I was tagged on twitter by multiple people today because of a post on Cosmopolitan.
The post is about an older thread on Reddit from a woman whose partner likes her to leave fruits and vegetables in her vagina all day for him to eat later during sex. This was apparently part of the “whatever” this woman’s husband wanted her to do to “spice things up.” It sounds like a desperate bid to save a relationship.
Here’s the original Reddit post and a link.
There are some potential health issues here and I am very glad this woman posted her question because I have heard the fruits and/or vegetables in the vagina several times over the years and I am sure this happens much more than I hear.
This is clearly untested, however, potential risks include:
- Inoculating the vagina with bacteria and fungi from the fruits/vegetables. This isn’t the same as an unwashed hand, this is leaving something in a dark, warm place with bacteria for hours or longer. Who knows if the yeast often normally present could get vaginal fruit to ferment. Bacterial growth would be a bigger concern if any small pieces break off and are left behind for days or weeks (it is not unrealistic to think some of the organic matter will soften and could break off). If I remove a tampon that has been rogue for more than a few days the smell is usually so bad from the bacteria gone wild that the exam room has to be closed down for the rest of the day, so if small piece of apple or a pea is left behind I can only imagine how that would be the perfect bacterial storm given the vagina is both culture medium and incubator. Someone might think, well I eat raw carrots so how bad could it be? However, stomach acid is a lot stronger than anything in the vagina and food isn’t hanging around undigested in the stomach for 12 hours it’s exposed to acid and enzymes and then moved through the system.
- Abrasions from insertion. The ouch factor aside, this is what allows bacteria to really cause damage. The combination of abrasions and increased bacteria could be a set up for toxic shock syndrome.
- Changing the vaginal ecosystem. There is no way to know what fruits or vegetables could do to the normal, healthy lactobacilli or the harmful bacteria that are normally suppressed. This could increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis or toxic shock syndrome.
- Irritant reactions.
Obviously, the longer the organic matter is left in the vagina, the greater the risk.
I have never heard about vaginal fruits or vegetables from a woman who says, “I get turned on by putting potatoes or peas in my vagina and just want to be safe about it.” I get asked about all kinds of things so if someone was really into it as a sex practice chances are I would have heard at least about it at least once over the past 25 years, but I will admit it is entirely possible women just don’t discuss it. What I have heard is no different from the Reddit post, my partner wants me to do this and there always seems to be an air of discomfort about it. In these cases I wonder is this a form of punishment or degradation disguised as a sex act?
There are all kinds of edible undies (probably a NSFW link) and produce-shaped sex toys (also possibly a NSFW link) so there are definitely much safer options. Lots of food can also be incorporated externally into sex.
As a gynecologist I can’t endorse inserting fruits and vegetables vaginally, but if it something that you just can’t live without then well-washed firmer fruits and vegetables would be safest and absolutely should be covered with a condom to help reduce abrasions, to prevent bits of organic matter from breaking off, and as a barrier from bacteria. It is probably best to use lube as well.
However, if this is something that your partner is insisting on doing and it it doesn’t float your boat then it maybe time to reconsider why this is important to your partner and why he wants you to do something A) you are not comfortable with and B) may have health risks. It may also be time to speak with a counselor or therapist or doctor. If you are going to insert anything vaginally it should be because it turns you on and be something that you really want to do.
Lots of people have fetishes and obviously some are safer than others. As far as safety goes leaving organic matter all day in your vagina is likely opening you up to health risks. If your partner cares for you that should concern him.