Friday, January 18, 2013

The Feminine Temple of Shame

This post, which has been festering in the back of my mind for a while, contains themes that some may find repulsive. I do too, that’s why I wrote this. If you don’t want to read a somewhat explicit post about menstruation, pads, tampons etc. feel free to go far far away.

Menses are a bitch. I never understood why some women find them enjoyable, empowering, a symbol of their sublime womanhood or any such thing.
There’s blood and clots, cramps and spillages, you know them all (I’m sure even my former choirmaster, who is the ‘girls are kinda squicky’ type of gay knows that much).

You’d think that the companies that make money off our suffering would try a bit harder to at least not increase the uncomfortableness (spellcheck tells me that’s not a word but colour me with uncaringness-coloured crayon) we’re experiencing. This is where I’m about to start ranting about Procter & Gamble’s Always pads(and I’m not even talking about their ridiculous happy period slogan).

I’ve never been comfortable with the thought of essentially putting a stopper in my vagina. I don’t like imagining a silicone cup with menstrual blood sloshing around and congealing or a slowly expanding chunk of absorbent material stuck in my girl parts.
Also there are some physical issues. I dare you to get a bloody (pun kind of intended) tampon inserted properly while reaching around big boobs and a large gut, between huge thighs with seriously fat arms. It’s not easy. The supposedly super-sleek outer material feel like sandpaper to me and yet the damn things never stay where they belong. I’m obviously not made to use tampons and I don’t really mind.

So I’ve always been content with my pads, in my almost two decades of menstruating I’ve been a loyal Always customer for about 15 or 16 years. Some changes they made were great, some not so much, but I never really minded any all that much.
After I repurchased my usual Always Ultra pads a few months ago, at some point I open a fresh pack and think “Bugger, did I buy the scented crap?”
I check the packaging, nope, should be right. But wait a second ‘ActiPearls?’ Supposedly neutralise odours rather than covering them. Funny, I’m pretty sure my crotch never smelled like a cheap floral perfume before.
See, neutralisation isn’t a terribly ambiguous term. An acid can be neutralised by the appropriate base, you get a salt and water (which is '*gasp* neutral). Like HCl + NaOH → NaCl + H2O.
Menstrual blood + floral scent → disgusting amalgamation of both.

I wonder why, instead of sneakily scenting all Ultra pads, P&G didn’t just extend their existing line of scented pads. (I was so tempted to write that in caps, yo). Fuckers!

Since I don’t want to run around for everyone to smell that I use Always Ultra (I could smell the pads as I was wearing them, through clothes, past freshly applied Eau de Parfum) I’m currently looking for alternatives. I’m 32, so I probably have a good few years of The Bloodening* to go through. And unless P&G figure out that not every woman thinks of her vagina as her Feminine Temple of Shame that needs to be hidden behind a mound of fake flowers I shall do my damndest to throw my money at someone else.

*What? I find than sometimes ‘mensis’ or ‘period’ just don’t appropriately express the scale of my Women’s Miasma of Unfruitfulness. We all have our own ways to deal.

End of rant.


By the way, if you have trouble getting the adhesive off you knickers, stick ‘em under the faucet and it’ll peel off easily.

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