What Lies Between?

If the holidays are starting to leave you feeling a little run down, it’s perfectly understandable.  Between the Thanksgiving stuffing, frantic shopping, and frantically running to the doctor after your mother-in-law Googles “RSV,” everyone is likely feeling depleted.  Sure, you can go the traditional route of less consumption, more exercise, and more rest to get tuned up, if ‘ordinary’ is good enough.

But why not really go for the max in terms of Vitamin D, improved sleep, hormonal regulation, bacterial count reduction, and “more energy from this electric node than you would in an entire day being outside with your clothes on”?  Yes, we are talking about the new health craze, “perineum sunning.”

This exciting new technique, whose lead promoters include  “influencers” Ra of Earth, and Metaphysical Meagan, involves lying on one’s back naked, and spreading ‘em.  Sure, you unsophisticated are probably countering that the perineum has evolved over a few thousand generations in the upright, bipedal crowd such that it is not used to seeing the sun, and that a solar ambush is both cruel and risky to so central a junction.

And I suppose a little discretion is required for one’s daily dose, so urbanites might need to form rooftop clubs with all the attendant permitting, which should be easy enough to obtain if this necessary health access is framed as a civil rights issue.  Hollywood celebs – what can’t they teach us? -will be standing by to promote awareness.  Even if quitters like Josh Brolin publicly whine about this technique burning his “pucker hole” and ruining a shopping trip with his family, others like Shailene Woodley are more upbeat:  “Another thing I like to do is give my vagina a little vitamin D … I was reading an article written by an herbalist I studied about yeast infections and other genital issues. She said there’s nothing better than vitamin D. If you’re feeling depleted, go in the sun for an hour and see how much energy you get. Or, if you live in a place that has heavy winters, when the sun finally comes out, spread your legs and get some sunshine.” Meta Meagan has even given up her morning cup of coffee in favor of this therapy, which sounds like an awful tradeoff.

So many questions…

–       How will the dermatologists handle this?  It seems like an obvious windfall for them, until they consider whether they want to start doing wide-area excisions in so strategic a spot (at which point I presume the LELT crowd will start pushing for NP’s to fill in the gap for ‘underserved’ areas).

–       Has anyone informed Gwyneth Paltrow, she of “vaginal steaming” advocacy, and what are her views on the practice?

–       Is a Sharper Image “Personal Perineal Tanner” in the offing, and what will the FDA have to say about it?

–       Will less-affluent status seekers resort to spray tanning as a cheaper, less worrisome alternative?

–       Will the AAFP begin to advocate perineum sunning screening questions, as further justification not to reduce what CMS will pay their serfs for a level 3?

–       If anatomical differences lead to statistically significant diagnosis rates of perineal carcinomas between the sexes, will this be further evidence of bias in health care research funding? (The “trans-“ cohort will be understandably more complicated, and left for subsequent studies).

Scolds like Gretchen Frieling, MD, dermatologist, claim, “There is no one answer to harnessing the ‘mystic powers’ this viral trend espouses … Good health is achieved from the inside out and time and effort must be put forth on a consistent basis. There is no magic trick.”

While I in no way ever endorse any treatment or practice here ever (hear that, lawyers?), I see great entertainment value in ignoring Dr. Frieling’s counsel, burdened as it is with actual medical expertise.  In an age where great legions of fashionable men and women demand health care from their government, full coverage from their insurance, serious, non-laughing attention from their physician, and social media reassurance, it is too much fun to see them follow Instagram “influencers” for new ways to stay in the pink.  

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Pat Conrad MD

Pat Conrad is a full-time rural ER doc on the Florida Gulf Coast. After serving as a carrier naval flight officer, he graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine, and the Tallahassee Family Medicine residency program. His commentary has appeared in Medical Economics and at AuthenticMedicine.com . Conrad’s work stresses individual freedom and autonomy as the crucial foundation for medical excellence, is wary of all collective solutions, and recognizes that the vast majority of poisonous snakebites are concurrent with alcohol consumption. 

  1 comment for “What Lies Between?

  1. Steve O'
    December 29, 2019 at 11:39 am

    The American Cocktail is a strong mixture of novelty and certainty, over a base of arrogance and ignorance. Perhaps it should be called the “Dunning-Kruger.” Try it on New Year’s Eve, but the hangovers are vicious.
    Of the notably famous, Josh Brolin tried this technique, and suffered burns. I suggest we refer to him from now on as “Josh Broilin’
    Yesterday’s fad was perineal bleaching, discussed in detail by CBS News, apparently having run out of, well, news. Home quackery offers hydroquinone treatments, which, according to its MSDS, Repeated exposure may cause hyperpigmentation of fair skin and depigmentation of dark skin. Causes skin irritation and possible burns. Substance is readily absorbed through the skin.”
    Who knows what awaits us in 2020?

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