“C’mon, it’ll be an experience you can tell your friends about later.” My roommate replied with “I am never telling anyone about this.” It was one in the morning after seven grueling days of work and I decided that night was the night, the time was right to schedule a V-steam.
For those of you that may have never heard of a V-steam, don’t worry, that’s why I’m here. A V-steam, also known as a yoni steam, is a “spa experience” during which a lady sits over a bowl of steaming hot water that contains various herbs and uh… waits. The advertised benefits of this include relief from period cramps and bloating, increased fertility, treatment of stress and depression, and more. Gwenyth Paltrow and Christy Teigen have both done it and I can’t possibly think of a reason that I am less deserving of such a magnificent experience.
So, back to one in the morning, I found a deal on a popular discount app. For the bargain price of $44, I could live like Gwenyth and Christy (for 60 minutes anyway). It feels necessary to bring someone who does not want to go with you on these kinds of adventures so I chose my roommate. To her credit, she said this was a stupid idea and named various things that could go wrong (burns, yeast infections, irritations). I tried to convince her that her we’d be fine (even though I had no basis for this belief), and after I bothered her enough about it (and agreed to pay for hers too), she was in, I scheduled our appointments for almost a week later.
After I booked the appointments, I started to read up on V-steams. My roommate was way more ahead of this than I was, all of the risks she named were definite possibilities. V-steams are not recommended by anyone in the medical community and according to medical professionals they serve absolutely no benefit. Did Gwenyth and the popular discount app lie to me? Had I spent almost $90 for my roommate and I to sit on glorified toilets over steaming tea for no reason?
The night before our appointments, I laid in bed with all sorts of thoughts running through my head. Will we be in a room together or will we be in individual rooms or will we be in a big room with other people? What if I have to pee during this? Will excusing myself to the restroom compromise the effect? What if I’m a bit gassy that day? And the thought that had haunted me throughout the past five days, why am I doing this?
Tuesday morning, I woke up ready to go steam my lady parts. I had showered the night before and my roomie and I had lunch before our appointment. I considered doing a couple of shots beforehand because it seemed like the type of event that called for a slight buzz but I decided against it. I think Christy and Gwenyth would want me sober for this and I owe it to them and to you, my dear readers, to go into this clear-headed and open minded.
We arrived at the holistic health and wellness center and were greeted by a very friendly woman. She was very attractive and dressed nicely but unremarkably. The place was unremarkable for the most part. There were no chairs in the lobby, but there were pillows and a fancy rug displayed on the floor (to be fair, I have no idea if this is because of Covid or because it’s a holistic place). We were shown in to the consultation area and asked to fill out some paperwork.
There was a questionnaire that asked a lot of questions about my menstrual cycle, hot flashes, and various other questions about my ovulation and other feminine issues. When the nice lady returned to gather our completed paperwork, and after reviewing our questionnaires, she recommended the “maintenance” steam (note: I have no idea what that means). My roomie and I were shown into the V-steam room (by the way I should mention our “hostess” always referred to it as a yoni steam). It was a long room with four “steam seats” available. I had no idea if there were other women coming to occupy the other two seats while we were there or if there were multiple “v-steam rooms” available. This particular room was dimly lit with small strings of light and had sheer fabric and (probably fake) foliage draped from overhead. The room smelled, not overwhelmingly, of herbs. I’m not familiar enough with herbs to be able to identify what I was smelling but it was pleasant.
She handed us both skirts to put on and instructed us (after she excused herself out) to undress from the bottom down and put on our long skirts (this was very comforting to me as I wasn’t sure if we were going to have to “Winnie-the-Pooh” it or what). There was a small curtained area where we could go to undress privately. After a few minutes, she returned and took towels off of two of the seats next to each other. I looked down in the opening of the seat and it looked like one of those potpourri bowls from the eighties that my mom had in various places around the house (by the way, did those even work?). She instructed us to straddle the seats under our skirts and let the magic begin. She explained that there could be some cramping during the steam as our wombs would begin opening up as to let the herbs in. Roomie and I straddled our respective seats and mentally prepared ourselves for our wombs opening. She pointed out a small bell on the table that we could ring if we needed anything. There was also a basket with bottled water in it if we wanted a drink. Before excusing herself out, she turned on the small tv in the room and instructed us to listen to the video and meditate during our steam. The video began to play soft instrumental music with a woman’s soft voice occasionally saying inspirational quotes over it.
“I am beautiful.”
Okay, so before I continue, I’m going to admit, I suck at meditating under any circumstances. I’m not sure that anyone could meditate during their first time doing this as I think anyone would be busy with “taking it all in,” but I wouldn’t shut up and the roommate and I jumped up a few times to take pictures on our phones. We sat (most of the time) over our steam pots and absorbed the herbs in our wombs and the experience in our minds. I was very surprised that it’s not really that steamy. I had pictured myself straddling a boiling pasta pot but that’s not at all what it was like. It was a warm passive steam; I really didn’t feel anything except the warmth.
“I am enough.”
After about thirty-five minutes, it was getting uncomfortably warm. I had not had the urge to pee yet but I kept wondering if I would (according to the handout she gave me, it’s normal to get the urge while steaming but it is stressed to NOT do this in the steam pot). It wasn’t hot yet but I found myself checking the time a lot. I felt warm but it was bearable. I looked around the narrow room with no vents and I could only imagine how miserable a yoni steam in August would be.
“I deserve to be loved”
I started shifting a lot. I wasn’t sure if it was the temperature or my general restlessness. My roommate seemed to be doing fine so maybe it was just me being fidgety. Our “hostess” came back in and told us our session was complete. She turned off the tv and left the room again so we could get dressed and gather our things. We put our skirts and the towels from our seats in the laundry bin in the room.
She met us at the front desk and began to explain the effects we might have after our steam. Along with better sleep, emotional balance, and heightened libido, we could expect changes in our menstrual cycle, and possibly an increase of cramping due to the uterine cleansing itself more thoroughly. She warned that certain types of birth controls may not work in the next few days due to the V-steam increasing fertility (note: Christy and Gwyenth did not mention any of this). She also explained that after the steam, there may be an increase in production of “lady nectar.” I am thankful that my roommate and I were wearing masks because we just about lost it at “lady nectar.” Note: I really hope “lady nectar” is a colorful way to say ovulation but I’m not really sure and I didn’t ask. Before we left, she recommended we steam twice a month, once before our cycle and once after.
In the days following the steam, (the “lady nectar” jokes practically wrote themselves) my roommate and I didn’t notice a difference. Gwyenth had promised that one would feel an “energetic release,” after a steam. Had I done it wrong? Did Christy and Gwyenth lie to all of us? I did not have any increased cramping; my cycle was normal, and my “lady nectar” did not seem to be affected. I also didn’t experience any of the negative outcomes listed in the beginning of this article, either.
So, was it worth the $44? I’m going to have to say yes. But, only for the entertainment and novelty value. I will probably never do this again. Our “hostess” was amazing and I wouldn’t be against trying other services at this spa.
If you’re interested in trying this out, here are my tips:
Wear short sleeves and cool clothing
Wear your hair up
Drink water before you go
Pee before the steam
Has anyone else tried this? Is there anyone who does this regularly? Let us know in the comment section of our Facebook page.