Though the term “vaginal steaming” has become popular in recent years, the term is not totally accurate for a couple of reasons.
First of all, when sitting over steam, it touches more than just the vagina. Depending on the way the body is positioned, steam can reach the entire pelvic region including the vulva, clitoris, labia, urethra, vagina and anus. Steam is also used for those born in the masculine form in which case steam would also touch the penis and scrotum.
The adjectives “perineal” (for perineum) and “pelvic” (for pelvis) are both correct terms to more accurately describe the anatomical area covered during a “vaginal” steam session. Vaginal steam users are popularizing the terms “pelvic steaming” and “perineal steaming” rather than continuing to use the more narrow term “vaginal steaming”. Perineal steam is also further shortened to “peristeam”.
The second reason the term vaginal steam is not accurate is because steaming has two forms. In Korea, for example, vaginal steam is designated as either wet or dry. In English, we have not yet found a term to capture both wet and dry steaming. Historically, the term “fumigation” has been used to reference both, however, the term is currently designated for pest control which is no longer befitting. Instead, we can differentiate between “vaginal steam” as wet steaming and “vaginal smoke” as dry steaming. Or more accurately, we can use “perineal steam” and “perineal smoke”.