Hilary Fannin: Gwyneth’s vibrator can help you find your keys in the dark

I had turned to the well-moisturised Goop guru for thoughts on why we may be losing our mojo

Gwyneth Paltrow’s  Goop website recommends an emotional-detox bath, liberally sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt and chia seed oil to take the edge off these turbulent times. Photograph: Alex Welsh/The New York Times

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop website recommends an emotional-detox bath, liberally sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt and chia seed oil to take the edge off these turbulent times. Photograph: Alex Welsh/The New York Times

 

If a recent random perusal of online lifestyle publications is to be believed, the global pandemic has unleashed an unexpected new variant of distress on an already beleaguered population. Yep, it seems that many of us are wandering our blasted shores and supermarket aisles with our depleted libidos nestling shyly down in our worn-out boots.

It’s all to do with stress, apparently – financial, emotional, familial, parental. And fear, of course, and anxiety about the future. Then there’s the lack of privacy when living cheek by jowl with extended family, and the tedium of looking at the same four walls and at your partner’s (if you have one) endearingly softening posterior in the same old pair of pale-grey sweatpants. 

With wellness and sexual health articles reproducing in front of my eyes like rampaging rabbits, I found myself drifting inevitably towards Goop, my lifestyle-website obsession, to see if its editor-in-chief, the alarmingly well-moisturised Gwyneth Paltrow – she who likes her yoni eggs sunny side up – had any thoughts on why us humans may be losing our mojo.

Goop’s products and advice may be targeted primarily at strung-out Californians in breathable cotton shorts, jogging up and down the beaches of Malibu in search of their lost sex drive, but that’s no reason not to take a look at what’s on offer. It’s decidedly more entertaining than watching the pandemic paint dry on another long, unvaccinated Irish weekend. 

As any Pacific-coast-dwelling perfectionist could tell you, satisfaction starts with self-love. As the credo goes, if you don’t love yourself, how can anyone else love you? Well, fortunately, the ever-giving Goop offers many novel ways to self-adore. So let us begin our quest to unearth our lost libidos with the help of fragrant guide and guru Gwynnie. 

There are people out there in Goop-land misting their sheets with a cocktail of jasmine, patchouli and ylang-ylang while you’re lying in bed with the wheezing cat

For starters, why not gift yourself an ancient Ayurvedic tongue cleanser and some Silicon Valley-designed superior dental floss liberally coated in coconut oil to help it slide easily between your quaking molars? 

Then, your gums minty-fresh, consider immersing yourself in an emotional-detox bath, liberally sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt and chia seed oil to take the edge off these turbulent times. (And if you don’t fancy bathing in the stuff, you can always sprinkle it over your porridge.)

It’s either deeply reassuring or utterly depressing to know that there are people out there in Goop-land misting their sheets with a cocktail of jasmine, patchouli and ylang-ylang to create a miasma of erotic energy, while you’re lying in bed with the wheezing cat, wondering if you’ll ever again have your roots done. It’s not all about a sexual Shake n’ Vac for the pocket-sprung mattress, however. 

If, despite the flossing, bathing and sheet-sprinkling, you still find your mind drifting to reruns of The Sweeney, logistical issues with the vaccine rollout or the state of the guttering, it might be time to go straight for the main event. How about investing your hard-earned cash in a multimodal vaginal-toning vibrator? Designed to spur on cell metabolism and boost blood flow by flashing a little red light where the sun don’t shine, it could also be an extremely useful torch for finding your keys in the dark. 

The vibrator is just one of many innovative items on the website, including battery-operated replicas of miniature firefighters and several pulsing accessories with ears that look just like Easter bunnies. 

With its exhaustive coverage of all things erotic, Goop also recommends easily available aphrodisiacal comestibles, such as avocados, oysters, pomegranates and almonds, foodstuffs that one can lash into one’s yawning maw (instead of half a tube of Pringles) in the hope of sparking the flint of desire.

More difficult to obtain, however, may be South American maca, African velvet beans, Turkish sultan’s paste, Indian ginseng, Chinese mushrooms, the bark of French maritime pine trees or a trough of Asian horny goat weed. (Perhaps someone should also introduce Ms Paltrow to a heft of Clonakilty black pudding for her next issue – surely it wouldn’t be beyond the bounds of her acquisitional imagination to harness its Celtic potential.)

Also mentioned in Goop dispatches is one salient piece of advice on harnessing sexual energy and feeling more connected with your body: turn off your phone. Apparently, the website claims, fiddling around with our sleek, endlessly responsive mobiles gives us the kind of narcissistic gratification that used to be reserved for sex. 

Turn it off. (And if you lose it, you can always use the the light on the multimodal vibrator to find it afterwards.)