Does lots of sex change a vagina's size and the labia's color? Reddit answers.

Does Lots of Sex Change a Vagina’s Size and the Labia’s Color? Reddit Answers.

Does Lots of Sex Change a Vagina’s Size and the Labia’s Color? Reddit Answers.

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Jan. 26 2016 3:36 PM

Does Lots of Sex Change a Vagina’s Size and the Labia’s Color? Reddit Answers.

“Your labia is doing fine.”


An anonymous hero is doing God’s work in the TwoXChromosomes subreddit this week. Spurred by an overheard conversation between two co-workers, the author—who’s since deleted his or her Reddit account—decided to explain the fallacy of the statement “the darker the vag the more dudes she's been pounded by” and debunking “some nonsense about vag lip size and number of sex partners.”

Christina Cauterucci Christina Cauterucci

Christina Cauterucci is a Slate staff writer.

“I've had darker and external labia for as long as I can remember yet I have zero previous sex partners,” our champion wrote. “Even reading a few comments on Reddit there seems to be too many people who equate larger labia with number of sex partner[s].”


This misunderstanding of female anatomy exposes both the entrenched social prejudices around the vulva and the odd assumption that penises have such supernatural powers that they can cause immutable changes to a woman’s genitals. But it also speaks to the dearth of medically accurate, comprehensive sex education in the U.S., leaving both men and women with precious little information about their bodies. I once knew a guy in his early 20s who asked a female friend why women didn’t just sit on the toilet for 20 minutes and push when they had their periods, to get all the blood and tissue out at once.

On Monday, Mic dug up an old Reddit thread started by user fuckingisthebest, who tried to dispel the all too pervasive myth that having lots of sex can permanently change the shape of a woman’s vagina. Reddit users on the labia-color thread came up with a few equally plausible theories:

  • Vulvas are like mood rings. For example: “Babe, what's wrong? You keep ‘nothing’ but your labia is still dark.” “When you nod your head yes, but your labia says no, what do you mean?”
  • A vulva’s layers are like rings on a tree—they convey a woman’s age. The thicker rings correspond to years in which she was particularly well-hydrated, or had sex with more partners than usual.
  • Penises get smaller with every vagina they penetrate. “All men start with long ones but they consume them over usage,” wrote user calineko. “This is known in the scientific community as the pencil sharpener effect.”

Despite what seems like never-ending reassurances from doctors that vaginas do not become “loose” after lots of sex, the legend persists, creating an unattainable ideal of a small, inoffensive, barely there vulva and a watertight vagina that’s highly pleasurable for men to have sex with. The labia-color thread evolved into a storytelling session of all the worst metaphors that middle- and high-school sex educators have used to demonize sexuality and exalt virginity: analogies of food that’s been chewed up by many mouths, cookies that have been crumbled, pieces of tape that are no longer sticky after having been stuck to many pieces of paper, or paper hearts that have been ripped with every sex act outside of marriage.

Of course, #notallmen believe the fortunes told by a vulva’s size, color, and shape. “I will say this—I cannot remember the color of any woman's labia that I've ever been with in great detail, nor the shape or anything about it really (other than my current girlfriend),” NotAVeryFlyWhiteGuy confessed on the thread. Oh, but were there a labial middle ground between granular judgment and complete amnesia.