Forget ground-up wasp nests and Gwyneth Paltrow’s jade eggs. The latest in over-the-top feminine trends has women putting “glitter bombs” in their vaginas, and physicians want them to stop.
Known as “Passion Dust,” the latest in unicorn trend novelty products — which is sold out, by the way — is intended to make a woman’s nether region look and taste better (like candy, to be exact) during intimate moments.
“Passion Dust is not a liquid, lubricant or gel of any kind,” the retailer’s website, Pretty Woman Inc. reads. “It does not induce or create any physical sensations or physically alter your sexual performance. Its only purpose is to add a spark and flavour to your natural vaginal fluids to make the experience of lovemaking that much more fun and enjoyable for you and your partner.”
According to the website, women insert a capsule into their vagina, which then dissolves and “releases its contents.” Its contents being a mix of gelatin, starch-based edible glitter, acacia (gum arabic) powder, Zea Mays starch and vegetable stearate.
“Your body’s physical responses help to release the Passion Dust,” it explains. “Basically, the more excited you get physically, the faster the capsule dissolves…”
Creators of the product insist it is safe to use as often as one likes, but warn that it may trigger an asthma attack for those who suffer from asthma if it is ingested during oral sex.
The company assures that it uses “cosmetic grade glitters and gem powders of special non-toxic materials,” is coloured with pigment (rather than dye) and the particles are both finer than regular craft glitter and are rounded rather than hexagonal.
Since going viral, physicians around the world have warned women against using the novelty item. They all agree that a product like Passion Dust can cause many health concerns to the users, especially women.
For Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Women’s College Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto, not only are these trends bizarre, they’re also concerning.
“When it comes to the vagina, there’s a delicate balance of pH but also normal bacteria and I already see a lot of young women in my clinic with concerns about their vagina and the discharge there, so I think that this would just continue to add to that problem,” Kirkham says.
While Kirkham is not confident about all the ingredients present in the glitter product, she does observe a sticky consistency to the glitter, which may or may not mean that sugar is present. If it is, this could be an issue.
“It’s not great for the vagina because we all have some yeast there and yeast loves to grow in a warm, moist environment and if there’s sugar it can feed on, it will only make it worse,” Kirkham explains.
Women should also be warned that such products can cause infection, Kirkham says.
Besides triggering a yeast infection, a glitter product such as this can also make existing infections — for both men and women — worse.
Vulva infections are also a risk, as well as skin infections around the area of the vagina and urinary tract infections which may lead to bladder infections and kidney infections.
“Further, we do have a cervix that protects the uterus and our abdomen but people can get pelvic inflammatory disease, especially if the infection travels up towards the abdomen,” Kirkham says. “The vagina wasn’t meant to have random objects placed in there, especially if it’s a sticky substance and hard to clean out.”
The backlash from the medical community has since prompted the Passion Dust company to issue a statement: “Well Duh!, basically, use at your own risk — as you should with anything,” the statement reads. “We know that ‘glitter’ is not something commonly used in the vagina but that does not mean that it can’t be used in the vagina for the purpose that we have intended Passion Dust to be used for.”
It continues, “We have no intentions on addressing every negative story or media news request because no matter what statements we issue in defense of our product it will be someone’s job or mission to dispute, debunk or discredit every statement made. We would never ask women to use our product against medical advice and we address such concerns on our Q&A page.”
The company’s full statement can be read here.