This is a Private Service Announcement: clearing up the dirty on discharge

Heads' up, guys: women aren't always wet

Discharge and ‘cum’ are NOT the same thing.

If you weren’t paying attention to anything other than that weird, bull-skull shaped pink thing inside a woman’s body in health class like I did, you may have missed that sweet little blurb on every woman’s underwear frenemy – discharge.

Discharge is the natural cleansing process of the vagina that helps keep it clean and prevents infections. It is always happening, and is always there.

In her role as Donna Stern in her 2014 movie, Obvious Child, Jenny Slate delivers this line:

“There is no woman who ends her day, with, like, a clean pair of underpants that look like they’ve ever even come from the store.”

Vaginal lubrication, or what most people would call the female equivalent of ‘cum’ is when a woman is hot n’ ready.

For all the non-female readers out there: have you ever slipped your excited fingers past your partner’s waist band and found yourself uttering those darling, three little words,

‘You’re so wet.’

Grant Ruffinengo, third year Dalhousie student says, “Yeah, I’ve definitely said that.”

Ladies, has your internal dialogue after that ever been along the lines of: ‘Um, I’m not even horny yet? This is the life of my underwear!’ ?

Ruffinengo said he didn’t know that discharge was a thing, he just assumed that girls were just wet when horny and not when they weren’t.

The inner workings of the vagina aren’t just a mystery to men though, even women are sometimes a little mystified.

The Dalhousie Gazette’s Engagement Manager, Sabina Wex, said, “For 10 years I thought I was horny all the time because every day my underwear was filled with discharge.”

Her doctor, Wex says, almost peed laughing when she finally had the courage to tell her.

Knowing the difference between what’s discharge and what’s vaginal lube in the grand scheme doesn’t matter.

Making sure each partner is aware of their own bodies is always important during sexual intimacy and making sure that each other is actually horny – not just her vagina going on about its natural business.

Part of being aware, for Ruffinengo and his friend, Jacob*, is bringing lube into the conversation.

“It can always be used as a go to,” Ruffinengo says, but that it also makes a fun addition even when it’s not necessary. “It makes it slobbery as fuck it’s pretty sweet. It’s like going on a slip n’ slide.”

Jacob learned his lesson in being aware of a woman’s ability to naturally lubricate and the differences each sexual encounter and partner when he was having sex with his girlfriend and he tore his penis frenulum because they were having sex when she wasn’t lubricated enough.

After he went through a two-week recovery period, (where he wasn’t “allowed to” have a boner) he now uses lube on the regular.


What Makes a Vaginal Discharge Abnormal?

  • Heavier than usual.
  • Thicker than usual.
  • Pus-like
  • White and clumpy (like cottage cheese)
  • Grayish, greenish, yellowish, or blood-tinged.
  • Foul- or fishy-smelling.
  • Accompanied by itching, burning, a rash, or soreness.


* Name has been changed for privacy

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Kaila Jefferd-Moore

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