The odors and tastes found between women’s thighs have had volumes of euphemisms written to commemorate, or denigrate, their uniquenesses. While researching my book The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus, I encountered oceans of euphemisms, yet little actual information about the way women smell and taste. Women and men who enjoy performing cunnilingus will gush enthusiastically about the sensual tastes and musky bouquet they relish, while others new to the game may be quite nervous about what they’re going to encounter between their sweetie’s legs.
The scent and taste of a woman has certain certainties, though the makeup of her personal cocktail will change from day to day. These changes depend on any number of factors, from the time in her cycle to whether she’s eaten raw garlic or takes multivitamins. If you’re wondering what’s in store for you when going face-to-face with her vulva, then perhaps a chemistry lesson is in order.
In determining the combination of sensory information we perceive when we put something in our mouths, like food, it’s easy to make comparisons and get general ideas by taking a look at pH (acid/alkaline balance). For instance, on any given day, our skin’s pH hovers between 6.0 and 7.0, while the pH of a healthy, happy vagina hovers between a 3.8 and 4.5. Even though you won’t find pussy on the menu at your local café, you can sample a taste of items near her pH levels: have some black coffee (pH 5), try a lick of lemon (pH 2), or have a glass of the closest thing going, wine, which has the same pH range as the vagina.
While we’re on the subject of food, it’s interesting to note that the friendly bacteria that protect the vagina from becoming the perfect hostess to germs are lactobacilli, the same bacteria found in yogurt. The lactic acid in vaginal secretions plays a big role in keeping the pH low. Healthy, juicy women will have a slightly sweet, slightly pungent scent, very near that of plain yogurt.
The natural taste of a woman can range from slightly tangy to a slippery saltiness, to even having a hint of iron around the time of her menstrual cycle. Strong foods such as asparagus and garlic can influence her flavors, and so can vitamins. Flavors and aromas secreted from an aroused woman’s genitalia are so packed with chemicals and pheromones that they make a powerful biochemical aphrodisiac.
However, this doesn’t mean that her chemistry will “click” with yours, or that your lover will have the same sweet taste every time you go down on her. Should you notice a marked change in your sweetie’s bouquet, and you have both established trust around oral sex, you might gently bring it to her attention, as it may warrant a health check.
When a woman’s vaginal pH changes, her secretions become stronger smelling. Wine is now off the menu; yogurt will not be served with breakfast. It doesn’t take much to upset the balance and change the pH in the vaginal ecosystem, and three big polluters are douching, using a harsh soap, and semen. Douching is one of the biggest causes of vaginal infections. Regular soap is a surprisingly big offender — most body soaps range in pH anywhere from 7.0 to 14.
Women with sensitive vaginas may want to use a low-pH soap, available at many beauty shops and health food stores, in place of regular soap. Choosing a low pH soap to use on your pussy may sound strange at first, but it’s highly recommended — and you use different soaps on your face, right? Look for soap that states a low pH on the label, soap made from goat’s milk, or naturally-made soaps (found in health food stores). Semen is so amazingly alkaline that it can change the scent of a woman within minutes.
One little-known fact is that the human mouth is less hygienic than the vagina, and folks who are going down will want to do their own bit of washing up, too. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash, then water, to eliminate bacteria before you take the plunge. Don’t brush your teeth, however, especially if you’re not using safer sex barriers because brushing (and flossing) your teeth creates tiny cuts with which you may catch — or pass — an STD.
Some men have thicker or thinner come than others, stronger or milder tasting or smelling come than others, and some will shoot a lot while others very little. There are many variables as to why, and some of the factors are diet, frequency of ejaculation, health and physiology.
The taste of a woman can be neutral, slightly sweet or lightly tart, or stronger, salty, musky. Things that can make the flavor of a woman’s vaginal secretions strong or even pungent are vitamins, asparagus, beets, coffee, cigarettes, a diet high in red meats or garlic. Coffee in high doses (especially strong, like espresso) will make her taste slightly bitter. Curries influence flavor as well, and so can diets of spice-rich foods with little water intake. Strong foods like these can influence her secretions in much the same way as they can influence the scent of urine (like asparagus). To keep it smelling and tasting neutral, she can avoid these foods at least 24 hours before oral sex, and drink plenty of water.
Carnivorous women tend to have stronger tasting bits than those who stick to vegetarian diets, though whether this is unpleasant or not to the person doing the tasting is up for debate.
Another thing that affects the taste of a woman that is seldom talked about is — drugs. Over the counter and street drugs both make women’s genital secretions taste sharp, bitter and even rank: antihistamines are especially in this category. Most especially is the street drug speed (also including meth — aka crystal — and crack, as well as cocaine). According to the populations that I and other outreach health workers counsel for sexual health, speed can make a woman taste very unpleasant. But then I suppose, one might not notice or care. But it’s information worth sharing.
Sweetening a woman’s natural essence is a whole different matter. Conventional wisdom on this subject (if there is such a thing) states that if she wants to make her pussy taste sweeter she should drink lots of citrus, pineapple or celery juice, and eat a lot of sweet melon. The more tropical juices and fruits (especially with elimination of bitter dietary factors), the sweeter the girl.
Either way, tactful communication is the golden rule when you talk about her smell and taste. How each woman internalizes the rampant sexual shame about taste and smell is individually filtered and is coped with in infinite ways, from realizing it’s b.s. to actually believing she’s dirty and gross on some level.
You know it yourself — there is nothing hotter under the sun than a lover who goes crazy for your tastes and smells, and makes it crystal clear that they absolutely love to have you in their mouth. Always be sensitive, and let her know how much you enjoy everything about her.
If one or both of you have cleanliness concerns, try showering together before sex or taking a sensual, and relaxing, bath. This is a great way to allay concerns on both sides (she might be worried or nervous about taste and smell, too) while you can both enjoy some squeaky-clean foreplay.
If you’re unsure as to what your initial reaction to her taste might be, try this: As you seduce, arouse, and titillate her in the stages of foreplay, take the time to become accustomed to the scent of her skin. Gently massage her vulva with your hand, and try a taste of her on your fingers. This way, you can change your mind before it’s awkward or potentially hurtful to do so. But most likely you’ll be singing the juicy praises of your sweet, sweet lover.