Sunbathing your derrière is the bizarre ancient wellness trend that’s all over Instagram

MetaphysicalMeagan, an Instagram account run by a self-confessed “mermaid mystic, healer, teacher, and weightlifter,” posted a now-viral picture of herself engaging in a spot of “Perineum Sunning” which she describes as “an ancient Taoist practice that’s been around for a while.”

Ahh the internet. It’s a curious place. One minute, you’re scrolling past images of Selena Gomez’s latest hairdo, the next you’re faced with a naked yogi, spreadeagled on a rock, presenting her derrière to the sun – all in the name of wellness.

“For the past few weeks, I have included sunning my bum and yoni sanskrit lingo for vagina, folks into my daily rising routine,” she explained.

“Many of you have been asking about the benefits of this practice,” she says, noting “30 seconds of sunlight on your butthole is the equivalent of a full day of sunlight with your clothes on”, but the benefits she’s personally encountered include “surges of energy almost immediately, better sleep, better connection to my sexual energy and control of my life force, and attracting my desires and intentions with ease,” she says.

Dubious? You’re not alone. “People out here butt-chugging sunlight,” Twitter user @sisterofonline, shared to her followers in a tweet that’s since accumulated over 75 thousand likes. “Can someone please pass me the study showing that 30 seconds of butthole sunlight is equal to an entire day of non-butthole sunlight?” said @e_cleazy. “Is this what my cat has been studying its entire life?”

Some have praised Metaphystical Meagan’s social media savviness: “on the one hand that is the dippies naked yoga practice I’ve ever seen,” says @ringcycles. “On the other, Meagan likely gained 8k new followers from that post. You can’t buy that kind of, um, exposure.”

And others seem ready to indulge in a little bum-bathing (that’s bum sunbathing) of their own: “I wonder if I could do this w my SAD lamp? sic” said @hunnylord. “Life is short, sun yr buns if ya want to sic” said @e_lee_sule.

Then, plot twist, to remove any confusion, Metaphysical Meagan returned to the ‘gram with an updated post, taking a deeper dive into the dos and don’ts of the practice. “The intention is not to tan your butthole!” she says. “Sunscreen is not required all you really need is 30 seconds of sun exposure,” she adds, with the hashtag #ButtholeSunning. “Mantak Chia speaks about this in his work, as does my friend @ra_of_earth.”

But – safety first – to clarify the scientific advantages of sunning your nethers, we consulted a GP to get the low-down on “perineum sunning” before anyone lies back and thinks of England.

A leading medical expert (who asked not to be named) told us, “Obviously sun rays give you vitamin D which can help keep bones and teeth healthy. That said, you’d be exposing an area of your body that is never normally exposed to the sun, which can increase the likelihood of skin cancer.” As for its ability to increase energy and strengthen organs, she dubbed it “unlikely”.

So there you have it, your behind isn’t a solar panel after all, and charging it up like a Sony Walkman sadly won’t enable you to store energy in your rear end to power you through the day. That said, for many, sunshine is a great mood booster and nakedness can encourage feelings of liberation, so as far as your sexual libido goes, if you want to spend your morning practicing risqué sun salutations, then bottoms up. Just check you’ve cleared things with your neighbours first…

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