Modern science tells us the vagina is a self-cleaning machine, a delicate wonderland of flora and bacteria that generally does fine if left alone. And yet, people keep insisting on putting things up there. Sure, unscented tampons are fine, as are hygienic sex toys and anything prescribed to you by a doctor, but here’s a list of a whole mess of things we’ve run across recently that are designed to row up your canal, and why you maybe shouldn’t do that.
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The most recent vaginal trend is glitter, which makes no sense because have you ever tried to clean glitter out of anything? It stays where it is literally forever. But that didn’t stop Pretty Women Inc. from marketing “Passion Dust,” a “sparkalized capsule that is inserted into the vagina at least 1 hour prior to having sexual intercourse.” Why? Because it makes your genitals sparkly and taste like candy.
Pretty Women Inc. does warn that some particles could trigger an asthma attack during oral sex, and we’re pretty sure whatever is making it taste like candy is a recipe for a yeast infection. In an oddly defensive FAQ section, argue that “people love to have opinions” about what you put in your vagina (people meaning gynecologists) and “If you’ve ever had vaginal issues you had them before you used Passion Dust anyway.” Fair enough, and hey, Passion Dust looks like it’s out of stock. Still, if you want sparkly genitals just get vajazzled.
“Vaginal Kung Fu” is not a phrase I thought I’d read today but 2017 brings surprises every day. Anyway, Intimacy Coach Kim Anami doesn’t actually put whole surfboards in her vagina, but she does lift them with her pelvic muscles by tying one end to our favorite GOOP product, the jade egg, and then basically doing kegels. Maybe someday you’ll be able to lift a surfboard with your vagina, but don’t do it without training first.
Remember that guy who thought the solution to period woes was to glue your labia shut? And that the sensation would be like that “kind of fun” feeling when your lips stick together from too much lip gloss? And how he insisted it’d be hygenic even though it’s not like it’d create a hermetic seal? He also is developing a panty liner that transfers a powder to your vulva, which will create a labia seal if you prefer that. But, you know, don’t.
For a hot second some people were buying oak gall, a calcification that forms when wasps lay their larvae in oak trees, and mixing it with other herbs to make vaginal suppositories. Basically every medical professional was like “please, no.”
As Theodora Sutcliffe wrote for Broadly, ozone gas has been marketed as a cure-all for over a century. Vaginal ozone therapy claims to use the gas’s anti-bacterial properties to help with yeast infections and general pain. But the FDA says ozone is a “toxic gas with no known useful medical application in specific, adjunctive, or preventive therapy. In order for ozone to be effective as a germicide, it must be present in a concentration far greater than that which can be safely tolerated by man and animals.”
Gwyneth Paltrow famously espoused the benefits of the Mugwort V Steam, as mugwort allegedly contains anti-fungal things and balances hormone levels and cleanses your uterus. Ok. Hot water vapor may not seem like the worst idea for cleaning your vagina, since that’s basically what happens when you shower, but doctors say the procedure is pointless at best and actively harmful at worst. It seems iffy that the steam would even reach one’s uterus, and there have been cases of women dying from filling their vaginas with water or air pressure. So yeah, maybe don’t.
Before the pill, douching after sex was a common form of birth control, and many hygienic products ran suggestive ads directed to women who were looking for something to use as a rinse. One of those was Lysol, even though use of the anti-bacterial soap had caused death from uterine irrigation. Aside from a birth control method, Lysol advertised to women as a way to control vaginal odor and “ensure feminine daintiness.” We’ll take a healthy vaginal lining over daintiness any day.