Have you heard of GOOP? It's a 'lifestyle brand' run by none other than Gwyneth Paltrow. And its been causing quite a stir recently – not for good reasons. It turns out that Gwyneth could do with a few lessons in what you should – and absolutely should NOT – put in your vagina.
Call me an unadventurous so-and-so, but these days I tend not to put random household objects inside my vagina. Sure, I made some mistakes when I was young and experimental, but now that I am more educated about my body, I tend to only put things in my vagina if they were specifically designed for that purpose.
Sadly, there are some products which are specifically designed to go inside your vagina, yet which could still cause you a fair amount of harm.
And that is where Gwyneth Paltrow comes in.
Gwyneth runs the lifestyle brand GOOP, which publishes articles on everything from sexuality to travel tips, and sells (or recommends) a huge array of products. The idea, I think, is that if you buy the products that Gwyneth loves, you will one day metamorphose into Gwyneth herself.
No problem there: if you want to one day become Gwyneth Paltrow, who am I to stand in the way of your dreams?
Unfortunately, some of the things Gwyneth does aren't really recommended. Like, for instance, putting jade eggs inside your vagina.
Jade eggs versus body-safe kegel balls
Why would you put jade eggs inside your vagina? Well, the GOOP website explains that:
“jade eggs harness the power of energy work, crystal healing, and a Kegel-like physical practice. Fans say regular use increases chi, orgasms, vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and feminine energy in general.”
Which is a very long way of saying not much. Thing is, kegel balls and other sex toys can help to improve your vaginal muscle tone, or they can just feel pretty great down there, but jade as a material is not something you want to insert. As our favourite online vagina expert Dr Jennifer Gunter pointed out:
“jade is porous which could allow bacteria to get inside and so the egg could act like a fomite. This is not good, in case you were wondering. It could be a risk factor for bacterial vaginosis or even the potentially deadly toxic shock syndrome.”
She also highlighted the fact that the claims made about balancing hormones were questionable at best.
“Pelvic floor exercises can help with incontinence and even give stronger orgasms for some women, but they cannot change hormones.”
Are there better options? Certainly. If you want to tone your kegel muscles, you can pick up some kegel balls made – and this is the crucial part – from body-safe silicone. Like these ones . Or these. Not only are they made from body-safe material, they also have a handy pull-tag attached so you can slide them out easily when you're done.
What else should I not put in my vagina?
That's a great question, I'm glad I imagined you asking it. Even the briefest of glances at Dr Gunter's website throws up a whole host of weird and terrifying things that have – at some point – been recommended for internal vaginal use. Not all by Gwyneth Paltrow, though, which is why you might not have come across all of them: not every Bad Idea has a celebrity spokesperson.
According to Gunter's site, other things you should definitely not put in your vagina include:
- ozone gas (which is supposed to promote 'wellness' but in fact is a toxic gas that could damage the mucous membranes inside your vagina)
- bags of herbs (some people claim that these will 'detox' you, and in fact if you put them in then you may well start discharging some pretty toxic-looking stuff. However this isn't because your vagina was somehow toxic prior to treatment, it's because putting herbs in your vagina is NOT HEALTHY, and your vagina will try to get rid of whatever it is. You might end up with an infection)
- ground up wasp nests (No, I am not joking, and nor am I going to explain why this is bad because it shouldn't need an explanation)
Long story short: there are plenty of things you should never put inside your vagina. If you want to exercise your kegel muscles, buy a sex toy that has been specifically designed for the purpose. If you want to moisturise or lubricate your vagina, grab a lubricant that's been specifically designed for the purpose.
And above all remember that if a shiny new vaginal rejuvenation technique sounds too good to be true? It probably is.