Monthly Archives: January 2010

Uncovering an Understanding of the Female Body

I always wanted to keep this blog “on the main topic” or only post stuff about my own life, but recently I’ve been scouring blogs lately through the great “Tag Surfer” ability and ran into some articles via tags I’m interested in. When I originally started this blog, I never thought I’d be ever referencing someone’s post, but I thought it was a great read, something I have pondered before. In an era where sexuality is no longer a sheltered topic, many still find it uncomfortable to approach certain topics pertaining to themselves. Being in close relationship with many of my female friends, only 3-4 of them (probably less than 5% of female friends that come to my mind) who openly discuss their “personal time alone” with me. Perhaps, one could say that this topic is a highly sensitive topic to be talking with a guy (me) about, but on that same note, at least > 75% of them have no problem telling me their “doings” with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Think about the last time you sat in a highly public area… hrm.. a mall food court. Have you ever overheard or even purposefully listened in on a conversation? You will likely find that at least ONE group is discussing the girl/guy they banged the night before or what plans they have to sleep with a particular individual. Yet, for a girl to feel comfortable enough to discover and explore her own body is an absolute no-no.

I’m one of those very “un-private” people to say the least… and maybe that’s my failing point, but I openly share a lot of things. I’ve had all sorts of socially awkward or embarrassing questions thrown at me before and I think with the exception of being asked something by my parents, I could without turning red, answer a personal question to anyone else. As mentioned by Rhoda, self-exploration of a female’s body seem to still be unacceptable. I have asked some of my girlfriends whether they have bothered exploring their bodies before.. perhaps some ‘touching’ and ‘getting to know yourself’ and many have responded with things ranging from, “Ewww… that’s gross” and “I never touch those areas unless I’m taking a shower.” and it makes me ponder the question how can they survive like that? When I say explore, I don’t mean so much to as to even masturbate, but even just KNOWING what things look like down there would be a good start (and textbooks don’t count). Maybe as a guy, it is almost understood that males are quite attuned to exploring our bodies, but what about girls, what makes them so different that they don’t need to do the same? Mind you the girls who have not mentioned that they ever explored their bodies are girls who I know who have engaged in various sexual encounters, ranging from non-penetrative to penetrative sex. I cannot possibly fathom that they feel so comfortable to engage in such activities, yet to touch themselves makes them want to puke. Maybe as a heterosexual male and a lover of the female body, my opinion might be a bit biased, but seriously, girls who have the most fulfilling sex are ones who know themselves inside-out.

Having a conversation with a girl recently.. let’s call “L.I” (for the sake of her privacy), we were having a keen discussion on her experience with tampons for her period. I was the one who recommended L.I to switch brands recently to O.B (which I was inspired by my ex-ex girlfriend, thanks 😛 ), which unlike applicator tampons required the use of her fingers to insert the tampon into her vagina. She complained to me how she was not used to using her fingers for that and found it “awkward” that she had to touch down there. I asked her, “Do you wash your hands before you insert it?” and she replied, “Yes”… so then I asked her, “What’s the issue then?”. I’m shocked to see a girl of her age, afraid or even shamed to touch her own private areas, especially when it is for the necessity of menstrual hygiene and not “just for fun”. I swear my jaw was open for an entire minute. What surprized me the most was that only 5 minutes before I asked her that, she was telling me how for the first time the previous night, she was playing with her boyfriend’s penis. I cannot help but quote Rhoda on her beautifully-expressed perspective, “Why can pre-teens put a penis in their mouth but are reluctant to look at their own vagina? This is too sad for words.” I asked L.I whether she considered taking some time to understand the area “down there” so she can be comfortable with her own body as it would make it easier for her to insert her tampon, but instead, she just decided it’d be easier to use pads. Now, I’m not saying I have a problem with her going back to pads, but it worries me that she’s that uncomfortable with the thought of knowing the area between her legs that she’d just give up.

The above was just a singular scenario of the many I could lay out. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time  to retell every story, experience or situation I have pertaining to this 😀 I have always been a proponent of, “The better you understand how your body works, the better you’ll be able to communicate to your significant other how to make you feel good!” I completely agree with Rhoda that many girls often concentrate on satisfying their man more than considering their own needs. What happened to communication before, during and after sex? I think both male and female (in a heterosexual relationship) should be sexually satisfied before “the night is over.” Although the process of ejaculation for a male is physically tiring, all-too-often do I hear about guys who fall asleep without care for their female lover. Didn’t SHE just give you the time of your life, what about returning the favour? Be a man… do the right thing.

The results of a female orgasm whether on her own or with a partner is so important in a woman’s life. I am horrified to hear about girls my age who have never experienced an orgasm prior to meeting their boy/girlfriend. So… you mean you let someone else explore your body before you have done it yourself?! Akin to laughing, I consider an orgasm as a great friend to laughter. If anything, it solves many of lives problems or at least pushes it away for even a moment of time is worthwhile. Rather than being drunk, getting high or tripping on acid, self-gratification can offer that same happiness at no risk, especially because females tend to be moodier than males it acts as a great anti-depressant. Furthermore, I have always been a big fan of advising my close female friends that an orgasmic release is a great way to reduce/eliminate menstrual cramping.

Girls, it is like a guy cheating on you when you decide to fake an orgasm – it is not in the best of your interest or the interest of the relationship. Sex is what brings a couple together and even what breaks people apart. To fake an orgasm is denying your own need of satisfaction and is giving the wrong impression to the guy that he’s “doing a good job” when he really isn’t. Is it acceptable for a guy to tell you he’s going to take out the garbage when he didn’t? Sex involves two (or more, if that’s your thing) people and so does a relationship, so why not work together to create a GREAT sexual experience for everyone? Lying is lying and pretending that “your orgasm” doesn’t matter is a lie.. let your partner know that you’re not satisfied and also, this is where self-exploration and self-understanding comes to play… tell him what makes YOU feel good because after all, YOU should know yourself well enough to express how you want to be pleasured!

Winalite, Anion, Love Moon Sanitary Napkins – For Real?

Hello Again,

Today, I had been looked more in-depth into a product which had broken into the Asia market for a while before spread internationally. From the looks of it, there are quite a few sellers of a “special” maxi pad, under the brand name Winalite who make Love Moon Anion Sanitary Napkins. They are an exploding company who has recently arrived internationally in North America. As a booming company, they offer “business opportunity” for both individuals and businesses who wish to be distributors for their products. This appears to work on the pyramid scheme like many cosmetic and natural health remedy resellers work under. For me, it was shocking to see that unlike cosmetics and other pyramid schemes, there are quite a few males involved in this program, literally, being a “maxi pad pusher”.

Now, I’m personally not involved with Winalite in any way, their original brand in Hong Kong about a year ago was what caught my attention since I’m always interested in researching/testing new products. The first time I saw any mention of this product was in a YouTube video, under the Chinese equivalent name of 月月愛. Having looked at both the Cantonese and English versions of their videos, I was quite impressed with what they described, however, I took most of it with a grain of salt just like any other commercial or advertisement. It was very surprizing to me when I saw it emerging in the North American market. The pads they sold were more expensive than your typical brands, however, claims to have many benefits over your regular sanitary products.

Doing a quick “Google”, I began typing the word “Winalite S…” and then before I even completed my intended word “sanitary” it was offering me the phrase “Winalite Scam” .. well, that sure as hell wasn’t what I expected. Nevertheless, I kept that thought in mind and continued my task at hand to find out more. For those who are unfamiliar with this product, this brand of maxi pad offers 7 amazing layers (in their words) that compose the Love Moon Sanitary Napkin.

Layer Love Moon Product Other Brands
1 Soft and comfortable cotton surface with twice the absorption strength Surface of artificial fiber or rough surface of soft cotton.
2 Anionic tape of world advanced standard and granted with national patent, can effectively get rid of the cause of female genital inflammation: anaerobic bacteria. No such anionic tape or are using medicated tape not recommended by experts.
3&5 Dust-free paper after strict sterilization is used for 360-degree wrapping of the absorbent agent. Paper pulp from recycled items with high level of chemical bleach is used as filling material, or chemical fiber materials are used. How dreadful it is for the sensitive skin to come into close contact with such kind of materials!
4 Adequate absorbent agents which are colourless. Low quantity of absorbent materials.
6 A base film which is permeable to air but not water. Plastic film which is not air permeable.
7 Adhesive base layer used for food products. Adhesive base layer used for industry.

Rather than me explaining the concept and details of this product, I would rather refer you to the following site that articulates all the (many) benefits. I was quite interested in acquiring this product to test it out, but the lingering thought of it being a potential scam definitely had me alert. Looking at their prices, I would say (in CAD) they were roughly a dollar more per package compared to store-purchasable pads. Unfortunately, once you tack on the shipping fee, it would already double the price just to make the purchase.

Whether this is a scam or not, there are definitely some points in which I would agree with them, such as making the pads scent-free and environmentally friendly. When it comes down to their reference to the negative ion strip in the middle of the pad, I’m unable to comment since I’m not much of a scientist, but apparently it has a variety of health benefits stretching from helping to reduce/regulate menstruation to reducing stress. Wow! I did not know a maxi pad could do so much as to:

“Reduce stress, Strengthen immunity, Enhance metabolism, Remove fatigue  and Enhance hormonal balance”

If so, I think almost every guy should start wearing maxi pads on a regular basis (har har)! Apparently the negative ion strip even goes so far as to being able to treat genital herpes… oh yes, you heard me, it treats herpes. So now, after reading the entire page, it’s starting to make me think this pad was made by God himself! Sorry if I sound a bit sarcastic, I am trying to keep a neutral stance. Before I start straying too much, I’m definitely interested in getting a pad or two of these just to see whether it is really that amazing. While I won’t be able to comment on whether it makes my (non-existent) vagina bacterial-free and fresh, I will be able to comment on the general comfort and absorbency of the item. For my readers, if any of you have had any practical experience with these pads, feel free to comment or send me an email! Obviously I don’t want this to become an advertising frenzy, so please refrain from posting any contact information.

3 Packages of the various Love Moon Pads

I will say though, that whether the pads truly fulfill all its claims, the packaging definitely look nice ^___^

Display of the 3 sizes of Love Moon Pads - Liner, Day and Night

I really wonder whether all this is a scam or not, because if it isn’t, these pads really are a miracle product, lol. If you’d like to look up information on these pads, the videos are readily available in multiple languages for you to view and listen. I honestly would’ve never expected so many guys to be trying to sell these products and looking at a few people, they have been quite successful. I’m honestly not sure how many women are actually comfortable with a male approaching them and trying to persuade them to buy maxi pads… hrm… good thing there’s not that many period-lovers out there like me eh?

Of course with any of these schemes, there will be people who actually find success in selling these products, so cheers for them! As it might strike many of you, I actually have not considered becoming a distributor of this – I would find it quite awkward for me to approach people and try to push this product. I have no problems with talking about stuff like this with girl-friends, girlfriend, or female cousins, but to actually imagine myself trying to sell maxi pads just goes “whoosh” over my head. That is odd, considering my interests and all, ain’t it?

Want Privacy? Don’t fly!

In reference to Body Scans, Disability, Menstruation, and Security Theatre January 5th, 2010 by Elizabeth Kissling @ http://menstruationresearch.org/2010/01/05/body-scans-disability-menstruation-and-security-theatre/

When I read the above article, I was shocked at how much a scan like that actually shows. It makes me edgey to imagine myself as a male, walking through a scanner which shows (according to their rules, a same-sex officer) another individual my full body layout, including my penis “hanging around” while doing a security check. I find that distrubing, in fact, I’d hate to be the guy sitting behind the scanner seeing penises all day (unless that was his thing). I would actually prefer it was a opposite sex viewing these walkthroughs. While they have the best of intentions, not allowing images to be saved, making sure that the viewing-officer never sees the person on the outside and that due encryption be used when transmitting such an image, would you want to be the one questioned as you’re walking through the scanner whether you are menstruating and to prove it? In the event she’s not menstruating at the moment does not mean she cannot have the pad on, such as preparing for her flow to begin or at the end of her period just-in-case. Imagine a male, for whatever reason (other than malicious intent) having a pad on… what business is it of security officials to see and perform questioning. What if that is the person’s fetish or medical needs? Just to fly, do we really have to justify our own personal lives nowadays?

Having seen a tampon string hanging out of a girl, I can only imagine that to a scanner, it would very much resemble a wick of a dynamite for instance. Personally, I’d probably get a kick out of asking a girl, “So… are you on your period?” – but that’s just me and my interests and all… I’m sure the average person would hate to have to be the one to say that. I love flying, I really do… especially when it’s a trip to go home. I just can’t imagine the implications of this all, especially for those who might have more private concerns of themselves showing up nude in a scanner. I’m not sure about the pat-down process since I’ve never had an issue with going through security checks. I have triggered the metal detectors a few times with my belt (and before shoes had to be removed), my shoes… but never had to be “felt up” by an officer – so I guess I can’t relate to an experience like that.

I don’t think I’m taking sides on whether a scanner like this is right or wrong – it obviously has its merits. There have been many individuals who’ve expressed that “As long as doing something like this is for our safety, we don’t care about privacy.” It’s too bad the world has to come to this just to keep its citizens safe… soon we’ll be scanned just to exit the door of our house. Crime can exist anywhere and an airplane is just one of them. For the time being, I’ve just accepted the way security checks are, I think I take on the attitude of “I don’t really care.” and “There’s nothing that I can do to change it”… after all, I like visiting home! Nevertheless, this was a great article to read and addresses concerns that many in the LGBTQ and disabled folks might have when it comes to having their bodies revealed.

Just for kicks, the next time I’m walking through one of these scanners, I’m going to try to walk through it while maintaining a large erection… whoever’s behind that scanner, ENJOY!

A ‘lil About Me!

Heyo,

Another break between my regular period talk to shed some light for you guys on who I am… or at the very least, know a bit more about me. It has been less than a week since I started my blog and I have already gotten some great feedback, mostly via email (maybe some of you are still shy :)) I could not fathom the feedback I’d be getting, however, I can tell you all I am very appreciative. In fact, besides the casual reader, I even have a few subscribers, definitely makes me feel proud and no less thankful! For those who asked, I’m reluctant right now to provide any facebook information. In actuality, when I started this blog, I told myself I wouldn’t become personally attached to it and wanted to leave it completely separate from my life, but I have definitely come to love this blog and the readers. When I feel more comfortable, I’d be more than happy to add a select few to know me more personally once I feel I have some sort of connection or trust for a few of yous! A couple of you sent me some interesting questions and wanted to know a bit more about me, so I’ll try to answer most of the questions – however, very generally due to personal reasons.

The first question asked about my sexuality and whether I am transgendered because of my interest in menstruation. No, I’m not transgendered and I am biologically male and identify as a heterosexual male. My interests with menstruation is out of curiosity and love of the female body, not because I’d like to be a woman or feel like I’m a woman in a man’s body. I love women (but not want to be one), lol. Also, I really appreciate what girls have to go through every month and would like to be understanding of it. Whenever the opportunity arises, I enjoy taking care of them, giving them a massage, make them some hot cocoa or whatever I can do to make them feel better. Let’s face it, I can’t share their pain, but as a guy, I feel a responsibility to ensure my (ex/future) girlfriend is as comfortable as can be.

Have I considered sexual reassignment? No, I haven’t. Again, I enjoy the knowledge and fun of periods, but I would not become a woman via surgery. Furthermore, that would not necessarily make me able to have my period if that were the case. I enjoy being able to learn (and in small ways, experience) periods but I do not question my gender-identity. I am quite happy being male. Being able to “take care” and “pamper” a girl for me brings me great joy and you have to think, a girl spends 1/4 of every month (normally) menstruating, so why aren’t we guys making the best of it instead of avoiding her? Treat her like a princess, she deserves it, no matter how moody and temperamental she is!

What do I do? Well, I work for a government agency as an I.T. Project Leader…. can’t really say anything too specific since that’s freaky when people across the internet know too much about you, haha. Also, I run my own business, obviously I.T. related as well, a consultation firm, although I do regular system repairs and such. What are my hobbies? Besides periods? LOL… well, I used to play Tennis and Basketball – not so much anymore because of the weather (obviously) and while I was still physically fit in my “young days” =D Other than that, I can be pretty dull sometimes. I’m not sure if you can call “eating” a hobby since it is a necessity, but if it does qualify, then I profess my love to food! I’m into computer gaming too, but of course a lot of my day goes towards managing my own business as well. I like to make money (or, ‘more’ money) because I’d like to provide a very nice living for my future wife and kids. I realize if anything, now’s the time when I want to rake in the cash because I’d like to spend the later time with my wife/kids… I work a steady day job, having regular hours, weekends/holidays off and a very nice annual schedule – so I can quit my own business then to take care of my family.

Not sure why someone asked about my relationship life (weird)… but right now, I’m single.. kind of… there’s a girl I was seeing a few months ago but things are not going well now. Things were magical for 2 months while she was home in Malaysia and then when she returned, things were well for a month. Afterward, she said she felt uncomfortable with me sometimes, but never was there a reason given. I hate that, I seriously do, I hate it when girls can’t give me a definitive reason for something. One of my friends mentioned whether she was involved with another guy, but I prefer not to find out… I’m the jealous and aggressive type, it would not be in my best interest to find out/know – I know myself better than that. I’m still going for her though, not giving up! I may be foolish, but my heart tells me otherwise. I’ve never had a girl put such a huge barrier for me before, it feels very frustrating… might be a Malaysian-Chinese girl thing? LOL… sorry Poh Ching, can you enlighten me? Haha.  They like to break hearts XD

I’d prefer not to comment on my family life currently… just that my family is awesome! You can take everything away from me and as I have them, that’s all that matters. So… that concludes that… until I get some more emails, lol.

This is a little snow scenery for everyone… I’m no photographer, I’m just a “person who takes pictures” – lol. This is dedicated to my first subscriber as well since I don’t know how long it has been since she’s seen snow =] hope you enjoy it. I thoroughly enjoy the feedback, whether positive or negative that people have given. Feel free to send me idea you’d like for me to cover and I’ll write more soon!

Cheers,

– K

Maxi Pad Basics for Men

That's not my shelf... seriously... LOL.

Hey again, I figured over the next few days I’ll try to cover some feminine hygiene product basics. Obviously this information may be a bit useless and simplistic for girls, but for the guys it will give you some ideas of how this stuff really works. Don’t worry, used products won’t be displayed on here for your sanity and viewing pleasure, lol. At some point I’ll probably get my lazy ass working and make a video demo of this, but for now, I suppose some pictures and text will have to suffice. Let me say upfront that whatever pictures I may use here are completely by nature of “best fit” and I’m not recommending or suggesting the brand of product that may appear. A maxi pad is a product intended to absorb the menstrual flow as it exits the body. Since every manufacturer uses different materials, simply put it, the pad usually contains an absorbent material intended to not only absorb the flow, but also to keep it in. The absorbent material is separated by a top cover (against the body) and is sealed with the lower cover which usually is the adhesive side (sticks to the underwear).

(Fig. 1) The package and contents of a Thin Maxi Pad

So today, let us cover the basics of Maxi Pads and the likes…

Thin pads seem to be the more popular type of pad since it is extremely comfortable.Suffice to say, thin pads generally do not have the absorbency power as that of its equivalent thick maxi pad counterpart. Some brands managed to get their pads extremely thin, quite impressive to say the least. For example, Laurier Super Slimguard 25cm  is only 1mm thin!

(Fig. 2) Wings secured to the panties

Since thin pads aren’t as thick and tend not to hug the body as much, girls I’ve spoken to will agree that they need to use better fitting panties to allow for a more snug fit and to ensure there’s no gap between the body and pad or else accidents are prone to occur. Anyways, to stay on track to keep this “basic” for the guys… a pad will usually consist of 1) a wrapper, and 2) the pad itself. Pads generally come in two flavours (or should I even use that word in this context?) with or without wings. Wings are the two flaps on each side of the pad which is wrapped on crotch of the underwear between each side of the leg. The purpose of the wings are two-fold, 1) to prevent the pad from shifting in the panties, and 2) helps absorb side leakage, as shown below in figure 2. To begin use of the pad, one must remove the pad from the wrapper and remove the necessary adhesive strips. It is hard for me to explain the strips simply because every pad is different, some have a singular strip and others, multiple. For pads that have an individual strip for the wings, it is preferable to place the pad on the panties first (after removing the primary strip) and then remove the strip for the wings and wrap it around the panties. This is purely a comfort thing and there is no “right way” of doing it since there are girls who simply remove all the strips and then place it on their panties. There are 3 options for the wrapper, 1) Insert a used pad for disposal, 2) save it for the disposal of the existing pad later, or 3) place it in the garbage.

(Fig. 3) The package and contents of a Thick Maxi Pad

Once the pad is securely in place, the girl can then finish the rest of her washroom necessities and leave. I’m going to highlight the fact that disposal of used products is also extremely important but I’ll leave that for another posting. With that said, if you refer to figure 3, note the difference of the size as compared to the thin maxi. Unfortunately, I wish I could’ve showed the depth a bit better. You’ll have to excuse the terrible resolution as well since I took the picture with my iPhone. Thick pads, while not loved by most, tends to be a very good solution for those experiencing heavy periods, want a closer fit to their body or security for night time. I did want to retake this picture using a thicker pad, only to realize I ran out… so… guess this will have to do. Anyways, you’ll also notice that this, not only being a thicker variant, is also a wingless pad. I’ve only know about 2-3 girls who prefer pads without wings, mostly because they say the wings bother them. I can agree with them that wings, brand dependent, tend to chaff against the legs, especially during rapid movement (such as sports). Regardless, looking at the shelves, I can say both winged and non-winged products still sell great, so either way, they provide a form of menstrual protection for girls. In terms of pricing, when comparing pads of the same brand and size, you will find that while they might be the same price, there will be higher quantities for those without wings (lower overhead to produce). Example being the Stayfree Super Maxi w/o Wings came in a pack of 24, yet the ones I bought on January 2nd WITH wings only contained 16.

The last part I want to highlight on for you guys is yes, brands do matter. You do really “get what you pay for”…. and dollar store pads definitely do not work well (great for creative arts… lol). Larger brands tend to use more proprietary technology, therefore the quality of the pad and the usage of the product tends to be better. Having looked at dollar store pads, they are usually a top layer with cotton stuffed underneath it. While this is essentially the “general idea of a pad”, poorly designed pads are accidents waiting to happen. The “stitching” and “pattern” of a pad make all the difference when it comes to how well it holds up when used. I have found with dollar store pads that after saturation, you will find that the cotton inside actually MOVES (separating, bunching together, shifting – all together yucky!). So before you go criticizing your female companion on why she has to buy the $5 pack instead of the $2 ones, that’s exactly why!

I’d like to hope that this guide will help some people, even if it’s ONE person, that’s a good enough reward! I tried to cover what came to my mind, so if there’s anything missing, please feel free to comment and I’ll try to integrate it into this post (or a future one)!

The Day Before Back to Work

Hi Again,

Thought I’d give you guys a break about listening to my period-rants, lol. I was considering changing the name of my blog to a more generic name so I can sometimes blog some personal stuff on here, but oh well, I rather like the catchy name and I can still put in personal postings whenever I feel like it. So here we are today… the day before I return to work. Looks like it’ll be back to waking up for 8 A.M, arg – although it’ll be my ‘first day at work for 2010’…. it barely feels like a new year. This year, New Years Eve was not very exciting… we stayed at home, although given the chaos during Christmas, we were all burnt out. Last year’s Christmas was much more exciting as we spent it on our balcony in Hong Kong, much more festive and surrounded by family! I can’t wait to go back the end of this year, hopefully I can find some cheap flights.

It is snowing right now… not a lot, but it is ASS COLD – I shit you not. I walked from the car to the entrance of the supermarket and my skin was frozen. When the wind is idle, it is actually pretty warm outside… but once the wind picks up, it feels like ice is being embedded onto your skin! I was trying to find some jojoba oil and sure enough, it costs almost $16 for like 120ml’s… are you friggin serious? That’s like me pissing in a bottle, handing it to you and telling you it costs $50! They really need to make these so-called “organic” things cost less… maybe people would actually BUY them. Recently, they closed down an entire section of “organics” probably because turnover was low and they couldn’t make it worth their while. Do you think your average consumer would pay like triple the price for something that was organic? It’s better to sell something cheaper and be able to sell it, than to sell something expensive and NOT be able to sell it.

So today… my aunt and uncle were supposed to come to visit. We waited for 3 hours and then they called telling us it was too late into the day and decided not to come. I hate when plans fail, it defeats the whole purpose of a PLAN. I’m an organizer, what can I say? I like to plan things and carry things out. I try to avoid being a last-minute person, although my friends constantly like to call me up at the most unsuitable times to ask me if I’m available for things. It isn’t that I can’t be spontaneous, but there are many things in life that work better when it’s planned. It’s fine if you call me an hour ahead and ask me if I want to go out for a snack or something, but it’s not ok to tell me that you’re planning a party, want me to arrange/make things and expect me to be able to do it in 20 minutes.

Having lived here for so many years, I am still not used to the North American mentality of family bonding. I’m 24 and I think I’m one of the few my age of people I know who still do things with their family on a regular basis. I don’t consider myself a Mommy’s or Daddy’s boy, however, I rather like doing things with my parents. Suffice to say, that does not discount me from spending time with friends as well, but NA society greatly differs from your general Asian culture and populace. When I was younger, there was a lot of shame and humiliation placed on spending time with parents. Very unfortunate, given the fact that family is really the one thing you’ll have when all hell breaks loose. I love my parents and I don’t see a reason why I shouldn’t and why in order for me to be “socially acceptable” to not spend time with them, whether doing a family activity or simply running weekly errands such as buying groceries. I think people have lost idea of what a “family unit” is supposed to mean…

I was thinking about picking up a book to read for myself in the next while… called “The Little Red Book” by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff. If anyone has any comments or reviews about it, please feel free to let me know! Speaking of which, I started a new album on my facebook with all the hilarious conversations that I find myself being a part of… quite amusing to say the least. Looks like it’ll be my new hobby for the next while other than reading the book, lol!

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:

Pads

Tampons

– 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 =) :

My Proof of Purchase - Your Proof of Reality

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