.
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