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Am I a "loose" woman?

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confused girl asks:

I've been having sex for two years now with the same person. There were times we had sex more than once in a day for a long time. Sometimes 5 or 6 times, and perhaps a few days more than that. Before that I would always have a discharge and didn't like it so I would wear tampons non-stop. I don't wear the tampons non-stop anymore. But, my question is this: Does me wearing tampons all the time, non-stop for a while and me use to having sex everyday for two years cause me to be looser than other people? This really scares me because I feel like I'm less of a woman. And I feel like when I get married my husband isn't going to enjoy me because I'm going to be loose. Please help. Thank you so much..

Heather Corinna replies:

Wearing tampons when you aren't menstruating isn't a good idea in terms of risks of TSS and uncomfortable vaginal dryness, but doing so won't have any sort of permanent effects on the vagina. Same goes with having intercourse: the vagina is a muscle, and use of it doesn't cause atrophy -- that doesn't make any more sense to suggest with the vagina than it would to have the idea that the more weights someone lifted, the LESS firm their muscles would become.

Take a look here, here and here for more information on false ideas about vaginal "tightness' and "looseness." In short, women really do not need to worry about the vagina becoming "loose" over time, for any reason.

I also hope you've figured out by now that vaginal discharges are not only normal, they're an important part of both your fertility cycle as well as the way that your vagina ingeniously keeps itself clean and healthy. If you still aren't filled in on that, have a read here: Honorably Discharged: A Guide to Vaginal Secretions.

If and when you get married or have another male sexual partner, most of what he should be enjoying in sex is YOU, as a person with a whole mind and whole body, and what you two share together, not one part of your body. Partnered sex is about so much more than just penis or vagina, and about so much more than just vaginal intercourse -- if and when it's not, it doesn't tend to be all that enjoyable for most people for very long. Partnered sex should also take into account our bodies just as they are, in whatever state they are in.

Even if say, you had a child and did have a few months where your vagina felt more "loose" to your partner, then you and your partner should simply be adapting the sex that you have to your unique bodies, experimenting to find any number of things that feel great. As well, and as explained in some of those links I gave you, when a woman becomes sexually aroused, her vagina SHOULD loosen enough to have sex feel comfortable and pleasurable for her -- any man who wants a greater feeling of tightness than an aroused woman's vagina provides has a lot of options for kinds of sex where he can get a "tighter" sensation, such as receptive manual sex (AKA, handjobs or masturbation), and the same goes for women.

If any given sexual activity isn't feeling like we want it to, or providing us with the kinds of sensations we want that day, all we need to do is find the activity or position or adaptation to meet those wants and needs. Everyone's bodies can usually do any number of things without any need for adapting -- or worrying about adapting -- that BODY.

More to the point, when two people enjoy sex together, it tends to have a lot more to do with the quality of their relationship; with their trust, creativity, communication and responsiveness; with a willingness to experiment, an investment on all sides in both partner's pleasure, comfort and well-being than it does with what state their body parts are in, or any one sexual activity somehow being exactly right, all the time (which is basically not very likely for anyone).

You know, though too, bodies always change over time, for men and women alike.

Even if and when we do have something change with our bodies, including parts of our bodies which we deem as sexual, it doesn't make us any "less" of who we are as a person or as men or women. Women who have has mastectomies, for instance, due to breast cancer are no less women than they were before. Women who have hystorectomies -- removal of the uterus -- are still women. Women who have had genital injuries, or who someone genitally mutilated, are still women. Women who are post-menopausal, and may find that vaginal intercourse isn't something that feels so great anymore, and thus, only want to engage in other sexual activities, are still women. What makes us women as determined/assigned by biological sex are our chromosomes, which don't change even if our breasts and bottoms sag a bit over time, or if we have to have a 'sexual" part removed or adapted. What makes us women per our gender is both an issue of how we identify or define womanhood for ourselves, as well as how other people identify us, and we can't control the latter, so it's a waste of energy to invest too much in that.

But defining your womanhood based on ideas about your genitals that aren't even sound, or even defining your womanhood based on the width of your vagina at a given time just plain doesn't make any sense. There's just no need to stress yourself out and get upset about being "less of a woman" based on ideas about the vagina that aren't realistic, or on the idea that somehow the vagina is one certain way all the time.

Here's some more information for you on some of these issues:

written 24 Oct 2007 . updated 22 Jan 2014

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