When was the last time you seriously thought about your vagina? Unless you're actively having sex or on the gynecologist's exam table, you probably don't have to give it a spare thought. Vaginas, thankfully, are fairly self-sufficient organs. However, there are loads of quirky and downright weird things about your vagina that you need to know about.
Now, most of the weirdness is not endemic to the vagina itself. It just goes about its business. But the way people have thought about and described the vagina throughout history is pretty wild. For instance did you know that some cultures believed women might have hidden teeth in their vagina?
But plenty of modern concerns about vaginas need a little readjustment, too. For instance, despite the aisles of stuff you see in drugstores, you really don't need any specialized products to clean your vagina. Seriously, mild soap will do the trick. Oh, and those icky jokes about "loose" women who have "too much" sex are not based in any reality. Having sex won't stretch out your vagina beyond repair. Seriously, give the yoni a little credit. With that in mind, it's fun to take a few minutes to learn something new about the vagina, its workings, and the bizarro myths about it that persist to this day.
1. It's Self-Cleaning
Seriously, a little mild soap around the outer bits is all your vagina needs from you. Otherwise, it's a self-cleaning organ, as noted by Medical Daily. In fact, heavily scented soaps or sprays might actually upset your vagina's pH level and the presence of "good" bacteria.
2. The Word Vagina Means Sheath
Here's a fun bit of trivia to bust out at your next cocktail party. According to Dartmouth's Etymology of Pelvic Terms, the word vagina originates from the Latin term for a sheath, or the covering for a sword. And for a bonus linguistics lesson, the Dartmouth site also notes that the word clitoris relates to the Greek term kleitoris, or door-tender. So you can think of your clit as the doorman for your vagina.
3. Vaginal Weightlifting Is A Thing
Yep. As noted in the Huffington Post, Tatyana Kozhevnikova has lifted 31 pounds with her vagina, making her the unofficial vaginal weightlifting champion of the world. As anyone who's attempted Kegel exercises can attest, that's pretty impressive work.
4. You Can't Lose Anything In It
Well, at least not entirely. Any condom, tampon, or other object can't migrate into the rest of your body. Worst case scenario, you can take a trip to your doctor for some help retrieving the out-of-reach thing stuck in your vagina, as noted by WebMD. Chances are, your doctor has already seen it all and won't be a bit phased.
5. It Tents
Does your vagina seem to become more spacious sometimes? You're not imagining things. According to Women's Health, your vagina tents when you're aroused, allowing it to accommodate your partner or a toy with relative ease. It's like a considerate host who wants to make everyone comfortable.
6. Ancient Folklore Imagined Vaginas With Teeth
It's no secret that vaginas have been the subject of grotesque and sometimes baffling superstitions. As noted in NBC News, one such myth, the vagina dentata, posits the idea of a vagina with teeth. What would it be like if you had a fully working mouth down south? Would your gynecologist also need a degree in dentistry? This idea raises so many questions.
7. Labia Are Rarely Symmetrical
Do you find yourself wondering if your labia look normal? Relax — they're probably fine. As noted in Cosmopolitan, most labias are rarely symmetrical. It's typical for one side to be a little larger.
8. The Vagina Won't Stretch Out
Seriously, this needs to be common knowledge, but that tired "hot dog and a hallway" joke still resurfaces now and then. For the record, no amount of sex will permanently stretch out your vagina, as noted in Psychology Today. An organ that's resilient enough to bear children is not going to be worn out from sex.
9. It Can Trap A Penis
A penis flytrap? OK, so this sounds like the stuff of urban legend. But as noted in Redbook, the rare case of penis captivus — in which the pelvic muscles clamp down on a penis and won't let go — is a real phenomenon. If this happens to you (and it very likely won't), then you may even need medical intervention.
10. It's A Bit Acidic
Bet you never thought much about your vagina's pH level before. But according to Prevention, a healthy vagina has a pH level of about 4, comparable to a glass of wine. So at least on the pH scale, you're definitely #notbasic.
11. Boats, Flowers, And Sacred Geometry Symbolize It
Granted, plenty of cultures have disregarded the vagina as something shameful or dirty. But there's also a cool set of historical symbols, from lotus flowers to pomegranates, that honor the vagina. Why not elevate the way you think about your own boat of heaven?