12:35 pm - 10/09/2005

How do you clean your vulva?

It's not a FAQ, I promise, because the question is not, "With what do you clean your vulva?" Rather, it's, "How is your body positioned when you do it?"

Sigh. I talk about the strangest things at work. A friend mentioned that she had a hard time cleaning her vulva because "the water points down, and the parts you need to clean are facing down." I assumed this meant she washed her vulva standing up in the shower, perhaps trying to splash water on the girly bits. This, of course, lead to a lengthy conversation in which we brainstormed the possible ways one can wash one's girly bits.

-- Standing up in the Shower: Her conclusion was that gravity and other laws of physics (as in, the fact that water is a liquid at shower temperature) make this method less than perfect.

-- Use a Washcloth: It was my suggestion, even though I don't practice it. She just stared at me and said, "Duh. That's brilliant," implying that this would solve the logistics issues of Standing up in the Shower.

-- Detachable Shower Head: Obviously, very easy and ideal for anyone who has one. Of course, less than practical for anyone who doesn't currently have one and could possibly be unable to afford one.

-- Sitting in a Bath: Probably very easy if the "bath" includes only water. However, when I take a genuine bath, it is likely to involve the use of bubbles and/or bath oils, and I'm not about to encourage those products into my genital region.

-- Leaning Back, Lifting Legs, and Exposing One's Vulva to the Tub Faucet: Yes, we were creative. And thorough. (Actually, I'd read about VPers using this method to masturbate, and I reasoned that a "side effect" would be that the girly bits got clean.) I thought it sounded cool; I'm 24. She's 32; she thought I sounded crazy. And I have to admit, it's probably not practical for everyone, and it would be nice to have a method I'll still be able to use when I'm 65.

-- Bending Over in the Shower: Since the problem of the first shower method was that the water flow and the vulva were facing the same direction, I change the direction my vulva is facing. I spread my legs to about shoulder width, and basically bend over and touch my toes, allowing the water to fall on my now upward facing vulva. (Since it's often necessary, yes, I also generally use a hand to part my outer labia a bit.) Of course I could use an easier method, but I like the feel of water flowing against me; not that I find it arousing, but it helps me feel clean in a way that some of the other methods don't. Yeah, we'll see if this method lasts me into my retirement years or not.


So I was curious about two things. First, have I missed any genital washing positions? Second, which ones are most common, as in, which one(s) do you use?
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tsumetai_taiyou 9th-Oct-2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
I use the detachable showerhead option. And incidentially, mine was only $20 with shipping, so there are cheap ones.
frolicnaked 9th-Oct-2005 09:29 pm (UTC)
There are cheap ones, but I don't see one making my life that much easier or more wonderful, so I don't feel motivated to spend any money on one.
abastra 9th-Oct-2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
I never ever take showers, only baths, so I just do it sitting in there.
moochar 9th-Oct-2005 08:35 pm (UTC)
I'm the same way. I usually just lay back in the tub to do it.
mammothali 9th-Oct-2005 08:29 pm (UTC)
Stand up in shower and pull upward on labia so it's exposed to the water, and then use hand to encourage the water to needed areas.
mangofandango 9th-Oct-2005 08:59 pm (UTC)
Me too, essentially. I stand up, spread the lips, and rub around a bit to get things clean. :)
lileprechaun 9th-Oct-2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
Hmm I've used several different methods. Fortunately I have a handicapped-friendly shower that has a built-in bench (very nice for shaving you legs) and detachable shower head. We had the shower put in when my grandmother moved in with us. Anyway, I usually stand with one leg up on the bench, do my thing with the wash cloth, then grab the shower head and give her a rinse. Another one that I use occasionally is to stand facing the shower head with legs about shoulder width apart, pelvis tilted as far forward as possible without falling over, spreading labia. I also use the bend-over one, though I do the it slightly differently. Instead of bending all the way over, I bend so I'm at a 90º angle and then arch my back while spreading my butt cheeks.
aurenfaie 9th-Oct-2005 09:03 pm (UTC)
There's a method that I've been using lately, which has me standing and sort of lifting my leg up sideways, which I rest on the wall beneath the showerhead, which generally lets the water cascade onto my vulva. ^^;
frolicnaked 9th-Oct-2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. You're braver than I am. I think I need to have a method that involves both feet -- at the very least -- on the floor. Otherwise, I'll have a "how I got my concussion" story that starts with, "Well, I was trying to wash my vulva..."

The ER people would die laughing.
leads_to_sex 9th-Oct-2005 09:15 pm (UTC)
First, I wet a washcloth and put gentle baby shampoo on it and wash down there. I stand in the shower, lift one leg up and let it run over my vulva, moving my hips around to get it all rinsed, and also moving my hand around down there to make sure it's rinsed. Then I switch legs.

...man, my method sounds kind of complicated compared to what everyone else has described...
mithredat 9th-Oct-2005 09:39 pm (UTC)
I think there's actually a thing invented for this;

It's called a bidet, and it's like a 'climable' sink, you can sit on it, and wash your private parts in an easy way.

They're kinda old though, my Italian friend has one of those but in the rest of the world they seem pretty ancient XD
greenpuppy 9th-Oct-2005 09:53 pm (UTC)
I know someone who spent hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars ordering and installing a bidet. I guess he's really concerned with the cleanliness of his private area.
crazyallthetime 9th-Oct-2005 09:50 pm (UTC)
I ususally shower. So, what I do is stand facing the shower head, put a little shampoo (I don't wash with soap anywhere on my body as they tend to dry me out) on my hand, and get a lather going in my pubic hair. Then I move the lather to all the other hairy bits down there, and sorta comb and scrub the hair with my fingernails. I avoid wiping the soap anywhere near my vulva, I just get the hair and nooks and crannies down there. Then I face the water again, tip my pelvis in such a way that the water can get down there to rinse, and rinse rinse rinse. I turned back to rinse the back half of my crotch, then back around again to face the water. Round and round till everything is very well rinsed.

Been doing that since I started showering around the age of, hmmm, 10 maybe, and it sure works for me! No yeasies, no UTIs, no funky odors, no sore spots, ever.

If I'm in the tub, I lather everything the same way, then just splash fresh water all over the place down there to rinse.
inkydragon 9th-Oct-2005 10:05 pm (UTC)
I basically stand in the shower and make a cup out of my hand over the whole area, and then suction the water around- it makes a cool sound and seems to work well, too! :-D
krasota 9th-Oct-2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
I always have a cup in the shower for rinsing my genitalia. In my experience, it's not hard to wash one's vulva at all. What's hard to accomplish with a regular shower is getting all the shower/conditioner/soap residue to rinse off. That's why I splash everything down with a cup or two of water after I'm done rinsing my hair. If I skip that step, I end up with very unhappy skin.

I am installing a second showerhead this week, however. My primary reason for doing so is to be able to wash my dog here at home. The secondary reason will be to more easily (less messily) wash henna out of my hair. There are tertiary/quaternary/etc reasons I'm sure will pop up.

laughter311 9th-Oct-2005 10:56 pm (UTC)
In the tub.
brina_is_sassy 9th-Oct-2005 10:59 pm (UTC)
Detachable showerhead, usually.
like_marmalade 9th-Oct-2005 11:05 pm (UTC)
I sit down in the tup, facing the shower, and kinda half lay so that the shower is coming down on my vulva. Then I'll put my feet on either side of the tub and lift myself up (or at least my pelvis...both hands back, lift myself up) and rock back and forth while using one hand to move things around so that the shower is raining on it.

I'm surprised I haven't read anyone else doing this yet...I feel weird. =P
angelofstrange 9th-Oct-2005 11:50 pm (UTC)
mmm, when i'm on my period in the shower i deffinaly use a washcloth to get it all squeaky clean since i get really bad blood clots and if it's not cleaned properly they fill a padd very quickly. the rest of the time i cup my hand and catch water that way and pour it on, rubbing slightly and the soaping it up and doing the same thing to get it clean. no matter what i'm doing i usually put my right leg on the side of the bath to open the area more
cute_kitty 10th-Oct-2005 01:12 am (UTC)
I put one foot on the tap, hold on to the handicapped bar in my shower (why we have one precisely I don't know, but it's come in very handy) and angle myself so the water hits both my vulva and my opening. I use my hand and splash myself with water there. I never use a washcloth or soap, those irritate my skin too much. A little hot water and my hand is more than enough for me.
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