Even the most knowledgeable and feminist-leaning men can find themselves miffed when confronted with the facts of the female menses. It’s not just that they’re totally unaware of what’s happening down there every 28 days, it’s that they think they know certain things, but they’re so off base it’s laughable. Ask the most enlightened men you know to describe how cramps feel or how a tampon works, and you’ll get a variety of wildly creative but totally inaccurate answers. We thought it was time to compile a list of all the crazy things guys believe about our periods that, we can assure them, are completely and totally wrong… Keep reading »
Ladies, you thought your underwear was doing its job — keeping your precious lady bits in place, modestly covered and safe from the elements. But you were wrong! You need underwear that does more, more, more! Especially when you’re on your period. May we suggest Simple Necessit-Ease undies? They look like regular panties in every single way, except they contain a secret polyester, waterproof, breathable lining. You need this when Aunt Flo is visiting because it provides protection from leakage, and will, says Simple Necessit-Ease founder Grace Soohoo, prevent period blood leaks from getting all over your outfit. Or, you could, you know, regularly change your tampon. Either way, these actually sound like a good idea in the days leading up to your period, when you’re not sure when it’ll arrive. We’re especially fond of the boyshorts style. [Simple Necessit-Ease]
HelloFlo, a service that delivers mail-order period care packages complete with tampons, pantyliners and chocolate, is marketing their service to younger set of menstruators with the creation of a Period Starter Kit. They’re genius marketing campaign features the “Camp Gyno,” a young girl who is a loser at summer camp until she gets her “red badge of courage.” Soon she becomes the most popular period expert (bordering on tyrant) on the lake, giving “menstruation demonstrations” and advice. “It’s like I’m Joan and their vadges are the Arc,” she brags. The Camp Gyno’s reign comes to an end when all the girls start getting their HelloFlo Period Starter Kits delivered and realize the service is “like Santa for your vagina.” Keep reading »
Womanhood is a glorious, many-petaled flower. (Or something.) But there are some times when being a lady really sucks. Like, say, when you know you put a tampon in the night before and you know you didn’t take it out and now you can’t find it. It’s really missing. Seriously, where did that little bugger go?! Join me on every step of this special journey, after the jump… Keep reading »
In Russia, you don’t have period, period has YOU! In all seriousness, this Russian Tampax commercial (very graphic, by the way, so if you’re squeamish, skip), shows the imagined terror of mixing periods and open water swimming. Any truth to the notion that periods attract sharks? According to Vancouver Aquarium spokesperson Ann Dreoloni, “Honestly, I think the jury is still out on this question. According to what I have read so far, there are people who believe the chance of a shark attack is greater while menstruating … and others who think this has absolutely no impact on shark attacks at all.” And shark behavior expert Ralph S. Collier says, adorably uncomfortably, “If it’s a young lady for whom it’s that time of the month, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Better to wait till everything is back to normal to go into the ocean.” Ha! Normal. How antiquated. In any case, two shark experts is enough to convince me — I’m staying on the shore when sharks are in the water. [LiveLeak]
And you thought your period was rough: in the district of Achham, Nepal, women are ostracized each month while they are menstruating. During what is called “chaupadi,” a menstruating woman must stay in a small hut called a “goth” away from the village and her family. She’s also not allowed to use the same water as others or prepare food in the kitchen because she is seen as impure. All alone or with a few other women in the goth, women are extremely vulnerable to rape. Others have suffered jackal attacks, snakebites, or fire while trying to protect themselves from the elements of the Himalayas.
Because of these dangers, Nepal outlawed chaupadi in 2005. But according to The New York Times, because it’s a two-day drive outside of the capital of Kathmandu, Achham has yet to feel the effects of this change. Keep reading »
Pads off to New York’s Marymount Manhattan College for holding the first ever period poetry slam, “Red Moon Howl.” The menstrual-themed event welcoming “poets, performers & menstrual enthusiasts” and featuring the work of Sylvia Plath, will take place on June 7th as part of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Conference, honoring Gloria Steinem for her work in “taking down social taboos toward menstruation, including the belief that women are weak, dirty or inferior to men because of their cycles.” Keep reading »
Thank. GOD. Where have you been? I have been waiting for the longest time to see you again, and I don’t know what you were doing or where you were at, but I am so so very glad you’re back.
Two months. Is there any good reason you were gone for two months? Your return has been sheepish; I sense that you were away for a good reason, but alas, your elusive nature guarantees that I’l never know why. I’m not sure what I did to make you leave for so long, but let me tell you, I am so relieved — and happy! — to see you again. Keep reading »
I used to be really kind of scared of my vagina. I got my period when I was 12 but didn’t start using tampons until I was a senior in high school. Tampons looked like they would hurt and I was not interested in my vagina causing me more pain than it already did. I finally faced my fear when I just couldn’t deal with the diaper look of pads for a second longer. Even then, I would only use tampons with applicators, none of that o.b. crap, because I wasn’t about to get all up in there, you know? Though I’d been masturbating since I was 12, I always did it over my underwear and I didn’t lose my virginity until I was almost 21. Basically, my vagina intimidated me for a very, very long time.
So it’s been with some level of that same intimidation that I’ve initially recoiled at the thought of using a Diva Cup. For those who are unfamiliar, allow me to explain. The Diva Cup is a reusable menstrual cup that a gal uses instead of a tampon or pad. It is inserted inside the vagina and catches your menstrual flow. It can be worn for up to 12 hours. Once removed, you clean it and then reinsert. Green-minded women love it for its low impact on the environment, while budget conscious ladies never have to buy tampons again. Keep reading »
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms including bloating, cramps, headache, and mood swings that occurs consistently during the ten days prior to the start of menstrual flow and vanishes either shortly before or shortly thereafter. In other words, it’s what I like to call Hell Week, and that’s a drastic understatement.
In addition to the aforementioned typical symptoms, I also experience extreme fatigue, intense food cravings, insatiable hunger, unpredictable bouts of crying, and sporadic emotional meltdowns that often result in reevaluation of every major and minor life decision I’ve ever made. As I sit on the couch drowning Oreos in gallons of milk and contemplating joining the Peace Corps, it’s hard to remember these symptoms are just temporary. One Hell Week left me with a visceral hatred for my husband after he flushed my Oreos down the toilet. In retrospect, I can’t blame him. He watched in absolute horror and disgust as I shoved whole cookies, two at a time, into my mouth leaving crumbs all over my face and chest in a futile attempt to eat my fabricated pain away. He likened me to a crack fiend, so flushing the cookies down the toilet was probably a necessary intervention. Keep reading »