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What Every Lesbian Needs to Know About Caring for Her Vagina

Written by Zamara Perri The photo posted to social media was of a beautiful, black who was completely naked. But most people weren’t focused on her beauty. Instead they were horrified by her bushy pussy. The question was, would you go down on a woman like this? The responses came rolling in: “I ain’t going down on nobody with their kitty looking like that.” “I don’t like it growing all over the place, a trim is needed. Shit, if she ain’t got no hair on it, we can’t have sex.” “Keep it neat, but not bald. I’m not a child nor baby.” “No, that looks gross.” “This is not sexy at all. I like mine bald.” Black lesbians, how much do you or your lover really know about taking care of your vagina? I used to think I knew everything about it, after all, I have one. Turns out, that when it comes down to the p*ssy, even lesbians need to go back to basics.

Does Shaving Equal Better Hygiene?

hairy vagina

According to doctors, a vagina with hair is probably healthier than a woman who is shaved.

I remember when I was just coming out and most of the women I met made it clear that they only had sex with women who were shaved or had a Brazilian wax. Today it seems like having a hairless p*ssy is just an unspoken rule in the lesbian community. I thought about the amount of pain I suffered just getting my eyebrows waxed and decided to skip the torture. Fortunately none of my girlfriends thought having a bushy vagina was a deal breaker. I keep her nice and neat so they never complained. But the problem is that bald p*ssies has nothing to do with hygiene. It was something cooked up by the porn industry and by advertisers. An article in the New York Times referenced a new study that found, “Sixty-two percent of … women said they opted for complete removal of their pubic hair at least once; 84 percent reported some grooming.”

Just because something is common doesn’t mean it’s okay

The most interesting part of the study, revealed that people who shave or wax are not only doing it to be more attractive to their partner, they shave to keep themselves clean. That’s actually incorrect. One of the physicians in the study actually says our pubic hair serves a very important purpose:
“Pubic hair functions as a protective cushion for sensitive skin, and has its own hygienic purpose, trapping bacteria and preventing it from entering the vaginal opening.”
The physicians who led the study said, shaving or waxing can actually cause health problems. “[They] have seen grooming-related cases of folliculitis, abscesses, lacerations, allergic reactions to waxing burns, as well as vulvar and vaginal infections. One study has noted that 3 percent of emergency room visits for genitourinary trauma are a result of grooming.”

Your P*ssy is Not Supposed to Smell Like Flowers

We have got to stop expecting the vagina to smell like perfume or flowers. Most of us probably don’t even know what a normal vagina smells like. How could we when we are told, almost from birth, that our vaginas need to be washed with special potions, sprayed with perfumes or patted down with powder. In a really fascinating interview with  Essence magazine, Dr. Jackie from the reality show, Married to Medicine, dropped some gems.
Stop washing your vagina with soap.
She says the only cleanser your vagina needs is water. That’s it. No douching, no special wash, no special vagina spray, and for old school black lesbians, no powder. She says the vagina cleans itself naturally and that soap (especially antibacterial soap) upsets the pH balance and kills off the good bacteria in your vagina. If you’re still douching, please stop. Just because these products are on the shelves doesn’t mean they are good for you. Advertisers will sell anything to anybody who will buy them.

Do You Even Know What a Real Vagina Tastes Like?

I’ve heard women say the only thing they want to taste when they go down on a woman is water. I always roll my eyes because all that tells me is that, she really doesn’t know anything about p*ssy, because then she would know that every woman has a unique taste. Aside from an infection, the vagina shouldn’t stink. There are some foods and drinks that will affect the way it tastes (for example, if you smoke, your vagina will taste bitter and if you eat a lot pineapple and mangoes, it will taste sweet). The chemicals in tobacco smoke also end up killing off the taste buds so it’s very likely that smokers can’t even taste the flavor of their lovers’ vaginas. You and your partner should pay close attention to your regular, unique odor and taste. If it changes, it could mean that you need to visit your doctor. By the way, discharges are also natural. The only time you should worry is if it has a cottage cheese like texture or has a strong odor.  
Like what you’re reading? Check out “I Gave My Ex an STD.”

The Cancer Connection

*If you’re from the Caribbean you probably grew up putting baby powder on your underarms or in your underwear to keep you “fresh.” Please stop. A couple years ago, Johnson & Johnson–the makers of baby powder and Shower to Shower–was ordered to pay $417 million to an ovarian cancer patient who regularly put powder in her underwear to keep her fresh. Although some researchers say the link between talc and ovarian cancer is not very strong, they are doing research to find the link. Either way, it’s just not necessary! The company is facing more than 1,000 lawsuits for marketing the product without warning women of the cancer risks. All this tells me that the best way to keep your vagina naturally healthy is to leave it alone.

How Clean is it Though?

Finally, for those who are afraid of going down for the first time. Dr. Jackie says: “Know that the vagina is a clean organ—it’s cleaner than the mouth!” So, don’t be afraid to go to town. Please know the vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Although Dr. Jackie says you only need water to cleanse, it doesn’t hurt to wash the vulva (the outside of the vagina) with a gentle cleanser.
There is absolutely no reason to wash the inside of the vagina.
Wear breathable cotton panties (yes, they have cute and sexy ones in cotton), drink lots of water and pay attention to her for any changes in discharge, smell, bumps etc.   If you liked this article, check out “How to Eat Pussy Like a Champ.”

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Article written by:

Zamara Perri

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She loves black love and loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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  1. Avatar

    Eating lots of yogurt which are rich in healthy probiotics is essential for every woman in keeping our bodies filled with gut-friendly bacteria and to fend off unhealthy bacteria in the vagina. Greens such as spinach and kale are also healthy foods our va-jay-jay

  2. Avatar

    Hey! Just want to put it out there that not all lesbians have vaginas. This article makes the assumption that all lesbians have vaginas, and that simply is not true.

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