Herbal Hodgepodges and Body Shaming

on May 28, 2013

The myth of “loose” genitals is a cold war threat in the bedroom, constantly lurking behind oversized lovers and appetites, hiding behind that massive dildo or a recently birthed child. To hear the sexual self-image sharks tell it, we’re all one good fuckin’ away from labia that blows out like a cartoon tire – from a vaginal canal that a baseball bat could fly through like a particularly risque magic show.

Uh, yeah. So here’s the thing. We aren’t.

The vagina is elastic for a reason, otherwise we’d all be walking around with gaping holes in our nether regions whenever we added to our family. If anal elasticity were half as fickle as vaginal elasticity is purported to be, we’d be knee-deep in the sort of fine, upstanding marketing these folks engage in. The truth is, when a normally healthy part of our body is not as toned as we like – which is the real underlying issue here – we don’t stroll down to CVS and pick up a pre-filled vial of steroids and shank ourselves in the nearest fleshy plain to remedy it. We diet, we exercise, we zumba our shit back to where we want it. The way I see it, here are no “quick fixes” with tone – there’s two routes to take:

  • Effective: takes at least a little while, even with surgery.
  • Fast: almost inevitably a bad, damaging procedure that on some level puts health and occasionally life at risk.

One place that’s really not a good idea to take the fast route? Your genitals. We consider carefully the people and toys we let temporarily inhabit our naughty bits, so why on earth would we shove a waxy bullet loaded with god-knows-what up in our vaginal canal to “tighten” it? The same reason that we’d shell out for “repinking” kits for our clitoris or alum-laden sprays that desiccate our most sensitive tissues for the supposed pleasure of our partner: Because marketing is a powerful loaded weapon that falls into the wrong hands sometimes. We are effectively “negged” by the companies shilling this crap into believing that our female reproductive array is something less than completely fucking amazing. That really sucks.

I recently had the displeasure of seeing a retweet on Twitter from a company called “Tightenz” that sells aforementioned waxy bullets to women that are plagued, 50’s housewife-style, by the horrors of vaginal loosening.

They summed it up in 240 characters as “The lack of sexual satisfaction is most often caused by a loose vagina. Learn how Tightenz can help.”

Naturally, I tossed my hat in the ring and called them out on their BS, cause hey – malicious marketing has given women enough outer self-image shit to deal with without worrying about the inside too. I hit up the site and discovered, behind a rather poorly-written landing page, that they didn’t seem to have a complete ingredient list anywhere but plenty of room for body-shaming, and, in the same breath as admitting that kegels were helpful, tossed them under the bus because, really, who can stick to an exercise routine? (/sarcasm)

Here are some of the ingredients mentioned:

  • zinc oxide
  • quercus infectoria – “galls are produced by the infection from the insect Cynips gallae tinctoriae. They are used for dyeing.”
  • aletris farinosa – “…contains a possible estrogen mimic”
  • viola tricolor – “V. tricolor extract had anti-inflammatory effect in acute inflammation induced in male Wistar rats.”
  • citrus aurantium – “Bitter orange supplements have been linked to a number of serious side effects and deaths, and consumer groups advocate avoiding medicinal use of the fruit.”

As if this weren’t troubling enough, the company seems intent on insisting it has a magical FDA-approved laboratory – which the FDA website says, very clearly, can’t exist:


This was also trotted out on twitter, in the exchanges I had with the company representative – I cited that the FDA doesn’t approve labs (via the FDA website), they replied that they DID have an FDA approved lab , then claimed the same thing again, then quickly amended to refer to their FDA registered facility, which is a completely different ballgame.


Call me crazy, but I don’t think that a company that doesn’t provide a full ingredient list for an internal product, puts a page rife with poor spelling and foreign turns of phrase up as their public face, and at the least allows themselves to be represented by someone making up certifications that don’t exist should be shaming anyone about anything.

How about you leave my vagina alone and tighten up your product instead, guys?

One response to “Herbal Hodgepodges and Body Shaming

  1. Liz says:

    Thank you for this! I agree, we’re bombarded enough. Leave our vaginas alone!

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