Ed. Note: One of my Facebook friends, Saumya, pointed out that since this is a British article, the -160 degrees is probably Celsius, which, as she noted, was around -250 degrees Fahrenheit (-256 to be precise). I had thought of that, but I just hoped it wasn’t true because -160 is bad enough. She took one for the team and checked the spa’s website, and it’s -160 C. Now, I’m doubly horrified.
As many of my longtime readers know, I like cold and snow. A lot. Winter is my favorite season, and I like to play a little game of ‘how long can I drive in the winter with the windows down?” I love dancing naked in the snow, even though we haven’t had enough to make it worthwhile in quite some time. It’s kind of my thing to tweet about dancing in snow, naked, at midnight, and, no, there will never be video of it. I love stepping out into the crisp winter air and feeling the hairs in my nose freeze. I feel the most alive when I’m slightly shivering, and I don’t put on a coat until it’s sub-zero degrees outside. I don’t think I wore a coat more than three times this past winter, making do with a sweatshirt and gloves. I’ve periodically researched the coldest, snowiest places on earth because Minnesota has been more mild lately. I would like to stay in an ice hotel one day because I think that would be an amazing experience. In other words, you will not find a bigger fan of cold than me. You know what I don’t like, though? Frostbite. I’ve never had it, but I’ve felt the incipient stage when your extremities start to go numb. I am not a big fan of it, and you know what would be even worse?
Having that feeling in your vag.
“Minna,” I can hear you say. “How in the hell did you get frostbite there?”
First of all, don’t swear. This is a family-friendly blog, for fuck’s sake. Have some decorum, please. Secondly, I have not gotten frostbite there, nor would I want to, but there are people who are paying money to experience the pleasure of becoming frigid.
It boggles my mind, which means I have to write about it for your enjoyment/amazement/disgust. If I have to read it/digest it, so the hell do you!
In prepping for this week’s column, I scanned the archives of Gwyneth Paltrow whisperer, Dr. Jen Gunter’s blog, which you can do yourself here. She tackles many of the latest bullshit neo-alternative therapies that use medical-sounding gobbledygook to appear authentic, but is either worthless at best or harmful at worst. The one that immediately caught my eye was a post about a spa, Ainscow Spa, in Manchester, England that is freezing people’s junk, claiming it enhances the sexual experience. Hey! Look! It’s not just Americans who have bonker ideas about what people should do to their genitals! They do it by using a liquid nitrogen tank and spraying a -160 degree vapor across the genitals for thirty minutes. Quick reference: Frostbite can set in if you’re exposed to anything below freezing for an extended amount of time, which, as you know, is 32 degrees. They’re using a -160 degree vapor, just to reiterate. This frostbite experience, quaintly called The Love Mist, will set you back 50 quid, by the way, roughly $61. They offered it for Valentine’s Day because what says I love you better than giving each other frostbite?
The spa claims it improves the sex drive and the appearance of the genitalia. As to the former, they say (warning, Mirror link):
When the sub-zero temperature covers the skin, the sudden drop in heat stimulates the temperature receptors, prompting the brain to transmit messages throughout the body so the blood vessels undergo ‘vasoconstriction’.
This produces a quicker blood flow and ramps up endorphin levels, generating a natural high.
Oooh, it sounds so professional, doesn’t it? To the ordinary lay person, the take away probably would be, “It’s an endorphin high! Who wouldn’t want that?” According to Dr. Gunter, though, this is the beginning stage of frostbite. Suddenly, that doesn’t seem nearly as inviting, does it? Which is probably why the spa conveniently left that part off. I doubt they would get much business if they said, “Experience a natural high as your dick freezes off!” Once again, just because something is natural, it doesn’t mean it’s desirable. Would you want to mimic the symptoms of a heart attack just because it’s natural and get your heart racing? An endorphin rush isn’t always a positive thing. Fear and pain both produce it as well, and most of us do not want to experience those on a regular basis.
As to the claim that it boosts the appearance OF YOUR GENITALIA*, this is what the spa has to say about that:
While the skin continues to feel the ‘freeze’ the body sends signals back and forth to the brain.
These messengers tell the brain if there is damage to the tissues, to repair them.
It’s this that along with the instant endorphin level energy boost and natural high, generates a tighter, youthful, clear and vibrant genital skin appearance through boosting collagen.
Once again, they use a lot of technical-sounding terms and toss about endorphins again, but there’s one telling line in that quote–the one about damage to the tissues. It’s buried halfway through, and the Mirror doesn’t bother to actually point out what all this mumbo-jumbo means, but they’re telling you that this process damages tissues. They’re killing off perfectly healthy skin by freeze-burning it in order to generate new skin that they claim will be tighter and more youthful. Even if this were true, who the fuck cares what your vag/dick looks like? (Yes, they’re doing it to dudes, too, apparently. Equal-opportunity junk-freezing!). The idea that you should damage healthy skin in the name of vanity pisses me off, and these people should not be allowed to run a spa.
I doubt even Elsa would approve of this version of Frozen!
Look. I’m not trying to kink-shame–I would be the last person to do that. I want you to have as much fun as possible when you sex as long as it’s consensual and safe. It’s the latter I’m worried about here, and it’s because I’ve been around the block a time or ten. It can be fun to put ice cubes in your vag during sex or in your mouth as you’re giving head, or so I’ve been told. The icy shock certainly can heighten the sexual arousal. However, you’re not having it up there for half an hour (at least I certainly hope you’re not!), and ideally, you will remove it if it starts to burn. Have fun when you sex, but be safe, too! Nothing is sexier than being able to sex again, which is hard to do with frostbitten bits.
There are reasons to use cryotherapy, but this ain’t one of them. If I have any Brit readers out there and these people are still offering this treatment, just say no to freezing your junk!
*Not really high on my list of priorities, I gotta be honest with you.