Welcome to our Cycledork Letters series! We recently asked people to contribute their candid thoughts on menstruation. The results were period pieces that were funny, personal, reflective, informative, and endearing. This is letter #7 in the series. Read all of the letters here!
*The letters series coincides with our campaign to help build this site and community. Please view our campaign here – receive amazing perks for every contribution!*
Cycledork Letters: #7
by Jennifer Pesce
I still remember the time my mom got me my first pack of super bulky, store brand pads in preparation for the inevitable day that I would get my period. So naturally, I did some experimenting with my new lady accessories ahead of time. Of course I decided I would instantly know what to do with the pad, who reads directions anyway?
So I removed the paper strip and stuck the pad to me. Easy and secure. This was going to be a piece of cake. Then I tried to remove it, holy helllllll. No no no. I don’t think I could do this, I mean I guess periods really were as painful as everyone said. I didn’t know how I was going to rip these large band-aids from my bits on the regular. That’s when I turned to the directions, maybe there were some tips…like the big one: apply pad to your underwear not your person.
My relationship with pads was brief and I quickly made it my mission to figure out tampons, probably because it was summer and I wanted nothing to keep me away from pool parties. Immediately I read the directions and studied the illustrations in hopes of shortening the learning curve. Only I had no idea what was where down there and how was it supposed to launch something up in there? What was this applicator nonsense?
About half a box of failed attempts and the fear of TSS causing me a new level of anxiety, I got one in! Which was way more comfortable once removing the applicator.
I used tampons for a good 15 years of my life, and the only pad allowed was the occasional panty liner.
Then I learned about the bleach and other chemicals used by Tampax and Kotex and other big brands, so I switched to Natracare, which uses unbleached organize cotton.
But now the idea of tampons irks me. I don’t like the whole soggy factor if you try to pee without changing one or feeling like you’ve just soaked up the ocean.
So what’s left?! The Diva Cup. I’ve been using a silicone cup to catch my flow. It works similar to a tampon in that you can’t see or feel it, only its better. No soggy feeling and you only have to empty it and couple times a day. Plus I have had the same one for almost 3 years, so it saves me money and helps out the planet too. So if you can get passed the squeamish part about touching yourself to pull out a cup full of your menses, then I’d say join this club.