Many women are sensitive about their vaginas. And I get it. Sometimes vaginas are a lot to handle. But too many of the things women are sensitive about have to do with myths perpetrated by sexist people, many of whom don't even have a vagina. Myths about loose vaginas, for example, are the ones that really drive me nuts. Because, like people and penises, vaginas come in all shapes and sizes.
According to Psychology Today, myths about loose vaginas persist due to patriarchy or a patriarchal society that warns women against "promiscuity" and sees childbirth as something freaky, that changes a woman by altering her anatomy permanently. In fact, the Psychology Today article makes a pretty, er, tight case for why these myths exist: to limit the movement of women and stigmatize them should they follow their desires as opposed to archaic rules about femininity.
I'd also like to point out that the tightness or looseness of a vagina is relative to the size of the penis that goes inside it. For example, a large-membered man is probably going to fit snugly into most vaginas. Not so for the smaller-membered man. (Hey, I'm not dissing anyone, it's just ergonomics.) As for myths about loose vaginas, here are a few that everyone should ignore.
Myth #1: Giving Birth Makes Your Vagina Loose
Here's the deal; vaginas are designed for childbirth. According to Baby Center, your vagina will temporarily widen after childbirth. This is because the muscles in the pelvic floor have been stretched by your baby's delivery. But because the pelvic floor is made of muscles, the looseness you will feel in your vagina will tighten with time, and especially if you do vagina exercises known as Kegels.
Myth #2: Plus Size Tampons Make Your Vagina Loose
According to Go Ask Alice, large tampons won't stretch out your vagina. If you have trouble inserting super sized tampons, it's not because you have a tight vagina, per se. It's because, the muscles around your vagina are contracted, which is their normal state, unless you're sexually aroused or going through childbirth.
Myth #3: Lots Of Sex Make Your Vagina Loose
This is another myth perpetuated to keep girls virgins by the same people who think "sex is dirty." Jezebel noted that because the vagina is elastic, sex won't loosen the vagina no matter how any times you do it.
Myth #4: Spin Class Makes Your Vagina Loose
Although riding a bicycle will not loosen your vagina, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, if you set your bikes' handlebars lower than the saddle, you might experience a degree of impaired genital sensation. In other words, low handle bars might do some funky stuff to the pelvic floor. But cycling will not make you loose.
Myth #5: Masturbation Makes Your Vagina Loose
According to the aforementioned Psychology Today article, one thing that controls tightness of a vagina is anxiety. The more anxious you are, the more likely you are to clench the muscles in your vagina. And according to Mental Health Daily, masturbation eases anxiety, which might stop you from clenching down there. However, any permanent changes to the tautness of your vagina because of masturbation is a total myth.
Myth #6: If You Can't Orgasm, You Have A Loose Vagina
All Things Vagina noted that during orgasm, the vaginal muscles contract. But because the vagina is elastic and surrounded by muscular tissue, your orgasm has nothing to do with the shape of your vagina. It does however, have everything to do with the state of your arousal, when your vaginal muscles loosen. After sex, your vaginal muscles tighten up again and your vagina returns to its resting state.
Myth #7: If You Have Vaginal Looseness, Your Vagina Will Never Become Tight
You can do Kegel exercises to tighten the muscles of your vagina. All Things Vagina noted that women over 40 who give birth sometimes experience a looser vagina than younger women after childbirth, but this effect is temporary.
Myth #8: If You're An Older Woman, You Have a Loose Vagina
"With aging, as estrogen levels diminish, the vaginal walls become thinner and less elastic, so the muscles begin to lose their tautness," sex therapist Dr. Ava Cadell told LA Weekly. However, if you do your Kegel exercises, you can tone and tighten your vagina. Remember, your vagina is surrounded by muscles, so the more you work it, the tauter it will become.
Myth #9: Men Have Nothing To Do With How Loose Your Vagina Feels
Wrong again. This is the one time men can contribute to your vaginal looseness. And by men, I mean the the guys you're having sex with, because if they don't get you wet enough by engaging in foreplay, then your vaginal muscles won't be relaxed enough for penetration, noted the aforementioned article in LA Weekly. Anything else a man has to say about the looseness or tightness of your vagina is at worst sexist, and at best, misinformed.