Sex Advice

What an OB/GYN Thinks About Dripstick, the Post-Sex Cleanup Sponge That’s Going Viral

Gabrielle Kassel

Photo: W+G Creative
Visually the love-child of a tampon and a foam paintbrush, the Dripstick is a post-sex tool that's been making the rounds on TikTok. It's a sterile, medical-grade sponge designed to be used by vagina-havers immediately following penetrative penis-in-vagina sex that resulted in penile ejaculation. According to the viral video from Dripstick manufacturer Awkward Essentials, which has gotten more than 29.8 million views, 2.1 million likes, and 163,000 shares, “it soaks up all the semen left in the vaginal canal.”

The goal of the product? To help get rid of post-sex drips, ruined underwear, and wetness-splotched sheets, says Frances Tang, founder of Awkward Essentials. Tang says she created the Dripstick ($25 for pack of 20) because she was “dissatisfied with the lack of convenient solutions for post-sex cleanup on the market.”

And nearly all of 900-plus reviews on the Awkward Essentials website suggest others felt similarly. “Before these, I would drip all day, and I HATED that feeling! Now, I use one of these and I’m done for the day,” writes one reviewer. “Honesty, probably saved the intimacy in my marriage because I used to fear the cleanup post session and leaking all day,” writes another.

All of this does beg a pretty obvious question: If folks don't enjoy the after-effects of being ejaculated into, why do so many continue consenting to the practice. “There are a number of reasons why,” says sex educator Carly S., founder of Dildo or Dildon’t. For starters, if you’re being ejaculated into, you’re not using a barrier (like a condom or internal condom), and many people enjoy both the sensation and closeness that the skin-to-skin contact allows for, she says, adding “some people like being ejaculated into because of the way a penis can pulsate while it ejaculates.

So, for folks having barrier-free penetrative sex with penile ejaculation, the Dripstick seems like a big cleanup win, right? Below, Carly and Felice Gersh, OB/GYN, MD, author of PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline To Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones and Happiness, get into health implications of the product and other aspects you may want to consider.

Is the Dripstick safe to use?

It’s not just online reviews that are in support of this product—some doctors are, too. “At first glance the general product may sound bananas, but it’s really not,” says Dr. Gersh. “Vagina-havers have been coming up with innovative ways to get ejaculate out of their vaginas after intercourse forever.”

“At first glance the general product may sound bananas, but it’s really not.” —Felice Gersh, OB/GYN

According to her, Dripstick may actually be a safer way to empty ejaculate from the vaginal canal than some of these "innovations." “The only danger I can see coming from [the Dripstick] is that the sponge could detach from the stick, and a bit of the sponge could get stuck inside the canal, and the stick could poke the delicate internal tissues,” she says. If this happens to you when using the product, seek medical assistance immediately.

It's also worth noting that a common post-sex cleanup tool some vagina-havers rely on is one pros say is downright unhealthy: douching. “Douching majorly throws off the vaginal microbiome, which makes individuals more susceptible for infections,” says Dr. Gersh. The Dripstick doesn’t pose this risk unless you keep it inside your body for too long, she says. (Hint: Don’t do this).

Other common post-sex cleanup tricks involve stuffing a wad of toilet paper up there or inserting a tampon to soak up the ejaculate. While these strategies may work, Dr. Gersh says there’s reason to believe that the sponge on the Dripstick is more effective, because, well, it’s a sponge designed to absorb a thicker fluid.

It's also worth pointing out that the Dripstick is not designed for anal use. “Dripstick was created to be used vaginally,” says Tang. The anal canal connects to the digestive system, so anything that goes in your behind should have a flared base that keeps the product anchored outside the body—the Dripstick does not. So in summation, it's safe for vaginal use, not safe for anal use.

Should I try the Dripstick?

Maybe! If you’re someone who loathes the post-coital ooze, Dr. Gersh recommends giving it a whirl. “Try it and see if it meaningfully contributes to your life.” You can order a sample pack for a low commitment of $4. And if you end up liking it, a 20-pack will run you $25, which totals each Dripstick to about a dollar a piece.

If the Dripstick isn’t in your bedroom budget after stocking up on birth control, barriers, lube, and pleasure products, the good news is there are plenty of body-safe alternatives. “The most accessible way to get rid of ejaculate is simply take a clean finger and scoop it out,” says Dr. Gersh. Wearing an internal condom, or having your partner wear an external condom, is another good way to avoid mess, says Carly.

You can also have your partner ejaculate into your mouth, on your belly or back, onto their own belly (to name just a few locations), rather than into the vagina. “A towel, old T-shirt, or tube sock can also be useful here,” Carly says.

Ultimately, the Dripstick is a post-sex tool that’s safe to use, according to doctors and sex educators. Do you need it? No, but if you're curious, you can feel confident that trying it won't harm you. Otherwise, know that there are plenty of other ways to keep the dreaded drip-drip-drip away.

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