Lotus is a special treatment for women famous in Balinese tradition. For cleansing and health, herbs and spices using a ‘smoking’ method are directed into the woman’s area. 1 hour: Rp. 100,000
I started scouting around for similar treatments for the ‘area’ and found that vaginal smoking is actually a Javanese pre- wedding ritual intended to cleanse the area ready for … well … you know. Several spas here offer the treatment and I’ve since learned that it’s also becoming quite trendy in L.A. Allegedly, people will pay up to $50 over there to steam and smoke their vaginas, and even more interestingly, they’re all probably pretending to know why.
As if by magic — or quite naturally, this being Bali — shortly after beginning my research, my friend Bob pulled up beside me on his motorbike as I was walking down the street and handed me a card. ‘I thought you might be interested in this,’ he said.
The card was advertising Hanna’s services and read: ‘Vaginal Releasing — Intimate Acupressure for Women’. I called her at once.
Intimate acupressure, which leads to vaginal releasing, goes one step further than vaginal smoking. Literally. Hanna is in Bali to see how she can help women who may be experiencing blocks in their private areas; blocks that might be preventing them from living up to their full sexual potential. This is a skill she honed in Sweden while hanging out with various spiritual communities.
At the moment she works in a supermarket while she figures out how to go about implementing her methods on a more permanent basis here in Bali.
Shortly before the drug lord’s intervention, Hanna showed me her yoni eggs, the tools she uses for her vaginal releasing work. She unwrapped each one carefully from its little green mesh bag like a gypsy unveiling her crystal balls and worked the hard, shiny marble eggs around in her fingers. She explained how they’re inserted and ‘hugged’ in order to strengthen the muscles.
‘Why is one bigger than the other?’ I asked, noticing that they were different sizes.
‘Because sometimes if a lady has had a few children, the smaller one will just fall out,’ she said. She held them out to me.
I didn’t touch them.
Each egg has a hole drilled carefully through the top which Hanna threads with a piece of disposable dental floss at the start of each session. This then hangs from the vagina in case of the other scenario, which is of course the scenario in which the egg gets stuck. Hanna isn’t really offering her treatments here yet; she’s just testing the waters to see who might be interested. She said she’s had quite a lot of calls as a result of her business cards and in fact, since she’s been in Ubud she’s been getting invites to take her yoni eggs to a host of spiritual health conventions in different countries.
It’s easy to kick yourself, isn’t it? Why didn’t I think of this? They’re just little marble eggs of the sort you might find at an Easter market. Harmless, worthless little marble eggs that granny might put on the mantelpiece. Drill a couple of holes in them, however, pick up some dental floss and HOLY SHIT, you’re the only one in God’s given galaxy with a magical cure for sexual blocks and everyone wants to fly you across the world, for free.
Hanna is a genius. I told her so. And in honour of our new friendship we decided to go and get a Lotus Treatment together.
Turns out that a Lotus Treatment is a bit like sitting on the toilet without doing anything at all, for forty-five minutes. It’s not so much a toilet, though; it’s more a pretty wooden box with a padded hole in the top and some burning coals, herbs and incense underneath your ‘area’. But either way, it’s not a very eventful process. Naked but for matching brown sarongs we sat there on our little boxes, strangers being steamed. Occasionally droplets would form and free themselves, at which point the coals would sizzle, releasing even more steam and causing us to squeal, but the novelty soon wore off and we were just a bit bored really.
It was a strange experience that felt a bit like I’d imagine crouching naked over a campfire might feel once the flames have died and everyone else has gone to bed, in that you’re not really sure why you’re doing it but it doesn’t feel too bad, so you might as well carry on.
As we chatted and played with our phones and read magazines Hanna and I were allegedly getting purer, and purer, and purer by the second. When our time was up, we were instructed to climb into individual bathtubs filled with clumpy, boiled herbs and spices, poured in from giant cooking pots. These mixtures made the water turn the colour of fresh blood. Cheap curtains were drawn around the tubs and we were told to wash, which we thought was a bit weird because weren’t we supposed to be cleansed ‘down there’ already?
As we dressed and prepared to leave, however, the lovely Balinese lady who’d set up the Lotus Treatments threw in a surprise bonus: ‘You virgins again!’
‘You beautiful virgins!’ she beamed.
The boiled clumps in the tub! They must have sealed us up again. Incredible. The promise of my restored virginity wasn’t on the board outside in the description but I assume they’ve just left this off because they don’t want everyone pouring in … you know … like what happened to Ketut after Eat, Pray, Love.
Hanna and I have promised not to tell anyone where this particular virginity-restoring spa is because we plan to enjoy being the purest girls in Ubud (for a while, at least). Anyway, you do make friends in the strangest ways in this town, but needless to say Hanna and her yoni eggs are both extraordinary and she and I have already made plans to have another Lotus Treatment together soon, just in case our virtue gets lost again.
**This is an excerpt from Balilicious – The Bali Diaries, which I thought was quite apt because I’m heading back to Ubud tomorrow and I am still very excited about being there again after all this time!