A Very Open Fucking Letter………….

Fuck-you

Dear Active Duty Military, Retired Military, and Military Veterans Benefits Haters  —

We’ve been having a rough go of it lately, haven’t we?  There you are, a civilian, absofuckinglutely convinced that the average service member in the United States Military is not worth his weight in pay and benefits.  And here I , a United States Air Force disabled veteran, wondering how we got to this fucking point and why you are so fucking uneducated about the value of the the United States military. Let me be the first to tell you, fuck off and fuck you.

I think the problem may be that you are more than a little fucking confused. You’re there, sitting on your civilian sofa in your civilian house in the town of your choice after coming home from your civilian 9-5 job. You are feeling a little annoyed by the crazy awesome salaries that servicemembers and military retirees score because, in comparison, yours aren’t that amazing. So, now your fucking pissed our taxes are paying for us to have this fabulous fucking lifestyle. You are disgusted by our very existence which is supported by the American tax payers

You proclaim our benefits, the things we get in exchange for the willingness to die for America is overly lavish.

Don’t get me wrong, I put my benefits to use regularly, doing crazy shit like buying food and paying fucking bills. But I would live without the benefits just fine, making life happen other ways. If it comes down to bullets or your fucking BMW, I’d go with the bullets any day.

What bothers me about you military hating motherfuckers writing stories, posting stupid shit on social media, and your appearances on television spewing your bullshit is your fucked up tone.

Servicemembers, retirees, veterans, and their families, the tone says, are acting like privileged brats for expecting, accepting and clinging to the benefits which encourage them to stay military or even to join in the first place.

In fact, the tone says, it is a waste of tax payer money to meet military personnel needs or even give nice-to-haves in exchange for keeping them around to call upon at your every whim.

Servicemembers are overpaid, coddled low-skill workers who should not be given compensation for the inconveniences of military life, but who should still be expected to do their jobs while risking their lives for yours.

It’s a tone that says if you had to join the military to make it through life you are, logically, a substandard American worker and you do not warrant compensation in excess or even equal to the civilian market. Civilians are people who have choices and didn’t take the easy out of Uncle Sam. Military are people who are living off the tax payer.

The tone is supported by the flinging of inaccurate statistics to support your claims or, worse, the promotion sof weeping generalities about who servicemembers are and what they deserve.

Bad Statistics and Comparisons

Here’s this gem I read not too terribly long ago, pissed me off then,  pisses me off now.

“Over the past decade, military salaries have grown at a faster rate than those of civilian workers. The average enlisted soldier now earns more than 90 percent of Americans who have less than two years of college. Most captains – the third-most-junior rank of officer – will take home more than $90,000 this year.”

I’m going to disregard that ridiculous first sentence that ignores the fact that we also have been paid for deployment after deployment and all the tolls of war. Let’s just focus on the compensation “facts.”

Only one in seven Americans is even in good enough physical shape to join the United States military. That means that to be the “average enlisted soldier”a recruit already had to do something most Americans can’t fucking do, be somewhat fit. A whole other group of Americans is ineligible because they didn’t graduate high school or because they have a criminal record. A recruit also had to be willing to join the military, which puts him in a group with less than one percent (1%) of Americans.

After he joins that soldier then holds a more than full time job, often over 80 hours a week, for which he must continue to meet requirements such as staying fit, drug free, and felony free. He very likely does an intricate task that no average American with less than two years of college could do without months of dedication and training. He probably has also spent more than nine full months multiple times away from his family working around the clock where he put his fucking life on the line and accepted the continuing burdens of war as part of the gig. He’s likely to have held this same job for around five or six years.

Why is it so fucking unreasonable that this soldier make more than 90 percent of Americans who have less than two years of college? And how is that a good group of people to compare him to at all?

Military officers are compensated at a higher rate based on education and responsibility, at least in theory. While a captain may make more than $90,000 before taxes in a very high housing allowance area such as D.C., the average captain certainly does not. A little math reveals that a captain with seven years of experience living in San Antonio, Texas with dependents, for example, makes about $76,000 before taxes. But a breakdown of average hours worked during a year in which he does not deploy shows that he earns around $21 an hour.

And no matter how you shake it out, nobody in the military, retired, or a veteran, are making a whole hell of a lot after taxes.

In 2014 the average male graduate just out of college earned about $22 an hour. After graduating college and spending seven years on the job with countless additional months in training, a military captain is making about $21 an hour for putting his life on the line, being willing to live wherever the military sends him and leave his family for months at a time. He also has met all the qualifications of the “average enlisted soldier” that made that person valuable including, again, an interest in joining the military to start with.

As America rolled into sequestration and other budget cuts, DoD leaders decried the high cost of military personnel. After all, they said, supporting current and former military members takes up a third of the DoD budget.  And with the DoD budget as a whole taking up the biggest single slice of the federal budget besides Social Security, something surely must be done.

But what they fucking fail to note is that military personnel costs really aren’t that ridiculous when compared to the normal market. In civilian companies with big air fleets (the closest one can get to a military comparison), personnel costs hover at similar levels.

For the United Parcel Service, for example, personnel costs make up 61 percent of the budget. For FedEx, it’s 43 percent. For Southwest Airlines – generally recognized as among the most cost-efficient air carriers – personnel costs comprise 31 percent of operating revenue (which includes profit, so the percentage of expenditures is higher).

The idea that the Defense Budget is so out of control is also so very fucking misleading, particularly when you look to past trends.

If military pay and benefits are so great, where in the fuck are you?

But here’s the thing that really gets me.

If the pay and benefits for members of the American military are so lavish and such a steal of a deal, where are you, Benefits Hater?

Because that’s the thing that’s so great about the American military. You don’t have to be special or an elitist to hang out with us. You just have to meet the requirements and be willing to run while wearing boots while defending The United States Constitution.

This isn’t some exclusive club. We like all types of people. We’re fucking cool like that.

So perhaps you don’t join because you can’t meet the qualifications that us low-skill, not worthy of benefits folks met.

Or maybe you just love your freedoms and hate danger. Maybe you like picking where you live. Maybe your spouse has a career she doesn’t want to destroy by moving every three years. Maybe you don’t want to risk getting blown up in the street while driving through a far away land.

Those freedoms? We give you those motherfucking freedoms and make damn sure, all day and all night, sure you keep them.

Try remembering that and then see how you feel about the United States military, retired military, veterans, and all the benefits and pay we should live without.

Sincerely,

Steven (aka Scorpion Sting, United States Air Force disabled veteran)

 

You’re Bitching Up The Wrong Tree

Okay, visitors here know in a past not so distant life ago I was a bartender in a full nude strip bar. Many of y’all still ask me why. Why? The money was great and the scenery wasn’t that bad either. As well, many (not all) have judged my morals or judgment in career options, mostly I was told how I glorified the world of stripping when strippers are really disgusting slut whore beasts and are the lowest form of human on the planet, right after the douchebags who go to strip bars and pay to see naked women dance in their face. Yes, I simplified it for y’all, forgive me, but I never understood how or why people judge strippers. Strippers strip for whatever reason, I’m not real sure how many of them want to shake what their momma gave them in front of strangers for money. But, I know for a fact that there are reasons women strip, every single one of them has a reason. Some of those reasons have been explored here in the past, and I always get told that I’m very biased because I “lived” in their world too long while working as a bartender. How can that even be true or make sense.

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I thought that since I received this great example from an angered reader who wanted to reach out with her own information that this would be the perfect opportunity to take another moment to discuss choices of employment, perhaps motivations, and of course to glitzy lure of stacks of cash. In a moment, y’all will read the email I got yesterday explaining to me that I needed to be more clear to people so others who do strip or want a career in stripping have information so they don’t get fucked, literally. As far as my past posts, they are my own personal experiences OR experiences that were shared with me by real life strippers while I was a bartender. And, look people, again knowing from personal experience, some of the choices for employment are harder than others. So, read the email below, catch back up with me afterwords. If you ask me, the writer/sender was/is a stripper and got burnt somehow, I would assume she sued or attempt to sue her place of employment because one of her patrons tipped her with information instead of dollar bills. Just my humble opinion.

Begin email———————————–

1. Strippers, exotic dancers, showgirls, lap dancers, peep show dancers, & erotic entertainers are EMPLOYEES of the club they work for.

Stripping is a J-O-B. Strippers will never be independent contractors. It doesn’t matter if the boss calls a stripper an independent contractor or if it’s a term she applies to herself.  The reality is that the way strip clubs operate, the strippers working in can only be employees. It’s because management must exercise a certain amount of control over working conditions or else there would be chaos. Some might argue that management creates more disorder with their policies than order. Management need to figure out which dancers are going to work on any given shift; how many shifts there are in a day; how many hours each shift runs; many decide what dancers may wear at work; how many dances she perform on stage, and so on. The reason why strip clubs misclassify strippers as “independent contractors” is to dodge their employer obligations. The irony is that clubs say you’re an independent contractor but actually treat you like an employee.

2. Strip club employers must pay all their workers minimum wage, at a bare minimum.

Strip club employers must also pay into social security, worker’s compensation, employer taxes, & a slew of others good things that workers in any other industry are guaranteed as employees.  Personally, I think that strippers should get paid far more than minimum wages.  After all, not every chick is willing to take her clothes off in front of random strangers & gyrate on their laps to arouse them!  The management like the money strippers make for their business, but they don’t want to pay these women for their labor.  THIS IS ILLEGAL.

3. State labor laws state that it is illegal for an employer (here, the strip club owner) to take any portion of his/her employee’s (here, the stripper) tips.

To add insult to injury, management charge strippers for the privilege to work!You know:  those stage fees, quotas, commissions, piece rate system, locker fees, booking fees, etc, etc…. It’s also illegal for employers to require strippers to tip other employees (DJ, House Mom, Manager, Bartender, etc).  Management minimally pay non-stripper staff and expect strippers to underwrite the remainder of their wages.  Why are these fees-to-work illegal?  Because strippers earn their money through tips that customers provide for them.  Strippers use their tips to pay management these illegal mandatory fees. THIS IS ILLEGAL. Lets review by answering the following questions for yourself.

Were you misclassified as an independent contractor while being employed as a stripper?

Did management fail to pay you minimum wages while you were a stripper?

Did you have to pay management to work while you were employed as a stripper?

If you said “yes” to one or more of these questions, your labor rights were violated. Take action to assert your labor rights!

End of email——————————————-

**** On a very special note. The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog has not, will not, and cannot provide any legal advice. Visitors of this blog should consult with their own lawyer for legal advice. The information provided was for informational purposes ONLY. I claim no legal knowledge in regards to topics discussed here. Now, you’ve been warned and informed motherfuckers! ****

In reality I don’t care what people do with their lives, how they spend their money, or who they choose to see naked. I can, however, say that every single person who walks through the door of a strip club (employee or patron) has their own reason for being inside those walls. I mentioned before, my goal was to make money, as much as I could as fast as I could. Now, having a 8-5 job during the day and then working another 8+ hours afterwards as a “part time” sucked, I won’t lie, it made for long days/nights. As well, it was a 42 minute drive for me personally which racks miles up on the vehicle as well as adds just a few more hours each day. Yes, once at work the scenery, in general, was pleasant. The work environment was a bit weird because my involvement with the business of the club were pretty nil. I did, however, meet some very nice people along the way while I worked there, I’ll leave that part right there. Want to know more just read around this blog a little and you’ll see what I mean.

Getting back to how I or what I write about glorifies the occupation of stripping, because, lets face it together, I get accused of never writing about anything but strippers using their nakedness to separate men of all ages from their money in the shortest time possible. What y’all have got from me is the brutal honesty, not the fucking fairytale la la land some people seem to live in. I guess my point is simple, working as a stripper is what it is, it’s a choice someone makes, and often enough people get judged because in someone else’s opinion it was the wrong choice to make. Trust me, I’m 46 years old and still get grief from my mother because I bartended in more than one strip club over the years. “How can you do that to your wife and treat her without respect by working at a strip bar?” is my favorite question to date. My wife only had one dislike about me working there and that was the simple fact that I was getting in after 1 in the morning day after day and I was tired. I was tired and didn’t want to do anything except hang out around the house, I was a big fan of not going anywhere or not doing anything. In the end, it was my wife’s opinion that made me want to quit in the first place. She asked me to quit one time, and I made it happen that day. On the flip side, all joking aside here, she was the one that said I needed to get a part time job to fill some time, make a little money, and get out more. In fact, it was a friend of a friend of a friend of one of her co-workers that my wife gave me the number to call for the job. She was informed, the moment I went to the interview, that it was at a strip club. Her answer was it was decision either way, but told me I knew I could make some serious cash if I took it. Yes, she does not about my past life, not that it was talked about much.

Luckily, at the place I worked, everyone was an employee, we all had health coverage if we chose, we could participate in the 401k, they were workers comp compliant, the whole 9 yards. However, indeed, a portion of my paycheck was dependent on bar sales, door sales, and stripper tips. Yes, now I’m the bad guy. No, it wasn’t my rule, and nobody fought it, it was just the way it was I guess. But, they did not pay to dance, they did not have fees except for one, which was if you were scheduled to work and you were a no show/no call, you were given three days off without pay as a warning to be more courteous to your coworkers. It mentions minimum wage above, um no, how the average stripper was making from $18.00 to $23.00 an hour, plus tips, plus dances, plus whatever the hell else they were doing on the side, if anything. Again, I’m not defending the industry itself, merely where I worked.

Oddly enough, during the mere course of writing this post I have received 4 more emails “scolding” me for being a sinner, supporter of sinning, and indulging in the slavery which we collectively call the “sex trades” since stripping somehow falls into that category. Maybe I truly am blind, somewhat oblivious to the blythe which is that of the life of a stripper. But, wait….. for….. it….., I don’t care, I really don’t, I don’t care what people do which their lives. Well, that’s not altogether true, I do care that I contribute a large amount of my paycheck to pay for others to sit at home on the crack pipe, on the xBox, or on the porch, instead of them getting out and getting a fucking job. We’ll talk about that another time, I read a study recently that the average person on a combination of government service programs average about $19.20 an hour. Like I said, lets get back to that another day. My mere connection with the stripping industry is purely coincidental, meaning we would work in the same building, all of us dependent on the very steady stream of people entering the neon lit establishment we called a strip bar.

But, I understand, the easy thing to do is to judge those doing things we don’t agree with. We should just be happy people are out working instead of sucking on the welfare titty all day. Until we as human beings stop looking at the opposite sex with lust in our eyes there will always be a place where we can see the opposite sex naked. Have y’all been on the internet later, have y’all seen what y’all have been searching for, and y’all call me the pervert?  Again, another post for what people’s perversions are. Your choice, fucking hate me, if that gets you though the day, great, just fucking hate me. Meanwhile, I will give you something to think about, my final thought here today. All strippers have a story, a life, a family, and although you detest their industry or them as people, just remember it takes guts to strip in front of strangers, it takes courage to get out there to earn a living no matter what your craft may be. Before we get all biblical on me, remember, I don’t by into it, so in reality it’s a major waste of both of our times. But, as usual, I will get the emails, the comments, and so forth, and I will post here on this blog the ignorance that is spewed. There is no justice in the world, we all know it, sometimes we decide that instead of running away from life, we jump on that old hag, dig the spurs in deep, and ride her until that bitch throws us or we tame the beast. Your choice.

Uphill Battles & Gaining The High Ground

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Many of you have been around here long enough to know I’m a disabled United States Air Force (AF) veteran who has been in an uphill battle with the Veterans Administration (VA) since the day I got out of the AF. I’ve asked why it must be a battle to receive veterans disability benefits, I’ve asked why there must be so much red tape, and repeatedly I find myself with the same damn answer, because this is the way it is, just accept it. Well, I’ve called bullshit, and that answer is not only un-acceptable to me and shouldn’t be acceptable to any living breathing veteran on the face of the planet. The word needs to get out, we need to share what we know with everyone, the more information we are armed with can mean the difference of one’s success or failure with the VA. So, here’s my personal challenge to all of you, veteran or not, disabled veteran or not, family members, friends, and co-workers, share this post on your web page, your blog, Facebook, Google+, and so forth. This following information will help you whether you want to file a claim or you wish to re-open an existing claim. But this information needs to get out there, the word must be spread. I won’t mention her name here, she knows who she is, who she is to me, but she knows first hand the battle veterans fight in the VA system, whether it be on the medical side or the claim side of the VA. We have spoke extensively and I want to be the one that gives something back to my fellow veterans. She has been an inspiration to me to keep my head held high and keep fighting. I owe her a debt of gratitude for lending me an ear and being a dear friend. So, again, the more this information is shared with everyone the better.

There is information within the walls of the VA which is very important to each and every veteran. I’ve spent many years just taking the VA’s word for it about my personal disability claim, but I’m done with that nonsense, real done with it, everyone who is a veteran needs to come to the very moment I did, and just flat say that enough is enough, its time to get to higher ground, its time to win my battle and claim the high ground. I didn’t do this alone, I’ve had help along the way, I’d love to mention each person out but I would rather thank all of them in mass for they each helped me in their own particular way or supported me when I thought it wasn’t worth fighting for any more. But why do we need to fight? Why can’t the process be easier? I’ll tell you why, it has the appearance that the VA makes the process of filing a claim overly complex and hard simply to discourage veterans from filing a claim. When, in reality, it should be just the opposite, our Veterans Administration should be helping us, not fighting us at every turn, they should want to be there for us as we have been there for them. But, we all know it to be very different, a scenario that resembles a battle plan with contingencies to set in play for the setbacks. Again, we must be prepared, we must be three steps ahead, we must have a hand in the grand scheme, and the only way to win any battle is to be well informed.

I have read many blogs, web sites, forums, reviews, papers, and government documents than one single man should ever have to endure. I’m no lawyer, not by any means, and this post will only point out your legal rights as a veteran, but in no way constitute any form of legal council. And, for the purpose of the contents of this post I offer you my disclaimer. The information you obtain on this blog or this post specifically is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney or advocate for advice regarding your individual veterans claim situation. This blog post is intended for informational purposes only. Got it? Great, lets move on then, there is much to cover. The following information has been researched by me personally, shared with me personally, all for the purpose of being better prepared to do battle with the VA. With that being said, I’ve collected quite a stack of useful information. Today we will talk mostly about a veterans “C” file or claims file, it’s contents, and why the information might be the single most important resource a veteran can have.

What is in a C-file? When I casually say everything about you, I truly mean it. For simplicity purposes, let’s separate the contents of a C-file into 11 different categories so each one of them can be examined. Your claims file is being reviewed by the VA to evaluate your case, it is your legal right to have a copy so each party has the same information. See what is missing, see what is being overlooked, and provide yourself with ammunition to fight back, you need a page by page copy of your entire claims file, without it you have already lost your battle.

Miscellaneous: Basic information can be found here like birth certificates, employment information, and more.

Military Administration: This area pertains to everything from your discharge to your awards and personal records.

Compensation and Pension Exams: Any records pertaining to your C&P Exams.

VA Medical Records: Record for any occasion in which you have sought treatment at any VA facility.

Private Medical Records: Any medical records from non-VA facilities, or from your active duty period.

Military Medical Records: Any medical records from your time in service.

Entrance and Separation exams: These exams are performed when an individual enters and when they exit the military.

Ratings Decisions and Statements of the Case: This section is rather large and will contain your application for benefits, appeals, decisions, statements of the case, and so much more.

Statements in Support of Claim: Any statements or questionnaires that you may fill out will be located here.

Transcripts:  This simply pertains to transcripts from hearings.

Transcripts: Any applications, decisions, and records pertaining to Social Security.

The claims file is kind of like the lifeblood of your case. A C-file is something that every Veteran has once a claim is filed with the VA. Some C-files are small, and others contain more 7000 pages, but no two files are the same. Unfortunately claims files are not currently electronic, and they arrive from the VA unsorted. One of the first things to do when your claims file arrives is sort it into the eleven categories above. Those eleven categories contain all of the essential information about your case. So, how does one obtain a C-file? That part, unlike the review, is simple. All you really have to do is ask for it from the VA. Remember, the word simple with the VA is a relative term. As I mentioned earlier, the files are not electronic. They are paper.  As they are paper, they are stored in filing cabinets. Further, depending upon when you served, where your case is in the process, and which Regional Office is handling your claim, the file may be in multiple locations. Because of this, it takes time to get your file together.  Also, it is important to note that only one copy of your file is free. If you request additional copies you will be charged. I recommend, if you have the technology, scan it all, scan everything, make that digital copy for your records, store it on a thumb-drive and/or burn it onto a DVD or CD. Saying that your claims file is important to your VA Disability claim is an understatement. Honestly, the records found within the claims file really determine your eligibility.

I mentioned above that a veteran just needs to ask for his/her claims file, below is an example of what I used.

———————————–

(Date)

Privacy Act Department

Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office

6900 Almeda Road

Houston, TX 77030

Re: (Veterans Name) Claims Folder FOIA Request

(Social Security Number or Claim Number or Case Number)

Dear Staff:

I hereby request a copy of all documents contained in (Veterans Name) claims folder, including, but not limited to, all documents in the right flap, left flap, and center flap, and the reverse side of any documents with writing on both sides.

Please note that this request for documents is being made pursuant to the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552a, as well as 38 C.F.R.§1.550 and 38 C.F.R.  § 1.577.  Your agency has a duty to respond to this request within TWENTY (20) DAYS of the date of this request pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552 (a)(6)(A)(2)(i).

Additionally, although an extension of time to respond may be requested, it may only be granted for “unusual circumstances.” “Predictable agency workload” is not typically considered an unusual circumstance as stated in 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(C)(ii).   Moreover, even to the extent that unusual circumstances could be demonstrated in this instance, the time limit for the extension is limited to “10 working days” pursuant to 38 C.F.R.§ 1.553(d).

Please also be aware that your agency’s failure to respond to this request within twenty (20) days may result in the filing of an administrative appeal with the office of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to 38 C.F.R.§ 1.557 and 5 U.S.C. §552(a)(6)(A)(2)(ii), and potentially, the filing of a federal lawsuit to compel the production of the information.

This may subject your agency to contempt of court and a fine, including attorney fees and litigation expenses in compelling the production of this information pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 552a(g)(l) of the Privacy Act, and 38 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B) of FOIA. Thank you.

(Veterans Name)

(Veterans Signature)

(Veterans Contact Info)

———————————-

Hand write the request, type it out, print it, be sure to sign it, put it into an envelope and send it. But, wait, be sure to send it certified mail requiring a signature. Why? You will be notified of the date, time, and person signing for the letter. Why is this important? Their time to reply starts on the date signed. Remember its business days, excluding weekends and federal holidays. Once you get a copy of your claims file, categorize it, read it, get to know it frontwards and backwards, then use the information to better prepare your initial claim or to help you re-open your claim. Personally, I’m in the information collection phase of my battle, soon I will soon be finished preparing my package to be submitted to the VA. I will continue to update this blog with my progress and/or road blocks. Remember, the more this information is shared with fellow veterans, family members of veterans, co-workers of veterans, and so forth, the better we, as veterans, can better prepare. If the playing field is level then the veteran once again has a fighting chance. The resources are out there, the information is out there, and the almighty answers are all out there, find it all and live a better life.

Do You Need A Vaginal Detox Now?

Before I begin, before I share this story, and before I let you read it uninterrupted, I must first thank Rachel G. from right here in Houston Texas for this intriguing read. She is a strong supporter of The Scorpion Army and always provides, not only the “news” but always includes the link and original poster information. Other than the words that are in this paragraph, which are mine and mine alone, the story and picture belong to the original writer, listed below. It begs the question, have the females reading now had this treatment before or would you consider it? Why? Or why not?

Should You Get A V-Steam? Vaginal Detox Claims To Soothe Menstrual Cramps And Boost Women’s Fertility

May 12, 2014 06:25 PMBy: Lizette Borreli@lizcelineb

Original Story

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A vaginal detox, a popular new down-under treatment trend, claims to provide health benefits to women by regulating menstrual cycles and boosting fertility, but does it really work?

When it comes to bizarre beauty treatments, Hollywood’s elite are our guinea pigs ready to try it to love it or hate it. And we’re ready to follow the herd shortly after, especially when it comes to improving sex life. The popular down under treatment, vaginal steaming, commonly known as v-steam, is an ancient Korean treatment that provides a steam facial for the vagina to release toxins. Although there is no clinical evidence to support the benefits of v-steams, there is a surplus of anecdotal evidence that supports its healing powers, from soothing menstrual cramps to boosting fertility in women, but should we all flock together for this trend?

V-Steam: How does vaginal steaming work?

Detoxifying your vagina is exactly how it sounds: While wearing a big tent from the waist down, the woman squats down without underwear over a steaming pot of water infused with therapeutic herbs like mugwort, basil, calendula, oregano, marshmallow root, wormwood, and rosemary, but the two predominant herbs in the steam bath include mugwort andwormwood. During the process, which should last for about 20 to 45 minutes, the v-steam supposedly dilates the blood vessels, increasing blood circulation, providing oxygen, and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles.

Mugwort, according to the American Cancer Society, helps treat stomach and intestinal disorders, including cramps, but it has also been used for menopausal and menstrual complaints, along with infertility. The herb stimulates the production of hormones in order to maintain uterine health, and protects the uterus from ulcers and tumors.

Wormwood, similar to mugwort, has been used to aid digestive disorders and immune system strength, while regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle and hormones. The herb is also considered to be antimicrobial and a sedative that can detoxify the uterus.

The combination of these herbs accompanied with some steam, cleanses, tones and nourishes the cervix, uterus, and vaginal tissues. However, using any kind of fresh herbs can provide different medicinal properties for women.

V-Steam: The Evidence

While this may seem like voodoo medicine to some of you, v-steam supporters have rallied up to highlight its health benefits. Celebrity twin sisters Tia and Tamara Mowry are among many in Hollywood who have tried the beauty treatment, known in Korean as chai-yok. The Mowry sisters were intrigued by the idea of reviving their lady parts when they heard it can improve your sex life. “It feels like someone is doing this on your vajay-jay,” they said in an episode on Tia&Tamara, holding their hands up to their faces to blow their hot breath onto them.

Celebrities aren’t the only ones to try the trend. Niki Han Schwartz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa in Santa Monica, told the Los Angeles Times vaginal steam baths helped her get pregnant at the age of 45 after only five steams, after Schwartz has been trying to conceive for three years. Schwartz and her husband, orthopedic surgeon Charles Schwartz, are set to introduce vaginal steam baths to Southern California women to share the success of their v-steam story.

However, other doctors, like Dr. Camilo Gonima, a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist in San Antonio, Texas, has doubts about the claims vaginal detoxes, or steam baths, claim to fulfill.  “Herbal steams could have some relaxing effects and some beneficial superficial effects on the skin, just like a sauna or a facial steam would, he told Medical Daily. “Other than any possible involvement stress might have on these issues, I don’t see any basis for any significant effects on fertility or menstrual cycles.”

V-Steam: Should every woman get a vaginal detox?

While there still doesn’t exist scientific evidence to support or deny v-steam claims, can it help when it comes to vaginal cleanliness or health? Since the steam remains external during a v-steam, it does not have any effect on vaginal cleanliness, especially when the vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Gonima believes since the vagina maintains “a healthy environment by maintaining a mix of beneficial bacteria,” v-steams are unnecessary. However, if women have a specific infection and require necessary treatment, he suggests the use of probiotics.

If you choose to do a v-steam or have done it on numerous occasions, Gonima says women can do them as often as they desire, but he does suggest women to proceed with caution. “[I] would emphasize that this should be entirely external, and I’d be cautious about safety to avoid the risk of scalding,” he told Medical Daily.

A detoxing facial for your vagina is mostly harmless, possibly soothing, but is comparable to the effects of aromatherapy, steam baths, and even a relaxing hot shower. Women should be cautious about mishaps with hot water, especially if they intend to do vaginal detoxes within the comfort of their home. One session of v-steam treatments at spas and holistic health centers range from $20 to $75 and typically last anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes. Those who are too shy to visit a spa can purchase a do-it-yourself kit for $150 on EarthDancerWellness.com.

If you’re curious, try v-steaming and see if it provides any physiological benefits for you.

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