Why is my vagina dry during sex? Solutions abound, so let’s discuss

Vaginas are complicated systems. It’s one of the many things that make women amazing — our bodies are capable of basically everything. But monitoring the patterns of your vagina, like when it gets wet and when it gets dry can be tricky. One thing is most certainly for sure: a dry vagina during sex is painful and not fun. Like, waiting in the rain for a bus with bags of groceries not fun. It’s terrible. Not being wet during sex doesn’t always mean that there’s something wrong with you. Actually, any thoughts of your body being defective, especially in your nether regions, need to be wiped out of your head immediately. (That could, in fact, be half of the problem.)

Most of the time, when people talk about dry vaginas, it has to do with menopause. That alone can be irritating, because most of the advice is tailored to older women and letting nature do its thing. But young women have to deal with dry vaginas too, and it’s not always as simple as using a lubricant. There are so many reasons your vagina might be dry during sex — or even all the time — and if it’s a major issue or taking up too much headspace, it might be best to talk to a gynecologist or a sex positive therapist about it.

But there’s a dry vagina checklist you can mentally go through before you make an appointment.

Being turned on — like, actually turned on — really helps. Foreplay it up, friends

If you know that your vagina gets wet sometimes — there’s no “correct” amount of vaginal discharge, by the way — but when you’re having sex it’s like Death Valley, it could be all about slowing the hell down or stopping what you’re doing. Women often need more foreplay than men do to get aroused, so if you are wet when you’re masturbating or thinking about sex but not during intercourse, guiding a partner to hold on for five goddamn minutes is a simple fix. A dry vagina is a good sign that your head and your organs aren’t on the same page.

You could be really stressed out, but who isn’t?

When it comes to sex and being turned on, your head has to be turned off, meditation-style. Take a quick pulse on how well you’ve been sleeping, what you’re eating, and whether the mental checklist you’re reviewing in your head while you’re having sex actually has SEX on it. Think about it: if you’re not eating or sleeping well, that can cause your period to come late. It’s the same concept when it comes to vaginal lubrication. Women joke about men being driven by their genitals, but actually, how your vagina is holding up and what’s it doing is a very good way to gauge how you’re doing, in general.

If you’re on certain medications, it could be a no-go

It’s possible to be turned on and just not be wet. A lot of times, just like with nutrition and sleep, what you’re putting into your body can mess with your vagina’s ability to get going. Annoyingly, a lot of contraceptives can have this effect, as does any anti-depressant or other medication you might have taken during the day. If your meds are fucking with your sex drive, you should tell your doctor. Booze counts in this case.

The kind of soap you’re using can have a surprisingly big impact 

Listen, vaginas are self-cleaning, so you should never be scrubbing too much. It’s not 1953, we now know that douching is not a thing any woman should be doing. If you are using a lot of product in the shower, though, it’s possible that the chemicals in your soap are messing with your sex life. Change it up and go a little easier on yourself.

There are lots of reasons you might not be wet during sex. If it’s severely messing with you (or if anything hurts or itches), you can always ask a doctor. But seriously, save yourself the co-pay, go easy on your vagina for a few days and see if anything changes. It’s not your vagina that’s wrong — it’s probably everything else.