Sometimes to distract myself from the hot mess in the White House I Google unusual vaginal therapies and today’s BINGO comes from that gynecological gem that is Etsy, purveyor of not only vaginal herb balls but also of balls of wasp detritus and bark meant for the vagina.

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What, you ask, are oak galls? Well my friend they are balls of bark and wasp excreta that once nurtured a wasp larva (so I suppose there may also be wasp larval residue, not sure what that might be but an image of saliva dripping from the Alien Queen comes to mind).

figure-5

Oak galls grow when a gall wasp punctures an oak tree and deposits larva. This process is apparently quite an irritant for the tree, which secretes tannic and gallic acids that creating a round formation known as a gall nut or an oak apple. The hole (see image above) is where the wasplette drilled its way to freedom. The image below has the larvae intact.

 

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I’m not one to turn my nose up at bark, after all salicylate-rich plants have been used for centuries for pain and fever and led us to Aspirin and paclitaxel (a chemotherapy drug) comes from the bark of the Pacific yew tree, however, astringents especially untested ones don’t go in the vagina. This is what the seller on Etsy claims:

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This product follows the same dangerous pathway of other “traditional” vaginal practices, meaning tightening and drying the vagina which is both medically and sexually (for women anyway) undesirable. Drying the vaginal mucosa increases the risk of abrasions during sex (not good) and destroys the protective mucous layer (not good). It could also wreak havoc with the good bacteria. In addition to causing pain during sex it can increase the risk of HIV transmission. This is a dangerous practice with real potential to harm. Here’s a pro-tip, if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina.

GYNO Etsy seems all about dry tight vaginas. I’m thinking they should back away from the medicinal products, you know? It’s promoting a both a bad sexual ideal, that something must be wrong if your vagina is damp, and a dangerous practice. While many women won’t buy this product it’s just one more bullshit message about vaginal health. It’s no wonder there are so many useless and/or harmful products on drugstore shelves designed to dry and clean vulvas and vaginas.

So don’t put dried up wasp’s nest in your vagina. I feel pretty confident in offering that up as medical advice and for goodness sake don’t tell Paltrow. She let bees sting her face so she might be all over vaginal vespatherapy.

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150 Comments

  1. I have nothing, nothing.

    I wish I had no conscience, then I could open an Etsy shop selling all manner of crap. Pinecones, used teabags, used filter wool from my aquarium, drain hair, all guaranteed to make the vagi… Nope, can’t even say that in jest!

    I mean, the ancient Egyptians used to shove dried dung in their vaginas as contraception, the Ancient Greeks used pessaries made of cat testicles to prevent pregnancy, but it’s 2017, we don’t need to do that anymore. I cannot understand this weird obsession with ~traditional~ remedies. We have science, we don’t need random detritus.

    1. I heard a story about a grocer in Santa Fe who, in the 60s, started selling the cheese rinds as physical contraception because the hippies asked if that’s what they were and he said, “Yeah. Sure.”

      1. Sarcastica, as soon as I read that comment I thought of finding Nemo, “You guys made me ink.” LOL! 😂

  2. Seems that if you have a vagina you are required to make it shrink as tiny as possible–reductio ad absurdum, make it vanish entirely…a nice counterpart for the requirement to diet until you just wither away…and a complement to the supposed need for men to have bigger and bigger penii. Can’t have anyone think their body is okay now can we?
    Sounds like some people’s brains shrank some.

    1. I cannot resist the pedantry, so I will apologize in advance. The correct Latin plural of penis is penes, not penii. It would only be the latter if it were “penius,” which doesn’t exist.

      1. To be even more pedantic, the plural of ‘penis’ depends on whether you are talking Latin or American.

        In the UK, it’s usually ‘penises’.

        😉

      2. Reminds me of some annoying people who think the plural of virus is virii. I’m an infection diseases biologist and anybody who actually knows anything about viruses calls them viruses. IDK Latin but I read somewhere that virii is grammatically wrong too.

        As for dicks I don’t think penises vs penes is a UK vs US thing. It’s a common usage vs academic literature usage thing.

    2. For real. I had an ex tell me I could make my vagina tighter if I wanted and then equated that to him wanting a bigger penis. I said “that’s not the same thing and I am happy with the way my vagina is”. He said he was too and then didn’t pursue the conversation but god damn I was a little irked at that.

  3. In the Middle Ages, extract of oak gall fermented with iron sulfate formed iron gall ink, the most common writing ink for hundreds of years. Most blue-black or purple-black manuscripts in the medieval period were written with this kind of ink.

  4. Some women did something to their genet alia thousands of years ago. Some refuse to see what was learned showed something as harmful. We didn’t avoid it. Refuse to learn and change.

  5. I would say that you should be calling out the specific Etsy seller, not Etsy itself. They have very little to do with what people put in thier shops. You can however report them to Etsy, as selling anything and claiming medicinal qualties is actually against their TOUs.

  6. Just putting it out there maybe we dont need to shrink but some men need to grow… dont body shame women with ur bite size peckers

  7. Africa is suffering trends somewhat similar… apparently men like it dry and tight, which was leading women to putting corn flower in there…. really bad idea in a continent so plagued by HIV/AIDS

  8. I just wanted to point out that just to go above the absurdity, galls are not really wasp nests, which seems to be what other articles picked up on. Unless they are really old, something might still be inside as the larvae may take more than a season to emerge. Gall wasps are quite fascinating, actually, but I wouldn’t want them emerging inside me, and that wouldn’t be OK for them either. As for the wasp larval residue, what is left behind is basically the shredded skin and consumed plant tissue, so I’d worry more about the fungi that tend to colonize the bark after the wasp is out.

  9. WTF? Why would anyone want to dry out their pussy? Mine was extremely dry when I took Yasmin, and it made me miserable. I’d get abrasions just from the labia rubbing against clothing or against each other. Washing it was painful, and sex or masturbation was completely out of the question.

  10. Don’t know if it’s listed, but peeled cucumber. Used by many to freshen up. Can increase chances of cancer in uterios.

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