Men’s Guide to Feminine Hygiene
I think for a guy, the worst thing that could happen other than being told you’ve just been diagnosed with some dreaded disease, is being asked to buy feminine hygiene products. Regardless of which female companion might be asking this of you, your heart beats rapidly, hands begin to sweat and scenes of embarrassment pop up in your mind. Most would think what self-respecting or macho man would do something like this? Well, think about it this way… if you are really self-respecting and a macho man, then you should also be prepared to ensure the needs of your girlfriend’s, sister’s, wife’s, and/or daughter’s needs are satisfied – after all, that IS what a man of the household does. OK, I’m sure some feminists are going to be on my back asking “Why should a man need to take care of a woman?” – but sorry, that’s just the old-fashion, traditional household setting I’ve been raised with. Regardless, there should be no shame for a man to acquire feminine hygiene products whether regularly as part of the household shopping or whether as a “last minute resort.” I must say, women tend to be fairly good with keep their inventory fairly stocked up and do prepare, so it is unfortunate for them that they must ask you to do it. It hurts them, just as much as it hurts you – literally.
So how/where does a guy begin? First, you can choose to understand just the basics, enough to make the purchase and nothing more. Second, you can choose to understand the concepts and details surrounding your purchase. For starters, we’ll just tackle #1 as it is probably the preferred option for most guys, need-to-know-basis, buy it, get out, and give it to your female requester. For those who choose that option, one thing to note is that you want to do this quickly, but lest I remind you that accuracy is also the key. You don’t want to go back for a second run just because you got the wrong one, so exercise due diligence, otherwise, it would be contrary to getting the job done fast.
Option 1 – Buy it, Get Out:
The best idea before heading to your nearest supermarket is to know exactly what you’re getting. If you’re lucky enough to have an old package lying around, it’ll be pretty easy to determine what she’s going to need and remember it. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t rely so much on just knowing the brand and colour… sometimes colours don’t tell all. A few years ago, Always tried to make their pads “male-friendly” with symbols to help make purchases easy, but phased it out quickly. Here’s a few key things you want to walk out the door with. Please note this chart is very GENERAL and the naming convention/classifications may vary brand-by-brand:
|– What brand?
– Wings or no wings? (No, they don’t fly)
– What thickness? (Usually “thin” or “maxi”)
– What absorbency or size? (Slender, Regular, Heavy, Overnight)
– Special types? (Such as scented/unscented or ones with wipes)
|– What brand?
– Applicator (Plastic/Cardboard) or no applicator?
– What absorbency or size? (Lite, Regular, Super, Super Plus)
– Special types? (Such as compact versions, silk/satin, scented/unscented)
Once you’ve established those key points and perhaps even a photographic memory of the package, you’re almost ready to go! If you’re extra keen, you might want to check with your female companion whether there are any available coupons/specials and then determine where you will be making the purchase. I assure you, pads and tampons are not cheap so you always want to get the best deal! For the extra-shy-guy, you might want to choose a larger supermarket/store that offer “self-checkout”, but for the sake of discussion, let’s assume we will be doing the good ol’ line-up-at-the-counter. While men in general tend not to be very knowledgeable on where the feminine hygiene aisle is located, it is best simply to refer to overhead signs. If you don’t feel like being a browser and feeling gutsy, you could always ask a sales associate. You might want to get a shopping basket if they have one, I think a cart is just a bit weird for a few small items.
Anyways, so here you are, standing in the aisle! Now’s the time to hopefully recall all that information you (should) know! From my experience, most shelves are usually split between pads and tampons, so that will already probably cut your choices by half. I should carefully warn you now that there are SOME stores that also sell (or if you happen down the wrong aisle) male/female incontinence supplies in the same aisle, so be careful you buy items intended for menstruation. Now look for in big letters, the brand that corresponds with your purchase. Now here’s where you might flinch because unless you have really good eyes, might need to close-in a bit and figure out the right type, absorbency and features (features… sounds like buying a T.V!) and then of course, finally decide if this is the one you’re looking for! When you’ve gotten the necessary items (hopefully the correct ones), simply put them in your basket and prepare for your exit.
If you’ve noticed, at no point did I mention the use of any “camouflage” such as buying items that you don’t need to “mask” your real purchase. Unless you actually need it, you are wasting money by doing so. Let’s be honest, I’ve talked to people who’ve worked as cashiers and they know exactly what you’re doing when they see you checking out with 3 huge packages of pads and then a bag of chips. While in the FH aisle, there might also be other people present. Unless otherwise spoken to, there’s no need to engage someone else in conversation because that’s just downright awkward and might cause you to make a scene of yourself. The most I’ve done is just given the girl next to me a smile politely, just to signify I’m not there to stalk her feminine hygiene needs and that’s already enough to make her comfortable. This strategy is similar to that of the cashier. It is a foolish mistake for a man to ever feel the need he needs to justify the purchase he is making. Guys make the mistake of feeling they need to tell the cashier, “I’m buying this for my sister (or fill in whoever)” when they truly do not care. They are there to checkout your items and nothing more. I normally exchange my usual pleasantries as I put the items prominently up on the counter (why bother hiding it?) and hand over any corresponding coupons. Once the items have been rung up, I simply pay for my purchase, have it bagged and leave.
And you’re off! Isn’t it relieving to be done this endeavour? Not only that, but I’m sure your female companion will be extremely grateful for your help! Part of the secret is to purchase feminine hygiene products just as you would of other items. Never in my years of buying these products have I once been questioned about them, in fact, it is likely they’d be more embarrassed to ask (or even risk being disciplined, it is no business of the cashier what your purchases are for from the standpoint of customer service). For those who are doing this for your girlfriend or wife, you are winning big points (probably)! I’ve had girlfriends who’ve made it a point to mention they feel very special when I involve myself with their menstrual needs, as small as knowing what they normally use or even buying it for them when I need to or happen to be in-stores. This might not be case for every female as some still feel it is “their own business” and prefer you not poke your nose in it, but I think most will say it is a very sweet act.
So there you have it guys, a little guide and things for you to consider when purchasing feminine hygiene products! I’ll tackle option #2 at a later time. Of course… here’s the fun part… many of you guys might be “You’ve probably never done this yourself” or “You wouldn’t have the guts”… so here you go… by the way, coupons rock, you can get these products for cheaper than you can buy milk… TWO packs! Look at the date, it is today =) :
Posted on January 2, 2010, in Periodtastic and tagged Bleeding, Cramps, Education, Educational, Feminine Hygiene, Health, Help, Interests, Maxi Pads, Men, Menstrual, Menstruating, Menstruation, Opinion, Periods, PMS, Sanitary Napkins, Shopping, Taboo, Tampon, Tampons, Thoughts, Women, Women's Health. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.