5:40 am - 07/03/2008

Vagina Safe Soap? and WOC?

This entry actually has two questions. I hope that's ok.

1) When my sister was pregnant her doctor told her that Irish Spring bar soap would irritate the vagina because it is a deodorant soap and she should use bar soaps like Dove or Caress. My question is is that only for pregnant women or for women in general? Because to be honest, I LOVE Irish Spring. I even wrote a poem about it when I was in junior high. Lol. If anyone knows anything about this please tell me.

2) My second question is one that came to me yesterday. You see, I just joined this community a couple of days ago so I've been perusing the FAQ's and looking at back posts and I came upon the Everyday Bodies project. I first want to say that was a beautiful and brilliant thing. It's wonderful to see so many women with regular, non cosmetically altered NORMAL lady parts. It was truly touching. But(and you knew this was coming) as I searched through the EBP I noticed the lack of WOC in the pictures. I am a WOC and though it was great to see other saggy boobies and hairy vah-jj's, I didn't see many brown ones and so I wasn't completely connected. My question is are there many WOC around now that were here doing the EBP(I know it was a while back) and if so, why were the submissions by the WOC so few and far between? I'm not saying there weren't any, because there were. But only a handful. And not in every category.

Answers to either of these questions would be appreciated. Thanks.
jennifer0246 3rd-Jul-2008 11:21 am (UTC)
1. i would actually tell you to avoid all soap to the vulva or vagina area - it can be irritating, particularly if you're someone prone to infections. now, if you've been using a particular product for years with no trouble you're likely just fine to continue -- but my body would rebel and yell and cause a whole scene :)

2. as someone involved in organizing the EBP, i can tell you that we posted pics from everyone who submitted. it'd be great to have more WOC represented, and i would totally encourage you to let friends know of the project so they can get involved at the next call for submissions.
achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
I've been using Irish Spring for years with no problems(to my knowledge). So would you suggest a body wash? Would that be better? I'll definitely be involved and let my friends know about that EBP and we'll be on the lookout for the next call. :)
rogue0703 3rd-Jul-2008 12:10 pm (UTC)
For 1) I can't use Irish Spring in general, it irritates all my skin, but I have sensitivities to a lot of scents and such as well. I don't know how much it would irritate most women, but that's my experience with it.
2) no idea, sorry.
achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you anyhow.
archangelbeth 3rd-Jul-2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
1) Many women react badly to perfumes, strong soaps, or even any soap at all in the vaginal/vulva reason. It can be irritating or even cause YI type issues.

Others... Hey, I use whatever I have on hand, and have never had ill effects. LUSH brand with mint in it was... *coughs* Yes, well, anyway! A pregnant woman has enough other hormonal changes going on that it might be wise to skip things that would be irritating; treating a YI during pregnancy is possibly more troubling than otherwise, and it's certainly One More Thing.

2) I fear I have no idea. Whew that it was already answered. O:>
achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
Is LUSH a bar soap?
archangelbeth 7th-Jul-2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
LUSH is a brand -- they hand-make soaps, shampoos, conditioners, bath-bombs (the fizzy round things you drop in the tub), body washes... STUFF! http://www.lush.com/ is the site.
achancetodream 7th-Jul-2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
Oh ok. Thanks.
demiraks_world 3rd-Jul-2008 01:12 pm (UTC)
what's WOC?
laurenmarie 3rd-Jul-2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
woman/women-of-color
demiraks_world 3rd-Jul-2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
Ah, duh!
queensugar 3rd-Jul-2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
Just want to chime in with Jen on this one -- it's generally not recommended to use any scented soap on the vulvar area, and definitely it's better not to use soap in the vagina itself. It's fine to use it on the rest of the body, of course.

Some women tolerate this better than others -- I know for me personally, Irish Spring would send me into a nightmare of irritation and rashiness if I used it on my vulva.

As for your second question -- like Jen, I'm a maintainer, and like her I agree that we would love to see more images from WOC in the Everyday Bodies Project. I know we have definitely identified that as an area where the EBP is lacking, and hopefully we will get more submissions from WOC in the future.
achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
I know there are other methods to go with when it comes to cleaning but I've been using bar soap for so long that I'm not even sure what all is out there. What would you suggest is a more appropriate, or rather, safer method to go with? What would be gentler on my lady parts?

I'm ready for the next EBP. Hopefully the women who were here for the last one will have overcome their fear of embarrassment and whatever else that held them back and submit photos. I know I'll definitely be submitting some. :)
queensugar 5th-Jul-2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
Honestly, the best thing to use on the vulva is just clean water -- no soap is necessary, a good rinse with clean water will do just fine.

You definitely don't want to use any products inside the vagina, but if you do want to use some kind of soap on the vulva itself, I've heard that Cetaphil, Dr. Bronner's and unscented Dove are gentle enough for most women's vulvas.
achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
Ok. Thank you.
atalanta0jess 3rd-Jul-2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
1) Soap in general can be irritating to the vagina. And Irish Spring is one of the more heavily scented, artifically colored soaps out there, so it stands to reason that it'd be more irritating. But if you've been using it without any problems, you're probably fine to keep doing so.

2) This issue has come up before, and I believe the underlying reason is that there are not a huge number of vag-pagers of color. (Or maybe there are, but for some reason WOC didn't submit pictures to the EBP in the same proportion as white members? I don't imagine that's the case, but maybe.) That's just a guess though. The EBP includes ALL of the pictures that were submitted - the maintainers did not pick and choose, so there were definitely not submissions from WOC that were excluded from the project.
achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
Oh no, I was trying to imply that there were submissions that didn't get included. Not at all. That would contradict the whole point of the project. I just wasn't sure if the reason was due to there being so few WOC in this community or if they were all holding back.
queensugar 5th-Jul-2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think we really know the answer to that. We don't have a sweet clue how many WOC / POC there are on VP, not even a ballpark -- as you can imagine, owing to our topic range it's rarely something that people mention about themselves (unlike, for instance, age, which the majority of posters mention).

At any rate, we've been tossing around the idea of introducing some new categories to the EBP, so let us keep tossing that around for a bit and we'll let the community know!
achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
Yes ma'am!
atalanta0jess 6th-Jul-2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, that I have no idea. As far as I know there aren't a TON of women of color in the community, but its not as if you'd necessarily know from a given post whether the poster is a WOC. So...yeah.
achancetodream 7th-Jul-2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
You have a point. No one mentions their race when asking questions haha. I was just curious.
achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
Correction. I wasn't trying...et cetera. :)
pygmybugs 3rd-Jul-2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
The doc was probably trying to prevent her from getting the yeast infections that plague preggers ladies quite often. You don't really need to use any kind of cleanser on your ladybits, just water. As for the rest of you, use whatever you like! Maybe he was worried that there'd be runoff, and if she was very pregnant, perhaps she wouldn't be able to rinse as well? That's kind of a stretch, though.

I'd love to see more WOC pics in EBP! I've dated people (men and women) of just about every hue, and I'm consistently amazed at the variety of pigmentation, hair texture, et cetera that exists. I vote for a rainbow of vulvas!
achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
Yea that's what several people are saying. YIs.

I second that vote! Hope to see it next time.
lynn1234567 3rd-Jul-2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on the love for the scent of Irish Spring.
My skin's ok with it in general, but if I use anything other than Ivory on my private area, I'm sure to regret it soon after bc of the irritation.
If I feel like changing things up a bit soap wise, I usually just keep two different bars of soap around.
achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
Yay another Irish Springer! Nice to meet you. Ok so you still use bar soap, just a milder one. I might have to try that.
teenybeanie1 4th-Jul-2008 05:38 am (UTC)
Last EBP, I didn't have the nerve to post. I hope at some point they do it again. I didn't see many who have darkened skin I get from my PCOS.

achancetodream 5th-Jul-2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
I assumed that was the reason for a lot of women. It is sounding as if there may be another one coming.
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