Vulvasations is a Tempest Love and Health exclusive series dedicated to spreading awareness about the female reproductive system, debunking myths about periods and dissecting everything vajayjay related. Let’s talk about vaginas!
TikTok is a lawless place. For the most part, I love this about the platform because it has helped so many people who are not often included in mainstream media share their voices, experiences, and stories to millions of people. But because TikTok has infamously lacked the rules and regulations of many other social media platforms, just about anyone can amass thousands upon thousands of views and likes for things that probably shouldn’t be viewed nor liked—nor even said aloud.
While the internet has made racists, transphobes, and xenophobes comfortable with spreading hate either anonymously or with little consequence, TikTok has exacerbated the problem by allowing people to assert their opinion without any credible basis. We could namedrop a variety of issues that have suffered from the spreading of misinformation across social media, but there’s one that I thought we had all laid to rest years ago.
I’m talking about vaginas and their odors and flavors.
Since downloading TikTok, I’ve seen immature men and misguided women make claims about what vaginas are supposed to smell and taste like. These videos boil my blood because they often shame people with vaginas for having vaginas that exude any sort of odor or flavor that isn’t palatable.
Why do people want their vagina to smell (and taste) like cupcakes
I just saw people on TikTok hyping suppositories that are peach, coconut, etc flavored and scented
Why do you want an infection to “please” a (most likely) man who doesn’t deserve to be around vagina anyways??
— Alex (@Alexandra_Pec) April 9, 2021
I wouldn’t want any of these TikTokers near my vagina to begin with. And the part of me that has learned how to identify garbage that hasn’t been taken out yet does not care one single iota what these people think is palatable. Spoiler alert: it’s probably exclusively dinosaur chicken nuggets and fruit snacks (there’s nothing wrong with either unless this is all you eat).
However, I am most concerned for these women who are regurgitating misogyny. Thus, this is a situation that calls for education.
So, what should a healthy vagina smell and taste like?
For starters, it should smell. Normal odors include fragrances that are metallic, bittersweet, bleachy, tangy, fermented, or sour. Menstrual cycles, bacterial flora, fluctuating pH balances, or discharge can all be attributed to these smells—and all are perfectly normal. In fact, you want your vagina to produce any of these odors because that means your vagina is doing its job.
Similarly, your vagina might taste metallic, salty, or sour, and again, that’s perfectly normal. Our vaginas spend most of their time experiencing all the activities we go about during our day. This can give them hints of sweat, musk, and body odor, which is nothing to be ashamed about.
What your vagina should not smell or taste like is flowers or fruit. It also shouldn’t smell or taste fishy or rotten because that means you could have bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, or even a case of forgotten tampon.
The takeaway is that your vagina should smell and taste like a vagina. If someone has a problem with that, then you can point them to the nearest bodega or grocery store because they’re probably craving something from the produce aisle and not whatever fun was to be had in the bedroom.
Like most products designed to target women, these TikToks are just trying to make those of us with vaginas feel bad about ourselves. But they’ll have to get in line behind all the other people, brands, and governments working on this nefarious plotline.
The next time you run into one of these TikTokers, just know they are simply airing their dirty laundry on the Internet. Maybe we should thank them for waving their red flags publicly and warning all of us with vaginas that they hate us and our bodies.
But don’t worry, vagina-shaming TikTokers. I hate you, too.
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