The term ‘vabbing’ has 35.7M views on TikTok, but the concept is hardly new. A portmanteau of ‘vagina’ and ‘dabbing’, vabbing refers to applying your vaginal secretions where you normally would perfume, such as behind your ears, on your neck and on your wrists. Why on earth would you do that? You might ask. The answer is usually based on some murky science around pheromones, a substance secreted by animals and some insects which makes them more attractive to potential mates.
The truth is, scientists have been trying to find a human sex pheromone for decades, but the research thus far has come up short. There is limited science (mostly positive, but with small sample sizes and a heterosexual lens) that suggests that the ‘copulins’ in vaginal secretions, particularly during the follicular phase of ovulation, can make women seem more attractive to men. And you can’t fake it either (I mean, how would you) but synthetic copulins had no impact on men’s sexual behaviour, which means it's not something you can just buy in a bottle.
So that’s the science so far: vabbing could potentially make you seem more attractive to men. And of course it's your body and you can do what you want with it, but my question to women who are attracted to men is, why? Don’t we already have a fucking long list of things we need to do to be ‘desirable’? We need to look hot, but not like we’re trying too hard. We have to be curvy but also thin 'in the right places'. The messages out there are relentless: Don’t be a gold digger but also don’t earn more money than him. Don’t be aggressive but also don’t be passive. I say, fuck that. I'm not going to vab, not because it's 'gross' (the most common reaction on TikTok) but because I'm not interested in trying that hard.
Vabbing reeks of desperation, of craving validation and needing to dupe someone into them finding you attractive. It’s an insidious ‘pick me’. And for that reason, it stinks. If he/she/they don’t find you attractive for who you are, dousing yourself in a bucket of cooch juice isn’t going to change that.