Sexual Health Made Simple(-Minded)

OK, here’s all you need to know if you want to be completely safe. Don’t engage in sex with anyone (or anything) except yourself. Come to think of it, do you really know where yourself has been lately? Better be safe than sorry.

Who would you rather believe? Movie stars or scientists and doctors?

Admittedly, this is a tad extreme. Fortunately, all you need do is go on Facebook or Google and you’ll find a plethora of cool-sounding, stylish, and evidence-based strategies to keep you safe. Well, maybe not the latter. But who needs evidence? Who’s got time to read dry, long-winded articles written by doctors and scientists about prissy, painstaking experiments taking years or decades when you could be out having fun? Besides, if something is on Facebook or Google then it must be true, right?

Condom Alternatives for Guys Who Hate Condoms

Need a sexual health tip fast? Just pull one off the ’net. Oh, here’s one for you guys who don’t like using condoms. Not to worry. There’s a little adhesive sticker called a Jiftip that you merely affix to the tip of your penis before sex. “Nothing gets in or out until you remove” it, the company claims on its website, which means that just before climax you must abruptly pull out of your partner as gracefully as possible under the circumstances so you can ejaculate wherever.

In all fairness to the company, which simply wishes to offer an alternative product for people who don’t like condoms, their website warns against using it to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

Which does bring up a HUGE question: So why use it? Their answer? First, it’s cheap — only $6 a pack. So hey, what’s stopping you? Maybe, despite all biological facts to the contrary, the product just might work for you. “How can anyone know — until they try?” Best of all, “Jiftip has no side-effects” … that is, aside from getting pregnant or catching an STD.

Tampon and Pad Alternatives for Women Who Hate Tampons and Pads

Enough about condom-averse guys. Here’s something for “on-the-go” ladies too busy to use tampons. How about a lipstick for your labia? It’s designed by a chiropractor, so it must be on the up and up, right? The product, called Mensez, “is a natural combination of amino acids and oil in a lipstick applicator that is applied to the lips downunder [sic] during the period.” The product’s name sounds curiously like “men says” to me, making me wonder what percentage of such women’s products are actually designed and marketed by men. Just saying. Anyway, the product is supposed to cause the labia to stick together tightly enough to prevent leakage until the user has to urinate, at which time the product unsticks the labia and washes it away, at which time — presto — simply wipe and reapply. No more messy tampons.

Now, as a guy, I have to say this does sound simple and convenient. Still, there’s something vaguely wrong here. Remember that diagram of a woman’s anatomy in high school? There’s something called — it begins with “u” — urethra, that’s it. Isn’t that the hole where the woman pees? And don’t women menstruate through that other hole, the vagina? See? Not all of us slept through Mr. Potterton’s biology class. So how would this product work? Wouldn’t the poor woman’s labia still be stuck? Could this so-called doctor need a refresher course in biology? Just saying.

Jade Eggs for Your Yoni

Who needs doctors or evidence when we’ve got Gwyneth Paltrow? I simply adored her in Iron Man and Shakespeare in Love, didn’t you? Not only is she a great actor, but she’s also got her own wellness and lifestyle company called Goop. What a great name! Got a problem? Just spread some of this “viscous, sticky substance” on it and — voila! — you’re cured. Of course, alternate definitions of the word “goop” include: “a stupid and boorish person” and “stupidly sentimental material; sugary rubbish.”

Ah, but this is dear, sweet Gwyneth we’re talking about. So when she tells you in her newsletter that there’s a jade egg for your “yoni,” maybe she’s onto something. (According to the article, the word “yoni” is here used in a general sense to mean that sacred place called a womb; the product in question, however, is actually meant to be inserted into the vagina, not the uterus, which would be a stretch even for a yogi master.) In a story about her beauty guru/healer friend Shiva Rose and how jade eggs can help women “cultivate sexual energy, clear chi pathways in the body, intensify femininity, and invigorate our life force” — whew! — well, it all sounds pretty good.

So I read further about Ms. Rose’s claims. Turns out she heard about these eggs through her yoga community. She claims she started researching the practice, and when she did, why, it all “made intuitive sense” to her. “I got divorced 8 years ago, then had a break-up after that, so the idea of clearing my energy made a lot of sense to me. I loved the idea that since we use our brain, why not use this area of our body, one that’s about giving life, where we hold so much of our intuition and wisdom?” But all I could find in her description of benefits and results were vague personal anecdotes and statements like “Over time, you get better connected to the power within you.”

The most important thing, Rose writes, is to use the right kind of crystal. She recommends nephrite jade or rose quartz, “which is more gentle, and brings in more love energy. But the jade is the most powerfully spiritually cleansing; go with the jade first, always.” Nowhere does she tell us how we actually know these things, as in actual controlled studies that can be replicated by others, otherwise known as evidence. But it’s all been handed down through tradition, you see, so it must be true. As Rose would say, it makes intuitive sense.

Just in case you were wondering whether to rush out and buy a dozen, there’s a neat little disclaimer at the end of the story which states that the article is meant only to “induce conversation” and is not meant as “a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.”

But who would you rather believe, Gwyneth or a bunch of scientists?