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Here's The Truth About Pineapple And Oral Sex

We asked the sexperts so you don't have to.

Welcome to BuzzFeed Sex Q&A, where you can ask us your awkward, confusing, gross, embarrassing, or thought-provoking questions, and we'll provide answers from leading sexual health experts. Have a question about sex or sexual health? Send it to sexQs@buzzfeed.com.

This week's question:

Denis Kartavenko / Getty Images / Via thinkstockphotos.com

Let me start by saying I'm 20 years old and perfectly healthy and in a committed monogamous relationship.

That being said, I notice that my body (since the beginning of teenage puberty) has a fairly pungent smell...down there. Or at least it's pungent to me. It's not unpleasant, just smells like woman. I'm always afraid that my boyfriend doesn't like my aroma or my taste. He says it's fine, but what tips do you have to help make these two more pleasant? I've heard of eating chocolate and pineapple — is this true?

Sincerely,
A Self-Conscious Lover

P.S. Any tips for his taste to be more pleasant? Oftentimes it's a little bitter. (I don't mind but nonetheless it would be nice.)

First things first, your vagina probably smells and tastes exactly like a vagina.

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Which is not a problem, despite whatever you've been led to believe from feminine wash advertisements, the media, and maybe even shitty partners. Vaginas aren't supposed to smell like a bouquet of flowers, just like penises aren't supposed to smell like a summer night after it rains. It's the card we've been dealt, friends.

It's great that your partner isn't buying into all that crap and is totally here for Eau de You. But it sounds like you're self-conscious about it anyway, which happens. So first and foremost, know that there probably isn't anything wrong with how you smell or taste. While we haven't met your vagina personally, we're sure she's a gem.

But OK FINE we're curious, too. Given that everyone smells and tastes a bit different, is there anything you can (safely) do to make yourself more...appetizing?

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To help answer your question, we checked in with OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Gunter and sex therapist Dr. Madeleine Castellanos, author of Wanting to Want. Here's what they had to say:

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Have all the chocolate and pineapple you want, but that's not necessarily going to make your juices taste like, well, juice.

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To be fair, this myth isn't total garbage. Your bodily fluids — like sweat, saliva, and vaginal secretions — can all be influenced by your diet and lifestyle habits. For instance, eating lots of fragrant, pungent foods (think spices, garlic, meats, etc.) can make your fluids take on a little more pungent aroma, says Castellanos. Ditto for smoking cigarettes or drinking a lot of alcohol. Whereas eating sweeter foods and staying well-hydrated could lead to a less aromatic experience.

But the results aren't immediate, and it's more about your overall diet than one pre-sex meal. It takes your body a while to metabolize what you eat, and that can of pineapple juice isn't going to negate that roasted garlic and anchovies pizza you had yesterday.

"The best way to have a healthy vagina is to eat healthy," says Gunter.

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Eating a healthy balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough fiber can all help to maintain the good bacteria in your gut, she says. (And good digestion and bowel movements can obviously affect hygiene in that whole area.)

Keep in mind that your scent can also change a bit throughout your menstrual cycle due to hormonal fluctuations, says Castellanos. That said, a noticeably foul odor could be a sign of an infection, so check with your doctor if you notice that.

Overall hygiene is also super important.

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Have you showered today? Are those clean underwear? DID YOU WIPE FRONT TO BACK? Do you smoke cigarettes? Are you hungover AF and currently sweating out whiskey? All of these things can play a role in how you smell — vaginal secretions included. That's not to say that they'll make you smell bad — you may just have a more noticeable scent.

But don't go crazy cleaning your genitals — that can actually make things worse.

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When it comes to cleaning your vulva, water and mild soap is all you really need, says Gunter. Douching, over-washing, or using scented wipes or washes can all throw off your vaginal pH balance and lead to infection (which can lead to odor), she says.

So just make sure you're washing the area gently, not using any harsh or scented soaps, and wearing cotton underwear to let it ~breathe~.

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So what about semen? Do all these rules still apply?

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Basically. Semen may be a bit more concentrated, so maintaining a balanced diet and staying hydrated can also make it a little less pungent, says Castellanos. But again, no amount of pineapple in the world is going to make that semen taste like a piña colada, and honestly that would be a bit alarming anyway.

The bottom line: A healthy diet and proper hygiene will probably affect your smell and taste, but tbh, there's nothing wrong with it in the first place.

"A vagina should smell and taste like a vagina," says Gunter. "You're either interested or not."

Do you have a question you want answered by our sex experts? Email us at sexQs@buzzfeed.com.

ALSO, the more details you give, the better answers you'll get. Judgment-free zone! Feel free to sign it however you want (first name, alias, anonymous, some kind of descriptive sign-off, whatever), and we'll reach out if we end up answering your question. Check out some of the questions we've already answered:

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