Warning: Content of an adult nature
Our sex columnist, Tiffany Mugo, is at it again. A reader asks: There’s a weird odour coming from “down there” and it makes me self conscious. What should I do?
A: Hydrate, honey. Water can cure a lot of ailments when it comes to weird whiffs coming from your nether regions. Couple this with healthy eating, like adding things like fruits and vegetables to your diet. Drinking water and healthy eating will help with flushing funky smells right out of your body.
One thing you should not do is try and use ‘feminine wash’ type products because they will wreak havoc with your pH balance and probably make everything much worse. Use soap and water, wash up before and after sex, just to keep things squeaky clean. Another potential remedy is ditch your sexy lace panties and put on some cotton underwear. This type of fabric helps the vagina breathe and is less likely to cause reactions. On top of this try to wear loose-fitting clothing, so those sexy jeans that give you a round bottom need to stay in the closet and be replaced with clothing that flows.
There is also the possibility that there is no nasty smell. A lot of the time women are told that their private parts need to smell like fresh strawberries on a summer’s day but in actual fact, a healthy vagina can smell like a whole bunch of things without it necessarily being a bad thing. Sometimes your vagina smells like just that, vagina. Sometimes we can be hard on it because we have been socialised to constantly feel embarrassed about our bodies in general and our vaginas specifically.
Chances are you might just be smelling of vagina and your partner actually loves it. The smell of vagina can smell absolutely intoxicating, especially when wet. So give it a chance, and approach it with the understanding that you are not supposed to be smelling like the fruits of the forest down there You should smell like vagina. Part of this might just be loving your vagina in all its vag-like glory.
But if you feel there is a smell and you are worried about it, then seek medical help, especially if it’s been there for a long time and the smell won’t go away. It’s OK for your vagina to smell a little odd at times but for it to be an ‘all day every day’ thing is often a sign that there is something wrong and you need to go and spread your legs for a doctor and let them check what’s happening down there.
About the author:
Tiffany Kagure Mugo is co-founder and curator of HOLAA! a Pan Africanist hub that chronicles and gives information about sex and sexuality in the African context. She is a media consultant, podcast host and author of the book Quirky Quick Guide to Having Great Sex, as well as a two time Ted speaker. She writes mainly about sex and sexuality and its lesser-known handmaiden politics. She is on the board of the FRIDA Fund and was previously an Open Society Youth Fellow.