Sex Advice

Does Eating Pineapple Actually Make You, Um, Taste Better? Here’s What Sexologists and an OB/GYN Say

Photo: Getty Images/skynesher
Considering how asparagus can infuse your pee with a new level of pungency or how red meat can make your sweat smell, well, meaty, it's only natural to wonder if the fluids that secrete from your nether regions are also affected by what you eat—both from a smell and taste point of view. And that question of taste can become all the more relevant during oral sex. In fact, a desire to improve upon or optimize taste has spawned a host of urban legends about foods and drinks with vagina-altering powers. But, to me, the rumor about pineapple, specifically, is perhaps most enduring. So, I sought out to investigate, once and for all, can pineapple really sweeten the taste of your vagina?

First, it's worth noting that there's certainly no rule for what any vagina should (or shouldn't) smell or taste like. Just like the people who have them, vaginas are all naturally unique. At the same time, taste is subjective, so what one oral sex-giver might deem pleasant, another might not. All of that said, there's not really any reason, per se, to start messing with the taste (or smell, for that matter) of your vagina, whether to purportedly improve it or otherwise. Even so, mainstream culture has unfortunately pushed many vagina-havers to think otherwise.

"People are fascinated with the topic of eating pineapple to change the taste of their vagina because we tend to be overly self-conscious about how we smell and taste during sex," says sexologist Rebecca Alvarez Story, founder of sexual-wellness marketplace Bloomi. In fact, a 2019 survey of 1,000 people who identify as women found that two-thirds of them have turned down sex due to concerns about the scent of their vagina. But, again, a vagina doesn't need to smell or taste particularly sweet or floral or anything else. "It's a vagina, not a piña colada," gynecologist Jen Gunter, MD, previously told Well+Good.

That said, certain elements of your lifestyle, including what you eat, could affect the usual taste of your vagina (whatever that might be) by altering your vaginal pH and, in turn, supporting the growth of healthy bacteria...or doing just the opposite. That's why a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods is generally linked to a healthy V (and, perhaps, "good" vaginal taste) whereas a diet lacking in those nutrients could lead to an imbalance in the bacteria in your bits and maybe a different taste, too. So, where, exactly, does that leave pineapple in the vagina-taste department?

Though there aren't any specific studies on the connection between eating pineapple and having a vagina that tastes "good" (again, a tough thing to measure, anyway), research does support that "fermented pineapple juice can help support the growth of healthy vaginal bacteria, just as yogurt and kombucha can," says OB/GYN Amy Roskin, MD, JD, chief medical officer at birth-control provider Favor. And again, healthy bacteria is what a vagina thrives on, so a good bacterial abundance could theoretically keep a vagina from taking on a funkier or stronger odor than it typically has.

"Experienced tasters do report that when you eat sweet fruits, vegetables, and herbs, it seems to heighten the sugary flavor of vaginal fluids and ejaculate." —Jess O'Reilly, PhD, sexologist

When it comes to regular old pineapple and pineapple juice, though, the intel is more anecdotal. "Experienced tasters—or folks who've tasted many a lover's juices—do report that when you eat sweet fruits [like pineapple], vegetables, and herbs, it seems to heighten the sugary flavor of vaginal fluids and ejaculate," says sexologist Jess O'Reilly, PhD, host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast. "They also suggest that smoking, caffeine, and processed foods can result in a more bitter vaginal taste," she says, speaking of her clients.

These anecdotal associations nod to the aforementioned benefit for your vagina of just following an overall healthy lifestyle—of which pineapple can certainly be a part. Eating pineapple has a multitude of health benefits, says Dr. Roskin, like fighting inflammation, promoting tissue healing, and boosting your immune system. Not to mention, pineapples are also notably composed of between 85 and 89 percent water, and "staying hydrated is also crucial to promoting natural vaginal lubrication," says Dr. Roskin. The more lubricated your vagina is, the more diluted its secretions may be, potentially cutting some of the tang from its taste.

All that said, Dr. Roskin has a concluding thought: "If you start to experience a bad or fish-like odor in your vagina, this could be a sign of a medical condition—like an infection or bacterial vaginosis," she says. So, if you notice any big odor changes from your usual smell (or, perhaps, a partner does), it's a good idea to consult your doctor.

Want to incorporate more pineapple into your diet? Check out this video for a healthy pineapple upside down cake recipe:

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