It sounds like a nightmare: you’re having great sex and then your partner says the dreaded words: ‘Umm… your vagina is kind of loose?’. If this has happened to you, here are two things to remember: one, this is a completely inaccurate statement. Two, you are not alone.
As one of our readers who wrote in said: ‘I was having sex with a man, when he told me I had a ‘loose’ vagina… right in the MIDDLE of sex. I was unbelievably humiliated. It hurt because I was a mother, which is something that makes women in our society feel less desirable. I have also had many sexual partners before, and I suddenly felt guilty, like my body had been ‘ruined’ by sex. The last thing you want to hear from your partner is a comment that puts down your body-parts, especially your most intimate body parts that you derive pleasure from.’
The idea that vaginas have to be ‘tight’ is somewhat of an urban legend: people believe it, without any evidence. Unfortunately, it’s a cultural belief that holds weight: it affects our bodies, our pleasure and how we have sex. So let’s tackle this myth, and deconstruct it one bad stereotype at a time.
First up: a vagina that feels really tight is a vagina that is unaroused. If you’re totally dry and non-horny, it’s usually difficult to insert two fingers into your vagina and it would feel tight! And guess what: this is NOT a feeling you want during sex! When you’re aroused, the vagina gets wet and naturally expands to accommodate for sex. The vagina expanding like this is a good thing. It means that you are aroused and are ready for pleasurable, comfortable sex. A lot of people tend to be ‘tight’ because they are scared, unaroused or nervous, especially the first time they have sex: the problem is how normalised this is in society, and we end up believing that all sex has to feel like this.
Now you might be saying ok, sure, arousal expands your vagina a bit, but doesn’t having a lot of sex permanently change your vaginal anatomy? Isn’t that why people enjoy having sex with virgins? Because they are ‘tighter?’ No! The vagina is just like ANY other muscle in the body. Think of your mouth: if you open really wide to eat a burger, does your mouth become ‘loose?’ No! Even if you eat a giant burger every day for the rest of your life, your mouth will open temporarily and then go back to the same size! So then why are virgins thought of as ‘tighter?’ And why does sex the first time hurt for some people?
Well, I’m glad you asked. Since we have established that the vagina is just like any other muscle: think of your leg muscles. Suppose you never exercise a day in your life and suddenly decide to run a marathon. Will your glutes and hamstrings ache? Yep! In the same way, if you suddenly try to ram something inside a vagina that isn’t used to penetration or isn’t ready, then it will feel like an effort to do so and it can feel ‘tight.’ Again, this is not a good thing during sex! Like with any other muscle, you have to be gentle and gradual with your vagina so that it gets used to the sensation of stretching. This has nothing to do with ‘tightness.’ Your vagina doesn’t ‘change’ in size. It can become more flexible to accomodate comfort and pleasure during penetration, just like other parts of your body can get used to regular stretching or exercise. This is about flexibility, which you want during sex and the fundamental anatomy of your vagina will not be changed!
The obsession with a ‘tight’ vagina has more to do with society than biology. Throughout history, the pleasure of women, or anyone with a vagina has largely been ignored. When ‘good’ wives are expected to oblige to their husbands’ sexual needs at all times, they may be unaroused and disinterested, leading their vaginas to feel ‘tight.’ Or if someone is scared or nervous, their muscles would tighten, causing even more ‘tightness.’ These things have become the norm, or even a sign of morality, purity and women’s ‘duty’ in a relationship. But none of these things mean good sex! Remember: painful sex is not good sex. Uncomfortable sex is not good sex. During sex, you want your partner to feel comortable, safe and pleasured. They can only feel this if their body is relaxed, if they are aroused and their vagina is wet, and if their body is naturally responding to that arousal.
All said and done, it is true that clenching or squeezing can be pleasurable during sex. The great part is, you can have had sex many times before, have given birth, and be totally wet & open to achieve this clenching sensation: it’s called a kegel. A kegel is an exercise where you clench your pelvic floor muscles, which leads to you squeezing your vagina. To do a kegel imagine that you are peeing (it’s weird, but stay with me!) then imagine that you have to stop that flow of urine. The muscles you contract to stop a flow of urine are your pelvic floor muscles! Start by holding for 5 seconds and releasing slowly, and do a few reps. Experiment with contracting and releasing, and then add this fun new exercise in during sex! You can squeeze around your partner’s penis with kegels, which can feel intense!
Kegels are especially great for people who have given birth, since childbirth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles. There’s really nothing to show that vaginas become ‘loose’ even after childbirth. Most research suggests that the vagina does return to its regular size shortly after giving birth. But stronger pelvic floor muscles usually mean better sex, since those are the muscles you contract during an orgasm! So the stronger the muscles, the stronger your orgasms, and you also get to pleasure your partner a little extra by clenching and squeezing!
So: if you have ever been shamed for having a ‘loose’ vagina, please remember that it is a completely untrue, unfair, misinformed and inaccurate criticism! There’s nothing wrong with your body or your vagina, and you don’t need tightening creams or hymenoplasties or any of the ridiculous things that society invents to shame vaginas. Remember: sex is supposed to feel good. So as long as it feels good, you’re doing it right!