Female sexual pleasure has always been shaped by social forces, where the media and medical professionals reinforce that female bodies are solely made for male pleasure. The myths and misconceptions about our vaginas exist to limit female desires.
The term “loose vagina” has historically been used to shame women who had many sexual partners. But the truth is, your vagina cannot get looser from having a lot of sex and is not central to sexual pleasure.
One of the biggest problems for sexual satisfaction is painful intercourse, which can happen when the vagina is too-tight. This could be due to hormonal changes caused by most types of birth control, which can lower a woman’s level of estrogen, creating vaginal dryness and reducing elasticity in your vagina. Or it could be your pelvic floor health.
You may also like: Everything about Pelvic Floor Health
Myth #1: No amount of sex will make your vagina "loose"
Laurie Mintz Ph.D., a certified sex therapist and author of Becoming Cliterate illustrates just how untrue this is in the easiest possible way: We move our mouths constantly when we talk, eat ,drink and make expressions. For example, when we stretch our mouths to smile or yawn, it returns to its normal shape. These muscles work in the same way as your vagina and pelvic floor.
The material that comprises the vagina is very elastic and the surrounding muscles of the pelvic floor help with vaginal tightness. This means it can stretch to accommodate things entering, like a penis or sex toy or coming out (a baby). But it won’t take long for your vagina to return to its earlier shape.
Myth #2: Tightness = purity (“wife material”)
People who believe this are very much misinformed and influenced by a patriarchal and sexist attitude towards female sexuality. Nothing about your vagina/vulva/ body defines your worth as a human being or sexual partner.
Myth #3: Child birth will ruin your vagina
Giving birth is an incredible feat and reminder of the capabilities of the female body. Yet, we like to focus on the toll it may take on our vaginas and our sex life.
Before you give birth the pelvic floor muscles prepare by stretching and weakening to allow your baby to pass through the birth canal and out of the vagina. Gentle exercises before and after delivery can help increase circulation, reduce swelling and help the healing process.
Just as the rest of our body requires toning, so does your pelvic floor. And your vaginal will go back to being your “normal” again.
Myth #4: Tight vaginas = better sex
It’s in fact, the exact opposite. A vagina that is too tight will most probably end in a painful sexual intercourse.
The feeling of "tightness" during sex is not based on the width of the vagina, but the motion of the pelvic floor muscles. And this is something we can learn to control.
Myth #5: Kegel exercises are a must
I’ve said this a million times before; Kegels are not for everyone. We can’t assume that because you have given birth or are in menopause, that your muscles are hypotonic and need toning.
Some pelvic floor disorders are a result of the pelvic floor being too active or tense. When this happens, it makes it hard for the pelvic floor to relax and rest completely. This may lead to the pelvic floor being in a continuous overactive state. Which is why it is important to know the status of your pelvic floor before doing any exercise.
If part of your pelvic floor rehabilitation is with a pelvic floor therapist, kegel exercises are a great way to tone your pelvic floor and improve blood flow to the genital region, which helps with arousal and lubrication. Kegels can also help with bladder functioning, reducing incontinence.