Last summer, the TSA at Barbados's Grantley Adams International Airport randomly decided to inspect my carry-on luggage. I happened to have Elvie, a vagina fitness tracker right at the top of my backpack. They instructed me to watch the whole process as they inspected my luggage, but I was so embarrassed I couldn't even look.
The small device goes into your vagina while you practice Kegel exercises, which involve squeezing the muscles you use to pee and releasing them repeatedly. It is marketed to women, and it's unclear if it's going into the male nominees' bags. Kegels can enhance sexual pleasure, make childbirth easier, and prevent urinary incontinence. The toy detects your motions, and an accompanying app provides guided exercises and feedback. Other smart Kegel exercisers like the Kgoal and the OhMiBod Lovelife Krush Bluetooth Kegel Exerciser work similarly.
Given that over half of women have used vibrators, according to a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, it's about time we destigmatize sex toys, especially ones with health benefits. By putting the Elvie in the $200,000 bag alongside other wellness-related gifts like a certificate for personal trainer sessions and a CPR kit, the Oscars are sending the message that your sexual health is part of your health, and looking after it is smart, not shameful.
This isn't the only time the Oscars have helped to normalize adult products. The consolation bag included a Fiera vibrator last year, according to Shape.
Owning an Elvie doesn't seem so embarrassing now that I know such a public event is celebrating it. Now, maybe I'll be able to watch my bag if the TSA has to search through my sex toys again. Heck, maybe I'll even look the agent in the eye. After all, I'm in the company of Oscar-nominated actresses.