January 24, 2017 Anna Judd


Recently, Gwenyth Paltrow announced that she would start carrying yoni eggs. An interview posted on Paltrow's lifestyle website, GOOP, and has prompted many questions from the public about yoni eggs. 

And, while I really resist having to write this, I have been left no other choice. The practice is safe, the practice is extremely effective, and the seemingly metaphysical benefits of the practice can also been explained in terms of psychology. 

Without further ado, below is the longest FAQ I've ever written. 

First and foremost, I would like to make one thing clear:

I have not gone to medical school, or undergone any formal medical training. The intricacies of the female human body, especially when it comes to our sexual health, and all the things that can go wrong with it, comprise a towering mountain of knowledge that I can barely see the peak of. It’s for this reason that I am constantly referring women to their doctors when they reach out to me for any sort of medical advice. Likewise, nothing I say here should be taken to be medical advice. 

Here is what I do know. 

Yoni eggs are semi-precious gemstones that are carved into the shape of an egg and inserted into the vagina. They provide positive feedback for kegel exercises, helping to tighten and tone the pelvic floor. When a woman contracts around the yoni egg by isolating the correct muscle group, the egg moves upwards towards her cervix. When she fully relaxes, it gently sinks back down. This movement is something that can be felt, indicating to the woman when she is doing kegel exercises right and when she is doing them wrong.

Considering that nearly half of women are doing their kegel exercises incorrectly, this positive feedback is extremely useful.

This is the basic function of the yoni egg.

The Yoni Egg Practice combines movement with breath, visualization, and intense focus, so it becomes a moving meditation. This specific form of meditation is geared towards helping women cultivate healthy attitudes about their sexuality and their body, and it is highly effective because of the nature of the practice

The wide array of spiritual and emotional benefits described by many yoni egg sellers are not the result of simply inserting a seemingly magical rock into your holy of holies, but of committing to this specific meditation practice.

Buying a yoni egg, inserting it into your vagina, and expecting to transform into an unstoppable, insatiable sex goddess is like buying a pair of Nikes, sitting on your couch, and expecting to morph into an ultra-marathon runner. It’s not going to happen, no matter how hard you wish for it. 

The word yoni literally translates to “sacred space” or “temple”, which is a nice way to think of the female reproductive organs, and our bodies in general. The yoni egg practice finds its roots in ancient China, specifically in the sexual rites of the Tao. The Tao uses sex (both with and without a partner, as well as with and without climax) and the cultivation of chi (aka life force, prana, sexual energy, vitality) to achieve higher states of consciousness and awareness.

Legend has it that yoni eggs were used by “concubines and queens” in ancient China, but telling women they should buy a yoni egg because queens and concubines used them (no doubt, competing for the emperor’s attention) sends the wrong message entirely, and is not an empowering place to come from. We women have spent enough time altering our behavior and torturing our bodies in an effort to get male attention and/or approval. Still....

The woman who buys a yoni egg “to please her man” is also the very woman who might really benefit the most from adopting a practice that celebrates her sexuality in a way that does not objectify her.

The practice is appealing to women for different reasons. But, lets be real. Who doesn’t want to please their partner in bed? Pelvic floor health is important for many reasons, and being able to enjoy sex with your partner is not one anyone should be ashamed of.

In reality, the yoni egg practice is a celebration of female sexuality, and embraces the idea that each person is already whole, possessing a balance of feminine and masculine energy ala Yin and Yang. One does not need a partner to be whole. This concept also comes from the Tao, which reveres a concept called the Divine Feminine (An entire chapter of the Tao de Ching is dedicated to the “Divine Mystic Female”), or what is casually referred to as feminine energy. 

Despite it's cultural and historical relevance, the term "feminine energy" conjures up images of wild-haired nymphs wandering through forests, making flower crowns, and conversing with animals. It’s easy to denounce the idea as some sort of hippie hogwash.

But, really, it's not. Over thousands of years, feminine energy has been defined by many cultures in myriad ways. In ancient Sumeria, in Tantric Buddhism, in the Tao, in Catholicism (Virgin of Guadalupe), to name a few. Because the idea of feminine energy is so widely accepted and so broad a definition, it has become a highly subjective, collective definition. We all understand what someone means when they say it, and we also understand that it is likely that our own definition is different. 

But, since there is obviously a need to define "feminine energy" in plainer, less esoteric terms:

Embracing or cultivating your feminine energy means enjoying your sexuality and loving your body without a sense of shame.

This is to say, to forget how you are “supposed” to be, and to just be who you are, without a constant internal monologue of self-criticism, self-judgement, and self-doubt. Confidence. To love being a woman, to feel empowered by your gender and sexuality instead of limited by it. That mindset itself gives you energy. It is that simple.

It is true that yoni eggs are often surrounded by a mystical cloud of new-agey sounding words that often overshadow their legitimacy, especially to those who don’t subscribe to the healing powers of crystals, or the cycles of the moon, or all that divine feminine energy mumbo jumbo. 
 
When used correctly, as practical tool for meditation, the yoni egg practice is ground-breaking. This shouldn’t be too surprising, as the results from any habitual meditation practice are groundbreaking, and have some pretty impressive results. 

For example, meditation has been scientifically proven to balance hormones. Moreover, meditation is a proven method for reprogramming negative thoughts and belief patterns, and one of the most effective treatment options for post-traumatic stress, addiction, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. 

With one in four women receiving medication for a mental health condition, compared to just 15 percent of men, maybe this whole meditation thing is something that we should take more seriously, if we ever want to get back to a state of equilibrium.

Doctors tell us to meditate, for all sorts of ailments, both medical and physical. But, usually, we don’t. Why? Because it can be frustrating. Because the results are not immediate or tangible. Because it’s boring. Because there’s no way to mark our progress, and because who the hell wants to work that hard, anyway?  

It's for these reasons that the yoni egg practice is so effective. It provides both stimulation and tangible, physical results that feel good. Plus, it is taking care of our pelvic floor, which is so, so important to women's health. And it goes without saying the Yoni Egg Practice, at it’s heart, is playful and fun. 

I also have to refute the assumption that keeping a yoni egg in all day would exhaust the pelvic floor. This goes against everything I have experienced, read, or heard. Here's why: I don’t know how one could possibly know this unless they actually practiced with a yoni egg, but after reaching a baseline of pelvic floor fitness, it takes no effort to “hold up” a yoni egg. (Of course, in the case of a relatively weak PC muscles, like what you might see in a woman who recently gave birth, it is necessary to “work up” to this stage of fitness.) One does not have to contract around the egg for it to stay in place place. The vagina narrows, and the yoni egg is happy to chill out there while you go about your business until you decide to give it a hug.

In regards to the claim that yoni eggs can cause bacterial infections, I suppose this is always a risk when we decide to stick foreign objects into our vaginas. That includes penises, dildos, zucchinis, tampons, fingers, tongues, tiny wooden figurines, whatever.

I’ve been practicing with yoni eggs for years now and have never had an infection due to using one, nor has a customer ever come back to me with a similar complaint. It isn’t impossible, and I’m sure it’s happened, especially if all the stuff about concubines is true. But as far as I’ve seen, staying clean and sterilizing the egg before each use is effort enough to prevent this. By no means is it dangerous. 

Last, and my very least favorite issue: The claim that using a yoni egg could cause toxic shock syndrome. A gynecologist says “toxic shock syndrome” and women run away screaming. Understandable. But more information is needed. It needs to be backed up, especially when you are talking about a practice that has been around for thousands of years.

There are no medical cases attributing toxic shock syndrome to someone keeping in a yoni egg too long. And, as far as I know, toxic shock syndrome is extremely rare, and is associated primarily with the use of super-absorbent tampons during menstruation.

Moreover, since the eighties, most of these products have been taken off the market, and cases of toxic shock have been in steady decline ever since. Today, out of a group of one hundred thousand females, only 1.5 will be diagnosed for toxic shock syndrome, and it is usually related to the improper use of a tampon, or post-partum/post-abortion complications. 

If there are a set of specific conditions that might be conducive to a yoni egg causing TSS, the public should know about them.

Women have been using yoni eggs for thousands of years, and women are going to continue using them. Mostly, the creation of the yoni egg practice is, and continues to be, a collaboration between women who are actively practicing. This process is creative, community-building, and empowering. It opens up a dialogue about issues that are rarely talked about. When a woman begins to practice with a yoni egg, she too becomes part of a community of women who are working to take the shame out of enjoying their sexuality. 

In closing, I'd like to offer a free yoni egg kit to gynecologists who are interested in collaboration. Don't be shy!

As always, if this brings up any questions about the yoni egg practice, please feel free to reach out! 

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