Gwyneth Paltrow, the free-spirited media/lifestyle/quinoa mogul who wants you to live your best life at exorbitant rates, has just given her readers — faithful (but impressionable) GOOPers — a piece of very bad advice. Actually, very bad is putting it mildly. This advice is so bad that we’ve got doctors actually calling out the consciously uncoupled celeb out on her new age practices.
It all started when Paltrow — who’s also recently released a travel app that’s like a cuter, low-rent version of Yelp — suggested that in order for women to experience the best sex they’ve ever had, they should purchase a $66 jade egg (it’s approximately the size of a regulation golf ball) and stick it into their “yonis” for, you know, like six to eight hours. Women could also put the ball into their vaginas as they slept for maximum benefits.
What would this achieve? Let GOOP tell you:
The strictly guarded secret of Chinese royalty in antiquity—queens and concubines used them to stay in shape for emperors—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.
“Fans say” should be a tip off. Historically, it hasn’t been wise to crowdsource health advice. This practice is also meant to strengthen your kidneys, if you’re into that. Shiva Rose, the expert GOOP spoke to, says that you won’t feel the effects right away, but just give it a month and your entire life will change (in subtle and immeasurable ways that have no empirical evidence behind them and cannot be tested).
While this is a great way for Gwyneth Paltrow and her confederates to make some delicious affiliate cash and give women just one more way of feeling like their vaginas aren’t good enough, it proved a bridge too far for one OB/GYN who called out Paltrow for her “alternative facts” on her blog.
Here’s what Dr. Jen Gunter, a San Francisco-based physician with Kaiser wrote about the practice, starting with the fact that it’s not only useless but actually sexist:
My issue begins with the very start of your post on jade eggs specifically that “queens and concubines used them to stay in shape for emperors.” Nothing says female empowerment more than the only reason to do this is for your man! And then the claim that they can balance hormones is, quite simply, biologically impossible. Pelvic floor exercises can help with incontinence and even give stronger orgasms for some women, but they cannot change hormones. As for female energy? I’m a gynecologist and I don’t know what that is!? How does one test for it? Organically sourced, fair trade urine pH sticks coming soon to GOOP for $77 I presume?
Could someone get Gwyneth some burn salve? Is there a healer in this party? But it’s not even over, because Gunter goes on to educate Paltrow on the fact that the movie star has literally no idea how vaginas work:
If the word for womb is yoni I hate to break it to you, but the uterus and vagina are different structures. If you are using the Sanskrit, while I admit I am no language scholar, it seems that yoni means the entire female reproductive tract and you should say that. Terminology aside, the vulva, vagina, cervix, and uterus are not intuition repositories and neither are they sources of “power” or “wisdom.” If fact, I find that assertion insulting. Do you really mean a woman who does not have a uterus is less effective? Is a woman without a vagina less intelligent? Is a woman who had a vulvectomy due to cancer less creative?
Don’t even get Gunter started on sleeping with a precious jade egg inside yourself:
As for the recommendation that women sleep with a jade egg in their vaginas I would like to point out that 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.