With songs like Cardi B’s “WAP” dominating mainstream music, people with vaginal dryness aren’t getting the representation they deserve; and they might not be feeling too empowered. It’s time for DAP-related self-doubt and low self-confidence to come to an end. Vaginas are diverse and, as a result, each person has different levels of lubrication. Moreover, natural wetness and dryness changes throughout your lifetime and varies from partner to partner — and there’s nothing wrong with this.
You’re not alone.
While vaginal dryness isn’t the inspiration of popular music or TV shows, it is pretty common in the real world. In fact, about 17% of people with vaginas have consistent vaginal dryness while having sex. During and after menopause, this number more than doubles. Arousal non-concordance — when there’s a disconnect between subjective mental arousal and physical signals of arousal like wetness, blood flow to the genitals or erection — happens to most people. According to several studies, arousal non-concordance impacts people of all genders, races, ages and abilities; however, it is most common among people with vaginas.
Vaginal lubrication will change throughout your lifetime — and it occurs for many reasons.
There are many reasons why vaginal dryness occurs, but none of its causes should prompt shame. Additionally, it rarely requires professional attention.
Everyday causes: Decrease in estrogen production causes vaginal dryness. While this process is most common during menopause, it can also be prompted by other common conditions. For instance, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, exercise, cigarette smoking, alcohol and menstruation are all everyday occurrences and activities that can cause vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness is also caused by stress and anxiety, which have been shown to limit blood flow throughout the body, including to the vagina. Finally, intimate care products, including douches, menstrual items and washes that carry toxic ingredients, can generally throw off vaginal flora and prompt vaginal dryness.
Medical conditions: While vaginal dryness is often caused by everyday activities, which will usually go away with time or by switching to clean intimate care, conditions like menopause or Sjögren’s Syndrome (an autoimmune disorder that attacks cells in the body that produce moisture) also lead to vaginal dryness. Other times, medications, like birth control or antidepressants, can inhibit you from getting wet.
Vaginal lubrication changes with different partners.
Physical, mental and emotional factors all affect vaginal dryness. As such, you might experience vaginal dryness while dating or having sex with different partners. If you are more attracted or emotionally invested in a partner, you might experience more vaginal lubrication. Conversely, if you’re regularly sad, stressed or experiencing abuse in your relationship, you may find that this is inhibiting vaginal lubrication.
You have options.
If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, know that you have options. During intercourse, use non-toxic lubricants like Coconu, Sliquid and Good Clean Love; each brand carries water, oil or gel-based options that are body-safe, pH balanced and provide a long-lasting glide. To help produce natural vaginal lubrication, combine the Bloomi Arousal Oil with Sex and Good’s libido-enhancing “OMG” formula. If sex remains painful due to vaginal dryness, consider seeking medical attention.