This is an actual product that actually exists.
A cream being marketed in India promises to make women feel “like a virgin” again. Apparently its mechanism of action is not by restoring sex to awkward fumbling, but, rather, by tightening the vagina.
Its ingredients are all-natural and include gold dust and pomegranates. I have no idea how gold is supposed to firm up one’s cunt, but pomegranate might have an indirect effect as it has historically been used as a contraceptive (admittedly a pretty pisspoor one) so I suppose theoretically it could stop things getting looser by preventing childbirth. But, basically, it sounds like snake oil, unless it provokes a horrid allergic reaction which makes everything swell up a little. Cynically, one would guess that the presence of the gold is merely to bump up the price a bit.
The more crucial issue with this product is not how silly it is, but its intended purpose. Beyond tightening the vagina, it is touted as making women feel “like virgins”. While its marketing department argues that this is purely metaphorical, we live in a world where this is unmistakable for truth. After all, hymen reconstruction surgery is on the rise in India, virginity is prized, and it is still linked to marriageability.
This set of attitudes is not limited to India, though. It’s everywhere, it’s a pervasive part of patriarchy. Hymen reconstruction surgery originated in the West, and virginity is just as fetishised. All over the world, a woman’s sexual behaviour is still seen to be a Big Thing, and factors into relationships, response if she is raped and so on. While virginity might not be the focus, not being a big slutty slut is. There’s still an emphasis on purity.
It’s nonsensical, this archaic patriarchal belief, but sits there humming in the background and we don’t even notice it until we see something as preposterous as a gold-tinged fanny-tightening cream. Yet it’s there, quietly shaking its head at women who enjoy sex.
The publicity material for the gold-tinged fanny-cream says it will empower women, basically allowing them to fuck before marriage and without societal effects. This is a hollow form of empowerment, though; it does not overturn the belief system which prevents women from doing this in the first place. Rather, it continues to perpetuate this cultural fetishisation of virginity and regulation of women’s behaviour, all the while financially fleecing women.
I doubt anybody thought a cream could solve these problems; there is no salve to soothe the problems of patriarchy. The only solution is a revolution.
Big, big tip of the hat to @MatofKilburnia for thinking of that headline