Vagina Health: Film 50 Shades of Grey is Teaching Some Wrong Lessons
Will putting ice cream in your vagina guarantee pleasure? A gynaecologist weighs in on some of the franchise's problematic aspects
The 50 Shades of Grey franchise has amassed a global following, paving the way for openness when it comes to exploring sexual fantasies. Out of all of the franchise’s steamy scenes, some stood out not exactly because they were the sexiest — though some might argue that they are — but because they could be sending the wrong message when it comes to vagina health.
Mums, you might have referred to the 50 Shades of Grey series to spice up your sex life or to become more sexually adventurous with the hubby. Though some tips might have worked for you, it’s important not to overlook its glaringly problematic aspects.
Lauren Streicher, M.D., author of Sex RX: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever points out to Business Insider some questionable aspects of the adventurous encounters between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
For starters, Dr. Streicher finds it problematic that Christian Grey seems to be “dominating her” outside the bedroom, dictating what birth control treatments Anastasia should undergo. He also demands to find out information about her doctor’s visits, which is an unhealthy dynamic in itself.
Reproductive health is a deeply personal subject for women, even if they are married. Unless they want to share details with their husbands, women have the right to privacy, especially when it comes to their most intimate parts.
Dr. Streicher also points out that Depo-Provera shots seem to be an old-fashioned birth control option. So she found it surprising that they didn’t include better methods in the narrative (but this could just be due to personal bias or insufficient research).
There are other more effective options, she explains. But of course, it is up to you and your gynaecologist to come up with what form of contraception best suits your health and needs.
Obviously, introducing any foreign object into the vagina poses risks to vagina health. This is why some were uncomfortable with the scene where Christian Grey attempts to put a spoonful of ice cream into Anastasia’s vagina after she playfully surprises him in the kitchen late at night.
Thankfully, he doesn’t go through with stuffing the piece of cutlery into her privates, but he instead lets the ice cream drip all over her thighs before giving her oral sex.
Of course, it’s natural to wonder what would have happened if he had.
First, it’s important to note that the vagina has an acidic pH and is home to loads of infection-fighting good bacteria. It is also naturally lubricated and has the amazing ability to clean itself. On average, vaginal discharge can amount to about “a teaspoon or tablespoon a day,” says Dr. Leah Millheiser in an interview with Everyday Health.
Though feminine washes are recommended by some, some would advise against using it too often. It is up to you and your gynaecologist to decide on the frequency of washing with these solutions.
Naturally, introducing any substance is going to interact with your vagina’s natural flora.
Dr. Streicher advises AGAINST putting food in the vagina. But for argument’s sake, she says that an unpeeled banana or a cucumber could be safe options and are not threats to your vagina health.
However, since there have been no studies to support these, she believes it’s best not to experiment with them just yet!
Aside from ice cream and cutlery, here are other edibles best left OUTSIDE of your private parts, mums!
“I would not recommend putting it inside the vagina,” Dr. Alyssa Dweck, a gynaecologist and professor, tells SELF, adding how tough it is to get whipped cream out once it causes a reaction.
“Fair enough for sexual play if you want to put this stuff on the vulva or other portions of the body and get an erotic experience — that’s fine,” she clarifies. “But I wouldn’t advise putting it inside.”
“All that stuff has sugar which will change the bacteria and yeast proportions which can cause infections,” says Dr. Raquel Dardik, a gynaecologist and professor, in a SELF interview. She explains how chocolate syrup can be irritate the vagina’s skin.
Though it might seem like a sexy idea, she warns that it might cause either a vaginal irritation or infection after intercourse.
Don’t put candy in your vagina for stimulation, specifically the fizzling candy known as Pop Rocks.
One woman learned this the painful way. After inserting pop rocks into her vagina during sex, she experienced burning and itching. If that’s not a turn-off, then we don’t know what is!
“If you’re using household oil as a lubricant, you need high-grade quality oil, not what you use in your kitchen to fry food,” says Dr. Dardik, stressing that couples should choose oils with neutral PH levels.
Again, your vagina has its own pH balance not worth interfering with. According to Dr. Dardik, almond oil, coconut oil, and olive oil are probably fine. But she also warns against tea tree oil, as it can cause “scary chemical vaginal burns.”
Some mums might wonder how to sweeten their discharge to make oral sex more enjoyable for their hubbies, but gynaecologists will agree resorting to putting sugar in your vagina is a bad idea.
As stated, inserting anything edible is generally a bad idea. Sugar can’t easily be removed once drizzled into your privates. As such, it can upset the natural balance of good bacteria, increasing the risk of infection.
Is it really worth it?
If you’re looking to be more adventurous in the bedroom, don’t be shy to open up to your gynaecologist!
Sex is an important part of your marriage, so it’s important to make the most out of it. No fantasy should ever be taboo, especially when it comes to the one you love. As long as it is safe and comfortable for both of you, of course.
Just make sure that, in your quest to spice things up in the bedroom today, you are not forgetting to put your future vagina health at risk.
Staying careful and safe doesn’t necessarily make sex less exciting and well… delicious!