Dear Madame Lestrange is The Tempest’s love, sex, and relationships advice column. Have a question? Send it to Madame Lestrange here.  It’s anonymous!

Dear Madame Lestrange,

I’m getting married next month, which means I’m also going to be having sex for the first time. I haven’t been too worried about it until recently… my aunts keep trying to give me advice. One mentioned something about getting me vaginal perfume so it smells nice for my first time.

Should I get some? I hadn’t even thought about it. But yeah – vaginas smell right. I don’t want to gross him out on our wedding night. What should I do? What brands are good? Help, please!

Smelly and Concerned

Dear Smelly and Concerned,

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and sexual experience! Also, sorry you’re getting unsolicited sex advice from aunts. Sometimes that can be super helpful (and obviously awkward), but other times it can be nerve-wracking and harmful – like your aunt who thinks vaginal perfumes are a good idea.

They’re not.

A healthy vagina has a pretty specific pH of ~3.8 to 4.5, which tends to lead to the particular vaginal odor. The bacteria in your vagina work to keep it healthy, clean, and how it should be. Messing with these bacteria and the natural makeup of your vagina with douching or perfumes or whatever is *unhealthy*! It’s not like using deodorant on your armpits, which doesn’t harm you – it’s just staying outside and making your pits not smelly. Perfumes for the vagina fuck with vaginal bacteria, alter its natural pH and cause different infections. The vaginal odor you are accustomed to smelling should be a sign to you that your vagina is healthy and happy. Again: perfumes are bad and cause bad things to happen.

Your vagina is good and causes good things to happen. It doesn’t smell bad. You are taught in so many ways (socially, through media, everywhere) that the vagina is a bad, smelly place and we must do everything to make it more pleasing to the man.

Naaaah. If your almost-husband can’t take your wonderful and pleasant vagina as it is naturally, he doesn’t deserve to be up in it. Seriously. If someone y’all are having sex with has a problem with your vagina, then your vagina should have a problem with them!!

Take the time to unlearn all of your bad associations with the vagina that society has taught you through its lies. Research vaginal health, its anatomy, what other women are feeling about theirs, etc. It is a strong, flexible, and elastic part of your body that does so much for you and your body and the world. Everything it does is beautiful and cool and beneficial for you. And, honestly – chances are your fiancé will love the smell of it once y’all start having sex. Be proud of your vagina and get him to love it too.

Summary: Your vagina rocks and fuck perfumes.

**With all of this said, sometimes your vagina will tell you it’s unhealthy by a particularly foul odor that is unlike its regular smell. If this is the case, do not turn to perfumes, but go to a gynecologist to get it checked out.

You’re welcome,

Madame Lestrange

More Dear Madame Lestrange

I’m planning on having sex with my boyfriend soon. It’ll be my first time but not his and while I’m very excited, I’m also very nervous. I want to make this a pleasurable experience for us both and I have no idea what I’m doing. I gave him my first handjob too and while he did cum, I feel like I could’ve done better. Do you have any tips?

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Madame Lestrange

By Madame Lestrange

Advice Columnist, Love & Sex