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September 23rd, 2017

Insight

VPod

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published Jan. 8, 2016

You've been around the block more than a few times, right? You weren't born yesterday, or even last week. You've seen it all, heard it all, read it all, and now you probably think you know it all, or at least most of it. Well, don't get cocky, kid. I've got one for you that you probably haven't heard of yet. Ready? How about a vaginal speaker? That's right. Now tell me you know about this.

A company in Spain has invented a speaker that is designed to be inserted into the vagina. The company is called Babypod and the "vaginal speaker" (hard to even type this phrase without wincing) is supposed to stimulate fetal development. "Can you hear me now?" I wonder if it's stereo or mono. I've heard of home theater, but this is ridiculous. Okay, now that I've got that out of my system I'll pause for a moment while you all make up your own jokes.

The explanation on the company's website states, "Babies learn to speak in response to sound stimuli, especially melodic sound. Babypod is a device that stimulates before birth through music. With Babypod, babies learn to vocalize from the womb."

Vocalizing from the womb? (There's another phrase I never thought I'd type out.) Gee, I don't know if I like the idea of womb vocalizations. Do I really want to hear "Solitary Man," "All By Myself," or "Please Release Me, Let Me Go" emanating from the, um, that place? I mean I've heard of a singing nun, butÉ (Go ahead, make your own jokes again. I'll wait.)

From what I've read there has been lots of research on the effect of sound on fetuses (or is it feti), and evidence suggests that unborn babies actually do respond to music in the womb. There are already multiple speakers available on the market ("prenatal speakers") which are fitted around a pregnant woman's stomach.

The Babypod company cites research from a gynecological clinic, the Institut Marqus, that babies hearing external noise clearly is "solely possible via the vagina", because the abdominal wall muffles sounds. A soundproof booth, kind of like a mini recording studio, I guess.

The gizmo comes in a pale pink color, which is less obtrusive than if it came in an electric blue I suppose. You can actually see the thing if you go to their web site. The device is controlled by a phone app but does not use Bluetooth. Parents-to-be can share their babies' listening experience using split headphones which hang out of the vagina. (Now try shaking that image out of your mind.) You just can't make this stuff up.

The article I read goes on to say that Babypod has a top sound level of 54 decibels, is recommended for use from the 16th week of pregnancy, and should be used for between 10-20 minutes a time. The company claims that the vibrations of the thing do not adversely affect a fetus. But I would say it all depends on what music you're pumping into the mother. Some music vibes are crazier than others.

Testimonials from users on Babypod's websites praise the fact that ultrasound scans showed their babies singing along or mouthing a response to music from the speakers. Did you get that? These babies are lip-syncing in the womb! I wonder if they tap their little feet to the music as well.

It's bad enough that young children are exposed to the crap music that is so prevalent in society today, now it will be drummed into their brains even before they're out of the womb. Think about it. They could be singing "Born Free" before they are even born.

Today it's a vaginal speaker, tomorrow who's to say they won't come up with vaginal HGTV? Or vaginal iPhones. Or vaginal PlayStations. With the vaginal iPhones the fetus could take selfies, which would make ultrasounds a thing of the past. I don't know if any of these things will come about of course, but it's fun typing the word vaginal over and over again.

We all knew that the female body was magical, who knew that it could be musical too?

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's also a Southern California-based freelance writer.

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