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It’s like the story of Goldilocks and the quest to find one that’s jusssst right, only now we’re talking vaginas instead of beds.

The notion that a vagina can be too loose — and the so-called reasons why a person might be loose — go way back and, TBH, are all wrong.

Since around the 16th century, the word “loose” has been used to describe women of so-called loose morals who cheat on their spouses.

Though we can’t say for sure, it would appear that somewhere along the lines the term started to be taken literally, creating this myth that cheating somehow equates to a loose vagina.

A lack of sex ed, jealousy and insecurity, and perhaps a sprinkling of misogyny has kept this harmful — not to mention completely inaccurate — theory alive.

It’s right up there with the belief that virgins are “tight,” and it’s not true.

As long as vagina is able to do what it’s supposed to do without causing its owner any pain or discomfort, then it’s completely fine. Who gets to decide what classifies as “too” anything, anyway?

Historically, reference to a loose vagina has been used as a way to shame people for their sex lives. It isn’t rooted in any fact or science.

If your partner’s vagina honestly and truly does ~feel~ loose to you, that’s a matter of perception and can happen for a few reasons. But that doesn’t mean that it’s actually bigger or looser compared to other vaginas.

Let’s start with some Vagina 101. A vagina is a muscular canal, and its tissue is elastic. Like super elastic and able to accommodate things coming in, like a penis or a monster dildo, or coming out, like a baby.

Like other elastic tissue in your body, the vagina can stretch when it needs to, and then it bounces back.

Take your mouth, for instance. When you yawn or wrap your lips around a triple-decker burger, your lips snap back to their normal shape and size, right? Same for a vagina.

When any muscle tenses and relaxes, as muscles do, it can make the muscle feel tighter or looser.

You can definitely feel this during sex with someone with a V, because the pelvic floor muscles relax with arousal, making the vagina more accommodating.

Once a person’s no longer aroused, the vagina bounces back to its original state. It doesn’t matter how often or hard it’s penetrated or how big the penis/toy/fist it takes in — that relaxation isn’t permanent.

The only things that can affect the vagina’s elasticity are aging and childbirth, and the changes in tightness aren’t drastic by any stretch.

Vaginal elasticity begins to change in a person’s 40s, when estrogen levels begin to drop in perimenopause. Lower estrogen causes the vaginal tissue to get thinner and drier, and eventually less stretchy.

As for childbirth, of course the vagina’s going to change after a vaginal delivery. It just passed a baby through the birth canal and out the vagina, FFS!

Any “looseness” will be most noticeable in the first few days after giving birth, but it’ll gradually return to its previous state. It may not go to its OG shape completely, and multiple births can result in a loss of a bit of elasticity, but again, nothing too drastic.

If you’re someone who believes that a vagina that feels tight is a good thing, get ready to have your mind blown.

A V can feel “tight,” when there’s lack of arousal or lubrication to increase its elasticity during sex.

This can mean that your partner:

  • is uncomfortable
  • isn’t as turned on as you are
  • is distracted
  • is dealing with anxiety, stress, or another mental health condition
  • is experiencing hormonal changes

All of these things — as well as aging, certain medications, and medical conditions — can also affect the production of vaginal lubricant so they don’t get as wet as is needed.

The result isn’t a vagina that’s physically smaller or tighter, though.

You’re just feeling more friction during penetration because there isn’t enough muscle relaxation or lube to help things along. BTW, even if you enjoy the feeling, that extra friction may be painful for your partner.

If your belief that your partner’s vagina is somehow too loose is affecting your relationship and how you feel about your partner in or out of the bedroom, it’s time for some soul-searching to figure out why.

It could be that you’re placing blame on your partner for something that you’re struggling with, whether you’ve recognized it yet or not.

Some possibilities to consider:

  • You’re anxious about your sexual performance.
  • You’re insecure about your penis size.
  • You’re unsatisfied with your sex life and afraid to bring it up to your partner.
  • You’re dealing with jealousy, resentment, or other negative feelings.

If any of these ring true and you feel like you need help working through it, consider talking to a healthcare professional or find a sex therapist or sexuality counselor through the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists directory.

There are things you can do to increase sensation during sex if you and your partner are both up for it.

When bringing it up to your partner, avoid using any language that could be construed as shaming or blaming. Avoid pointed statements like “having sex with you doesn’t feel good” or “you don’t feel tight enough.”

Added sensation is something you’ll both enjoy, so focus on that by saying things like:

  • “This position is supposed to increase sensation and feel really good. Would you be open to trying it?”
  • “This toy’s supposed to feel amazing for couples. Should we get it?”
  • “I love it when we [insert action] and think it would feel even better if we… “

Now, let’s get to ways to increase the feels down there.

Try sex positions that create a tighter fit

Any position in which the vagina-having partner can keep their legs together will create a cozier space.

FYI: These also work well for people with thin or smaller-than-average penis.

You can modify pretty much any sex position this way for P-in-V or strap-on sex, or fisting, including standing, or lying face down or back down.

Spooning and modified doggy style with knees together are goodies, too.

Consider anal

The anus is tighter than the vaginal canal, and butt play can be incredibly pleasurable for both parties.

If you decide to give it a try:

  • Use lots of lube to help things along and prevent tearing.
  • Try extended erogenous play to help relax the muscles and increase arousal first.
  • Start small and slow with a lubed finger or an anal dilator and gradually work your way up.

Try sex toys

There are plenty of toys to kick up the feels for both of you.

Purchasing any of these should do the trick:

Having a partner tell you you’re too loose can be incredibly hurtful and a big blow to your self-confidence. Just know that there’s nothing wrong with you, and the issue is theirs, not yours.

If your vagina’s elasticity has changed because of childbirth or aging, it’s completely normal.

Don’t feel pressured to modify your body or try any sketchy vaginal tightening products, which could end up doing more harm than good.

It’s possible your partner’s comment came from a place of ignorance that can be chalked up to subpar sex ed or even their culture or upbringing.

Educating them by sharing medically accurate information re: the vagina and how it works could put the notion to rest. You could also have your partner accompany you to an appointment with a healthcare professional who can explain it to them.

If this doesn’t help or they try to pressure you into changing your body for their benefit, it may be time to reassess your relationship.

A loose vagina is a myth. If you aren’t feeling the sensation you want during sex, it’s time to think outside the box, literally, and work on getting past this notion and find ways to increase sensation for you and your partner.

Remember there’s a helluva lot more to sex than just penetration, so consider exploring other avenues of pleasure while you’re at it.

Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a Canada-based freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.