Bathing Queen V
In my post, To Pube or Not to Pube, I posed a question: Are you bathing your sexy parts the way your mother taught you, or the proper way?
Let me explain why Mother wasn’t always right. For one thing, she was probably taught by her own mother. The further back we go generationally, the closer we get to the Victorians. And the Victorians were pretty wack about sexy parts.
The Victorian Era refers generally to the 1800s in Europe, named for Queen Victoria of England. Queen V was notoriously down on sexy parts. In fact, she found just about everything about sex to be pretty icky. She wasn’t alone, though. Prevailing notions about sex traced back to early Christian leaders such as Terteullian, who labeled woman “a temple built over a sewer,” and St. Augustine, who called for “passionless procreations.”
Some scholars believe that when the early Christians turned to ancient Hebrew writings to learn the will of God, they misunderstood the meaning behind some of the teachings. The Hebrews focused on procreation because they were in great danger of being wiped out. The early Christian translators wrongly assumed that references such as, “go forth, be fruitful, and multiply” meant that God approved the doing of the deed only when it made babies.
But think about it: If God only wanted us to have babies, why on earth did he, or she, make sex our means of reproduction, and so pleasurable? S/he could have just made us clone ourselves, like certain lizards.
Fast forward to the Victorians, and the story takes a strange twist. They conceded that God probably wanted them to do the deed, just not to enjoy it very much. This led to the popularity of the “missionary” position – so named because Christian missionaries who were spied upon by native peoples they were missioning to were seen in this position. They wore long nightgowns with strategically placed holes that allowed penetration – but disallowed any lustful looking upon the body. Men were viewed as having an animalistic nature that they had to battle with their minds and souls, only resorting to pleasures of the flesh when they absolutely had to (praying feverishly afterward). Women were expected to find sex disgusting and to perform it solely as a duty to their mates. A woman who writhed in ecstasy could be beaten and even cast aside by her husband.
The most egregious act in their eyes? Masturbation! Especially male masturbation, a lust that wasted precious baby-making seed. It was so vilified that children were strapped tightly into their beds at night with their hands above the covers. Some parents even bought devices to discourage their sons from playing with their peepees – devices that poked spikes into a boy’s penis if it erected at night, or delivered an electric shock.
No wonder we’re a sexually cuckoo culture. Lest you think this doesn’t apply to you, remember: Whether we like it or not, the Victorians are our closest cultural ancestors. Even if your peeps came from elsewhere, or were the first residents here, the Europeans who came to take the land also imposed their culture and religion on the natives and those who arrived after. Your parents may not have placed pokey devices on your genitals before you went to bed. But I bet they didn’t encourage you to soothe yourself to sleep with a nice orgasm either.
So back to bathing. Your parent probably instructed you, or demonstrated by example, to soap a large washcloth, place it over the area and scrub. Maybe scrub a lot. After all, it’s the source of what Augustine deemed “original sin” and should not feel too good. There are problems with this. For one, soap (and other bath and so-called “hygiene” products, such as vaginal sprays) can upset the balance of healthy microorganisms in the reproductive tract. These good microbes are there to help keep the bad germs out.
For another, the tissues are sensitive. Cloth can be rough and can chafe the area, also making it more vulnerable to nasty little invaders. And scrubbing just passes the cloth over the area, actually missing some of the nooks and crannies where a dreaded substance called smegma (gasp!) can collect.
OK, let’s demystify smegma. According to Wikipedia, it’s just a combination of shed skin cells, skin oils, and moisture that occurs in both female and male mammalian genitalia, collecting in males under the foreskin, and in females, around the clitoris and in the folds of the labia minora.
So there’s nothing inherently bad about smegma (except maybe the sound of the word, like “masturbation,” or “dildo,” in my opinion). But it can become a problem if allowed to build up; bacteria feast on it, causing a bad smell, as well as irritated skin which can be vulnerable to disease.
To cleanse the delicate skin and remove smegma, all that’s needed is warm water and fingers. A woman, sitting in a bath or standing under a shower, can carefully separate the folds of her labia and swipe with her index finger, then gently push back the hood of the clitoris and do the same. Fini! For a man, it’s a simple matter of swiping around the coronal ridge, and especially while retracting the foreskin (if he has one). Voila΄! And there we have clean, cared-for sexy parts.
By the way, Queen V (the real queen, not your royal little snatch) probably wouldn’t approve of the French words I just used. Ever heard the expression “Pardon my French?” Today we use it to excuse a little profanity in our speech, the same as its origin in Victorian English. But it also represents a bit of nationalistic Francophobia. The British liked to think that they were morally above the French, whom they thought of as sex-crazed. Yet they did all the same things as the French, just a little less openly. O, Merde!
Where’s her other hand? Gently manipulating the tender folds of Queen V, I hope!
102 thoughts on “Bathing Queen V”
And we have the bidet thanks to the French:-) Cute story!
Thank you Barb! And yes we have the bidet. Sometimes the French are so civilized!
How interesting, historical and fun!
Thanks, Jan! I know you enjoy the history. 🙂
It seems a little counterintuitive to normally we will think that it is actually bad if we washing them with soap, but the explanation makes a lot of sense. Another thing learned.
It seems counterintutive that people usually will wash them with soap, but the explanation makes sense afterwards. New thing learned today!
I’m glad! Thank you!
Crazy! I didn’t know that using even a product like for example summers eve can really mess with your pH balance.
Most women don’t know. We’ve been fed a line of crap by the product manufacturers – playing on our insecurities.
this wasnt exactly the read i wanted to have right before i eat but okay. ha. smegma… the word as you said is gross! lol it gives a definite negative vibe. I am following up from the pube or not to pube and being natural is the safest method the body has to preserve itself with oils. the sebaceous gland is an odor, when secreted it attracts a woman’s Ol’Factory bulb (aka cranial nerve #2 ) which is the center of the sense to smell. The idea behind this smell and attraction of the opposite sex being in relation is based on the the fact that our immunities are different and that makes for compatibility in nature, at least thats what i have read, been told, and experienced. im prettty sure its a fact and not a theory. well, i went off a little there but the point is we should cover up those natural smells and mess with a known evolutionary advantage to gene development.
i recall the powerpoint on masterbation and you brought up the Victorian in the first slide. haha funny reading it on the site as well. another great read.
I totally agree with you because I am very aware that there are men who smell ‘right’ and men who smell ‘wrong’ to me. I think it’s science, the importance of the differing immune genes, but in terms of attraction it is very personal and powerful. I prefer that a guy not wear cologne so that I can smell his natural smell.
I defiantly agree with the thought that why did god make us so sensitive in the genital area where we can experience pleasurable sensations if we were only meant to reproduce. I have also herd a lot about different products like vagisil. is this product good like it says it is?
What? You aren’t supposed to use soap too? Everything I know is a lie………….
I tend to agree. You have to find the truths on your own.
Is antibacterial soap a no no too? Its hard to change a behavior that was labeled as the “right way.” I had this conversation with some male friends, and when I told them that soap was not good they just gave me a weird face of disapproval and said that they consider that nasty. I think they’re just stuck on the Victorian times.
I think they are, too. And yes, antibacterial soap is definitely not recommended!
What are products such as summers eve for? Its crazy to think our mothers would teach us to wash otherwise, I do believe it comes from them not wanting to feel some sort of pleasure while doing so.
I agree with you about the pleasure, which is sad. Those products are meant to make money by playing on women’s insecurities.
Referring to our V as Queen V or “royal little snatch” is the funniest/best nickname for our lady part! Also, my mom taught me the same thing but apparently I’ve been deceived this entire time. All it takes is just warm water and clean hands/fingers. Crazy.
I enjoyed thinking of those nicknames, too, Alexandria! Glad you appreciate them. Yes, I know how most people were taught to wash (including myself), so I thought it was time to set the record straight.
I think that I do a combination of both. I bathe like my mom taught be in every other part of my body except my vagina. I clean the mons pubis and I gently clean with water and unscented soap the labia minor and majora. I find that the less you put on your vagina, the less irritated that it will be. This was even true for me after I had my son. I really enjoyed this post and all the references to the “V”.
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. As far as cleansing, gentle is the way to go! 😉
Wow! I am amazed at how easy it is to clean your lady parts, many people or ads say its best if you use ‘Summers Eve’ or another female hygiene soap. I am glad I learned this today and not be rough with my vagina. I guess you do learn something new everyday. 🙂
I’m glad you learned it! Those products are actually bad for you, and there is currently at least one class action suit based on data that showed the use of powder in that area can cause reproductive cancers.
This was very informative! I had heard that you don’t have to use soap but it never occurred to me that it might actually be worse to use soap. Also I enjoyed the inclusion of sex history. I think we still unconsciously hold some of these notions about masturbation/sexuality being “bad.” Understanding where those notions came from is the first step to tearing them down.
I agree with you! Remember the quote about those who fail to understand history repeating it? Cultural attitudes take a long time to change.
Very informative. I always thought that using products like Summer’s Eve were beneficial when washing down there, but now I come to find out that they might actually be doing the opposite! Definitely gonna stop using those now.
There are actually some class action lawsuits against the makers of some of these products. Sometimes Mother Nature knows best!
Surprisingly, my mom taught me the right way to clean my genitals. I really like this post because I never knew about the facts mentioned here. it is very informative. About the soap and scrubbing, I used to do it until I found out online that I shouldn’t be doing it, that’s when I stopped. Personally, I want to change the way I think about masturbation since I realized that it is not an unusual and a bad thing to do. The idea is still stigmatized in our society, but hopefully everything would change in the near future.
You had a progressive mother! And I applaud you for wanting to change the way you think about masturbation, because it is a normal thing to do, and a way to explore your sexuality, and even a way to delay the aging process!
This was an interesting topic. I have known anything related to genitalia and sex are deemed improper or disgusting, even in todays world, but its nice to know the history behind it. Thank you.
You’re welcome! And now you don’t need to over-scrub. 🙂
Really interesting historical explanations! Never knew about the missionary thing or about the different ways they physically discourage male masturbation. I didnt even know women produce smegma because its most commonly associated with men, but it does make sense that it would also occur in female genitalia if not properly washed.
I’m glad you enjoyed the history! I really should write more of those kinds of posts, because at my age, I know a lot. 😉
Very informative! My grandmother had taught me how to properly wash my area using warm water and my fingers. As I got older more of my girl friends from middle and high school were talking about the different soaps and extra things they use to wash theirs. I remember asking my grandma to purchase us some products but she had always told me “no we don’t need to buy it” when I thought maybe we did… Good thing we didn’t!
Yes, because some of those products have turned out to be toxic! Your grandmother is a wise woman.
I am loving the “Queen V” and “royal little snatch” nicknames. I was indeed taught by my mother to wash my lady parts with soap and a cloth. However, as a teenager, I did learn that the vagina is a self cleaning and we don’t need to use any products. I have since given up the practice of soap and a washcloth. Great read! Very informative. Loved the mini history lesson as well.
Thank you! I love learning about and sharing sexual history, a part of history that is often left out of the schoolbooks.
I can actually relate to this. This is the way my mom portrayed and talked about washing my private area. Now I don’t feel that way anymore, but after reading this it makes sense why she does now. I love learning about history and the changes after.
Growing up my mother was so open about our “Queen V” i’m really impressed on how my mom was teaching me the right way. As daughter you always believe that your mom is always wrong and at you are always right. Like in this case I always thought that the right way was to use soap in order for your “Queen V ” to be clean but as always wrong in disbelieving in my mother.
I’m glad you were able to find out that sometimes Mother Knows Best!
What an interesting read! We’ve been washing the wrong way all this time. No more soap!
Yes! And no more sprays or powders either! They’re not necessary and even damaging. 🙂
How interesting !
I’m glad you found it interesting, though I’m curious about what aspects…?
My mother never talked to me about washing my lady parts. I just assumed you always washed it like you did any other part of your body. In high schools girls would talk about “douche” and i thought to myself “there is no way I’m sticking that thing up there”. Girls in high school should be informed properly of their bodies don’t you think?
Yes, I do think so! All of us should be given an education about our WHOLE bodies from a young age.
It’s amazing to see how people have a much more different view on sex today. I now know a little bit more about the Victorian’s view on sex. It’s great to see how far we’ve come!
“But think about it: If God only wanted us to have babies, why on earth did he, or she, make sex our means of reproduction, and so pleasurable? S/he could have just made us clone ourselves, like certain lizards.” Oh my gosh I can’t wait to tell this to my mom. Haha just kidding she’ll ship me to a convent. The most exciting portion of this post for me was the definition of smegma and how to take care of it. My mom never taught me how to clean my “Queen V,” (my new favorite euphemism by the way) it was a topic she never really talked to me about. I’ve only ever used feminine washes because I thought it was the only way to get rid of smegma. But reading this I now know that I can’t ever really get rid of smegma forever and it’s a little comforting knowing that it’s a normal thing:’)
It is a normal thing and easy to cleanse with fingers and warm water! That’s funny what you said about your mom. 🙂 And I’m glad you like the euphemism!
I remember my mom telling me to use any kind of shampoo to scrub down there. Whether it was dove soap bar, hair shampoo, or even hair conditioner since we never seemed to run out of. The thought of how I used to wash my flower makes me cringe! I learned my lesson though. It is just warm water and fingers for me here on out. I was actually thinking about using Summer Eve’s or HoneyPot since I really like the scents. However, your article has convinced me to just keep doing what I’m doing 🙂
I know what you mean about cringing! But now you know what to do. And your own natural healthy scent is better than any fake fragrance!
I had to learn how to clean my “Queen V” on my own since my mom didn’t talk about female parts. So I’m glad that there’s blogs being done on this.
Yes, it’s nice that information is out there now, because it wasn’t in my day. Of course, you still have to evaluate whether the source is a good one or not.
My mom never actually explained how to clean my “Queen v”, so i never really asked. If it wasn’t for taking biology classes and having friends who knew a bit more than I did, I probably would have really messed up my Queen V!
Thank goodness you are interested in learning the truth about how to take care of your “queen”!
I found this article very humorous. I also like that it takes on religion in a very open way because many people have the common misconception that sexual activities without the intent on having a child is wrong because it ‘says it in the bible.’ However, the article stated logical evidence and also suggestions as to why this was misinterpreted.
Unfortunately, people fixate on the bible without realizing how it is historical writings that have gone through many translations. Today as far as our health, we should be guided by science, and our ‘queen’ doesn’t need to be over-bathed!
Funny! We tend to build so many misconceptions when we are younger, that we are not sure what is right and what is “wrong.” It is not till we build general and personal experience to know what is right or what works best for us.
First we buy what our parents tell us. Then sometimes we rebel against what our parents tell us! Finally, as you say, we have our own experiences.
Hail to the V! I really liked how the article tackles the religious misconception that sex is only for procreation. Sex can be so liberating and enjoyable, I can’t imagine how unhappy these couples were. I also think that genital washing should be talked about more in health classes, as practing good hygiene is important for your health .
I have a friend whose 7-year-old isn’t wiping properly, and I suggested she show her daughter her genitals, explaining how close the anus is to the vulva and why it’s so important to keep the whole area clean. She was horrified! And then I was horrified by her attitude! We act as if children’s bodies aren’t their own.
My mother taught me the right way on how I should clean “down there”, but it wasn’t until I was in middle school to early high school years where I felt the need to do more, such as using soap and a washcloth. Later on, I realized that I should not be doing it that way as it can have more negative impacts on me and went back to how my momma taught me. It was interesting reading about the Victorian ages in this post and how we have grown from that era. It is always good to learn new things!
I’m glad you learned something! And that momma was right!
It is mind blowing how something so simple as washing yourself most people may be doing wrong.
I think it comes from religious proscriptions against masturbation, wherein even touching your own body is taboo.
amazing to read that something so pleasurable, wasn’t appreciated to it’s fullest potential because of what supposedly god said. Really makes you appreciate the different ideologies we have now to where we can enjoy sex just for the sake of it and have people like you teach women/girls how to care for themselves when nobody else properly did.
I love teaching young women (and men!) how to care for and appreciate all that they are.
I actually read about this in an english class and still find it really interesting. The only thing I didn’t know and found shocking was that children were being strapped to their bed and punish with a sharp point or an electric shock.
Yes, especially boys so they would not masturbate. So inhumane! It’s a normal for children (and adults) to do.
Your question of: “If God only wanted us to have babies, why on earth did he, or she, make sex our means of reproduction, and so pleasurable?” is so true! The pleasure only wants people to explore and try new things so it puts us at risk of making tons of babies! I really liked how informative this blog was because here I was buying drugstore products to keep myself nice and clean.
Your body knows what it needs to do. I hope you’ll stop buying those products!
This blog was very informative on cleaning ourselves. I was taught once and felt awkward since. Don’t worry, I clean…. I recall this one person stating they don’t wash their genitals or butt (this is a male) because he thinks its homosexual. Our society really needs to be informed on cleaning themselves.
I agree, and informed on homosexuality as well! There is nothing “homosexual” about cleaning oneself!? (And…I don’t think I would want to be intimate with that man!)
The ancient belief that finding sex pleasurable is a sin is one that is very frusturating. Mainly because, as you mentioned, women were beat if they enjoyed it. But for them to not have been enjoying it would bring up an entirely new set of problems regarding abuse. Thanks to a new cirriculum regarding sexual education, I learned early on that the improper way to clean yourself was by using anything that had chemicals that could mess up your pH balance.
So impressed that you had already learned that!
Your blog posts get better and better. Not only did I learn more about the Victorian era through class, but how sexual this time was (and homosexual), yet talking of sex and masturbation was a sin. I remember in my History 7 class, how off limits sex was in the book. I only learned about the “rulers” of the time, and how history progressed to the Elizabethean age and so forth. Sexuality has come such a long way and I am so happy that masturbation, sex, and sexual orientation are no longer taboo 🙂
I love your blog as I was reading this I learned about the Victorian Era I also learned how different our beliefs now compared to then are. The fact that they would buy devices to put on there child’s penis to keep him from finding any pleaser and masturbation was seen as a sin is very shocking to me. My mother always taught me that there is nothing wrong with masturbation and that having sec wasn’t just for reproduction it was for pleasure and also to have a deeper conection with your partner . Oh have times have changed and everyone’s concept of sex and masturbation is so different.
I’m glad you have such an open-minded mother! Yes, times change, and the past would be forgotten if not for people telling the truths about history.
And to think at 24 I’ve finally found a straightforward, informative guide on how to wash my sexy-bits that doesn’t describe it as a flower or isn’t on the back of a Summer’s Eve bottle. Also, I finally know why they call it missionary!
Haha! See, there’s always more to learn!
People back then mainly religious folks always had strange views specifically for sex. Kinda glad we aren’t like that anymore.
Me too! 🙂
Thank god we aren’t the same as the people from back in the days. i wouldn’t like to think about not enjoying sex and just doing it for producing children. Though learning that its that simple to clean our genitalia is pretty mind blowing and awesome to know.
I agree with you. And yes, cleanup should be easy peasey!
Hi Professor Lynda,
Thank you for such an informative read! I wish this wasn’t such a taboo topic to talk about. I’ve only recently learned last year that douches and summer eve’s product do more harm than good! I think it’s crazy how much companies continue to profit off women and our insecurities. Thank you for the tips and informing us.
“Profit off women and our insecurities” – YES! But we can still educate ourselves and resist their marketing ploys. Which you just did! Kudos!
Hello Professor Hoggan,
I think its great that you are sharing so much crucial information for topics that a many do not like to discuss because they are too “inappropriate,” when in reality it is natural. I did not know how some parents would use objects that would cause pain as a restrictive force to stop their son’s from masturbating. It kind of reminds me of the thought process behind conversion therapy. That inflicting pain as a punishment for “sinful” thoughts was how people once believed they could cure gay people. I also never knew about why the position was called missionary, so that was an interesting tid bit. Growing up in a conservative family, sex or anything in relation was a forbidden topic especially with my mother. So thank you for sharing a guide on how to take care of our “queen v’s” and not be ashamed or disgusted by what is only natural.
I am glad that my information helped you think of your natural body in a positive light! And yes, what you say about conversion therapy is correct. It’s cruel, and it doesn’t work. Same thing with trying to stop a son’s masturbation – when in reality it’s a great way to relax and go to sleep!
I like how you go into historic detail of this topic, really interesting read.
I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading.
So weird that we, as a generation, still don’t know how to clean our genitals.
Yes, isn’t it crazy? Because we have let business tell us that we ‘need’ their products. When nature often does just fine!
Your writing is addicting. This is the fourth article I’ve read and I am hooked like a fish on a fishing rod. I also agree with the comment above mine ^. Why don’t they teach this in sexual education? Very bizarre how I am barely hearing this information and I am closer to the age of 25 than I am to 15. This article is really interesting. You did an amazing job from the history, to details, and still getting your main focus across.
I’m glad you enjoyed the information and hope you do keep reading!
Interesting topic. I appreciate the history lesson as I did not know the origin of the word “missionaries” came from and the fact that smegma is preventable and getting rid of it is an easy task. On a side note regarding cleansing, what do you think about bidets? it seems it is becoming more mainstream. Was it the pandemic and the shortage of toilet paper that made it front and center? Or as a society, did we just realized that just using toilet paper alone does not make it necessarily clean. I know there are other cultures that have been using some type of bidets or even wipes for years. Thank you for sharing.
I love bidets! They are so much cleaner than toilet paper and don’t waste the paper. I didn’t realize they’ve become more mainstream, but I bet the pandemic and toilet paper hoarding has had something to do with that! Since I don’t have a bidet right now (no electrical outlet near the toilet), I like wipes. Either way, toilet paper alone is inadequate! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.
Check out eBay. They have ones that just attach to your water line and no electrical outlet needed. 🙂
I always thought it was so odd how some of my fellow females clean their “Queen V” (I’m totally gonna steal that by the way that is hilarious). I have seen girls that do the scrub with a washcloth or use douches constantly. I personally just use a little summers eve brand soap less cleanser and my hands. I have never douched and never will. I fully believe that the vagina is self-cleaning. I prefer an extendable shower head so I can reach all my nooks and crannies easily. I can’t even imagine how my vulva would feel after i put some harsh soap and a washcloth and scrubbed it like a pan left lout overnight with baked on casserole! I have sensitive skin so I treat her gently!
You’re funny too! I love your baked on dirty casserole analogy. Glad you treat Queen V as she deserves.
I did not know the history and the origin story of the “missionary” pose but I will definitely be explaining it to my friends from now on. Thank you for the interesting history lesson.
I do love learning about sex history as well! You’re welcome.