Tightening Your Vagina With Vinegar Is An Urban Legend, But Here Are The Facts

by Caroline Burke

Over the course of history, there's been no shortage of unfair, absurd, and biologically unsound expectations leveled upon women, all in the name of fitting a superficial ideal that virtually doesn't exist. These expectations have run the gamut from plastic surgery to the creation of clothing like corsets that falsify what our bodies actually look like. One of the prevailing myths has been a belief that women can keep their vaginas tight — whatever that means. One such strategy that apparently does the trick involves the use of vinegar. It begs the question: Is it true? Can you tighten your vagina with vinegar?

When it comes to the list of things that women have been told they should "care about," there is no limit to how ridiculous it gets. This particular bullet on the list, though, deserves a gold star. The "logic" behind the "vinegar vagina tightening" idea is this: Women used to douche themselves with vinegar in the dark ages, so this must obviously mean that they were using it as a form of makeshift vaginal rejuvenation!

Except, no, because women were using vinegar as a disinfectant, because the dark ages were really freaking dark, both metaphorically and literally, for women.

Here's what will really happen if you try to use vinegar to "tighten" your vagina: You'll smell like a dumpster filled with vinegar. That's it.

What's more, you will probably end up burning or hurting your vagina if you use something like apple cider vinegar without diluting it, since the liquid is so highly acidic, and your vagina has such a delicate pH balance.

What's way more important to discuss here is why women think that it's necessary to worry about tightening your vagina at all, and whether that's actually possible with these insane home remedies. If someone told you that bleach tightened your vagina, would you DO IT?

Here's what you need to know about the "tightening" and "loosening" of vaginas.

First of all, it's totally personal. The elasticity and width of your vagina isn't the same as everyone else's, which is why we have different preferences when it comes to tampons and various sexual endeavors.

Second, your vagina is an elastic muscle. It's not going to just loosen up like a pair of jeans if you use it too much. The idea that having too much sex will "stretch" or "ruin" your vagina is just as ridiculous as the idea that having sex before marriage will tarnish your body physically. (Also, let's be real, given that most men barely even know where a clitoris is, do we seriously think they would "feel" the difference between a woman who'd had sex before and a woman who hadn't? But I digress.)

A much more common and sensible source of worry in regards to vaginas loosening is related to childbirth.

Although it is possible that your vagina can — and should — stretch during childbirth, it also has the capacity to tighten back up after. Women vary widely in their reports on what their experience was like after giving birth, but this is what the science says: Women in their 20s can expect their vaginas to return to its original tightness a few months after giving birth. When you have multiple births, you start to see signs of permanent, though still only slight stretching, given that you are repeatedly putting your vagina under duress. With that said, things like the Kegel exercise are extremely effective in toning your vaginal muscles and increasing the tightness.

But the most important point to all of this is that your vagina is a vital organ in your body that should be loved and valued, regardless of any changes that may happen over time. Beyond that, becoming overly concerned about the relative tightness or looseness will drive you insane, because your body is constantly changing, and if you ask me, that's something to be celebrated rather than tampered with.

Also, here's a little news flash for any person in your life who may be concerned about a "loose" vagina: Vaginas relax when a person is turned on. They tighten back up when the woman isn't interested in sex. Keep that little nugget of knowledge in the back of your mind, and leave the rest of the BS in the dark ages where it belongs.