Now that you’ve binged the Goop Lab, this is how you use a yoni egg

When Gwyneth Paltrow touted her love of yoni eggs, the general public added the eggs to a list of things that they already love to make fun of her for, dismissing them as just another one of her “privileged practices.” Her company, Goop, was later fined $145,000 for unsubstantiated marketing claims that a yoni egg could “balance hormones and regulate menstrual cycles.” Deeply misunderstood and easy to joke about, yoni eggs have continued to be the butt of popular culture jokes, most recently appearing in the hand of Chloe Fineman as she impersonated Marianne Williamson on SNL. 

As a sex, love and relationship coach, I recommend yoni eggs to all of my private clients (who have anatomical vaginas). I have taught classes on yoni practice at yoga studios, retreats, and female health seminars across the United States. I have seen them work firsthand with my clients and myself. And my intention is to answer your questions without making unsubstantiated claims. 

To give context, the Department of Defense spends $84 million per year on Viagra, and until about 25 years ago, all health research was conducted on men, with women actively being excluded from clinical trials. While this piece does not intend to make unsubstantiated claims, there has been a dramatic lack of funding of female sexual health research that may actually support on a scientific level of the benefits of yoni practice. Furthermore, just because we don’t have clinical trials to support how the practice can, for example, treat painful periods, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it and it couldn’t help you. So before you purchase a Yoni egg, read below to see if it’s a right fit for you and your sexual wellness. 

What is a yoni egg?

To clarify, a yoni egg is a crystal egg that you put in your vagina. And due to cultural conditioning to shy away from conversations about female sexual health and wellness, it’s easy to be taken aback, and perhaps even snicker at why and how anyone would want to use such a thing. However, this tradition, which traces its roots back thousands of years to Daoist China, is as much an ancient exercise as it is a modern tool for health and wellness. 

The use of yoni eggs, believed to harness and maximize the sensual power of the sacrum, was once a sacred Daoist practice reserved only for women in service to the emperor. Similarly to the chakra system, in which different parts of the body are tied to different facets of life-force energy, Daoists believed that not only could the womb create a physical life, but it could also generate the kind of life force that brings creative expression, inspiration, and magic to reality. 

Their philosophy was that by using this egg as a functional tool, a woman could maximize and magnetize her sensual and sexual energy to bring forth life. While traditionally made from jade, yoni eggs have made a massive resurgence due to the publicity they receive in pop culture, and are manufactured using every crystal under the sun. Just make sure to purchase yours from a reputable vendor.

How does a yoni egg work?

Well, if you’ve heard about the much more commonly known Kegel, which is recommended by modern medical practitioners everywhere, you might have heard that this pelvic-floor strengthening exercise can deepen and expand your potential for orgasm. A Kegel, however, only exercises the most external muscles of the vagina. 

When you insert a yoni egg—you push it inside of you, like a tampon—it gives the deeper muscles of the cervix something to squeeze around. This is how the practice works by squeezing your internal muscles around the egg. Doing this helps activate the mind-to-vagina connection, making this a more expansive and holistic exercise, similarly to doing a full sit-up versus a crunch. The activation of these muscles has been known to help treat urinary incontinence and prolapse (the bulging or falling out of a body part), as recommended by best-selling author and MD Christiane Northrup. And while we wait for modern science to catch up with what holistic practitioners have been sharing for several thousand years, let’s talk about the first-hand experiences of my private practice clients.

Ashley*, 26, suffered from chronic polycystic ovarian syndrome. She was on a variety of medications that made her feel like her hormones controlled her life, and even had to have surgery for her condition. In one of our first sessions together, she disclosed to me that she “hated her vagina.” This was a very reasonable thing to feel. Her condition was something that had not only cost her thousands of dollars and a ton of time trying to heal, but it also caused her a tremendous amount of physical pain. I recommended for her to try a yoni egg. Not as a replacement (of course, for I am not a doctor), and not as a specific remedy to her symptoms. But what I emphasized was that it might be emotionally beneficial to have a sacred practice that helped her feel connected to and compassionate toward her womb. 

Less than six months later, having used the egg a few times a week, Ashley has decreased her medications from four to one, and is feeling so much more at peace (not to mention pleasure) in this part of her body. She is just one of dozens of women I have seen experience remarkable results from the commitment to a ritualistic practice that reminds your body that you love and care for it. In a culture that encourages self-care and mindfulness, not extending this philosophy to our nether regions because we’re embarrassed to discuss them does us a huge disservice.

Can a yoni egg intensify orgasms?

It has been my personal experience that yoni eggs can magnify your orgasmic potential to otherwise unforeseen heights. The largest-ever study of female orgasms reported that 36.6% of women require clitoral stimulation to come. An additional 36% stated that though this was not required, clitoral stimulation greatly enhanced their sexual pleasure. Ironically, the kind of “science” we have deemed acceptable over the last century, including Frued’s theory that clitoral orgasms were somehow subordinate to vaginal ones, has led many women to believe that they are somehow damaged if they cannot achieve an internal orgasm. 

As we dispel the myth that any kind of orgasm is superior to another, we can also explore how a yoni egg may support you to experience and create the potential for vaginal orgasms. If you have ever broken a bone in your leg, you may have noticed the difference between the musculature in one leg versus the other over the course of the healing process. The healthy leg becomes strong and sturdy as it compensates for the lack of movement and weight-baring typically performed by your other leg. The broken leg starts to experience atrophy, or, in layman’s terms, becomes weak and mushy. This can also happen with orgasms. 

How can the yoni egg help us reconnect with ourselves?

Now, I invite you to consider the cultural disconnect between women and their vaginas. Were you ever caught touching yourself as a child/preteen and told, “Stop that! That’s gross!”? Or have you experienced shame as a women around periods, tampons, period blood, stains, etc? In a society where porn glorifies ejaculating on all parts of a woman’s body, we are told to breastfeed in private because it’s “offensive.” For instance, an article in The Week cited that “bad sex” for a man could be defined as “boring,” whereas for women, “bad sex” often meant she experienced physical pain or felt disrespected during or after sex, and furthermore, that most women never voice this to their partners.

All of these circumstances contribute to women being disconnected from their vaginas. Unlike our agriculturally plowing ancestors, we don’t use our pelvic floor muscles as much. We actively avoid talking about and touching our vaginas. And many of us numb or resist expressing the pain we feel within them.

Yoni eggs can help recultivate the musculature of the vagina, and a stronger, more activated pelvic floor means a greater capacity to feel. The sacred, consistent practice of making time for this part of the body can decondition shame and feel incredibly pleasurable, while helping with things like low sex drive and vaginal dryness. Plus, with consistent use, yoni eggs can potentially activate and open new types of sensations in this part of the body that can help you have vaginal orgasms alone or with a partner. 

Is the yoni egg safe to use?

If you are worried about the safety of this practice, I’d invite you to ask yourself how safe it is to use a dildo. The main safety concern here is that you have adequately cleaned it. Also, a lot of women have asked me if the egg can get lost inside of you. No, it can’t. This is a one entry, one exit kind of channel. For your peace of mind, though, I recommend purchasing an egg with a hole drilled in the top. Most companies sell drilled and un-drilled options. The ones with a hole allow you to thread the egg with silk thread or unflavored dental floss. This way you can easily pull the egg out like a tampon, and for many women, this is easier than squatting and laying it.

Don’t use the egg while pregnant or after until you have been cleared by your OB-GYN for sex. Also, don’t use the egg on your period or during an active STD outbreak. There is limited science around whether or not using an egg with an IUD is problematic, the worry here being that the egg may somehow move the IUD. I personally have used my egg with an IUD with no problems, but I don’t recommend doing string-pulling exercises, which are an advanced form of practice and not necessary for getting the main benefits of the yoni egg, without consulting with a doctor. And if you want to get it extra-clean, you can boil it for a few minutes before or after practice to kill off harmful bacteria from growing. Just don’t insert it while it is still hot to the touch!

Whether you feel ready to buy a crystal for your vagina (she deserves one!) or simply want to know what all the buzz is about, yoni eggs are much more than the punchline of a joke. It is my personal pleasure to provide you with some context to inform your decision-making, and I wish you the deepest pleasure as you continue to explore.

While the above information is provided by a sex and relationship expert, it’s best to connect with a physician or OB-GYN before incorporating new sexual wellness tools into your day-to-day routine. 

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