Name! That! Horrifying! Disease!
So it’s like going to the gym for your vagina?
Yeah, but it’s not like you’re maxing out. You’re not picking up pianos with your vagina—you’re picking up blueberries, so don’t squish them and make a mess. It’s very gentle.
You’re Doing Kegels Wrong
Most people know Kegels as a lady-business exercise that women do to heal their vaginas after they’ve had a baby, or something older women try in an attempt to delay the inevitable need for diapers, or what young women do when they’re trying to keep their lower-half in tiptop condition.
What you might not know is that there are levels to this shit. First, both men and women can benefit from exercising the pelvic floor (aka the area and muscle fibers covering the space underneath your pelvis). It can improve your orgasms and posture, and it doesn’t involve going to the gym (the most effective workout for your pelvic floor is sex). Still, there’s a lot of misinformation about what Kegels and pelvic floor exercises can and cannot do.
I wanted to get down to the brass tacks of genital strength improvement, so I called registered pelvic-floor physiotherapist Julia Di Paolo—a 17-year veteran of the physiotherapy world, four of which have been spent as one of Toronto’s 54 trained pelvic floor specialists—to learn more about preventing organs from sinking into your vagina, what you should do if you experience pain during sex, and why picking up an imaginary blueberry with your vagina may be the secret to better fuckin’.
VICE: What does a pelvic floor physiotherapist actually do?
Julia Di Paolo: We are regular registered physiotherapists, but we have specialized education, so it’s post-grad education. We are the only ones who go internal, which means fingers into the vagina or the rectum to assess the musculature of the pelvis. There’s a lot of muscles you can’t access from the outside, and some of them you can access, but not very easily. Going inside is the only way to tell if a muscle is too tight or too loose, or too short.
What kind of clients do you typically see?
I see a lot of women who are pregnant or just had their babies. And then we have a subset of the mothers of the women who just had their babies, because the women I treat go home and tell grandma, who is looking after the new baby, what they did, and she says, “well, I leak too,” and she comes to see me.
Women in menopause are at high risk because they’ve delivered babies years ago and then they have 20 or 30 years without pelvic support, so over 50 percent of them have prolapses—that’s when the organs kind of lean down into the vagina and aren’t supported anymore.
Have you ever heard of iatronudia? It is, according to places like Urban Dictionary, “a paraphilia involving sexual attraction to medical staff and doctors.” Inspired by that, here’s a fashion shoot showcasing people pretending to be sick/injured in order to get naked in front of healthcare professionals. It’s called “Do Me, Doctor.”
Getting High on HIV Medication
In 1998, the antiretroviral drug efavirenz was approved for treatment of HIV infection. Though the drug was highly effective, patients soon began to report bizarre dreams, hallucinations, and feelings of unreality. When South African tabloids started to run stories of efavirenz-motivated rapes and robberies, scientists began to seriously study how efavirenz might produce these unexpected hallucinogenic effects.
Hamilton Morris travels to South Africa to interview efavirenz users and dealers and study how the life-saving medicine became part of a dangerous cocktail called “nyaope.”
Crude Journalism: Chevron Bought a Newspaper to Mask Its Bad Record on Safety Abuses
Richmond is tucked into California’s western tricep, a former wine town with a population just over 100,000. Under the administration of Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, the town is thelargest city in the United States with a Green Party mayor. It’s also an oil town—in 1901, Standard Oil set up a tank farm, choosing the location for its easy access to San Francisco Bay. Soon after, a western terminus of the Santa Fe Railroad was built in Richmond to handle the outflux of crude. Over the course of the 20th century, Standard Oil became the Standard Oil Company of California (SOCAL), and later, Chevron.
Throughout the 90s, the Richmond refinery was fined thousands of dollars for unsafe conditions, explosions, major fires, and chemical leaks, as the plant oozed chlorine and sulfur trioxide into Richmond’s atmosphere. In August of 2012, the Richmond refinery exploded after Chevron ignored the warning of corroding pipes from the local safety board. The disaster was linked to aging pipes, which were simply clamped instead of replaced altogether. Some 15,000 residents in the surrounding area were forced to seek medical treatment, and Chevron’s CEO, John Watson, got a $7.5 million dollar raise.
A UFO Pleasure Cult Is Fixing Vaginas in Africa
If you’re the kind of person who keeps up with UFO spiritualists, you’ll know Raëlians as the group who believe that Earth was created by a vastly superior alien civilization. According to its French founder, a racecar driver and singer-songwriter named Raël, the aliens (called Elohim) created humans in their own image and have been guiding us throughout history with the help of messengers—humans they’ve had special contact with. If you guessed these messengers include people with names like Jesus and Buddha, you guessed right.
But while that might sound far-fetched to some, they also believe in the importance of pleasure—sexual or otherwise—in the pursuit of spiritual growth. And that sounds pretty reasonable. This stance has led them to create a nonprofit called Clitoraid, which champions reconstructive surgery for victims of female circumcision in the developing world. This month they opened their first “Pleasure Hospital” in Burkina Faso, where world-class surgeons will treat women for free, rebuilding their clitorises to give them the ability to orgasm. After speaking to Clitoraid’s smoky-voiced French communications director, Nadine Gary, it’s hard to deny that this sexy group of UFO enthusiasts are the best dudes in Africa.
VICE: Hey, Nadine. How’s the Pleasure Hospital coming along?
Nadine Gary: Oh, it’s going great. It’s the last stretch, and there’s a lot going on. The equipment is set up. The patients are being taken care of for medical visits before their operation. Everything is coming together, really.
Are you open yet?
We opened on the second or third of March. Surgeons from the United States came on the first, and that’s when we started treating people. We’d never treated anybody in that hospital before.
That’s exciting. Why did you call it the Pleasure Hospital?
Because, really, that’s what it’s about. It’s about restoring pleasure—sexual pleasure. We know we’re putting our finger on a taboo. Women’s sexuality has always been something people look down upon, that women feel guilty about. With that psyche of feeling so guilty, so ashamed, they go to the extent of cutting off somebody’s clitoris. We want to restore women’s integrity and women’s beauty. Part of the woman’s duty is her sexuality, which is very noble.
We Need to Quit Our Obsession with Meat Before It Kills Us
On Sunday, March 9, Pitt Cue Co.—the meat mecca just off London’s Carnaby Street—hosted a special evening, a one-off “Highland Beef Night” that featured a nose-to-tail menu of beef dishes made from a pair of Highland cows the restaurant bought a year ago from a Cornish farmer. The animals spent two months dry-aging, their flesh and bones eventually finding their way into dishes like beef scrumpets, beef and bone-marrow pasties, and the king of all cuts, rib of beef.
All of it was fucking fantastic. Not many places in London do the things to pigs and cows that Pitt Cue does. But with everyone smiling at each other—lips slicked with grease, teeth like fence posts that live animals had been fired into—I couldn’t help thinking that there was something a bit culty about a group of humans gathering together to eat two specific cows.
Locavore obsessives will kick their hooves at this. Speak to any chef, food critic, restaurateur—whomever—and they’ll give you the eat-better-meat-less-often argument, droning on about where the animals lived, what they ate, how humanely they died, which artisan coffee they drank, etc., etc. All of that is irrefutable. If you’re going to eat meat, you can do your part by eating the best quality available and, when you can, consuming the animal’s less popular parts (neck fillet, onglet, cheek, trotters, that kind of stuff) and not just the common cuts.
Meanwhile, we’ve become increasingly obsessed with meat. If an event like Highland Beef Night had been touted even a few years ago, there’s no way it would have pulled in the people it did on Sunday. Meat is now highly fetishized, especially among young people. Burgers are the new tits—if you look at any social media platform, there are as many 20-something men posting photos of ground flesh covered in neon sauce as there are sharing that zero-gravity Kate Upton video. We’ve become a society of rabid carnivores, and it’s not just getting tiresome—it’s fucking killing us.