TIKTOK has been the birthplace of several weird and wonderful lifestyle trends, but none more so than vabbing.
The practice has been doing the rounds among influencers since 2018, but what does it mean and is it safe?
What is vabbing?
Vabbing is a practice that promotes the use of vaginal fluids as perfumes.
The blended term – formed by the word’s “vagina” and “dabbing,” – was first popularised in a 2018 episode of the Secret Keepers Club podcast, run by two New York City-based comedians, Emma Willmann and Carly Aquilino.
The trend later vent viral on TikTok as creators claimed that vabbing could make a woman more attractive to potential partners.
The basis of the claims are centred on the science that an individual’s vaginal secretions contain pheromones – a chemical substance produced and released into the environment.
Promoters of the practice claim that the distribution of pheromones in mass proportion make you irresistible to the people who respond to them.
What are the benefits of vabbing?
As a lifestyle treatment, vabbing has proved popular based on the perceived effect it is meant to have on others.
She wrote in the comments: “Apologies with tears, but it does work.”
Her video, which quickly raked in more than one million views, opened up a conversation on vabbing among her loyal followers.
While some were appalled by the idea of dabbing bodily fluids on their skin, others swore by the so-called treatment – insisting they would apply discharge before dates, club nights, and even job interviews.
But health experts say claims that vabbing aids a person’s appeal are misleading and should not be presented as a scientifically founded practice.
Dr Jen Gunter, a gynaecologist and author of The Vagina Bible, believes a positive reaction to a smell is actually an evolutionary response.
She said: “People mistake conditioning with the concept of pheromones.
“It only takes a few exposures to something that we think is pleasant to like that smell.”
She added: “If people truly believe that there are pheromones, they’ve been misled.
“I think it shows us how very easily medical disinformation can become perceived as fact.”
Are there any risks to vabbing?
Medically speaking, the practice of wearing vaginal fluids as perfume appears to be harmless.
But, Dr Gunter has warned against vabbing if a person has hepatitis B, as the bacteria can live on surfaces for long periods of time.
She said: “Almost everything else that is sexually transmitted is only sexually transmitted because these organisms live in very specific eco-niches in your body.”