Last year we thought we'd hit peak wellness guru when a proponent of the Paleo diet told hundreds of thousands of followers that staring into the Sun is one of the "best forms of free medicine" rather than something that could make you go blind, and Instagram influencers were advocating the "breatharian" diet.
But we were wrong. Peak wellness culture – as a new viral Instagram post has informed us – is butt-chugging sunlight in order to gain energy.
An Instagrammer who goes by the name Metaphysicalmeagan, and describes herself as an ascension wayshower, mermaid mystic, healer, teacher, and reverse aging adept caused a stir on the Internet when she uploaded a post of herself stretching naked in the sunlight in a pose reminiscent of a particularly stressful gynecological exam that took place on some sort of nature trail.
Apparently she was practicing the ancient art of "perineum sunning".
"For the past few weeks I have included sunning my bum & yoni into my daily rising routine," she explained in the post, although we'd argue that her reasons raise many more fairly urgent questions than answers.
"Many of you have been asking about the benefits of this practice: 30 seconds of sunlight on your butthole is the equivalent of a full day of sunlight with your clothes on!"
Claiming that it is an "ancient Taoist practice that has been around for a while!", she listed benefits she had already personally experienced, including energy surges, better sleep, better connection to her sexual energy, more creativity, and "attracting soul tribe & people who are on the same frequency and wavelength as me".
On a list of extraordinary claims that require extraordinary evidence "the butthole absorbs creativity from the Sun" is up there with the Indian army claiming to find evidence of the yeti.
People out there are, thankfully, not entirely convinced.
In a follow-up post titled "Perineum Sunning PART 2" she made further claims including:
- It brings in prana or solar energy from the Sun into the organs within the body, which strengthens the organs
- It gives you better focus & mental stimulation
- It regulates hormone function in the sex organs
- It prevents against the leakage of chi or life force energy from the body. This in turn sustains health & longevity of the physical body
- I no longer rely on coffee for energy to start my day because I am getting my energy from the Sun
Before you throw your phone down and thrust your bumhole at the sky, this is of course all nonsense. Humans don't get energy from sunlight except indirectly through consuming plants and animals that have consumed plants. Or (you could argue) in the sense that it means you have to burn fewer calories to stay warm.
Put simply, unless your butthole has figured out how to do photosynthesis, there is no way you're getting any energy out of this: The anus is for expelling waste, stop terrifying hikers.
There are benefits, of course, to getting sunlight, such as an increase in vitamin D (not too much though as UV is harmful to the skin and can lead to skin cancer). Taking a few minutes out of your day for a breather is also good for your mental health. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the fall and winter months and increasing time spent in natural sunlight can help to combat that. However there's no evidence whatsoever that it has to be taken as a suppository.
As for the claim that this is an ancient Taoist practice, botanist James Wong puts it: