The 5 Most Ridiculous Products Made for Crotch Maintenance
Genitals are perhaps the only thing in the world that everyone loves and most people don't mind sharing with others. That's why they also tend to be fairly well-maintained, be it by rigorous daily training using the ... um, workout material we find on the Internet, or by flat out gluing our junk full of Swarovski crystals.
I'm not saying that taking care of our fun bits is a bad thing. For the most part, it's the best thing. It's just that some of the stuff we subject them to seems a tad ... overkill.
For the male reader, the above picture probably conjures awkward memories of the torture scene in Casino Royale, aka the real reason we all find Mads Mikkelsen more than a little unnerving (Hannibal is a close second). However, those chairs are actually meant for women, and for a much more pleasant reason: boiling-hot steam.
Hold on, that doesn't sound pleasant at all.
There is a Korean procedure known as chai-yok, and it's all about slowly steaming the vagina with boiling herbal water. Basically, you squat on a bottomless chair and some herbalist steams your fun parts with a scalding concoction that has wormwood and mugwort and turducken and other things with Harry Potter names in it. You do this for up to 45 minutes at a time, but it's OK because chai-yok is said to help with menstrual cramps, stress, fertility issues, and hemorrhoids. Wait, did I say hemorrhoids and stress? Looks like the thing can be used by men, too! Hooray!
The data and professional opinions on the subject of chai-yok's effectiveness are divided at best. People who have tried it describe it as terrifying heat hell on your nether regions. Still, it wouldn't cross my mind to claim that it's a hokey treatment. That's not my place, any more than that goddamn steam chair is. I'm just saying that if you choose to buy one of the many, many DIY vagina-steaming kits out there, be damn sure your knowledge of herbs is up to the task. Although my personal experience on the subject of genital steaming is limited to that one time I'm not legally allowed to discuss until 2027, I feel that when you find out the $20 bag of "relaxing herbs" you bought online and liberally administered to your hot water is actually ground naga morichi chilies and dried ferret poop, teetering at the brink of first-degree burns is going to be the least of your vaginal worries.
"WHO KNEW A BEAUTY PROCEDURE THAT INVOLVES THE WORDS 'GENITAL' AND 'BOILING' COULD GO WRONG SOMEHOW?"
(Fair warning: Although it's safely censored, there is an actual picture of this product a bit further down the line. Proceed with caution.)
Ballbra. BALLbra. Ball ... BRA. It sounds like something Chandler Bing might drunkenly come up with, just before the rest of the cast of Friends finally snaps and beats the snot out of him. It definitely doesn't sound like a real product, because who on earth would want to wear a bra on their balls? Oh, right. Crazy people. Behold:
It's like a jockstrap and a hammock had a fight and everyone lost.
The product's most prominent feature -- the ridiculous gap that makes your pubes and the root of the dong look like a tiny dude with an Afro -- is not there because the nut-brassiere concept requires it, by the way. It's there because the manufacturer felt the need to provide an option to ... freely hang out.
Creating an effect not unlike this.
Why this is, no one knows. Some sources suggest that the Ballbra's design is supposed to reduce the risk of testicular cancer, but if this is true, the product website certainly goes to impressive lengths to hide this particular benefit. The front page greets you with a series of mildly worrying fortune cookie one-liners endlessly streaming from a dude's screen-filling crotch bulge. "See the difference, because feeling it will surprise you!" is kind of a red flag. "Don't let them get away -- use Ballbra" definitely is.
"You read that right -- we just told you to go swing this thing in front of your neighbors. BUY ALL OF THE BALLBRAS NOW."
It would be nice to be able to chalk up the Ballbra as a novelty product, or maybe a supportive thing to keep older dudes from tripping over their nuts. But from what I can tell, the bra for balls is a completely serious product, and the intended market segment is youngish bro types. They're buying, too: I've actually had the misfortune to witness some otherwise sane-looking guy proudly wearing one in a locker room, dick flopping about and all. It was no one's proudest moment.
Oh, and of course the manufacturer seems real keen on accentuating the sexy potential of the product. Because what prospect of erotic affection wouldn't fall head over heels for a man who proudly wears his testicles in a sling? A sling that openly, clearly reads "Ballbra"?
Semen Flavor Enhancers
I don't know if you've heard about it, but oral sex has been kind of popular for a while now. Provided that everyone's hygiene is at a passable level, it's one of those things most people genuinely enjoy, yet somehow it's one of the most common sources of sexual bickering between couples. Many men seem uncertain whether they should give any (answer: Yep!), while the trouble most (straight) women face appears to be of the "spit or swallow" variety (answer: If the dude whines about this crap after you just gave him a blow job, chances are he's not exactly boyfriend material).
If you've ever had this discussion, readers of the male persuasion, chances are you've learned that a major reason for your partner's unwillingness to gargle your man juice is the fact that it generally tastes like rancid ass. Sure, you can help this by maintaining a somewhat healthy diet and avoiding certain foods that are thought to adversely affect the taste, but since the "don't eat this" list contains stuff like garlic, booze, and protein-rich foods, the chances of your average dude actually managing to stick to said diet are slim to none.
So why not keep on stuffing your face with those Jameson-infused garlic McRibs, and artificially spice up your semen instead?
What, did you think I was kidding?
Semen flavor enhancers are a whole host of mildly dubious pill-shaped products the manufacturers of which swear blind can turn even the foulest of man-goos into a veritable buffet of taste sensations. Most of the products out there consist of your average dietary-supplement fodder, such as acai berry extract, combined with ingredients that enjoy a flavor-enhancing reputation, like spices and pineapple. And if for some reason your significant other isn't impressed by what basically amounts to a dong-administered fruit salad, you could just go for straight green apple:
Because nothing says "I love you" like an orgasm laced with the tang of malic acid.
All you need to do now is combine your flavor enhancer of choice with the Monster Xplosion ejaculate volumizer and after a week neither of you will ever want to see fruit soup again.
A confession: Apart from the glowing red dot just under my breastplate that can only be hit right after I swing the Blade of Injustice, my greatest weakness is that I break out in goddamn hives whenever I hear one of those stupid "Let's avoid mentioning genitalia by using cutesy made-up words" terms certain magazines and websites like to throw around. Chief among these pet peeves is "vajayjay," a wannabe sweet, Oprah-popularized word that somehow manages to reduce a perfectly normal, wonderful thing into the fleshy equivalent of "OMG tee-hee YOLO LOL." As such, forgive me if I seem to rush through this entry, but if I don't get it done as quickly as possible, so help me, I will go spin-kick a waterfowl.
With that off my chest, here's a goddamn vajacial kit:
You know, for muff maintenance.
Yes, a vajacial kit, for somehow, vagina facials are a thing in the world we live in, and said thing is called "vajacial" because of course it is. Originally a necessary side service for Brazilian waxing (which can be quite taxing on the skin), the vajacial has since taken on a life of its own. And if the many, many places offering this particular service are anything to go by, a fair number of people are apparently willing to pay money for letting a complete stranger gently slather their private parts in various strange substances that may or may not do them any good.
Man, all these years I've been under the impression that vaginas are kind of popular regardless of how many arbitrary treatments you subject them to. Is ... is this where we as a society stand now, people?
The practice of circumcision is a widely debated one, with health benefits in one corner and loss of sensation and surgical risks in the other, and little conclusive research to back up either party. Luckily, we have no need to delve into this particular discussion, because the finest minds in dong science have figured out a way to de-bris the debris of your bris with a brilliant device that can perfectly simulate a foreskin.
And when I say "simulate," I of course mean "wrap your dong in a rubber tube that kind of acts a little like a foreskin." I'm not going to link to the actual product website, because the company is strictly anti-circumcision and enjoys making its point with a vast pictorial canvas of various dongs and drunkenly botched circumcisions that rivals the most dedicated torture porn sites. You can Google it if you like, and we can be watch list buddies.
Also, therapy buddies.
The intent of this glorified plastic bag is to act as a sort of 24/7 sweater for the little guy, protecting the tip from freely rubbin' about, which is supposed to eventually restore some feeling down there. This is certainly a noble purpose. It's just sort of hard to get over the fact that SenSlip is essentially a bastard child of a tipless condom and several inches of garden hose, and one you have to wear all the time except during sex (which, incidentally, will be right off the menu when your significant other learns you're milling about your day wearing this little cheesemaker). Hell, even foreskin restoration enthusiasts (yes, they're a thing) deem SenSlip uncomfortable, tight, and flat-out useless.
Difficult to believe, I know. But sometimes it's better to believe the experts.
Hey, here's an idea: Since there seems to be a market for dong-tip-protectin' products, do they really need to be of the creepy rubber tube variety? Why not make things festive with, say, tiny dong hats? Actually, why are those not a thing? I would buy three of them right now just out of principle, yet Google image search only turns up a bunch of gag penis hats (which, while they do serve an important social function by allowing us to immediately and accurately recognize a dickhead, are not the dong headwear we're going for here). Come on, crotch product industry, get on with the times -- you and I both know you're regularly churning out way stupider stuff than this. The world needs dong berets, dong bowlers, dong baseball caps, dong bobble hats. Hell, you'd probably make a killing on ironic dong fedoras alone.
As a bonus, they would also provide a handy last-minute red flag for prospective partners.
Pauli Poisuo is a Cracked columnist and freelance editor. Follow him on Twitter.