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The Urban Scientist

The Urban Scientist

A hip hop maven blogs on urban ecology, evolutionary biology & diversity in the sciences

Hip Hop Evolution Files: What's so special about tight vaginas?

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Keri Hilson with Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne's monologue really says it all:

mami i dig your persona right,

you look baby mama type,

i know that got you kinda hyped,

my ice is albino white,

i hope your vagina tight

i go underwater and i hope your piranha bite hahaha

Why does vagina muscle tone matter? I'm sure Wayne (and many men) would say that it's more pleasurable. There is more friction in intercourse that both men and woman can feel. And human culture is complete with references to vagina tightness - both old and current. I've overheard older women talk of vagina tightening recipes to recover from child birth or conceal 'extra-curricular' activities from husbands. Most of these recipes included douches with alum, the pickling spice that causes the mouth to pucker. Women & Mid-wives once swore by these methods. Obviously, some women still do. Have you heard of 18 Again? Dr. Rubididum at Thirty-Seven at Scientopia, deconstructs the bad science behind these methods - old and new - that claim to return vagina muscle tone to teen-age like conditions: 18 Again: Vaginal tightening quackery?

I see an opportunity to share a little science. Vagina tightness is always presented in the context of male attraction to females. So what does vagina tightness communicate to males? At least how it is referenced culturally, I would say it is fair game for intersexual selection with some males judging female condition (and quality and perhaps reproductive value) based on her muscle tone down there. Add to that the cultural response of many women - across culture, time and geography - to preserve or modify muscle tone to retain partners, then you have all of the plot elements of a very good adaptationist story.

For heuristic purposes (only) I present vagina muscle tone as a phenotypic trait that indicates female condition. It communicates age, health, perhaps even a clue as to previous reproductive success. Physiologically the female body changes with age – and reproductive capacity. As women approach and pass menopause – muscle tone changes. The body AND vagina becomes is less taut and produces less moisture. Plus, the elasticity of the vaginal muscles change with pregnancy and child birth. Tight vaginas indicate virginity. I have been told (by very crass men) that it feels 'different' down there with a woman who has had natural child birth. I'll take their word for it. But if men believe they can judge a woman's previous sexual or reproductive history from the strength of her vaginal contractions, then that's all that really matters. This adaptationist story of sexual selection has legs!

Whether the science is there or not, the market for tighter vaginas sure does exist. And the best, most effective, affordable, and safest way to get a tighter younger-feeling vagina is to do Kegel exercises.

Obviously, people are getting the memo. Even the Real Housewives of Atlanta Starlets are on board. Former Xscape Member, Singer-Song writer and now Real Housewives of Atlanta Starlet Kandi Buress now hosts her own Adult Pleasure Line: Bedroom Kandi. She sells weighted Ben-Wa balls called Hold On To Me. There's also a very good educational video about the product.

Well, what say you? Is the hype about vagina tightening just hype or is it something men (and women) are really concerned about?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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