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Can pigs fly? Can mules give birth? Can you get blood from a stone?
“Can a vagina get too wet during sex?” is just as absurd a question, worthy of being added to the list of Idioms of Improbability.
“A vagina owner being ‘too wet’ during sex isn’t a medical diagnosis,” says Dr. Lyndsey Harper, OB-GYN, founder and CEO of Rosy, a sexual wellness platform.
On the contrary, vaginal wetness is extremely important for pleasurable, nonpainful play, she says.
It is, however, possible for the vagina to produce too much fluid (i.e., vaginal discharge) in nonsexual settings, but we’ll get to that below.
“Vaginal wetness is key for pleasurable, penetrative sexual encounters,” says Caitlin V., MPH, clinical sexologist for Royal, a vegan-friendly condom and lubricant company.
“It provides the lubrication for body parts — whether that’s penis, vagina, mouth, hand or anus — to rub against each other in a pleasurable way,” Caitlin V. explains.
Without wetness, the rubbing can irritate and even cause little microtears in the delicate vaginal tissues, which increases the risk of infection, she says.
That’s why Heather Jeffcoat, a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in sexual dysfunction and incontinence, and author of “Sex Without Pain: A Self-Treatment Guide to the Sex Life You Deserve,” says, “Whether it’s store-bought or body-made, you can never have too much lube on board.”
Lubricant ≠ arousal
Although natural lubricant often accompanies arousal, natural lubricant can occur in the absence of arousal, says Jeffcoat.
Likewise, a person can be aroused even if they aren’t wet. (This is known as arousal non-concordance.) So, the only way to know for sure if someone is aroused is to ask them.
So! Many! Things!
- hydration levels
- presence of alcohol or drugs in the body
- physical activity level
- prescription medications
- phase of menstrual cycle
- whether or not you’ve reached menopause
- stress levels
“One person’s experience with wetness changes greatly throughout the day, month, and over their life span,” Caitlin V. says.
To be blunt: There’s no good reason for someone to be turned off by vaginal wetness.
If someone is turned off by a degree of wetness, it’s because they don’t understand how the body works. In other words, it comes from an uneducated place.
Note: This isn’t a symptom of your partner’s personal failings. It’s a reflection of their lack of adequate sex education growing up.
First things first, sorry you’re dealing with this! Being with someone who makes you feel bad about your body stinks… big time.
And honestly, that’s reason enough to dump them.
So, depending on the tone and language your partner used to express their curiosity about your wetness, “Cya never!” may be your response.
You might say:
- “You may not understand how vaginal wetness works, but I have a personal rule against dating someone who makes me feel badly about my body.”
- “I don’t appreciate the shamey language you used to talk about a normal bodily reaction. I’m no longer interested in moving forward in this relationship.”
If, however, your partner addresses the topic from a place of caring curiosity, you may choose to educate them.
Caring curiosity could look like:
- “I’ve never been with anyone who gets as wet as you do. Do you mind if I ask: Is this normal for you?”
- “You’ve been wetter the last few times we’ve had sex than you usually are. Do you know why that might be?”
Here’s how you might respond:
- “Usually, when I’m turned the heck on, blood rushes to my vagina, which causes the vagina to produce natural lubrication. So that if/when we have sex, it’ll be pleasurable for me. I get wet in preparation to be filled by you.”
- “The wetness is a normal response to being turned on. If I didn’t naturally self-lubricate, the sex we like to have wouldn’t feel as good for me because there would be too much friction.”
Up to you, sweetie!
If you’ve got the energy to educate your partner, you can try one more time.
As Harper says, “This could be an opportunity to have an open and judgement-free conversation about sex, which could lead to extremely fulfilling sex.”
You might text them a link to this article with the note, “You made a comment about how wet I was last time we had sex. So I’m sending you this article about why that happens.”
Another option is to purchase one of the books below and leave it on their pillow:
- “Come as You Are” by Emily Nagoski
- “Girl Sex 101: A Queer Pleasure Guide for Women and Their Partners” written by Allison Moon and illustrated by KD Diamond
- “Mind the Gap” by Karen Gurney
But again, dumping them is a totally fair move.
“Sadly, there are products available to dry up vaginal wetness,” says Carol Queen, PhD, Good Vibrations sexologist and curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum. “But these are NOT recommended.” (Emphasis hers.)
Here’s why: Adding chemicals to the vagina’s natural microbiome can mess up the pH and cause irritation or infections like bacterial vaginosis or yeast infection, Queen says.
“These products can also cause the vagina to dry out so much that there’s so much friction during penetration that the internal tissues get damaged,” Queen says.
Plus, if you’re using barrier protection (internal condoms, external condoms, dental dams, finger cots, etc.), the added friction can increase the risk of breakage.
“When it happens outside of arousal, too much wetness can be a symptom of an infection,” Caitlin V. says.
In these instances, the wetness isn’t the same biochemical makeup as the natural lubricant produced in response to arousal and is known as discharge, she says.
“Vaginal discharge is the body’s way of keeping the vagina and vulva in tip-top working order,” Harper says. “And there are different types, most of which are totally normal and good.”
But some can be a sign of something else.
You probably know the scent, color, and overall look of your usual, daily discharge. (And if you’re reading this and don’t, start making a point to peek in your panties at the end of the day.)
“If your discharge has new characteristics, such as a fishy odor, green or yellow tint, or is accompanied by itching or burning, you should head to a healthcare provider to get it looked at,” Harper says.
“If it’s an infection, usually your doctor will be able to prescribe an antibiotic that quickly treats [it],” she says.
It isn’t possible to be too wet during sex.
However, if you notice a change in the smell, color, consistency, or taste of your discharge, reach out to a healthcare provider. It could be a sign of infection.
Gabrielle Kassel (she/her) is a queer sex educator and wellness journalist who is committed to helping people feel the best they can in their bodies. In addition to Healthline, her work has appeared in publications such as Shape, Cosmopolitan, Well+Good, Health, Self, Women’s Health, Greatist, and more! In her free time, Gabrielle can be found coaching CrossFit, reviewing pleasure products, hiking with her border collie, or recording episodes of the podcast she co-hosts called Bad In Bed. Follow her on Instagram @Gabriellekassel.