An obviously male doctor in Kansas thinks that as an alternative to pesky and unseemly tampons, women should basically start gluing their vaginas shut. In case the word “glue” next to the word “vagina” didn’t already make this apparent, this is a very, very bad idea. And before you ask, no, he is not joking.
Daniel Dopps is a Wichita chiropractor and the proud creator of Mensez, what he describes as a “feminine lip-stick” to help ladies combat heavy flow. But unlike lipstick, Mensez doesn’t just paint your vaginal lips a lovely shade of blush. It literally sticks them together, turning the female body into a biological DivaCup. Since debuting in January, the invention has attracted a fair amount of attention, including in popular women’s magazines.
Dopps explained to Gizmodo that Mensez is a “natural combination” of amino acids and oils, to be applied during a lady’s time of month via a convenient lipstick applicator. The seal holds everything in there until she goes to the bathroom, when the seal disintegrates. Then you simply reapply.
Again, this is a really bad idea. For one, Jen Gunter, a San Francisco OB/GYN, points out that reapplying some kind of glue to the labia over and over again could cause abrasions, even potentially causing it to grow together and require surgical separation. And it could be painful—way more uncomfortable than your average tampon. Plus, the whole things sounds just completely far-fetched.
“The idea that a complete blood tight seal could be obtained with some kind of simple home application is ridiculous,” Gunter wrote on her blog. “Perhaps he has never seen labia up close?”
Dobbs told Gizmodo that his invention was inspired by a neighbor who he said lost her legs due to toxic shock syndrome, a rare but serious complication of certain bacterial infections that can result from leaving a tampon in too long. He’s married and has a 30-year-old daughter. He said he has often observed that women seem to be frequently embarrassed and ashamed by their periods. So why not dispose of evidence of them like tampons, to make being a woman, at long last, embarrassment free!
Dobbs claims his reading pointed him to the idea that at one point in history, women’s bodies naturally produced a substance similar to his glue, because he could find no mention of how women prior to 200 years ago dealt with their flow.
“I’m a doctor and I understand human anatomy,” he said. “I see how women are designed. I really believe women’s bodies were functioning this way in years past.”
Asked to provide evidence of such ancient women with magically self-sealing genitals, he said he has not seen any scientific research suggesting as much. And he is wrong that there is no evidence of how women dealt with their periods in history. In fact, the evidence is substantive. In Ancient Rome, for one, women wore wool tampons soaked in opium to ease cramping, which honestly sounds pretty sweet. (Also, a chiropractor, while receiving extensive medical training, is not exactly a medical doctor.)
Dobbs’ “lip-stick” has been patented but not yet manufactured. He’s currently seeking developers and investors. Dobbs has received a fair amount of blowback and outrage for his invention, which he finds distressing. He just wants to help women, he says. And he said women he’s spoken with have expressed enthusiasm, including his daughter, who has tested it out.
“I’m not insane,” he told Gizmodo. “Men just aren’t allowed to have an opinions on these things. If [women] look at what I’m doing, I have a really elegant solution here.”