Aunt Vadge: my vagina is now drying up during stimulation

Hello Aunt Vadge,

My vagina keeps getting dry when my boyfriend fingers me. I’m not sure whether to describe it as fingering or not, cause all he does is massage my vagina until I reach orgasm. No penetration. I’m still a virgin.

When we started off, it used to be one of our normal activities. Since we never had sex, that was our limit. Blowjob and semi-fingering. But lately, I’ve noticed that I get turned on, but halfway through the fingering, I get really dry, so dry that it starts to hurt, and he just has to stop. When it happened like the third time, I had to try to do some research and came across your site.

I read your reply to a similar question, but still not satisfied, I decided to send mine ’cause the difference between us is that I’ve never been penetrated. When it first happened, I thought it was ’cause my period just finished. Then the second time I thought it was ’cause I hadn’t gotten to my horny time of the month. Then I thought it was the antibiotics I had taken.

And now, I just don’t know. He felt pretty bad after I made him cum and he couldn’t make me do the equivalent. Is something wrong with me? Have I had too much of it already that my body needs something more?? Or has he just lost his touch? Pleeeeaaaassseeee I need your reply asap!!! 

Mysteriously Dry
Age: 17
Country: Nigeria

Dear Mysteriously Dry,

Here are some ideas as to what could be happening, but first, a quick explanation of how your juicy vagina works.

Normal vaginal moisture vs. excess vaginal moisture

Your vagina is naturally moist, with discharge throughout your cycle of varying qualities and quantities – discharge is typically more to do with your hormones than anything that is happening to your actual vagina.

You already seem to be aware of your ‘horny time of the month’ which is more than likely when you are ovulating. You would be wise to get a period tracker and monitor this, since when you do start to have sex, this will be really useful information in terms of when you are most fertile (and horny), and when your period is due.

Some women have extra juicy vaginas, and it is not always a great thing (maybe lactose intolerance or another hormonal reason), but normal vagina fluids are one way for your vagina to be juicy.

The Bartholin’s glands – your natural sex lube

When you are sexually aroused, your Bartholin’s glands produce the moisture that makes you feel ‘wet’. These glands sit just at the side of your vaginal entrance, and the little ducts excrete this slippery fluid to make sex (or whatever) easier and smoother.

If one of these glands got blocked, which happens, a small cyst can develop, which you would probably be able to feel once it got big enough.

Skene's Gland Diagram

These Bartholin’s duct cysts are not dangerous and are quite common – they can even come and go without you knowing – but they do need to be dealt with. They are sort of like a pimple, and need to be unblocked and drained of any liquid inside. If you did have a blockage, you may be able to feel it.

Questions we could ask:

  1. Think about how your boyfriend touches you and where, and see if you can figure out where the change has originated – from your vagina or from your Bartholin’s glands?
  2. Do you normally have a lot of discharge in your underwear? This could provide a clue.
  3. Think about what’s been going on in between now and when you last got wetter during stimulation by your boyfriend.
  4. Have you changed diet?
  5. Started or stopped exercising?
  6. Stopped or started medication?
  7. Been really stressed? Relaxed?
  8. How long has it been – weeks, months?

Hormones and your activities

Our activities change the levels of hormones in our blood and tissues, so say for example, exercising is known to reduce oestrogen levels, while certain diets like the liver cleansing diet, can do the same. If you drink or have a crappy diet or live in a really polluted area, your liver may not be able to eliminate oestrogens (and other normal metabolites) quite fast enough, and they may build up a little in your body.

This is normal and not necessarily a problem, but it does affect your hormone levels, since the liver processes your hormones as well as everything else. It can get a little backed up, which leaves metabolites and hormones in your system for longer.

All vaginal tissue responds and relies heavily on oestrogen, but androgens also affect vaginal tissue, particularly in regards to arousal. You won’t know if it’s for the better – perhaps your body is in better shape and more ‘normal’ than before, but this is one of the outcomes. Say for example your vagina was simply more ‘juicy’ before, with excess hormones in it, and now it has normalised to what it should be, and as result, seems a bit drier.

What to do next

First, make a list of things that have changed compared to when your vagina was very wet before. Be comprehensive – new supplements, change of foods, the introduction of a new person to your life, etc. Try to really narrow it down. It might be a few things – a change of school, stress at home, going on a diet, starting the gym, a new fascination with a certain food – it’s all up for hormonal grabs.

Next, just to be sure, examine your vagina to check the Bartholin’s glands and ducts, and ensure everything felt soft and pliable, with no little lumps (like a pea) inside. Rub your labial flesh between your thumb and forefinger gently all over, but especially in the area in the diagram.

If you can find any pea-like shapes, try to squeeze out any fluid with clean, sanitised hands (you don’t want to risk infection), but if it hurts or bleeds or seems weird, stop and make an appointment to see a doctor – trying to sort it out yourself could go badly. 

Read the Bartholin’s gland cysts article so you know what to look for.

Then, just wait and see. Your body changes all the time, and sometimes it doesn’t go back the way it was, and it’s not a bad thing, it’s just your body growing into itself and adjusting as it sees fit. We can’t see what it’s doing, but your body tries to always improve itself and keep balanced, so trust it, unless you have other symptoms that seem strange.

Lube yourself up in the interim

Buy yourself some really good quality silicone lubricant – it is my favourite, and while it costs more than water-based lube, it is infinitely better-feeling and longer-lasting. It’s really silky smooth. Use this when your boyfriend touches you – I think you’ll find it just as lovely as your own lubrication.

Also, you should just have this handy anyway – your vagina won’t always do what you want it to, and when you start using condoms, you will need lube, since condoms can really dry your vagina out.

There probably isn’t anything at all wrong with you

I understand that you feel like something is going wrong with you, but as explained, this really may not be the case, so do some investigation, and see what you can find out. Before we start to worry about more serious things (like your ovaries not working properly!), we’ll address the most likely causes.

To directly address your concerns:

Is something wrong with me?
Probably not. It seems very unlikely that there is something wrong with you, especially without other symptoms (pain, discharge, etc.).

Have I had too much of it already that my body needs something more?
No – this isn’t how it works. Theoretically, you have unlimited sexiness and horniness inside of you.

Or has he just lost his touch?
This is really unlikely, since the more time you spend getting to know someone’s body, the better you get at it. You don’t stop being able to do the things you used to be able to, especially making someone come just by massaging their vulva – awesome!

This is not your boyfriend’s fault at all. He sounds like a great lover to start your sexual journey with because he gets you off, and he cares when he doesn’t.

If you want, write back to me with what you have discovered, and we can talk about it some more.

Write anytime!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge