I was at an event in New York a few months back when a woman put a tiny and exquisite box in my hand and whispered: “This stuff is great relief for your puffy taco.” That was the first time I’d heard the term, but I knew immediately what it was. I am a person with a vagina, after all. I have been through 34 years of owning a vagina, not the least of which I’ve been thinking about and managing my vagina’s puffy taco moments in relative isolation.
We all do that because we’ve been socialized to keep our vagina’s under lock and key. Too much attention paid to our vaginas could be dangerous, is the suggestion. But in as much as I’ve never subscribed to that in my heart, and in as much as I’ve come from a family that was open and progressive, I’ve still harboured some amount of shame about my vagina every single day.
My vagina has been through some shit. It’s been mishandled by waxers. It’s been terrorized by lasers. It’s been suffocated by lingerie. It’s been camel-toed by too tight athleisure. It’s been overrun by yeast infections (whilst deep in the wilderness). It’s endured the tyranny of an icy cold speculum at the hands of a stranger. It’s had a miscarriage. It’s been vacuumed during said miscarriage. It’s been roughed up during some truly extra sex. And despite all the shit it’s been through, I’ve never really known how to do something nice for my vagina — at least that wasn’t about sexual pleasure. I’ve never really had the tools to pamper it for the sake of pampering it.
The woman who handed me the tiny and exquisite box was Cyo Nystrom, the co-founder and CEO of a brand called Quim Rock—a plant-based vaginal wellness company—which at that time, I only knew for their THC-infused lubricant. I asked her what it was.
“It’s Happy Clam Everyday Oil, like eye cream for your vagina,” she explained. “I made it because I spend so much time applying shmancy oils and creams to my face that I figured it was high time my platinum vagine got some of that TLC.”
This woman was speaking my language. There’d been a gaping hole (LOL) in my self-care routine and she was going to fix it with a new kind of topical.
There’s an expectation of our vaginas that doesn’t match the expectations we have around other parts of our bodies. If we treat the skin on our faces badly—pick it, eat sugar, expose it to sun, deprive it of a good moisturizer—it punishes us and we don’t blame it: Good skincare begets good skin. For whatever reason, the same logic doesn’t apply to vaginas. With vaginas, a beaming vaginal complexion is a total bore. In fact, with vaginas, we’re encouraged to do less because no news begets good news. And that’s never felt right either.
Happy Clam Everyday Oil with CBD was that decadent treatment I’d been looking for—that treatment that rose to the level of all my other beauty treatments, that felt commensurate to the agony my vagina endures and the contribution it makes to my life.
“It’s designed to keep your quim happy, healthy and moisturized,” she went on. “You can apply it after bathing, before bed, after sex, when you’re PMSing or have your period, postpartum, or anytime your quim is in need of some tender loving care.”
‘Quim’ was a new word for my vagina, I quickly learned.
“People are also finding it helpful for a number of other use cases—like for women who’ve recently had a vaginal birth and are looking for something to help with their vaginal/perineum healing, or menopausal or pre-menopausal people who are suffering from pain with penetration, or trans men on T who experience serious vaginal dryness.”
My vagina about leapt into the New York City streets that night and started to dance. My very atheist prayers had finally been answered.
Happy Clam Everyday Oil comes out of a beautiful little pump bottle that elevates the aesthetic of my skincare care collection significantly, should I ever become an influencer. I apply it just as I would an eye cream, gently and nightly after my bath. It’s a fleeting but meditative moment, after which I rub the residual oil onto my face. (I’m a grown woman now with a vaginal care routine and I will do as I please.)
It’s made with all natural, non-toxic ingredients like apricot oil, hazelnut oil, sweet almond oil, calendula, olive oil, damiana, tea tree oil, violet, and non-psychoactive CBD. And it smells as delicious as it feels.
I don’t ever remember doing anything nice for my vagina to thank it for putting up with being my vagina. I don’t ever remember throwing my vagina a party or getting my vagina an unsolicited gift. I don’t ever remember taking my vagina to the spa to get anything besides a terrible rash. But that’s all just changed.
I’m reclaiming my vagina’s time. We’re on a journey to a radiant labial complexion, to be our healthiest, most moisturized self. We deserve it. And so do you and yours.