Buying Pads/Tampons with Your Significant Other

After a hiatus due to a prolonged illness, I am not back in action! My next topic was inspired as I was purchasing some pads to test in Walmart, seeing the reactions of male significant others, and the discomfort that was expressed between couples down the feminine hygiene aisle. I tend to take my time in this aisle, so no doubt during the very busy “back to school” season, I saw both young and old couples alike, with the females vying for these items before heading off for school or as a regular stock-up. I’m not sure how to write this article using proper wording and being sensitive to those who have perhaps gone through sexual reassignment, hormonal injections, people who have chosen to live an alternate lifestyle or even lesbian couples (since they’d be both ‘comfortable’ with the idea of a menstrual period), so I’m just going to write this in my stance of what Canadian society defines to be a male-female relationship.

So as I’m browsing the typical feminine hygiene products, I see a lot of guys walking past me with really uneasy faces – some more obvious than others, but all seem to express common-ground with each other, “let’s get the hell out of here as soon as we can!” and you can tell, because the second they leave sight of that aisle, their posture corrects themselves, their faces are no longer flush-red and they resume normal motion speeds. Of course, there are the odd guy who wanders into that section who don’t even flinch and good for you, but whenever there are males in the aisle with their female partner or friend, you can tell there’s a large air of discomfort – perhaps for both the male and female! I would say in general, most of the people who purchase these items with their significant other is when they’re living common-law or married. I’ve asked my male and female friends whether their counterpart are willing to purchase pads/tampons with them and most of them said no, or said only in major emergencies would they even consider it. Suffice to say, these are exactly “statistically proven” figures, but simply through questioning people who I happen to know – which may very well differ from “credible numbers.” Case-in-point, I recently went with a coworker to Walmart during a sale for tampons and she bought them in my presence and I even carried it for her all through checkout. It was quite comfortable and because she recently found out about my “interests” in menstruation. She admitted though, that did she not know that I was, “not grossed out by periods” that she would’ve asked me to wait in the car or wouldn’t have even bought it when she was with me.

I remember when I bought pads with bebe for the first time, it was such a comfortable experience for us both… I suppose given that bebe has always known about my “interest” that it wasn’t exactly a shocker for her or that she wasn’t used to talking to me about it. We were standing in the aisle and we were openly discussing which pads I recommend and which ones she usually buys. When I was with my coworker, I didn’t give as much of my opinion, since she only knows a degree of my interest and since we definitely don’t share the same comfort-level over her period as bebe and I do, I didn’t want to be the one “giving her pointers” about which tampons I would recommend or whatnot.

So to the guys, how many of you would actually go with your partner to purchase feminine hygiene products and to the girls, how many of you would let your male partner accompany you to buy these products?

Naturally, guys may feel uncomfortable in this aisle because it’s foreign to them and perhaps a bit embarrassing. After all, guys would not be accustomed to going down this aisle since they have no need for these products, therefore being there is almost like being that one guy who walks into a girls-only school or something. Sometimes, when a guy walks into this aisle, he gets a lot of looks from the females too, although luckily I haven’t been a victim myself of those “disapproving-stares” walking in… perhaps I look natural, lol. Once the guy “detects” the discomfort from others in the air, he will often try to escape quickly, for instance, you’ll often see guys trying to push the cart away, glance at other “non feminine hygiene things”, play with items inside the cart or he’ll put pressure onto his female partner to hurry up so they can leave. This is unfair as well to the female since she needs time to look at her options and choices and after all, shopping should be a pleasure and enjoyment right? We should not be rushed to make decisions. Guys will often look disgruntled as well for being in the aisle and you can tell the sigh of relief they have once they exit the section. It’s a privilege and an opportunity for us guys to be able to join our female partners to buy these items. It shows that they have comfort and trust and also it’s an opportunity for us to learn about our partner/periods. Remember that the discomfort may actually be two-way and the more discomfort you show as a male partner, the more your female counterpart may feel embarrassed, pressured or upset. Most females are quite open to buying male items, so why should we as guys feel embarrassed to accompany our female partners to buy her products? Don’t forget that for some women, it’s hard for them even to buy these items for themselves, so we should not heighten their existing discomfort as it is.

For the females, how comfortable are you when you buy these products with your male significant other? Do you let him pressure you into buying things faster, ask him to go look at something else or do you just take your time despite his discomfort? I saw an older man, who was buying some pads with his wife and he kept on pointing his cart out the aisle. The second his wife turned around and dropped one of the packages in the cart and while she turned around to choose another, the guy was already half-bolting out the aisle. The woman had to yell after her husband and told him to wait because she was not done. The guy sighed in exasperation and turned around and now with the extra attention attracted towards him now, the situation became even more embarrassing as you could see the man’s face going red like a tomato. A female entered the aisle shortly later and was browsing some tampons. I assume her partner came in (not sure if it’s a boyfriend or husband), but he wandered over and stood there with her. This guy seemed a lot more comfortable, but the girl did not. She stopped browsing and kind of glanced around – and gave the guy a really disapproving look. It appeared he didn’t clue in and it was clear she couldn’t comfortably concentrate on looking at her products with the guy’s presence. She prodded the guy to go, but he said to her, “I’m done getting what I need, just waiting for you now” – but the girl still asked the guy to go elsewhere. It was just kind of unfortunate that she was not comfortable with him being there. One could argue maybe they’re not that close, but looking at their buggy, they definitely seemed like a “couple” based on some of the stuff they bought together. Therefore, when it comes to buying feminine hygiene items, discomfort can and does exist on both sides of the fence.

Let’s all try to make shopping for ANY item a comfortable experience and be reasonably inclusive of each other, especially if there’s a relationship involved. If this person will be or already is a “special someone” in your life, then buying feminine hygiene items together should not be alarming. Achieving equality should be for both genders, not just women. After all, it’s pretty typical for women to buy male underwear, but yet, when a guy goes to buy female panties, he is likely viewed as a creep, pervert and is generally frowned. When a female buys male underwear, people will assume it’s for her son, boyfriend or husband, but when a male buys it, people will probably think it’s for him to wear or masturbate in, but not that he’s simply buying it for his daughter, girlfriend or wife. When you show patience and comfort with your partner as you shop with him/her, it makes the experience so much better and is fair to everyone. If she patiently waits for you to pick your choice of condoms, why should you not patiently wait for her to choose the right product so she doesn’t bleed all over you? 😆

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About Prexus Swyftwynd

Probably not a good idea for you to know anything about me....

Posted on September 7, 2011, in Periodtastic and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. My wife of 4 years routinely asks me to pick up feminine products such as liners, pads, & tampons. at Walmart. She even compliments me when I buy them on sale. But I doubt if she would purchase condoms but if she would she probably would ask which variety and etc.

    I have even had her request to remove tampons from her body. We understand each other’s needs & wants

    • That’s lovely to have a wife and be in a relationship who understands each others needs and fantasies! Seeing this helps put the point of marriage, love and compromise back on track. To be allowed the opportunity to help her at such a sensitive and intimate time through her period is an honour for you both.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  2. I am a young man with autism in his early 20s who has lived a lifetime of having mostly female friends. Unable to abide by expectations of masculinity among other guys my age due to my autism, the people who have always accepted me have been the girls. And with my female friends have always been discussions of periods. The subject of menstruation has never bothered me due to a unique combination of two symptoms of my autism–a lack of sexual interest toward anyone, male or female, and an inability to feel any discomfort toward any conversation topic.

    Ever since I was 16, I was discussing periods with female friends. At 18, I became friends with a group of girls where we banded together over period discussions, and the girls asked me if I could buy tampons for them. I did, and have bought pads and tampons for countless female friends ever since that age. I feel no shame doing so, and since my friends instructed me on how to purchase feminine hygiene, I now can walk into a store and know exactly what type of product to buy if asked–pad, tampon, regular or super absorbency, thin or thick, with or without wings, etc. After returning to high school at age 19 after seven years of homeschooling, I even brought a stash of pads and tampons of different varieties, concealed in my backpack, to school every day, which I used to bail out any one of my friends who asked me for them or needed them.

    Today I have a circle of autistic female friends who, due to their autism, aren’t always able to properly manage their periods themselves. I will help them by buying supplies for them, and sometimes, when with them, prompt them to change their pad or tampon if they can’t remember to do so themselves. Some people might call me a pervert–but I don’t care. Having female friends, and discussing periods, will probably always be a part of my life.

    • Hi JW,

      Thanks for sharing such a personal story! It’s so nice to have guys who show women that not ALL guys are not-understanding and disgusted by periods. It’s really nice that you’re interested in helping out your friends and that they too, are comfortable with you being male and still involved in their feminine needs. I think you’re being a true gentleman and a kind heart, despite any impairment that you may have really allows the world to see the true nature of human beings!

  3. Prexus,

    Thanks again. Actually, I take pride in being able to do this for another reason–few people realize this but when you’re a woman with autism, autism actually causes additional impairments for you when you’re on your period (that, interestingly, go away once their period ends every month, only to return the next month). Many of my female friends with autism tell me they can’t function in daily life when they’re on their period.

    By the way, as mentioned in my response toward your other reply, I am also “[Protected Name],” who commented on the messy menstruation post. I was on a public computer and posted in that name in error. JW will be my name for all future posts.

    JW

    • If you’re ever interested in writing an article about autism and menstruation, I’d love to post it with all credits to you! Just from hearing you talk about it, I actually spent some time on Google looking up information on Autism and Periods, which ended up with a lot of information being thrown at me because menstruation is already difficult for the non-autistic girl, let alone someone who has autism. I know the severity of autism varies, so while some girls may be able to handle her personal hygiene, others may be completely oblivious to how to manage themselves during the week. I think an article like that would be a great addition to this blog should have the desire and time, because I don’t know enough women who have autism to make a truthful and accurate article.

  4. I also take my time when buying maxi pads to satisfy my menstrual fetish.
    So I’m used to look at the faces of men and women alike when they see me browsing with interest the different products. Maybe is that they notice that I spend more time selecting a product.
    I don’t mind at all. Besides, being in that aisle for some time, gives me plenty of time to mentally register some of the females that also choose a product there.
    Later at home I imagine those women having their period and using the products they just bought… instant turn on and a good reason to masturbate with the maxi pads I bought for myself 🙂
    I hope here in Winnipeg I never run face to face with a friend or somebody from work… blush!

    Cheers,
    Frank

    • Hi Frank,

      I totally understand your worries about running into someone you know. I actually would not be as worried running into someone from work or a friend, I’d be more worried running into someone like my parent’s friend or even worse, my mom! In fact, when I was in Hong Kong and buying a basket-load of pads to test, I was LUCKY ENOUGH to hear the voice of my cousin and my aunt and immediately I put the basket into a corner and looked at non-feminine hygiene products. I wouldn’t call it a matter of feeling shamed, but more like it’d be weird for them to see me buying such products on my own (and hell, so much of it too, lol).

      From that, I learned to time my purchases carefully and the locations I choose to go to. I try to go to shops that are farther away from my home, because my mom doesn’t have a car so she’d only visit ones within walkable distance and even if one of her friends were to drive her around, they’d go to ones closer to our neighbourhood. I’ve ran into friends and coworkers before buying pads/tampons, but that’s not a big deal for me, but if I were to run into someone who would end up mentioning it to my mom, now THAT would be a cause for fear, lol.

      I think when a guy spends a lot of time looking at a product, other people probably think it’s because we’re unfamiliar with them and we’re buying it for our girlfriend/wife, therefore we want to ensure we get the correct product. I doubt most of them will actually think it’s because we’re interested in reading the details. I remember one time a girl was trying to be very nice and started to tell me all the great things about the product I was looking at, but really, I already knew everything she told me, haha, but it was very kind and generous of her to ‘help’ me like that. I was simply admiring that product and trying to compare whether to buy that one or another.

      It is indeed very sexy to see girls in the aisle with you buying the products or even better is when they smile at you and acknowledge your presence in a nice-manner. It’s always fun for me to go pad or tampon shopping with my girls, because I get to be involved in the decision-making process and they love referring to me for my ‘experience’, heh.

  5. Totally agree with you 😉

    Thanks for commenting on my post.

    Frank

  6. Prexus,

    Thanks for the suggestion about the article. Although I have had many encounters with issues due to autism, I probably would not want to write an article about this subject. I am still male, and although can provide moral support to my friends, still will never personally experience this myself. I will, however, still comment and share stories about period discussions I have had with female friends, respecting the privacy of myself and them in the process, such as another post I wrote about shopping with another female autistic friend.

    • I get what you mean, it’s unfortunate we’ll never know what it feels like.. not in this lifetime at least HAHA. As much as I try to understand it all around, surely, our female friends will be the only ones capable of in-depth feelings and management of menstruation. I know there are many cross-dressers and menstrual fetishist’s our there who try hard to simulate menstruation and period-management but unfortunately our fun only goes so far. Sometimes I’m not sure where I lie on the scale of things, do I like women, do I like periods or do I like feminine things? It’s not to say I doubt my sexual orientation, but rather, is it just an interest in periods as a result of the beauty of periods or does it embody femininity – or perhaps I just like everything surrounding it? 😆 I guess we’ll never understand our own minds sometimes.

      Writing about periods, especially when it relates to others is indeed a touchy subject. I always try to avoid names in my posts for privacy sake, unless I otherwise know the other party is comfortable with it. My friend Amy for instance is pretty open about her period with me and of course since no one knows her in person here, she’s comfortable with sharing it to the public on here so I will sometimes references her name simply because she doesn’t care. I have another avid reader who also has made great contributions to this blog through her anecdotes about menstruation so they’re good with that.

      Because I only have one autistic friend, I never really knew how well someone can function and live a very normal lifestyle. It could be from part ignorance about not understanding the syndrome enough that blinds me to the capacity of someone who has autism can still exhibit. It’s more about lack of understanding rather than discrimination unfortunately – which are both terrible, heh. Being able to shop with female friends, especially when dealing with intimate matters like menstruation is a way for us to bond, a learning experience and an honour!

  7. Prexus,

    Thanks for understanding. Here’s the thing about me–because of my work, I come across these issues all the time, and am well-respected at work for listening to females about their problems. Some females have actually asked me to write something since they valued my knowledge about struggles they didn’t realize others had. Therefore, I will if I do so collaboratively with a consenting autistic female. You have nothing to be ashamed about regarding your lack of autism either–not everyone has to know. I know because its my job. But like you, I have the same lack of embarrassment about periods, not because of a fetish, but because I philosophically believe that in an ideal world, since a girl lives with her period no matter what, she should at least be allowed to speak about it if she wants to and feels comfortable to, and that she should make that choice to speak or not speak, rather than society making it for her.

  8. It is a very embarrassing situation. It’s like announcing to the whole world “Hey I’m bleeding down there” Im so thankful that my sister told me about Madame Ladybug their a period subscription company that deliver pads/tampons, chocolates, snacks, jewelry, and pampering items to your home. Ever since i found them I am nothing but excited to get my period. I LOVE THIS COMPANY..I recommend every woman to try it. They also have Menopause boxes. I am this information helps someone. Please share if it does.

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