In more ways than one...
Ok - vagina. Yes I've said it. I hope that your first response is so what? Rather than a shock horror or a little squirm. Yes ladies you have one, yes men - you know someone that has.
There are many physical benefits to airing out your vagina. For a girl who used to wear knickers to bed out of fear of accidentally wetting her pants whilst asleep, it's only recently I've learned of the benefits of going underwear free at night.
The first is to protect it against BV (bacteria vaginosis) and Thrush. These two things are very different. BV is when 'bad' bacteria increases over the number of 'good' bacteria. It creates a kind of fishy distinctive smell with lots of discharge and is usually caused by harmful soaps or bath salts - yes ladies don't douche!
Whereas Thrush is caused by candida which is a live fungus. When our PH levels in our vaginas go off balance, yeast can increase causing an infection that makes it feel itchy and can sometime in extreme cases cause us pain. This can be down to a hormonal imbalance, poor diet or weak immune system.
For more information '5 ways to keep your vagina healthy and happy.'
As a grown woman you have probably experienced one or the other before. According to Cleveland Clinic 1 in 3 women experience BV throughout their lifetime and it's very common for it to reappear again. Because it's so normal - and of course, absolutely nothing is wrong with your vagina, yoni, flower, jay-jay etc etc... I wanted to dive a little deeper when it comes to letting your vagina breathe.
The first thing I'm going to mention is PERIODs, the second is going to be SEX!
I'm not sure about you, but I've definitely experienced some shame and embarrassment when it comes to my period. Maybe it's down to the fact when my first boyfriend fingered me, I came on and bleed all over his hand, or it could also be when I went to a business meeting at the Langham Hotel in Hong Kong, and bleed all over the white leather couch as my tampon leaked. Either way we've been conditioned to to ignore our periods and see it as an inconvenient monthly setback.
Ignore the pain, ignore the lack of energy and by god you better ignore those unbalanced hormonal emotions threatening to escape. Get a tampon, get a sanitary towel and get back to work! It doesn't help that we often work in a male dominated environment, but it's not only our bosses who don't know about menstrual cycles - we barely know ourselves!
"Being disconnected from your cycle is being disconnected from your body" - Laura Wilkes.
Did you know that it's normal a few days before your period to feel like the world is ending and you'll never experience happiness again? Did you know that when you're ovulating you can become miss ultimate flirty and frisky? These are all signs of different phases of your cycle, for example Menstrual, Follicular, Ovulatory & Luteal, or as Laura calls them 'winter, spring, summer and autumn.'
For more information 'Your Mestrual Cycle and Her Four Phases.'
Another way to let your vagina breathe, is to let your period do its thing without resistance. Maybe it's not putting a tampon or moon cup in straight away if you happen to be at home and can rest laying down. Maybe it is calling in sick when cramps are bad, and maybe it's going to a cycle awareness coach that helps you understand your period and body better. Maybe instead of seeing your period as an inconvenience you honour it when it comes and show it gratitude.
Ok, lets talk about sex baby, lets talk about... Don't worry I won't submit you to this further torture.
I am all for amazing sex! I think women can have sex with who they want, when they want and there is no shame to it at all. However I think that we're spent so many years trying to free our sexual selves, it's hard for us to now say, actually I can't be arsed. It's ok to stop having one night stands that don't serve you. Take a break when it gets overwhelming and let your vagina breathe! We may feel like the queen of the country on Friday night dancing in the club, but by Saturday morning are you feeling energised and powerful? Or more like a peasant - absolutely depleted?
One night stands weren't filling up my cup, they were emptying it. This was hard for me to admit as being free was part of my perceived fun persona. I was, and always will be, in awe of women who could have amazing sex and not get emotionally attached - I am just not one of them (sadly).
There are other things to think about when airing out your vagina and vulva (by the way they're not the same thing!)
Openly talking about her, to both men and other women.
Learning about her, did you know there's an A,K & P spot?
Using the right products to clean her that aren't harmful.
Looking at her! You'd be surprised how many people haven't looked at their own bodies properly.
Being kind to her.
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