Steamed clams anyone?


A friend of mine in the beauty biz sent me a link to a new kind of facial this week. Well, it’s new to me. What’s new about it isn’t that it uses snail slime, or the breath of a dozen South American virgins, or that the whole facial is delivered without anyone ever once actually touching your skin. What is new about this facial, is that it’s on your vagina, not your face.

Cue the crazy music.

Yup, just when you thought we’d come up with every possible unimaginable procedure ‘down under’, someone suddenly writes about something new. Again, there’s that new word. But in actual fact, this is hardly new as far as procedures go. This particular oddity has been around for centuries.

It’s called a Vagina Steam, or if you’ve got an apartment on the Upper East Side, a wealthy husband, and a Louis Vuiton purse, you can just call it a ‘V’ Steam. The Korean’s call it a Chai-Yok ‘facial,’ which sounds an awful lot like ‘Bok Choy’ to my luddite brain, and brings to mind someone swiping at my vagina with a leafy green vegetable.

They’ve been performing this ancient ritual in the orient for centuries, to aid fertility, alleviate menstrual cramps, diminish stress and insomnia and myriad other crotch-side ailments. It’s gone all frou-frou now though, and the modern version costs upwards of a hundred bucks per treatment at sought after, upmarket, celeb-spotted spas in New York City or LA.

According to reports, you put on a big silver cape-type garment and sit on a chair with holes in the middle and they sauna your bits to bits for forty five minutes. The steam they use contains a cocktail of herbs, specially selected based on the ailment you want treated. But it’s mainly garden-variety shrubs like mugwort and wormwood, basil, oregano or rosemary. To me it sounds more like a recipe for vagina stew than a facial.

The poor vagina.

Back in 2010 Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, in their wisdom, admitted on the Conan talk show, that they put mayonnaise on their lady bits, to make them, and I quote directly here, because you couldn’t make this stuff up, ‘shine like the top of the Chrysler Building’.

Personally, I didn’t know that having a shiny vagina was a ‘thing’. When we were teens we used to put mayo on our heads as a natural hair mask, to make our hair soft and shiny, and I like it in my sushi, I just didn’t know you should put it on your guava too.

Why do we do this to ourselves? At least I’m pretty sure we do this to ourselves. Did a man ever come up for air after ‘going to Dubai’ as I recently heard it referred to, and suggest the woman visit a vagina specialist, or perhaps have her vagina altered, reformed, or better ‘prepared’? I don’t think so. From what I gather, men are usually just so pleased to have access to your ‘down there’ in the first place, that they couldn’t care less how your vagina looks. Unless of course it’s grown an eyeball or speaks French, in which case, oh who am I kidding they’d probably still want to get in there.

But there’s obviously a market for these kinds of treatments, so it must be something that’s important to us. There seem to be more and more options available to the woman who wants to obsess over her crotch these days. You can laser it, pierce it, rejuvenate it, thread it, bleach it, revirginise it, or dye it. The only thing you can’t do is afford it, these procedures don’t come cheap.

Although if you want a less expensive version of the V Steam, you could always make yourself an enormous mug of Rooibos tea, wrap a towel tightly around your waist, squat over it for ten minutes, and Bob’s your Korean aunty.

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