Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know whether there’s any truth to the idea that a woman’s vagina becomes “loose” if she has sex frequently.
So I was hanging out with a couple of friends yesterday and they brought up the topic of vaginas in rap music. There seems to be a lot of hype about the elasticity of vaginas or "tight pu**y" in today's rap music, so we were wondering if there is any scientific evidence about vaginas actually becoming more elastic, or "loose," because of continuous sex. Some people said yes others no, so I thought I would ask you.
Great question! First and foremost, it’s important to note that every woman and every vagina is different. Vaginas, like penises, come in varying sizes. This is part of the reason some heterosexual women find large penises extremely pleasurable, and others find them extremely painful. Thus, woman who can accommodate larger members have not necessarily had more sex--it may just be that that have larger vaginas to begin with, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Second, the vagina is highly elastic and is meant to expand and contract. When a woman is sexually aroused, her vagina naturally becomes “looser” so as to prepare for intercourse--and that makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint because it facilitates reproduction. After sex, however, the vagina tightens and returns to its normal state. It doesn’t remain chronically “loose” or become looser if she has sex again. Indeed, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that women who regularly have vaginal intercourse ultimately develop cavernous vaginas. To make an analogy, do you worry that your mouth is going to become permanently stretched out because you stuff food into it a few times per day? I didn’t think so. Many parts of the human body are optimized for expansion and contraction.
That said, it is possible for the vagina to become looser over time as a result of factors other than sex, including vaginal childbirth. For instance, in one study, researchers surveyed 796 British women who had given birth . The women were asked about perceptions of their own vaginal looseness before pregnancy, three months after birth, and six months after birth. Approximately 3% of the women reported experiencing vaginal looseness prior to pregnancy, and this number jumped to 20% in the first three months after birth; however, it declined to 12% after six months. It’s hard to draw too many conclusions from these numbers because not all women had resumed intercourse by the end of the study and the paper did not break down the numbers by those who delivered vaginally vs. those who had C-sections—but the results tell us that looseness is a common complaint after childbirth and that it does not dissipate for all women after six months.
Another factor that can contribute to looseness is age. It is a simple fact of life that the natural elasticity of many parts of our body decreases as we get older (just think about what happens to your skin)—and the vagina is not immune to those changes. Thus, older women may experience vaginal looseness, but that’s only because everything gets looser over time, and that's true for people of all sexes. However, there are ways of decreasing vaginal looseness that women of any age can do, such using ben wa balls or trying Kegel exercises.
In short, despite the popular media’s obsession with likening the vaginas of women who have had a lot of sex to “hallways,” there just doesn’t seem to be anything to back it up. While some women’s vaginas may become looser over time, it’s not a function of how much sex they’re having. It's time we as a society stopped judging both women and men for the natural size of their genitals and started teaching people to love and enjoy their bodies just the way they are.
For past Sex Question Friday posts, see here. Want to learn more about The Psychology of Human Sexuality? Click here for a complete list of articles or like the Facebook page to get articles delivered to your newsfeed.
 Barrett, G., Pendry, E., Peacock, J., Victor, C., Thakar, R., & Manyonda, I. (2000). Women's sexual health after childbirth. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 107, 186-195.
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