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Goop Labs
Goop Labs, Netflix (2020)

5 wellness trends we want Goop Labs season two to investigate


TextAlex Peters

Season 1 kicked off to a great start with psychics, psychedelics, and exorcisms

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Netflix documentary series Goop Labs has been renewed for a second season. 

Hosted by Paltrow, Goop’s founder and CEO, and chief content officer Elise Loehnen, season one of the show debuted in January and explored alternative wellness practices including energy healing, psychedelics, and psychic mediums. 

Despite Goop’s reputation for woo-woo wellness and pseudoscience, the first season expertly toed the line between wacky and well-grounded. “Interesting, seemingly well researched and enjoyable,” as Amelia Abraham wrote in her review for the show. “What could possibly be more jarring than tripping balls and unearthing your deepest traumas with a random assortment of your colleagues on camera, you ask? Well, nothing. Which is why episode one of The Goop Lab actually makes for quite good television.”

Season two will follow the same documentary format as the debut season with six 30-minute episodes. This time around, however, it will focus entirely on sex, intimacy, and female empowerment, offering a deeper dive into the subject first broached in season one’s exploration of the female orgasm with sex expert Betty Dodson which significantly featured an on-air orgasm. 

With the release date still unknown and filming presumably slowed by having to navigate a pandemic, we might be waiting a while to see the new season. Until then, however, we can speculate on what Goopy wellness practices the team might investigate this time around. Here are some of our suggestions. 

VABBING

Vabbing is a fun portmanteau for vagina dabbing AKA touching yourself, then dabbing your essence behind your ears as perfume for attracting others. I personally first learned of the practice from Tom Robbins’s 1976 novel Even Cowgirls Get the Blues when the smooth-riding lesbian cowgirl Bonanza Jellybean recommends it to a group of women visiting her ranch. “It’s a wonderful perfume,” she says. “Very subtle and very mischievous. Men are attracted, I guarantee you.” Sexologist Shan Boodram also recommends the practice in her book The Game of Desire.

Paltrow and her team could delve deep into the nitty gritty science of vabbing, speaking to pheromone and hormone experts, gynaecologists, perfumers. They could even test it out for themselves. I have no doubt GP would be up for it.

IMMERSIVE VR PORN

Sex technology is the new frontier of sex, encompassing all tech that is designed to enhance, innovate, and disrupt the human sexual experience from sex robots to teledildonics – sex toys that can be controlled remotely by a partner. 

One emerging area of sex tech is immersive virtual reality porn. Recent studies that suggested that VR porn produces a more positive experience than typical porn viewing through a screen and proponents of the format argue that it allows for the opportunity to explore sexual fantasies in a safe and accepting setting. The Goop team could consult with VR adult performers, digital sociologists, and investigate whether VR porn will be liberated from or continue to be entrenched in the issues of consent, misogyny and ableism that surround regular porn. 

LUNAR MENSTRUAL CYCLES

The lunar cycle and menstrual cycle cover roughly the same period of time (around 29 days) and some people believe that the two should be in sync (ovulate with the full moon and bleed with the new moon) but that electricity, the pill, and modern technology have disrupted the connection.

Charles Darwin believed that the 28-day human menstrual cycle was evidence that our ancestors lived on the seashore and needed to synchronise with the tides. Even the word menstruation and menses suggests a connection of some form. The words come from the Latin ‘mensis’ which means ‘month’ and relates to the Greek word ‘mene’ which means ‘moon’. Team Goop could investigate the connection and whether there is any benefit to the two cycles being in tune with each other. They could also attempt to synchronize the two for themselves through a process that involves dietary changes, sleep masks and regulating light intake.

YONI WORSHIP

Yoni is a Sanskrit word for female genitals encompassing the vulva, vagina, and uterus or womb and as a symbol represents power and fertility. Throughout ancient Hindu culture the yoni has been celebrated and worshipped. 

The Yoni Tantra, part of the classic body of Tantric literature, is a treatise about worshipping the yoni which states that the way to enlightenment is the worship of the yoni and that menstrual blood is considered central to Tantric practice. “Yogini” temples in ancient India, meanwhile, often contained a yoni stone, a stone carved to represent a woman's vulva. GP and team could look into the history of this worship and investigate modern practices and events around the world which involve everything from drinking menstrual fluid to undergoing intensive chakra cleansing.

VAGINAL EGGS AND BEN WA BALLS

Since launching in 2008, Goop has been at the centre of a number of controversies and complaints over dubious pseudoscience wellness claims. Most famously, in 2018 the company settled a $145,00 lawsuit with regulatory authorities in California over a vaginal detox jade egg sold on the website which it claimed could balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles and prevent uterine prolapse. Prosecutors from the California Food, Drug, and Medical Device Task Force said the claims “were not supported by competent and reliable science.”

Many experts also condemned the jade eggs. In a kind of repentance, the Goop team could do a deep dive into various forms of eggs, Ben Wa balls and kegel weights, investigating their long history which stems back hundreds of years and speak to experts about why the wouldn’t recommend the practice. 

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