Feel Good

What exactly is vabbing?

The latest trend to sweep TikTok is encouraging women to use their vaginal fluid as perfume to attract men. Here’s what you need to know…

Written by Laura Kingston
Published 11.08.2022

Is there anything that TikTok can’t make a trend?

From custard toast to cleaning hacks, we often use TikTok to discover new ideas. But the latest trend of vabbing is taking things to a whole new level…

The hashtag #vabbingtiktok currently has over 5 million views and it’s polarising the internet – for good reason.

But what does vabbing actually mean?


 The word is a combination of ‘vagina’ and ‘dabbing’.

Essentially influencers are encouraging women to rub their vaginal fluids like perfume onto their body, on places like wrists, elbows and behind their ears, in order to attract a compatible sexual partner.

The theory behind it is that vaginal fluid contains pheromones that incite ‘animal kingdom’ style sexual behaviours and the smell increases attention from potential mates using the communication method of scent.

Influencers are saying that it unlocks a primitive reaction in people who are attracted to vaginas, and empowers the women to be successful in attracting a partner…


In a nutshell, there’s insufficient evidence. The basic property of pheromones is that they act as olfactory (sense of smell) cues. Whilst scientists generally agree that pheromones play an important role in animals, research shows that it’s not all sexually-led. For example, pheromones allow baby animals to find their mother’s nipples and feed.

There’s no solid scientific research with humans, which makes trends like vabbing unproven.

It’s certainly causing some debate on TikTok, with users such as @palesamoon and @Jewlieah accounting their experiences and saying it really works…


Not really, although like most things, TikTok has given vabbing the platform to reach new audiences and sweep the nation.

Sexologist Shan Boodram wrote an article for Refinery 29 back in 2019 where she shared an extract from her book The Game of Desire, saying: “Vaginal fluids, especially around ovulation, but really any time you want to feel an extra boost of confidence, can serve as a love potion.”

However, she does add: “Regardless of if vaginal pheromones truly make a person irrisitable or not, the fact that you think it does, will cause you to act in a bolder, more confident manner.”


Well no, technically not. But there are a few things to consider…

Risk of infection: The technique of vabbing requires you to use your fingers to do a bit of digging around your vagina which as a by-product, increases risk of infection.

Increased irritation: If you have bacterial vaginosis, this really isn’t going to be a trend you want to try.

Respect of other’s personal hygiene: We’ll get into this further below, but the advice to rub vaginal fluids on yourself before entering crowded places crosses some lines of the basic hygiene we expect from others. It’s one of the main reasons the trend is currently polarising the internet…


Mixed responses, to say the least. Which is creating an interesting narrative in itself.

Feminine hygiene is a big business, with a value of $40billion back in 2020. Douching, vaginal washes and sprays to make your vagina smell fresh have been becoming more and more popular in the past decade, with women actively trying to control or improve their vagina’s natural scent. (Note: the vagina is self-cleaning – all you need to use is warm water).

Most TikTok users are reacting with disgust and disbelief, with one commenting “Not touching anyone ever again.”

However, there is feminist argument bubbling under the surface that supports women embracing their vaginas and sexuality.

Our take? With severely limited research and varied results from TikTok experimenters, we think it’s more likely to be a placebo effect over any scientific results. It’s certainly one of the more interesting trends we’ve seen come out of TikTok, but one we’re going to pass on this time.

Custard toast, anyone?

Laura Kingston High Life North Magazine North East, Newcastle
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