This week, Chiamaka carefully takes a peep at vaginal douches and aphrodisiacs and she makes an important distinction between them.
Contrary to popular opinion, vaginal douches and aphrodisiacs do not share the same purpose. This is why products that are marketed as both cleansers for the vagina and also help to heighten one’s libido should be taken with a grain of salt. The word ''douche'' is a French term that means shower. It could also translate to ‘wash’ or ‘soak’. Generally, it is a device used to introduce a stream of water into the body for medical or hygienic reasons. With this background provided, vaginal douching is a method to wash out the vagina, usually with a mixture of water and vinegar. Vaginal douches are usually sold in drugstores and supermarkets and they mostly contain antiseptics and fragrances. It usually comes in a fairly small bottle or bag and is sprayed through a tube upward into the vagina.
On the other hand, vaginal aphrodisiacs are agents that arouse or increase sexual response or desire. While there are some homemade aphrodisiacs such as chocolates or dates, vaginal aphrodisiacs are usually applied around the vaginal area or the vaginal canal. The goals of these aphrodisiacs are to increase arousal, add fragrance to vaginal juices and heighten the woman’s chance of achieving (stronger) orgasms.
A very popular aphrodisiac in Nigeria is Kayan Mata, a fabled potion that originated from the Northern part of the country. Since the turn of the last decade, this potion has grown in popularity as a result of new-age business owners marketing it as not only a vaginal aphrodisiac but also a potion that could help influence the demeanours and reactions of their partners beyond sex. It has now been poised as evil or fetish as a result of the expectations from its users, females especially, to serve as a means to financial or social breakthrough. There are wild claims from peddlers of this product that their products can make people insanely attracted to you, it could help grow businesses, bring in money and ensure that no other person can break the hold a user has on their helper.
While the efficacy of such products cannot be vouched for personally, many people (asides sellers and their brand ambassadors) who use Kayan Mata often do not share the information, as a result of the negative comments it might inspire. In a country that is largely religious, anything that might have a fetish or traditional connotation quickly faces intense denigration.
At its core, Kayan Mata was originally created to help enhance sex for couples. In its origination, the medicines were directed towards strengthening sexual pleasure for men and women, especially married couples. This was to ensure that the marriage lasted long and bore the fruit of many children. Traditional Kayan Mata sellers strongly reject the idea that these medicines are love potions or geared towards financial growth or breakthrough, whichever version of the lie is peddled, as this is far removed from the original point.
Most people who sell vaginal products on social media oftentimes do not have any qualifications to do so. While consumers would spend money where they see fit, it is really wise to not get carried away with promises of miracles or heavens opening in the name of drinking some herbs, the content of which are extremely questionable. Many times, the women who sell Kayan Mata on social media are often wealthy because they have managed to be successful at selling a scam.
Also, beauty currency means that people who are conventionally attractive are usually more likely to have strangers falling over them and eventually giving them money. This does not solidify the effectiveness of Kayan Mata or other potions that they claim to use. I believe that inserting different materials around or into the vaginal canal does more harm than good. For best practice, douching can be used after recovery from a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. Daily cleaning of the vulva and the vaginal canal only needs mild soap and warm water. It is also important to note that any product marketed towards women for vaginal cleansing or other reasons should not be a daily regimen, as different products could be detrimental to the PH balance needed to maintain a healthy vagina.