10.08.2008  BY EM & LO

Photo via Splash

Silly us, we always thought douching was so seventies. But it turns out there's a brand new device on the market called WaterWorks which claims to revolutionize the douching process by "neutralizing vaginal odor" with water (rather than harsh chemicals) administered via a medical-grade stainless steel applicator. According to their press release, women who test-drove this product "experienced a significant reduction and/or elimination of vaginal odor compared to those who used placebo only."

Do you know why they call it douching? Because the guy (and yes, we're 100% sure it was a guy) who decided that vaginas should smell like a summer's eve is 100% douchebag. Your vagina smells like a vagina! That normal, everyday, "vaginal odor"? That's supposed to be a good thing--designed by mother nature to attract your mate(s).

Plus, you don't want to mess with the delicate nature of the natural bacteria in there. It doesn't matter what substance you're squirting inside, even if it's "pure tap water"--the act of spraying water under pressure into the vagina can push bacteria where it doesn't belong (it's a mechanical thing, not just a chemical one). Will many women douche and not get pelvic inflammatory disease? Sure. But why engage in a risky behavior for no medical reason? Embrace your vajayjay and its unique scent in all its musky, animalistic, sexual glory! (That seems to be the theme of today. If you need help doing this, read Tom Robbins' Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.)...

If things don't smell right to you (i.e. you notice an unusual odor for you), then it might be a sign that you've got some sort of infection down there (e.g. bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection or an STD), which you should discuss with your doctor. There are other, less sinister reasons for an unusual down-there scent: for example, when a man ejaculates inside of you sans condom, using spermicides, even simply consuming crap like ciggies and processed foods. But you can take safe measures to reduce their less-than-fresh effects: use condoms, replace your spermicide with another effective form of birth control, quit smoking, and eat healthy.   

You know who else thinks douching is a terrible idea? Our own Dr. Kate, who has five very good reasons not to douche. And let's see who else says don't go there: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Pretty much every doctor out there (and all of the good ones). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Oh, and did we mention us?

Yes, for more on vaginal confidence, see our advice to the woman whose boyfriend wouldn't go down on her, poor thing.



I'm kind of curious what the placebo was that they used. Because logically one would think that it would be comprised in some form of water, itself. Doesn't that take away from any conclusive product findings?

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Em & Lo, more formally known as Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey, are the self-proclaimed Emily Posts of the modern bedroom.

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City.

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