When I first saw news of this beer shared on social media, I thought it was an early April fool’s gag. But it appears not to be. Someone really is trying to crowdfund a beverage made with vaginal bacteria.
If you haven’t watched the video, ‘The Order of Yoni’* are selling the idea that you can capture the “femininity, passion, sexuality” of a woman in a bottle of beer, by brewing it with microorganisms isolated from a woman’s vagina. And just in case you were curious, it’s not just any old woman’s vagina, but a “unique” one: model Alexandra Brendlova. Rest assured, they have spent many months using a “strict selection process” to find “a woman that personifies feminity (sic), natural charm and lure and who possesses all the desired instincts which we wanted to frame in our bottle of beer”.
Given the almost half a million views that their video has had on YouTube, it seems the idea of bottling the essence of woman hasn’t quite struck a cord with the punters – they’ve raised less than a 1000 EUR of the 150,000 EUR they were after. Wait, I hear you cry! How can no one have taken up on the offer to make a beer using their girlfriend’s vaginal flora?! Surely it’s not the 10,000 EUR price tag?!
It’s not the idea of using someone’s vaginal microbes to brew beer that grates for me**, it’s that the campaign reeks of the kinds of phrases and language commonly associated with pick-up-artists and rape culture. One of the future beers will apparently be brewed using the vaginal microbes of a red head or brunette. Its name? BDSM.
*Apparently yoni is the Sanskrit word for vagina or womb
**In 2013 Christina Agapakis & Sissel Tolaas created an exhibition called SELFMADE which featured cheeses made using different people’s skin microbes. Apparently each cheese had its own unique smell as a result of the different bacteria. Hearing about this exhibition made me ask friends and family if they would eat a cheese made from their microbes. My daughter was absolutely disgusted by the idea!