What’s not to love about summer? Beach vacations, mimosas with the girls, and carefree summer love. Hot days and sultry nights provide the perfect backdrop to find Mr. Right or hell, Mr. Right Now. While summer flings can be exciting and passionate, nothing kills the mood more than not taking care of the most essential part of your body: your vagina. So before you jump into an uncomplicated, no-strings-attached “hook up”; here are 3 tips to keep your vagina healthy this summer.
Get an STI Check-Up
I know you’re a Grown-Ass Black woman, who has her sh*t together but I have to let you know that sexually transmitted infections (STI) are real in these streets. Black women were 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with chlamydia and 8 times more likely to be diagnosed with gonorrhea than white women. These stats ain’t no joke so have fun but protect your health! Most times, STIs are passed on by people who don’t even know that they’re infected so be sure to get tested regularly and if you are under the age of 26, you should be tested for chlamydia – the most common sexually transmitted infection, every year.
Also, use a condom every single time for every single sex act. And if your summer stud refuses, the sex probably wasn’t going to be good anyway (I’m just sayin’).
Consider a Vaginal Steam
Vaginal steaming has increased in popularity in recent years but If you’ve never heard of it, let me give you a quick overview. V-steaming is an ancient practice where you squat over a hot pot of herb-infused water. This practice is said to improve menstrual health and fertility but to keep it 100, I had a hard time finding any studies that showed that. Vaginal steaming can be done at home or a swanky spa and the session typically lasts somewhere between 20 and 45 minutes.
So why talk about this alternative health practice it’s not guaranteed to work? Glad you asked. V-steaming increases circulation and lubrication to your lady bits, which can rev up your libido for those all-night lovemaking sessions. You can thank me later.
Here are a couple of other things to remember about steaming: Be sure the steam temperature is mild to avoid scalding your va-jay-jay. If you have a piercing “down below” remove it before your steam session because it may heat up and possibly cause burning. Avoid v-steaming if you are on your period or if you are preggo. If you have any questions or concerns, have a conversation with a practitioner who knows a lil’ somethin’ about v-steaming.
A Hairy Situation
Should I keep it long, shave it bald, or leave a landing strip? I’ve been there too girl. You may get mixed messages from the media and even your partner about what you should be doing with the hair “down there” but truth be told, your grooming habits are a matter of personal preference. Here’s the thing, men love nothing more than a woman with confidence, -particularly in the bedroom. So if shaving your pubes gives you that extra bit of swag, go for it, sis! And don’t think you’re alone, findings from a recent study showed that women who removed all of their pubic hair had a more positive view about their “lady bits.” Improved body-confidence can easily translate into hotter love-making sessions, where you and summer bae can explore each other’s bodies, freaky sex positions, and mind-blowing techniques.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor concerts, cookouts, and fun between the sheets. Ensuring your vagina is in optimal health can give you that boost of confidence you need to keep sparks flying with your summer slay.
Janelle King, A Grown Ass Black Woman, mother, wife, and creator of The Nurse Note, a reproductive and sexual health blog.