Keep her microbiome balanced between her legs.
No matter what pop culture, outdated magazine headlines, and questionably reputable lifestyle influencers may have told you. It all has to do with maintaining your sexual health. The vagina, you may have heard, is self-cleaning (you know, like a cat). That’s why “vaginal cleansing” products like douches are unnecessary—and can often be dangerous. Her vagina has a delicate microbiome that can easily be thrown off by a range of factors—which can result in unpleasant (albeit treatable) conditions like urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis.
Basically, putting things in her vagina that shoudn’t go inside it can cause you way more harm than good (and arguably, no good at all). Here are a few key things you should avoid.
Coconut Oil You may have heard of coconut oil used as lube, or even as a body moisturizer—but that recommendation is deeply misled. Just because something is “all natural” doesn’t mean it’s good for anyone! Coconut oil can put her at risk for both bacterial infections and yeast infections, as it can disrupt her vagina’s microbiome. Stick to a good water-based lube instead (or, if you’re not using silicone toys, a silicone lube works, too).
Scented and Flavored Products Flavored lubes, edible lotion, and under-there perfumes are, in fact, too good to be true: Because many flavored and edible lubes contain sugar (glucose) and glycerine, they can trigger yeast infections in her. So, they are not safe for vaginal intercourse or cunnilingus. If you’re tempted to use these products because you’re concerned about your taste or scent, do your best to ignore whatever society is telling you about what a vagina “should” be like. She is not supposed to taste like Pepsi cola—or strawberry ice cream or cherry pie or anything other than your natural flavor.
Fruits and Vegetables Listen—save the cucumber for your salad or tzatziki. Fruits and veg can harbor pesticides and bacteria that can lead to infections. Save the work of a dildo for a dildo (or reach for her vibrator instead).
The Infamous Jade Egg A certain celebrity once made headlines for extolling the pelvic floor-strengthening powers of a yoni egg. But it turns out (perhaps not so surprisingly) they can actually be dangerous, putting her at risk of infection, causing irritation that can make STI transfer more likely, weakening your pelvic floor muscles, and putting you at risk for toxic shock syndrome. Just skip the pseudoscience.