The Myth That Sex Makes Vaginas ‘Loose’ Is Pervasive, Inaccurate And Sexist
The stereotype of the ‘loose’ woman still pervades society today, one who has no qualms about sleeping around, who ‘overuses’ her vagina till its loose and lacks the ability to make a penetrating penis feel good with an ideal ‘virgin’ tightness.
It’s all a gigantic myth. The vagina is a tightly folded muscle, which can expand to accommodate foreign objects and contract when in a resting state — a process facilitated either by sexual arousal or vaginal childbirth. For example, when a person is aroused, these muscles relax to better facilitate penetration, then snap right back to their resting state in the absence of arousal, much like how an elastic rubber band can expand and snap back with ease and flexibility.
It’s impossible to ‘stretch out’ these pelvic muscles. The size of a person’s vaginal canal is the same whether they’ve had penetrative sex once, a 1,000 times, or never. The size of a vaginal canal may differ from person to person, as no two vaginas are the same, but it has nothing to do with the person’s sexual activity, frequent or otherwise. This myth is often targeted toward women in order to shame them for their sexuality, or as a way to deter them from sexual intercourse.
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However, there are other factors that can either weaken or temporarily stretch out pelvic muscles. Vaginal childbirth, for example, can temporarily stretch vaginas, but after about six months, they settle back into their original form, especially for younger mothers. The later a person undergoes vaginal childbirth in their life, however, the more likely it is that it will affect their pelvic floor muscles.
With age, all muscles in the body undergo wear and tear. Pelvic floor muscles, too, lose some of their elasticity and strength with age. Menopause, accompanied by a drop in estrogen levels, can also cause the vaginal canal to feel drier and less elastic. Even this, however, is not permanent. If an older person has problems with sexual intercourse or with urinary incontinence because of the weakening of their pelvic floor muscles, experts suggest they do kegels to strengthen these muscles, which over time can increase strength and elasticity.
Either way, vaginas don’t ever expand to take on the shape of cavernous spaces we’ve so often been led to imagine when we hear people slut-shaming sexually active women. This myth also reinforces an opposing misconception — that people who have never had penetrative sex have a ‘tight pussy’ so often deemed ideal. This dichotomy is simply one more way we’ve made women uncomfortable with their own bodies while centering male pleasure. It’s time to do away with all of it.