Picture this: You’re getting ready for a night out. Your hair is done, your makeup is flawless, and the outfit’s a slay. The final touch? A little perfume, of course! But wait — instead of your signature scent in a fancy bottle, you’re thinking of reaching for something a little more… naturally-derived.
That’s the thought process behind vabbing, a practice that has recently gone viral on TikTok to potentially help you attract a partner. “Vabbing” is a portmanteau of “vagina” and “dabbing,” because to vab, you use your natural body fluids — specifically vaginal discharge and secretions — as perfume, dabbing it behind your ears and on your wrists where you’d traditionally wear fragrance.
TikTok users claim that using your natural aroma can lead to all sorts of romantic magic because of the pheromones emitted from it, and a quick scroll through the hashtags #vabbing and #vabbingtrend reveals both firsthand trial videos and stitch videos of other users who can’t believe such a thing exists. One of the most popular videos comes via user jewlieah, who tried vabbing at the gym and claimed it worked for her, and has since made many videos about the phenomenon.
Meet the experts:
Is there any legitimacy to this now-viral fragrance ritual — and what’s more, is it safe and healthy? Dr. Mona Gohara, a board-certified dermatologist in Connecticut and associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, says that there’s no scientific research to back up these seductive claims. “There is no science behind the concept of using vaginal secretions as a fragrance to attract a partner,” she explains. Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, agrees. “There is little scientific evidence to support that pheromones work for human attraction the way they do for some animals, and ‘vabbing’ as a practice has not really been studied,” Dr. Ingleton shares.
While Dr. Gohara doesn’t necessarily recommend using your vaginal fluids as fragrance, she says that if you’re going to try it, there are a few best practices to follow. “I would definitely recommend that one makes sure that their vaginal health is in check before doing this to ensure that there is no infection that could spread,” she says. She suggests washing your hands before and after the “harvesting process” so that, to put it politely, “you do not spread the wealth on communal surfaces at work or play.” Dr. Gohara also recommends skipping out on vabbing if you have a known STI and says to make sure others don’t come in contact with any “vabbed” body parts.