As a proud vagina owner I'm sick and tired of companies using genital shame in order to sell me products. Products that are at best, unnecessary, and at worst, downright harmful.
Look for my upcoming blog posts on things my vulva and anus do not need.
Here's the dealio--your vagina and your eyes are the only 2 organs on your body that are self cleaning. That means that you need not use products that contain lord knows what in them in order for them to function properly. You don't need deodorant for your "vertical smile". I shit you not--that was an actual advertisement slogan.
Vaginas have a delicate ph balance, and introducing certain products to them can lead to some serious ph unrest. Healthy vaginas have a ph between 4.0 to 4.5. I happen to think it's hilarious that beer has a near ph balance of 4.0. Incidentally, most wines have a ph in the mid to high 3 levels (3.5 to 3.8).
Here is what my vagina doesn't need:
Back in 2009 a company called Linger released these fucked up little mints. I wish I could say I was making this up. Alas, it was very true.
Here is what their website used to say:
Thankfully, the website seems to be no longer in existence! The sex educator in me hopes the company closed due to consumer outcry. For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding these mints, there is surprisingly little information about what happened to them. Their press release came and went, and there was a flurry of blog activity in 2009 about the Linger mints. Today, not so much.
Secret Ceres seems to have the market cornered on this ridiculous product. Also, when I say "toning sticks" I'm not referring to vaginal barbells or kegel exercisers. I'm talking about a dildo shaped internal product that you wet before inserting into your vaginal canal. The basic idea is that it exfoliates your vaginal walls, leaving behind a tighter, more even, and ph balanced vaginal lining. You will know it's working because the vagina owner will feel a "noticeable burning sensation" that will eventually diminish with regular use. According to the website, the ingredients include pomegranate juice, punica seeds, and kaolin that are delivered to the vagina by way of it's drip stone (yep folks, think back to junior high school science class when you learned about stalagmites & stalagtites). How convenient! With one $100 product I can remedy my stinky, flabby vagina! Thanks, Secret Ceres.
P.S. I read someone's blog about how horrible this product is. Apparently, the stick became stuck in her vaginal canal. The damn stick adhered to her vaginal lining. Lovely!
In the United States tampons are designated by the FDA as a "class II" medical device. I'm gonna bet that most of you didn't know that (neither did I). See, ya learn something new every day! Tampons are made from rayon, cotton, or a mixture of both and inserted into the vaginal canal where they expand and absorb menstrual blood. Think of them as a personal stopper--which makes total sense since the original and French meaning of "tampon" comes from the word "tampion" which basically means a piece of cloth used to stop a hole. Tampons are not biodegrade-able and can lead to something called Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). If you have a vagina, then you probably already know about TSS, and that it is a unlikely side effect of wearing a tampon for too long. I know someone who almost died from TSS. She needed an emergency tracheotomy and was hospitalized for a long time. My personal story is that I don't care for them. They tend to make me very crampy.
While doing some research for this blog post, I was shocked and somewhat delighted to find a website that spoofs religious zealots. In it, they refer to tampons as "Satan's Little Cotton Fingers", and apparently are used soley by unsavable wanton harlots. Righteous women use maxi pads. According to the website
Toxic Shock Syndrome is God's way of punishing unsaved harlots who choose Satan’s cotton fingers over a Godly pad,
These playthings of Satan are created under the guise of a ladies hygiene product to bring unsuspecting women and young girls to the fold of the Devil.
Do Jesus, your vagina, and this sex educator a favor by using the diva cup instead.
Vaginal douches can be found in the section of the store where they usually put "feminine hygiene" products, lubricants, and pregnancy tests. Vaginal douches are nothing short of evil. They are meant to cleanse your vaginal lining, leaving you refreshed, confident, and ready to take on the world. Most women I know are aware of the old "vinegar and water" douche thanks to their moms (or their mom's mom). Douches come in a variety of scents like "Tropical Rain", "Island Splash", and "Sweet Romance". Beside disrupting the natural ph of the vagina, vaginal douches can be super problematic for those prone to yeast infections. Or worse. Douches can push whatever was making you smell funky (like some STI's) past the cervix and into the uterus leading to infection and inflamation. This is one of the reasons pregnant women are cautioned against vaginal douching.
The bottom line is that vaginas smell like vaginas. Pretty simple stuff. Vaginas aren't meant to smell like vinegar or a tropical rain. If you happen to have a vagina, you are the best source of information when it comes to your vagina. If something smells "off" and it can't be remedied by a standard shower, then you should get yourself to a clinic or your ob/gyn. Vaginas can surely take a pounding but need a little TLC when it comes to maintenance.