GOOP and Gwyneth Paltrow are so into their jade eggs they are doubling down on the practice.
Who am I kidding, a new shipment of jade eggs has hatched and so GOOP is back to flogging them with a letter from an eggthusiast who was dismayed by all the negative press in January. GOOP is just coincidentally passing on this reader’s “note” now when then new eggs are available and not back in January when it was in the press and a rebuttal might have been worthwhile. Maybe I am just jaded and it just took months for GOOP to weed through their replies. The letter is from Layla Martin a sexuality coach who is certified by the Tantric Institute of Integrated Sexuality. Which she created and founded.
She also just happens to sell jade eggs.
I feel the entire post is major shade at me, after all I was the one who first raised the medical concerns and pointed out that the technique promoted by GOOP’s “beauty guru” was medically incorrect and could even harm the pelvic floor muscles. I also brought up the concern about toxic shock syndrome. It is also possible that I just think way to much of myself and none of GOOP’s new post is in any way directed at me.
Before we begin if you are going to say your opinion is backed by gynecologists you have to include more than one. A family medicine doctor and a nurse-midwife are not gynecologists. Ok, let’s address some of Martin’s claims.
1. Martin and GOOP say: Working with a jade egg is more than just putting a stone up your vagina.
Gunter says: You can use a weight, you can use a tampon, and you can use a stone (I suppose) to train your pelvic floor. You can also very easily explore and strengthen your pelvic floor for free. Fingers are also great for self exploration. However, jade won’t help because jade doesn’t have medicinal properties. If you truly believe that the jade is the important part then you, my friend, believe in magic. If jade turns you on and that’s the only way you can get in tune with your orgasm that’s ok just don’t push a preference off as a practice. I mean the people at GOOP apparently think a gold vibrator is a good idea, but gold isn’t orgasm alchemy. And sensate focus? Fingers, lips, a vibrator, a sex toy – almost any object can be used for that. Jade doesn’t channel your energy or help you explore intimacy in any other way except with touch.
2. Martin and GOOP say: Doing a Kegel is not the same thing as using a jade egg.
I found this paragraph very confusing:
Gunter says: Kegel exercises are evidenced based and jade eggs are chicanery, so yes, they are not the same thing. A jade egg could be used as a weight for Kegel exercises and it could be used for sensate focus, but so could many things. Coming from China doesn’t make a practice good or bad, studies do that. Nothing in this paragraph implies the jade actually does anything, apparently it’s the practice and not the stone which would mean that Martin doesn’t think the jade is necessary. The first paragraph and this paragraph seem to be saying the same things, it’s about muscles, a practice, and it’s more than the stone. I am very confused.
3. Martin and GOOP say: There are currently no scientific studies proving (or disproving) the effectiveness of a jade egg practice.
Gunter says: This is not a valid argument. If you say a practice can help you and I say based on 25 years in gynecology I don’t believe your theory and can find no biological plausibility for your claims the next step is for you to prove me wrong with evidence. Heck, I’d even take biological plausibility. You don’t, however, get to claim, “No studies, my bad!” No proof beyond expensive placebo or weighted tool for Kegel exercises has been offered. I need something more than another “jade goddess” who also happens to sell jade eggs is doing a study. This selling what you are studying is called bias. I was surprised to see the study isn’t yet listed at clinicaltrials.gov yet (okay, not really). If you sell the product and are running a trial then the data would be viewed just like we view data from Big Pharma. Hope it is randomized and double-blinded! I’d say this smacks of Big Jade Egg, but people might confuse it with the ceramic backyard grill.
4. Martin and GOOP say: The jade egg does not cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
Gunter says: That is not what your own expert says!
The gynecologist quoted said “the risk for TSS from proper jade egg use is very low.” It’s a bit disingenuous because the risk with jade eggs is low because overall the risk of TSS is low. The risk with menstruation is 0.69/100,000. The risk of TSS is so low it is hard, if not impossible, to study meaningfully. The risk of TSS with tampons and menstrual cups and sponges and yes, jade eggs is low but not zero. It is a low probability high consequence thing. And the Yale-trained nurse midwife who said that jade eggs “would seem to pose less risk than other common practices in gynecology such IUDs, which have strings that reside in the vagina for five to ten years” is woefully misinformed about toxic shock syndrome or IUDs. Toxic shock syndrome is likely a combination of vaginal wall trauma and foreign objects, like tampons and menstrual cups and possibly jade eggs, with nooks and crannies that can let toxin-producing bacteria grow. IUD strings are monofilament and are specifically chosen because they don’t make a good camping ground for bacteria otherwise they would act like a wick drawing bacteria into the uterus. IUD strings also don’t abrade the vagina. This IUD string/jade egg comparison is medically incorrect and actually a very embarrassing statement.
A jade egg can cause microabrasions, almost everything inserted vaginally does. If the jade eggs harbors bacteria or creates an environment that favors bad bacteria it could inoculate the vagina and then two days or 20 days later this could lead to TSS. We really are unsure of the exact risk factors and how it happens. We also don’t know how the jade egg will react when bathed regularly in a pH of less than 4.5 (i.e. the vagina). Could this cause microscopic cracks and allow bacteria in? Who knows? Who knows is not comforting in medicine.
5. Martin and GOOP says: A jade egg practice can profoundly alter sexual health and hormones.
Gunter says: Literally no proof is offered. Can being positive about your sexual health affect hormones? Possible. Is the jade required? No, that would be magic or expensive placebo.
6. Martin and GOOP: It’s not all about walking around with the egg inside you.
Gunter says: But Martin goes on to say that is part of it and I say that practice could be harmful and indicates a poor understanding of pelvic floor physics. I was approached by many pelvic floor physical therapists after my post on jade eggs thanking me for specifically pointing out how harmful that technique could be.
Points 7,8, 10-12 say the same thing, basically nothing, however, I would like to draw everyone’s attention to this paragraph.
No, the backlash was about a celebrity abusing her platform to push a completely unsubstantiated therapy with the potential for harm on people. GOOP’s original piece wasn’t about reclaiming sexuality it was about selling snake oil and they bragged about selling out of the jade rocks. If Shiva Rose was just in it for her personal eggthusiam then it’s awfully coincidental that she, like GOOP, also sells jade eggs.
Selling women biologically implausible devices and unstudied practices under the guise of reclaiming sensuality is harmful. The absence of facts is disempowering. Implying that women can profoundly alter their hormones with jade eggs is misleading and cruel. Telling women jade eggs are safe because IUDs have strings is like saying there is no global warming because it’s a cold day. Claiming jade offers something other than being an expensive and possibly biologically questionable vaginal weight is promoting magic. “If you feel like it’s been drained of energy, recharge it in the full moon just the way you would a crystal” is literally promoting magic. BTW that quote is from GOOP’s first jade egg reveal.
Imagine how a woman might feel who plunks down $66 for a jade egg and gets no benefit or worse, hurts herself? Wanting women to have better medical care than crystals and magic is in my medical opinion a good thing.
If a woman want’s to explore her sensuality with an aid of any kind that’s her call, but it is shameful to suggest that jade offers some kind of pussy power properties because it doesn’t. If jade is your specific turn on then great, but that’s no different that being turned on by fingers, a curious tongue, walking around naked in heels, candlelight, reading erotica, or watching The Proposal.
For better orgasms as a pelvic floor expert I’d suggest doing Kegel exercises the regular way, visiting Dodson and Ross for great technique info, if you have a partner have them read She Comes First, and using any spare cash to invest in a high-quality gold-free vibrator. Which, by the way, I don’t sell.