Your vagina produces a lot of useful secretions. These secretions keep your vagina healthy and lubricated, and vaginal discharge is your vagina’s way of cleaning itself.
But what if there was another use for your vaginal fluids? Could it make you feel sexy — or even attract a potential partner?
Some people use these secretions for vabbing, a somewhat fringe sex trend that gained interest in the past few years.
Vabbing — yup, that’s a word that combines “vagina” and “dabbing” — refers to dabbing your vaginal secretions on your body, as if they’re droplets of perfume. It’s thought to make you more attractive to others.
As with perfume, secretions are usually dabbed on pressure points, like behind your ears and on your wrists.
The idea is that vabbing attracts potential partners, because vaginal secretions contain pheromones.
Because of this, some people vab before dates or during a night out.
It’s hard to say where exactly the vabbing trend originated, but it became quite topical in 2019 after sexologist Shan Boodram shared that she often vabs before a night out.
It was also discussed on the “Secret Keepers Club” podcast, where comedians Emma Willmann and Carly Aquilino shared their experiences with it.
Although the trend has been discussed on social media and in a few mainstream publications, there’s nothing suggesting it’s a widespread trend.
The idea is that your vaginal secretions contain pheromones, which make you attractive to potential partners.
Some people also say that vabbing can feel empowering and sexy in itself.
No research has been conducted on vabbing.
Pheromones do play a role in mating behavior, but
In contrast, there’s little research showing that pheromones affect human mating behavior. In fact, depending on how it’s defined, it’s
A 2012 review looked at whether pheromones affect human reproduction and arousal.
It concluded, “Although there are studies to support this phenomenon, they are weak, because they were not controlled; others have proposed that human olfactory communication is able to perceive certain pheromones that may play a role in behavioral as well as reproductive biology.”
Interestingly, one double-blind 2017 study looked at two substances — androstadienone (AND) and estratetraenol (EST) — which were reported to signal gender.
This 2017 study looked at 46 participants who rated photographs of others on attractiveness and probable unfaithfulness.
The study found that the substances had no correlation to those ratings.
It concluded, “If human sex pheromones affect our judgements of gender, attractiveness or unfaithfulness from faces, they are unlikely to be AND or EST.”
In other words, there’s very little evidence to suggest that pheromones affect humans — which means that there’s no research to support the idea that vabbing could help you attract potential partners.
Anecdotally, sex writers and sexologists have shared that it works for them.
This might be down to pheromones, but it could also be a placebo effect: if you feel that it works, you might project confidence, which in turn might make you more attractive to others.
As sexologist Shan Boodram wrote in an article for Refinery29, “Regardless of if vaginal pheromones truly make a person irresistible or not, the fact that you think it does will cause you to act in a bolder, more confident manner.”
Yes. There’s no reason to think that vabbing wouldn’t be safe. So, although there’s no science to back it up, there aren’t any real drawbacks to it.
It might be worth trying if it’s something you’d really like to do!
There aren’t any known side effects or risks of vabbing.
However, as always, it’s important to ensure that your hands are clean before vabbing, as you don’t want to transfer any germs to your vagina.
Since there aren’t any risks of vabbing, there isn’t any specific group of people who shouldn’t do it.
However, if you have bacterial vaginosis, your vaginal discharge might smell quite unpleasant, making it a less-than-ideal perfume.
In that case, skip the vabbing and make an appointment to talk with your doctor — you might need a course of antibiotics to clear the infection.
Other than that, if you feel comfortable with vabbing and you’d like to try it, go ahead!
First things first: Wash your hands (as you always should before touching your genitals).
Once your hands are clean, insert a finger or two in your vagina, and dab the moisture on your pressure points. This could be on your neck, behind your ears, or on your wrists.
Wash your hands again, and you’re good to go.
There are many pheromone products out there, including sprays, pills, and creams. These products are often quite costly.
However, as mentioned, human pheromones are a controversial subject, since there’s very little evidence that human pheromones actually exist.
While these products might make you feel sexier and more confident, there’s nothing that suggests they’re anything more than an expensive placebo. At least vabbing is free!
Although there’s no scientific research to suggest that vabbing actually works to attract people, it might make you feel more confident and empowered.
There are no known risks or side effects of vabbing.
Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer and editor based in Grahamstown, South Africa. Her writing covers issues relating to social justice, cannabis, and health. You can reach out to her on Twitter.