Do you sometimes wonder if everything is smelling alright “down there”?
Something I’ve never been able to find on your blog, or other Christian marriage blogs, is anything to do with women worried about the smell of their (healthy) vulva/vagina. It’s something I really struggle with and have since I was 15. I would put bounce sheets in my pants because I was afraid other people could smell me (I have very heightened senses, and I think because it’s something I’m worried about, I notice it a lot more). Now I struggle in my marriage with this (husband is great, so it’s not a spousal issue). It would be really great to have a Christian perspective.
Vaginal Smell is a huge concern for many women when it comes to sex. You don’t want him to think you’re gross, or you don’t want to be afraid that you’re going to smell funny and he’ll notice.
But I think a lot of this fear comes from this misconception about what your vagina is actually supposed to smell like.
It’s not supposed to smell like flowers.
Some people do have more smell than others.
Some women have more discharge than others, and they often have a bit more smell than others.
So what causes the vagina to smell unpleasantly?
1. Scented Soaps
All you really need to do to keep yourself clean “down there” is to rinse it with water and either a mild soap or just coconut oil, even when you’re in the shower each day. Using spray deodorants or putting bounce sheets in your underwear is a recipe for irritation or a yeast infection. In fact, if you wash a lot with scented soaps or you use douches, you can actually cause more smell because you throw off the pH levels and the vagina goes into smell production overdrive. So just keep it natural! And the same goes for laundry detergents. Sometimes it’s a good idea to wash your underwear separately, by hand, with an unscented mild detergent.
In other words, don’t add good smells to combat bad smells–instead, just be a bit more diligent with changing your underwear more often (maybe twice a day instead of once), and ensure that you are washing yourself (with something unscented, or just plain water) in the shower every day.
Just like with other parts of our bodies, when sweat builds up, it can emit an odour. So wash after exercising, and avoid things that may cause excessive sweat in the vaginal area–like wearing tight underwear. In fact, even shed those panties at night and let the vagina breathe!
3. Spicy Foods
Sometimes spicy foods can throw off the pH levels. If you’re very sensitive to smell, steer clear of things with hot peppers! And some women find that onions, coffee, and alcohol can change the smell, too.
The good news is that GOOD food can make everything smell neutral again! So just add some yogurt with probiotics to your diet. Like we talked about yesterday, we need to nourish our bodies if we want great sex.
Do all these things, and your vagina will just smell, well, like you.
If you’re smelling a really “fishy” smell, though, it may be time to get checked out by a doctor because you may have bacterial vaginosis. Some STDs and allergies to condoms also can cause a really bad odour, so if something is seriously off–do ask your doctor.
In most cases, though, there’s nothing really wrong. We’re just a little bit self-conscious.
So here are 6 things you can do to help you feel more confident around your husband.
1. Keep it trimmed
Keeping your pubic hair neat and trimmed can help you feel more confident about your ability to clean yourself and help you feel more clean in general.
2. Start with a bath
If you are really concerned about smell, and you know you’re going to be making love later, why not get yourself ready by sitting in a nice hot bath? It’ll help you relax, and you’ll feel clean and fresh.
3. Try some foreplay in the shower!
If your husband takes you by surprise and you are concerned that you haven’t had a chance to clean up, why not pull him into the shower for some steamy fun?
4. Try a specially formulated vaginal lubricant
If you’re really nervous, try a product that’s specially made for the vagina–that’s natural, and doesn’t have those chemically “flowery” smells. Femallay, one of this site’s amazing sponsors, has some great vaginal lubricants that are flavored! Gotta love it. And they help sex feel more comfortable, too.
I’ll be talking about these more tomorrow, but they can add some real fun to the bedroom–and give you a bit of confidence that works way better and is far better for you than a Bounce dryer sheet!
5. See your doctor
It may seem awkward, but if you’re seriously concerned it may be time to ask your doctor. It’ll give you confidence that either everything is good to go, or it’ll give you peace of mind knowing that there’s something you can do to fix it!
6. Remind yourself that it’s OK if it has a smell!
The goal isn’t for you to smell like anything else–it’s OK if your vagina smells a bit like a vagina. Similarly to how your hair smells like hair. When you’ve just jumped out of the shower, it smells like shampoo but after it’s dried, the next day it just smells like hair again. But your husband doesn’t mind if it doesn’t smell like shampoo–it’s OK for hair to smell like hair. It’s the same with “down there.”
This is a really sensitive subject for many women. But it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes the only problem is the one we’ve made up in our head.
Your Sizzling Summer Sex Challenge Day 13:
It’s time to get more comfortable with your vagina!
Do something today that can help you feel, well, cleaner. Trim, wax, or shave your public hair. Decide to sleep without underwear tonight. Get some coconut oil, put it in a pretty jar, and add it to your shower.
And, if you’re really brave, ask your husband to show you that he doesn’t mind the smell at all!
Now let me know in the comments: Do you have insecurities about vaginal smell? What have you tried to make it better?
Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.