Yes, you read that right. Rumor has it that some people — primarily teens, according to the internet — are inserting vodka-soaked tampons into their vagina or rectum. This is also referred to as “slimming.”

Is this for real? And more importantly — why? We get to the ~bottom~ of it here.

People may (or may not) be getting their drink on this way for a few reasons, including to:

  • get buzzed faster
  • avoid the smell of alcohol on their breath
  • beat a breathalyzer test
  • not absorb any calories from the drink (which doesn’t work, BTW)
  • avoid a hangover

So, are people really taking their vodka straight up the vagina or anus? It’s highly unlikely.

First, any evidence of people actually doing this is purely anecdotal. It seems that most stories come by way of a friend-of-a-friend’s cousin in a college town far, far away.

There are no documented cases of anyone actually slimming. And given the potential effects — which we’ll get to in a minute — chances are that if someone did it, there’d be a hospital report and probably case study on it.

Even a legit survey of college students points to infrequent use of alternative forms of alcohol and a low likelihood to try them in the future.

Finally, getting a soaked tampon into any orifice would be quite the feat. It’s like squeezing into a swimsuit when you’re already wet. And the swimsuit’s wet. And it’s three sizes too small.

A tampon’s only job is to soak up liquid. When a tampon gets wet, it expands. The tightly packed cotton loses its firmness and becomes a limp, sloppy mess. This makes insertion more than difficult and would probably result in most of the vodka being squeezed out of the tampon while you struggle to get it in.

Plus, a super tampon (double the size of a regular tampon) holds only around 10 milliliters (mL) of fluid, which isn’t enough to get you buzzed. For some perspective, a shot glass typically holds between 30 mL and 44 mL.

To get tipsy off a tampon would be time-consuming, grueling work and not worth the effort.

Even if you were able to successfully insert a vodka-soaked tampon, you could do some serious harm.

A tampon may not hold a lot of vodka, but what it does hold gets into your bloodstream quickly because it bypasses your stomach. And since it isn’t absorbed by your stomach, you can’t vomit it out if you’ve had too much.

This means that even if you did figure out a way to make the tampon hold more alcohol, you’d have a significantly higher risk for alcohol poisoning.

Then there’s the ouch factor to consider. Doesn’t the idea of alcohol down there sound painful? Well, it absolutely is.

Alcohol is highly acidic, and the mucous membranes in the vagina and rectum are thin and sensitive. Not only will it burn like the dickens, but it could also potentially damage your mucous membranes.

There are no documented cases of vodka tampons, but there have been reports of alcohol enemas.

An alcohol enema — aka butt chugging — involves pouring alcohol into the colon through a thin tube inserted into the rectum.

An enema makes it easy to both consume large amounts of alcohol and lose track of just how much you’re taking in. This greatly increases the risk of alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol enemas have even been linked to death in rare cases.

More common effects include:

  • rectal bleeding
  • a burning sensation in your anus
  • cramping
  • feeling like you need to have a bowel movement when you don’t (tenesmus)

If you or someone else has managed to get alcohol into the rectum or vagina, it’s important to know how to recognize alcohol poisoning.

Warning signs

Call for emergency help right away if you notice any of these:

  • confusion
  • vomiting
  • slowed breathing
  • irregular breathing
  • pale or bluish lips
  • low body temperature
  • loss of consciousness

While waiting for help to arrive, the person who consumed the alcohol should remain sitting up. If they can’t sit, then have them lie on their side to prevent choking if they vomit.

Was this helpful?

If people are trying to get drunk off vodka tampons, it’s unlikely they’re getting very far.

If you’re concerned about your alcohol use, confidential help is available. Here are two options:

Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a Canada-based freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow, or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddleboard.