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10 Ways you have been totally misinformed about your vagina

It’s your vagina and you should do what you want with it. That’s harder than it seems, though, when there are so many people who want to weigh in on the subject.

Woman with towel

Photo credit: imagewerks/Getty Images

Over the years, we ladies have been fed a lot of lies and misconceptions about our vaginas, the way we treat them and the things we do with them. Let’s set a few things straight.


You don’t need to be completely bare

In the ’70s, leaving things au naturel was not only acceptable, but encouraged. Then came the days of internet porn. We can only assume one chick went for the bare look and the next thing we knew, we were expected to shave or wax our ways back to our youth. You don’t need a landing strip or to be completely bare if that’s not what you enjoy.


You’re not a slut if you do decide to ditch the hair

Shaving and waxing have their benefits. Maybe you just feel cleaner or think it’s easier to just shave it all rather than manage the edges during itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini season. Going hairless (or with a fun design) doesn’t mean you’re slutty. Don’t let anyone make you feel like that. And do your part to encourage an open mind on the issue.


It shouldn’t look like everyone else’s

Just like the rest of our bodies, vaginas come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Even on the apparent “hotness” scale in the porn industry, you’ll find a wide array of options (so to speak) in how a vagina can look. There is no wrong or right shape. And those guys who say they have a preference? There’s a special place in Hell for them. (Also, when you find “the one,” the shape or color of your vagina will be the last thing on his mind.)


You can still get STDs if you don’t have sex

We’re guessing some gross dude started this rumor. You can still get some STDs even without intercourse. If you stayed in college dorms, you may have even had a crabs scare in the girls’ bathroom. There’s also a whole slew of other infections your vagina can contract when exposed to germs. Anything coming near your vagina needs to be properly washed first. Get it?


Your vagina shouldn’t be a mystery

How much do you remember from 7th grade sex ed? Don’t just use “vagina” as a blanket term to describe everything going on between your legs. The vagina is technically what’s inside your body. Everything visible in your hand mirror is called the vulva. Got a lump on the inner folds between your “lips,” also known as your outer labia? Tell your doc it’s on your labia minora. Also, ladies: If you don’t know where your clitoris is, how can you expect your partner to know? Go exploring.


You’re not a freak if you’re not leaving puddles

If you’ve ever spent a little time in your boyfriend’s browser history, you’ve probably witnessed some pretty wet sex happening. We promise: This isn’t the normal. While plenty of women do ejaculate a small amount of fluid during sex, it’s okay if you don’t. And that extra-long waterworks? It’s most likely pee, which is also completely fine. Your man will enjoy the show whether you turn your futon into a Slip-n-Slide or not.


You can’t “loosen” your vagina by having too much sex

There are plenty of ways in which your vagina could experience stretching over the years. Childbirth will do the trick and so can a condition called pelvic prolapse, which usually happens after menopause. Other than that, though, your vagina is not going to turn into a gaping hole just because you like to have sex. Anyone who tells you differently is just trying to scare you into not enjoying yourself.


You might not orgasm during intercourse

Just because you’re enjoying sex, doesn’t mean you’re having orgasms and — surprise, surprise — it’s perfectly normal if you’re not. Many women need clitoral or G-spot stimulation in order to orgasm. Partner not catching on? Grab his hand (or your vibrator) and show him what you need.


You really shouldn’t douche

Douching is a lot like hand sanitizing: Doing it too much kills off the important bacteria you actually need to keep yourself healthy. Plus, there’s just no point. As long as you’re giving yourself the usual scrub-down in the shower, there’s no need to go the extra mile in your vagina. It should not smell like roses.


You’re allowed to enjoy it

One last preaching moment: You’re allowed to want sex and that doesn’t make you a slut. If you’re in need of a little lovin’, you’re perfectly within your rights and sanity to seek out some safe satisfaction just like the boys do.

Your personal beliefs will come into play in many aspects of how you feel about and what you do with your vagina. Some things can’t be changed, right? Whether you see your vagina as a special flower or just another part of your anatomy is up to you. All that really matters: Taking care of it.

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Women’s health issues no one talks about

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