Q: I'm really self conscious about how clean and smelly my vagina is when it comes to oral and sex. I prefer to have a shower before sex, but sometimes, that can't always happen. I'm always concerned about what the other party is thinking while "down there". Am I normal in this concern? Do you have any tips on keeping clean and fresh? Does it make any difference if I am hairy or waxed? Any advice would be great.
I have always referred to the vagina as a self-cleaning oven because really, in the grand scheme of things, it is. It's very, very efficient in looking after itself and making sure it's fresh and healthy. It does this mostly by use of discharge. You know, that white and sometimes slimy stuff that can get on your knickers? Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, the discharge can change from a see-through viscous substance, all the way to a sort of lumpy white substance that looks a bit like the glue paste you used to use in primary school. Discharge should not have a strong, unpleasant odour to it and, if it does, is usually an underlying sign of infection or illness and should be seen by a doctor. In saying that, however, certain foods you eat can definitely change the smell of your vagina, and there will always be scents coming from it, but those strong smells of bad fish? They are not normal and really should have it checked out.
Washing your bits should be as simple as wetting a sponge or flannel in the shower and wiping her like you do when you go to the toilet. Strong soaps can dry it out and cause the pH balances to go a bit out of whack, so it's always a good idea to use a soap free shower gel or pH balanced soap. Never, under ANY circumstances, should you clean the inside of your vagina, and this absolutely includes douching! Douching is the practice of pushing water up into the vagina (usually by way of a pump) and there are so many things that are bad about it it can even, in extreme cases, lead to infertility and death. Your vagina is a finely tuned machine that has all the bits and bobs in it to keep it safe and healthy, flushing all those things out of it can cause infections, thrush and other bacterial issues, and all the foreign microscopic bacteria and nasties that you are introducing in there by way of the water, can pass through the cervix, into your uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries and really really fuck them up. For a super-quick clean, if you're really worried and don't have time for a shower, use an unscented baby wipe to give yourself a speedy clean.
Always wipe front to back when you've gone to the toilet to avoid any bacteria from your anus getting inside, and try and wear mostly cotton underwear so you allow her to breathe. Constantly wearing satin and nylon (yes even stockings) can stifle the airflow in that area and lead to things like thrush.
It's a really good idea to avoid things like sugar getting in there so make sure if you use flavoured lubricants etc, that they are sugar-free, and, if you're into food play, be aware that introducing foreign particles into the vagina can be dangerous to her health.
If you wanna shave, wax, trim or whatever, that's entirely your choice. Pubic hair can aid in helping to stop bacteria and other dust bits get inside, and can also help trap pheromones that can help us attract compatible mates, but overall, hair or not, as long as you make sure you wash and wipe correctly she should be fine. And, if you do groom, try and make sure you don't use too many soaps or oils down there as they can have a detrimental effect.
All in all, if someone is down there and enjoying themselves, you can be assured she is in perfect health. And never forget, your vag is your best girlfriend, so look after her, treat her well, and she will thank you with orgasms and sexiness for a very long time.