How are Vaginas Supposed to Smell?

By Bernie on 22 Oct 2012

suntanned female body in petals of scarlet roses
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In response to my article The Muslim, The Nun, and the Shrimp, a reader sent me an angry email saying that she is a frequent visitor but the joke equating the smell of shrimp with the smell of a vagina was offensive.

First of all, jokes are supposed to offend one group in order to be funny to another. Polish and blonde jokes make fun of the supposed stupidity of Polacks and blondes. Jewish and Scottish jokes make fun of the supposed stinginess of Jews and Scots. Lawyer jokes make fun of their supposed callousness and greed. Tell me a joke that doesn't offend someone and I'll show you a joke that isn't funny.

However, some readers may ask, "How are Vaginas Supposed to Smell?"

According to Doctor Lissa Rankin, Vaginas are supposed to have a slightly fishy smell:

BlogHer, How Are Vaginas Supposed To Smell?

With nicknames like "Fish Taco," it's no wonder we freak out. Many women I meet absolutely despise their vaginas, as if they completely buy into whatever childhood messages they were fed about how the vagina is "dirty" and "bad." For these women, any odor wafting up from down there acts as a big stinky banner of how much they hate their girlness. With vagina nicknames such as "fish taco," "crotch mackerel," "cod canal," "fish factory," "fuzzy lap flounder," "tuna town," and "raw oyster," it’s no wonder we worry about how we smell. But I say it's time to change all that. Why should we hate what's normal, healthy, and part of the rich female experience?


So how is the vagina supposed to smell? It depends. When you're straight out of the shower, your coochie may have no smell at all. When you've just finished running a marathon, it may have a strong musky odor from all the sweat glands. When you're menstruating or giving birth, the flinty-iron smell of blood prevails. When yeast overgrows in the vagina, you may smell like freshly baked-bread or a good malt beer. Right after you've had intercourse, you may smell faintly bleach-like, as semen has a classic odor of its own. And when certain normal bacteria overgrow, they release amines that smell -- yup, you guessed it -- like fish.

So whatever you ladies do, do not spray perfume down there (see my article Women who smell bad). I like the natural smell of vagina. Nature put that smell down there for a reason and it must be a good reason because there are almost 7 billion of us buggers around. If coochie smelled like roses we would be out there pollinating flowers and making honey instead of babies.

In her article, Dr. Rankin gave us a few nicknames for vagina. No article of mine on vaginas would be complete without offering my readers a list of more than 1500 synonyms for that most beautiful section of the female anatomy.

Anyone may republish this article for non-commercial use without asking my permission. I make it easy, see details here.

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