The Fifty Shades series is full of sex scenes and bad ideas.
Christian and Ana, the BDSM-loving couple at the heart of the trilogy, leave much to be desired when it comes to sexual health, experts claim.
In particular, the final installment of the franchise which came out this week, Fifty Shades Freed, features a scene where Christian playfully threatens to put a spoonful of ice cream into Ana’s vagina – a sure-fire way to throw off her pH balance and cause a bacterial infection.
Speaking to Daily Mail Online, Dr Lauren Streicher explains how the franchise missed the mark on a gynecological level.
Jamie Dornan, left, and Dakota Johnson, right, star in the Fifty Shades franchise as Christian and Ana
1. Never put ice cream in a vagina
‘Doing it one time may not cause any harm,’ said Dr Streicher, medical director of the Center for Sexual Health and the Center for Menopause in Illinois. ‘But I guarantee if someone was putting ice cream in their vagina every day it would not be good.’
She’s referring to the ice cream sex scene in Fifty Shades Freed where Christian wakes up in the middle of the night and finds Ana eating ice cream in the kitchen.
He eventually grabs the spoon from her and pretends to aim it at her nether regions.
The ice cream doesn’t end up in her vagina, it lands ends up on her inner thighs. He licks up the sticky substance then starts performing oral sex on her.
There are a few things wrong with this scenario, according to Dr Streicher.
First of all, inserting a spoon into the vagina is not only uncomfortable, it can scratch or tear something.
Secondly, putting ice cream, a dairy product loaded with sugar, in the vagina could cause a yeast infection – a condition that causes vaginal itching, burning, discharge, and pain with urination.
Christian, left, wakes up in the middle of the night and finds Ana, right, eating ice cream in the kitchen
Ana spills ice cream on Christian before he grabs a spoonful and aims it at her vagina
In fact, she doesn’t recommend putting any food in the vagina, not even a smooth, peeled banana.
‘If you’re going to insert anything in your vagina, make sure it’s not going to scratch, tear, break off and get stuck inside,’ she said.
In addition to health concerns, Involving a cold spoon of ice cream in any capacity could ruin sex.
Applying anything cold to the genitals will cause the blood vessels to constrict. This can cause the penis to shrink and the vagina to dry up.
‘A guy can’t maintain an erection in cold weather,’ said Dr Streicher, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s medical school in Chicago. ‘If you put ice cream on his d***… it just won’t happen.’
In fact, the genitals are meant to be warm. That’s one of the reasons why they are covered with pubic hair, she said.
The warm temperature allows the vagina to self-lubricate and the muscles to relax, which is ideal for intercourse.
Introducing ice cream into the scenario will not enhance the sex.
2. Ben Wa balls probably don’t spice up your sex life
In Fifty Shades Darker, the second movie in the trilogy, there’s a scene where Christian asks Ana to carry Ben Wa balls in her vagina during his parents’ masquerade charity ball.
The balls are seemingly used as some sort of sexual stimulation. Aside from Christian trying to control Ana, Ben Wa balls are also marketed as a way to improve pelvic floor muscles to enhance sex.
But whether or not they’re effective is up in the air.
‘There’s no harm in using Ben Wa balls,’ Dr Streicher told Daily Mail Online. This is mainly because they are round and marble-sized and less likely to tear or get stuck in the vagina than other objects.
‘A strong pelvic floor is crucial for sex,’ Dr Streicher said. ‘But is using Ben Wa balls really going to facilitate that?’
She said it’s possible, but there’s not enough research on the topic.
If someone came to her for advice on how to have better sex, she wouldn’t tell them to go out and buy Ben Wa balls.
When it comes to how long people can keep the spheres inside of their vagina, Dr Streicher said it depends on who’s wearing it.
It’s all about comfort, so they can keep it in as long as they want.
3. Ana is using the wrong birth control
According to Dr Streicher, the series also missed the mark in the first movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, when Ana’s gynecologist recommended she uses the Depo-Provera shot as a contraceptive in lieu of the mini-pill, which she regularly forgets to take.
The Depo-Provera shot is an injection a nurse or doctor administers once every three months. It contains the hormone progestin, which stops people from getting pregnant by preventing ovulation.
‘I very rarely recommend it,’ Dr Streicher told Daily Mail Online. ‘There’s just so many better options.’
In fact, the last time she recommended the Depo-provera shot was five years ago.
Although it’s effective, Dr Streicher said the Depo-Provera shot comes with a lot of side effects, including bleeding and spotting between periods, weight gain, and potential bone loss.
In the Fifty Shades trilogy, Ana uses the Depo-provera shot as a contraceptive
However, for someone as forgetful as Ana, she’d recommend the long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), which can provide effective contraception for up to 12 years without requiring user actin.
They come in the form of T-shaped devices or plastic rods that are inserted into the vagina.
‘They’re an excellent method,’ Dr Streicher said. ‘They’re common, safe and works very well.’
The contraceptive vaginal ring, like NuvaRing, would also be a great recommendation for someone as forgetful as Ana since it only needs to be inserted once month.
The birth control implants, like Nexplanon, is a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick that can last for up to four years, according to Planned Parenthood.
Fortunately, Dr Streicher doesn’t think Fifty Shades’ fans are impressionable enough to stick ice cream in their vagina or take Ana’s gynecologist’s advice at face value.