After sex clean up? We've got a ritual for that

After sex clean up? We've got a ritual for that

By: Dr. Ruth Arumala

There are only a few experiences as unique but universal as laying in bed after you finish waiting to be wiped with a warm towel. Yes! You read that right. Many are accustomed to using a “cum towel" to clean the vulva (and everywhere else) after intercourse. Is this practice sanitary? Does it harm vulva health? Does it introduce new bacteria into the microbiome? Does it irritate sensitive vulva skin? What are the best practices to adopt for after sex clean up?

Vulvovaginal microbiome

The skin around the vagina known as the vulva colloquially or the labia majora & minora medically has a large concentration of blood vessels and nerves. It also has thin cell layers that transition into the vagina which is the conduit from the outside world through the cervix into the uterus or the womb. This skin can have conditions that can be due to allergens, irritants, infectious agents, and autoimmune conditions. Given the density of nerves in this area,  these conditions can be manifested as redness, irritation, itchiness and/or frank pain.

This happens because the vagina functions best when it is maintained at a pH of ~ 3.8 to 4.5. This means that the vagina is an acidic environment. When the pH is disrupted and made more basic, normal bacteria known as vaginal flora do not survive or thrive. This leaves room for harmful bacteria that cause inflammation and infection. This condition is known as bacterial vaginosis (BV). Fungus can also propagate using a similar mechanism which results in a condition known as Candidal vulvovaginitis (yeast infection).

How bodily fluids affect vulvovaginal health

Given the pH of water is 7.0 and bodily fluids are mainly composed of water, bodily fluids such as sweat, semen can increase the vaginal pH to a more basic level. In addition, these fluids also contain the innate bacteria of a partner. This is also the case in shared toys that can leave bacteria on the body. Eliminating the amount of time these fluids remain dormant on the vulva and in the vagina promotes vulvovaginal wellness.

The ideal after sex clean up ritual
In order to prevent pathological conditions and optimize vulva wellness, there are practices we can adopt. The texture, sterility and allergen content of the soaps, cleansers and cloths are important. The ideal method to remove these bodily fluids after sexual play should be a mild gentle product that is free of additives. Truthfully, the gold standard is water or a gentle wash. Although this works every time, it is not always practical to jump out of bed & get in the shower after intercourse.

The next best thing is a plant derived intimate wipe that has been clinically tested and proven to be safe and effective for after sex clean up. This product can be conveniently stored in or on your nightstand for easy access allowing for a longer lag time after intercourse and a shower or bath. It is 40% larger and 60% thicker than our original wipe, which allows for clean-up after the big O in one swipe.

When looking to improve your vulvovaginal health, pay attention to your after sex practices. Consider soft wipe formulated with natural textile that is free of known allergens as your go to clean up item. Your honey pot is so sacred we need a ritual for that!