A few weeks ago, the Internet went abuzz as fashion blogs discovered the pantyO, a cryptic garment for sale on a very '90s-looking website that boasted it could provide wearers with a "focus point for performing your Kegel exercises."
Wait. So... what does that mean? We obtained some samples from pantyO to see for ourselves.
When our shipment came courtesy of Dayna at pantyO, we took the enigmatic spandex undies out of the box and immediately cracked up. Not only did they come in a clownish pattern of black-and-white diamonds -- accentuated with red crystals -- but the "focus point" is a rubbery, pliable nipple-shaped contraption (picture the nub of a baby bottle) sewn into the crotch of the underwear vertically. Yes -- that thing is designed to go up.
The peculiar panty came with a helpful instruction to "wash before wearing" and a booklet that informs you to do "10 sets of pelvic-floor muscle contractions" around the nubbin three times a day.
We took a deep breath and side-eyed each other. Who was going to be the lucky lady to give these a go? We hemmed. We hawed. We contemplated drawing straws. Finally, one of our colleagues gamely volunteered to give the pantyO a spin.
She told us how it went:
It took me awhile to actually get up the nerve to put them on. I stared at them for like 5 days from across the room. Finally, I got up the courage to pick them up. I started to pull them on, then paused while they were halfway up and started laughing! I couldn't believe I was about to put this nipple in my vagina! Ugh.
Once I got them on and, uh, in, I could definitely feel the nipple-shaped protrusion while wearing them, especially when walking around and sitting with good posture. The "nub" felt less intrusive than tampon insertion, but more awkward because it had to be placed just so. It ended up feeling like I needed to change my tampon after wearing for the morning.
It was easier to forget that it was in when I was slouching, lying down or concentrating on work.
I avoided going to the bathroom while I was wearing them, because I didn't want the awkward feeling of removal and reinsertion. All I could think was, "This could lead to UI infection! But I'm still not going again until I get home!" I wished I had packed that second pair of (non-nipply) underwear after getting to work.
But, I'm brave, and I made it an entire day wearing the pantyO. I didn't feel much different doing kegel exercises with and without the pantyO, which is its ostensible purpose. I did try to exercise, but in the short workout I attempted while wearing the pantyO, I just felt uncomfortable - like I needed to change my tampon. I didn't even attempt to run, which is my usual workout.
So there you have it, aspiring pantyO'ers. We hope you like silicone nubbins.
See our photos of an (unworn!) pair of pantyO's below, and some, uh, similar vaginal enhancement products in our slideshow.