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The Phenomenon of Vabbing: Exploring the Trend of Gym-goers Engaging in It

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  • Post last modified:September 26, 2023

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If you’ve stumbled upon a video labeled with the buzzword “vabbing” (also known as vagina dabbing) on your For You Page recently, chances are you were left with a raised eyebrow or two. Don’t fret if you found yourself confused — you’re not alone in this. Essentially, vabbing involves dabbing a few drops of your own vaginal fluid onto specific pulse points on your body, like the wrists and neck, essentially using it as a type of perfume to attract potential partners. And now, some TikTok users are convinced that the gym is the ideal place to test out this trend.

A prime example of this is TikTok user @jewlieah, who has recently popularized this trend with a viral video where she claims to have vabbed before a workout at the gym and received desired attention as a result. In a follow-up video, she further explains that after vabbing, a man approached her while she was doing lunges and asked her out. The original video has accumulated over six million views and has been dueted (paired side-by-side with videos made by other creators) numerous times, primarily by users expressing varying degrees of skepticism regarding this particular method of attracting attention.

While vabbing may not necessarily pose any dangers as long as proper personal hygiene is maintained, experts highlight that there is limited evidence supporting the claim that applying vaginal fluid to pulse points genuinely attracts a mate. Before deciding to give vabbing a try, it’s advisable to consult medical professionals who can provide you with more comprehensive information about this trend.

What Exactly is Vabbing?

Vabbing involves applying a small amount of vaginal fluid to different pulse points, similar to how one would apply perfume. Board-certified ob-gyn Dr. Cynthia Wesley, M.D., explains, “Women either swipe or fully insert a finger into their vagina, and then spread the secretions onto their wrist, behind the ear, and other areas.” On an average day, women produce about half to one teaspoon of vaginal discharge, which is usually clear, slightly cloudy, or white.

The theory behind vabbing is that vaginal fluids may contain pheromones that can potentially attract potential partners. Dr. Wesley further elucidates, “A pheromone refers to a chemical secreted by an animal that influences the behavior of another animal. Animals utilize these compounds to mark their territory, signal danger, or elicit sexual arousal.

Does vabbing work?

In brief, it’s unclear whether vabbing is effective in attracting a partner or not. “No controlled trials exist to challenge the impact of vabbing,” states Karenne Fru, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.O.G., a fertility specialist at Oma Fertility. “Contrary anecdotes are more likely coincidental.” Dr. Fru doubts the claims that vabbing results in being approached by potential mates, especially at the gym. “In theory, vabbing relies on the sense of scent,” she explains. “The gym is a place flooded with scents of all sorts, and I’m skeptical that vaginal secretions would be noticed, let alone have an impact.”

Dr. Wesley agrees that there is a lack of evidence proving the effectiveness of vabbing, but she adds that some research documents the influence of pheromones on people in general, citing a preliminary study on the steroid compound, androstadienone. “Androstadienone, found in male axillary [underarm] sweat, enhances mood and increases focus in women,” she states.

While vabbing might not be the catalyst for chance encounters at the gym, Dr. Wesley suggests that “perhaps the improved mood and focus of women, caused by the androstadienone present in men’s sweat, enhances the women’s confidence, thus making them more attractive to men.” However, she notes that scientists haven’t specifically studied the effectiveness of vabbing.

Is vabbing safe?

Dr. Fru advises against vabbing, as the trend essentially involves transferring bacteria from the vagina to other parts of the body. (Yes, even healthy vaginal fluid consists primarily of cells and bacteria.) Additionally, if you have abnormal vaginal discharge or suspect a sexually transmitted disease, Dr. Wesley cautions against trying the trend. In that case, it is essential to promptly consult a healthcare provider.

However, vabbing may be “generally safe” if you prioritize proper hygiene and do not have an infection, according to Dr. Wesley. “It is crucial to thoroughly cleanse your hands and nails for at least 20 seconds before inserting a finger into your vagina. After applying the dab to your chosen area, wash your hands again,” she suggests. This will prevent the transmission of any harmful bacteria to your own vagina or other surfaces.

Is vabbing an effective way to attract someone at the gym: true or false?

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While vabbing is likely safe to try if you do not have an infection and you wash your hands before and after touching your vagina, currently, there is no scientific evidence regarding its effectiveness in attracting potential mates at the gym or elsewhere. Nonetheless, Dr. Wesley sees no issue with trying it if you wish to do so.

In general, I adore the concept of vabbing,” she states. “The era of women being self-assured with their most private area is long overdue. As long as participants are employing safe and hygienic methods, then vab away!”

For a more proven approach to enticing a potential romantic partner with your aroma, stick to fragrance, advises Dr. Fru. (Next Up: How to Make Perfume Last Longer and Tips for Choosing a Workout-Friendly Scent)

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