Author Archives: Prexus Swyftwynd

A Moldy Kotex Security Tampon? No Problem!

Yes… it is exactly what you think it is (well, probably at least)

Today, an article posted up by a lady seems to be spreading like wildfire throughout the menstrual-interest communities. I’ve seen it posted up in at least 6 menstrual-related sites and uncountable tweets/retweets in my twitter feed.

Since I don’t know the blog owner, I’m not going to risk reposting and running into copyright issues, so if you’re interested in knowing the full story by her, please read it here:

http://www.parrforthecourse.com/2012/03/tale-of-moldy-tampon.html

Apparently, the blog owner was about to use a Kotex Security tampon and by chance, she discovered that the tampon had formed mold when accidentally popped the tampon out of the applicator. Given that applicator-tampon users know that the tampon usually goes from inside the applicator directly in the vagina, one would have never seen the mold on the tampon until removal or maybe never if it had been covered by menstrual flow or dropped right into the toilet bowl/wrapped in toilet paper. Now I’m not saying that this type of stuff doesn’t happen with any tampon or to other brands, but certainly when it is publicized like this, it sure as hell gets attention. If you read through some of the comments on the blog entry, you’ll see quite a few individuals who recommended going to awareness groups and the media about this!

If you’re not aware of what effects mold has on humans, here’s a snippet from Wikipedia:

Molds are ubiquitous in nature, and mold spores are a common component of household and workplace dust. However, when mold spores are present in large quantities, they can present a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

Some molds also produce mycotoxins that can pose serious health risks to humans and animals. Studies claim that exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and in some cases death. Prolonged exposure, e.g. daily workplace exposure, may be particularly harmful.

Suffice to say, in my opinion, even though I recognize nothing in this world is “really clean” – knowing that the Kotex representative made this sound like a common occurrence really makes me think whether I ought to try even harder to pull my girls off from using tampons – or at the very least – use non-applicator tampons such as O.B. where at least you can get a visual inspection of the tampon before putting it in! I know people who follow my blog know me to be pretty pro-pad, but seriously speaking, at least if mold was forming on a pad, it’d be something you’d notice before it touches sensitive female parts.

I’ve seen saturated tampons, pads, sponges, menstrual cups, cloth pads, etc. and it doesn’t even trigger a reaction from me – but when this picture caught my eyes, I could feel my gag reflexes already. I know this doesn’t exactly affect me in the way it affects tampon-using women, but I don’t think I can ever see tampons the same after seeing this. I know within the menstrual community, it seems like there have been talk of people giving up Kotex-brand tampons, not just the “Security” line of them. Whether or not this will have a severe financial impact is one thing, but a customer lost, whether one or many is less revenue.

Times like these, it makes me really glad bebe doesn’t use tampons. I know I’ll usually leave a few in her drawers just-in-case she ever decides to try or really needs them for something like swimming – but I think I ought to start pulling them out and maybe just gift her a menstrual cup instead! Hell, I think the last tampons I dropped for her were U by Kotex tampons. I’m not saying those particular tampons would encounter the same issue (and yes, I do realize that EVERY product in this world has a chance for ‘defects’ or ‘unforeseen contamination’ but I just can’t accept that risk of her potentially sticking something like that into her vagina and NOT KNOWING. It’s kind of like when you use conventional tampons, you know there is a risk of TSS. Knowing and continuing to use them means you implicitly accept the risk. However, I don’t think it passes through the mind of women that they could potentially be injecting a molded wad of cotton in themselves!

What I can say for sure is that there ARE safer alternatives out there such as menstrual cups and cloth pads which can not only help reduce the likelihood of mold forming (with proper cleaning and storage of course), but a host of other healthy and environmentally-friendly benefits!

I was just about to send a comment response to the blog owner’s entry, but it seems like she has turned comments off for that particular thread.  I wonder if Kimberly-Clark representatives (or lawyers rolleyes) caught up with her or perhaps that she just wanted to bring closure to the issue. Nevertheless, I know some people will definitely scrutinize whether they want to continue using Kotex tampons (of any line/series) or tampons all together! I’m definitely going to have a talk with my girls whenever I can get a hold of all of them. Their health is important to me and I’ll have to definitely let my bebe know about this craziness should she ever go down the road of considering tampons! I definitely think I ought to start getting her some non-applicator tampons so she can at least get a visual surface inspection on the damn things!

I seriously hope that they will be, “diligently reviewing our manufacturing process to ensure this problem does not recur.” as they’ve promised, rather than giving that as a canned and politically-correct response. My stash is empty of Kotex products (just by coincidence) now and I think it’s going to take a while before I can get over this. Customer confidence is hard to gain, but easy to lose. Suffice to say, I’m not saying their whole business will collapse or anything because loyal customers, will be loyal customers… and who knows, maybe this incident is just blown out of proportion, but unfortunately with the world of the internet, “news” can travel quite fast… particularly BAD news. But what I do know is I wouldn’t mind investing in emptying out Kotex products from my girls’ cabinets and restocking them with stuff of other brands. Better yet, I can prod some of my girls a bit more to return to the good ol’ world of pads or even try shifting them onto reusables! Maybe in a couple months I’ll look into Kotex products again, but for the time being, it’s going to be pretty hard to get my girls or I back on their brand for a while!

Stayfree Coupon – Save $2 on Regular Priced Stayfree Product

I know for a while, Stayfree stopped offering a $2 off coupon on their products since December 31, 2011…. however, I’m happy to report that they’re offering it again until May 31, 2012!

For those who use Stayfree products regularly, this will help keep your loyalty (unless you’ve stocked up at Shoppers Drug Mart whenever they’re on for $1.99) and for those who don’t use or haven’t used Stayfree products before, here is your chance! Here’s a snippet of the information provided on their COUPON OFFER main page:

Whether you’re busy raising your new family, working out at the gym, rushing around the office, or just out for a night on the town with friends, the wide range of STAYFREE® products are designed to protect you no matter where the day may lead.

STAYFREE® Cottony Dry Cover Ultra Thin Pads help you stay free from:

• Leakage – STAYFREE® has a Leak Protection Ring to help block leaks in all directions providing maximum protection against embarrassing leakage.

• Wetness – An Anti-leak core effectively uses fast-absorbing technology to help lock wetness in quickly for added protection against leaks. Helping to keep you feeling drier all day long.

• Discomfort –STAYFREE® has a new ultra-soft Cottony Dry Cover to provide maximum comfort.

• Odour – Double-odour protection not only actively prevents embarrassing odours but neutralizes them as well so you can stay confident no matter where your day takes you.

With so much research and engineering behind STAYFREE® products, it’s the ideal solution for all your feminine hygiene product needs at a price that fits your budget.

In fact, we’re so sure you’ll love STAYFREE® products that we’re going to give you $2.00 off on any STAYFREE® Product so you can experience for yourself just how great STAYFREE® is.

Since it may be against their marketing rules to take a snapshot of their coupon, I will link you there instead. Please find the following “Save $2 on any Regular Priced Stayfree Product” coupon! I have to reiterate once more about the following conditions as stipulated: “Limit one coupon per purchase and per person, and may not be combined with any other offer. Offer only valid on regular-priced STAYFREE® products.” I would consider buying Stayfree products using this coupon if their regular price is upward of $4.50 or so. When you use the coupon, that would bring it down to about $2.50 per pack which is pretty good for standard pricing. I might be inclined to pay $3 ($5 with $2 coupon off) if you’re greatly in need of the product as well. This particular coupon is only applicable in Canada at retailers which accept printable coupons. So far, I’ve found most large chains to be fairly accepting of them, though I have heard about some stores giving hassles (guess I’m lucky I live in a smaller city where there is less fraud/abuse) in more populated urban centres.

Now print out this coupon and get to a Stayfree-selling store near you!!

Saving Money & Investing: The Menstrual Way!

So with how unstable the world economy is right now, I figured I’d touch on the topic of saving money and investing. Now of course, what does this have to do with menstruation? Well after all, I try to keep things on-topic so of course it has to do with menstruation! I regularly talk to men and women about menstruation, particularly relating to feminine hygiene products. Why though, do I touch on this topic so often? It’s because menstruation costs money, seriously! If you’re a disposable products user (or once was), you’ll know exactly how much your period is costing you every month, every year. Now I understand that the world runs off businesses and things cost money, so I’m not going to say that feminine hygiene companies and manufactures are evil, but what is evil, is that in countries like mine (Canada), feminine hygiene products not only cost money, but the government taxes you on basic hygienic needs. Suffice to say, it’s not realistic for feminine hygiene products to be free, but the government already gets a double-dipping just because your menstruate (or buy the product). Suffice to say, I often hear my girls talk about their lack of money and that they’ll cut back on this-and-that, but rarely do I hear them consider their spending on feminine hygiene needs.

As someone who menstruates or purchases feminine hygiene products, the Canadian government feels that you should be penalized – or – at the very least, that they deserve an additional cut on your feminine hygiene supplies. How does the government get a nice double-cut of your products? Simple. First, the company which sells you your products has their revenues taxed. Second, as a consumer of feminine hygiene products, we also pay an additional 5% which also goes to the government. It’s of course fair for the government to tax companies (and individuals) for income earned, because after all, that’s what keeps the country up and going… however, they also earn an additional 5% because you happen to menstruate or use such supplies. As of 2009, it is said that the federal government of Canada penalizes women by an estimated $69 million per year¹!

Ok, so enough about our government since we’re not the only country who has such taxes for feminine hygiene supplies, but rest-assured, menstruating costs you money! So in a year of doubtful economy recovery and rising costs-of-living, feminine hygiene products should be the least of one’s concerns! So how can we alleviate such concerns? Let’s consider individuals such as students who work off limited resources (unless your family happens to be very wealthy) or low-class households who have small budgets, cost of feminine hygiene supplies add up very quickly. I’ll use one of my friends as an example:

She is a student and her tuition is already paid for by her parents. The only thing her parents expect of her is to maintain enough money to: 1) Pay for her living expenses, 2) personal/entertainment spending, and, 3) basic needs. She works part time and every week she earns about $200 gross, so don’t forget about income tax and general deductions. Assuming she is lucky enough to have that same schedule throughout the month, her approximate income is $800 over 4 weeks. Without going into the details of “sales”, let’s assume every period you spend about $6 approximately 20 pads or tampons. Of course this varies per person based on flow and also let’s not discount that dollar amount only applies to “active” menstruating times… many women also use pantiliners throughout their cycle which may really bump those figures upward. In a year, that’s $72. Wow, that $6 sure doesn’t look like a large chunk of $800 right? $400 goes to rent and that’s very basic ($400 left). $100 goes to utilities not covered by the rent ($300 left). $150 goes to groceries ($150 left). $70 goes to transportation ($80 left). Let’s not even get into things like movies, bars, clothing, haircuts or whatnot, so she has approximate $80 left in a month of “other” spending. So in a month 7.5% of her “left over” money needs to be spent on her pads and tampons. I removed the taxation aspect of her pay since individuals who make under the exemption in Canada doesn’t need to pay any taxes. All of a sudden, her cost of disposable products is a considerable amount.

So what can one do to help alleviate the cost? Well certainly “free bleeding” is an option for those with extremely light periods but is probably not the case for most women. I’m sure quite a few of you know I’m leading up to the idea of reusable menstrual products. Cloth pads, menstrual cups, sea sponges and the likes all are a great form of cutting costs from where it hurts (no pun intended). I have lightly touched on the topics of reusable products in the past and there is a world full of amazing sites on these products that can be accessed via Google, so you’re welcome to reference it. No doubt, reusable products have an initial “high-cost” impact, as such products can range from $40 to $150 (for full ‘period’ set of products), which may account for a year or two of purchasing conventional disposable products. Nevertheless, most of these reusable products lasts 4-5 years, therefore it’s a “long-term” investment. What I should point out is that unlike menstrual cups which usually require some form of manufacturing, it’s possible to make your own cloth pads with some material and know-how. Menstrual cups tend to be quickest “recovery” of invested money with short of a year worth of feminine hygiene supplies.

I suppose the question may come up about the cost of extra water spent on the cleaning of these products. I haven’t had any experience with sea sponges, so let’s put that aside for now. However, in the case of menstrual cups and cloth pads, the “additional cost” (if any) is miniscule. For cloth pads, unless they’re heavily saturated, cloth pads can be thrown in with regularly laundry. Some people opt to pre-rince them or use stain remover, but that’s strictly a personal choice or “as needed” based on the degree of pad saturation. Menstrual cups are even easier to clean since it’s a matter of “dump and wash” – although to enhance the sterility of the cup, it is usually recommended to do a boiling-water submersion to prepare it for the next period. All this doesn’t equate to a lot of additional water used.

As I mentioned before, some women like to use pantiliners all-cycle round, which makes cloth pantiliners even more attractive! Buying a weeks worth of cloth liners (or if you decide to make them) will keep you protected and can go in the weekly laundry anyway. For the women who feel that they’d feel more comfortable using reusable products only at home, that is still a great idea! There probably are women out there who use reusables at home and disposables outside. Feminine hygiene options are a personal choice of course, so you do what you feel is best and most relaxing. If I menstruated, I think I’d also do the same, although I really really like the idea of cloth pads! I also give the thumbs up for cups since they’re to only product that can provide you with a “one unit, many uses” product such that, you can carry it in your purse and not have to carry 3-4 pads or tampons for just-in-case, but being able to use that cup over and over again during a day! Can you see how this is more than just a cost-effective option?

Now that we’ve spent so much time on highlighting the cost savings of reusable products, let’s consider the investment part of this. What are you investing in when it comes to using reusable feminine hygiene products? Not only money, but in your health and the environment, something that you simply cannot attach a price tag too! In fact, wouldn’t almost everyone agree that your health is of utmost importance? Reusable feminine hygiene options are a beautiful way to keep trash out of the landfill and if only people took the time to think about how many pads and tampons are disposed of daily which is making a huge impact on pollution. Your ‘typical’ companies also manufacturer pads and tampons that will likely not degrade for ages. Think about what you want to leave the next generation, because 500 years from now, those who have inherited the earth from us will still be digging up your used pads and tampons … or well, at least walking and living on top of them!

I understand that it’s easier to spend $6 a bit at a time rather than a hundred dollars up front. I also understand some people are under financial constraints and putting that kind of money down initially may not be possible. However, if there’s anything next to survival needs that I’d invest in if I menstruated, it would be in either cloth pads or a menstrual cup! Over time, I’m saving myself tons of money and also investing in my own health, keeping chemically-treated and synthetic products away from my body. Also, there’s a reason why cotton panties are popular, because it’s comfortable, natural, allows your body to ‘breathe’ and as a result, healthy. Likewise, many cloth pads are made of cotton and other non-chemically treated absorbent materials. What are two important factors of any feminine hygiene product? Comfort and Absorbency! Cloth pads and menstrual cups have just that, at a fraction (over time) of the cost and is a great way to investing in future generations and that of your very own body! You may also find yourself surprizingly becoming more open about your body and menstruation when you open your mind and adopt reusable products. I have found that some of the most open-minded women I talk to about their bodies and periods tend to be ones who are use such products. Of course it may be because they were receptive enough to try these products in the first place, but you may find yourself suddenly becoming period-positive which is what I hope ALL men and women achieve!

The next time your “visitor” drops by, consider making the switch to a healthier, eco-friendly and more period-positive you!

Eyes on SOPA/PIPA and the US Government

Though this post is hardly period-related, I thought I’d bring alight an internet concern that has plagued news headlines for the past while across the world. I’m sure some of you have guessed this is related to SOPA and PIPA legislation which is passing through congress in United States. As much as I am not exactly a “fan” of Americans to begin with, the actions of their chosen government promotes even more reason to hate their country. I’m not sure how far I stand on the “anti-American” scale and judging from many of my visitors probably being from the US, this is not going to be a very popular stance I’m taking, but since people have a right to enjoy/not read my blog, I allow myself to make a less-than-nice statement about the country which brought forth such a devastating blow to internet freedom.

For those who are aware of these legislation, you’re probably also well aware some of the worlds biggest online presence websites such as Wikipedia, Boing Boing, WordPress, Reddit, Imgur, Mojang, and Tucows will be blacking out their sites on January 18th in opposition to these bills. Below is Wikipedia’s letter to its’ users on their intent to support the blackout and denounce the direction which the “industry” and American government wants.

You can read the original post here.

To: English Wikipedia Readers and Community
From: Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director
Date: January 16, 2012

Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate – that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.

This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made. Here’s how it’s been described by the three Wikipedia administrators who formally facilitated the community’s discussion. From the public statement, signed by User:NuclearWarfare, User:Risker and User:Billinghurst:

It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.
Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.
On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.

In making this decision, Wikipedians will be criticized for seeming to abandon neutrality to take a political position. That’s a real, legitimate issue. We want people to trust Wikipedia, not worry that it is trying to propagandize them.

But although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not. As Wikimedia Foundation board member Kat Walsh wrote on one of our mailing lists recently,

We depend on a legal infrastructure that makes it possible for us to operate. And we depend on a legal infrastructure that also allows other sites to host user-contributed material, both information and expression. For the most part, Wikimedia projects are organizing and summarizing and collecting the world’s knowledge. We’re putting it in context, and showing people how to make to sense of it.
But that knowledge has to be published somewhere for anyone to find and use it. Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia. Where you can only speak if you have sufficient resources to fight legal challenges, or if your views are pre-approved by someone who does, the same narrow set of ideas already popular will continue to be all anyone has meaningful access to.

The decision to shut down the English Wikipedia wasn’t made by me; it was made by editors, through a consensus decision-making process. But I support it.

Like Kat and the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation Board, I have increasingly begun to think of Wikipedia’s public voice, and the goodwill people have for Wikipedia, as a resource that wants to be used for the benefit of the public. Readers trust Wikipedia because they know that despite its faults, Wikipedia’s heart is in the right place. It’s not aiming to monetize their eyeballs or make them believe some particular thing, or sell them a product. Wikipedia has no hidden agenda: it just wants to be helpful.

That’s less true of other sites. Most are commercially motivated: their purpose is to make money. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a desire to make the world a better place – many do! – but it does mean that their positions and actions need to be understood in the context of conflicting interests.

My hope is that when Wikipedia shuts down on January 18, people will understand that we’re doing it for our readers. We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States, don’t advance the interests of the general public. You can read a very good list of reasons to oppose SOPA and PIPA here, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Why is this a global action, rather than US-only? And why now, if some American legislators appear to be in tactical retreat on SOPA?

The reality is that we don’t think SOPA is going away, and PIPA is still quite active. Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are just indicators of a much broader problem. All around the world, we’re seeing the development of legislation intended to fight online piracy, and regulate the Internet in other ways, that hurt online freedoms. Our concern extends beyond SOPA and PIPA: they are just part of the problem. We want the Internet to remain free and open, everywhere, for everyone.

  Make your voice heard!

On January 18, we hope you’ll agree with us, and will do what you can to make your own voice heard.

Sue Gardner,
Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation

It seems like America has too much time on their hands or perhaps, just want to find ways to mess with the world legal system (because really, why should other countries care or abide by your shitty laws?) or rob citizens of their money. I wonder how many people they hire to spin this to make it sound like it will “benefit the average person” rather than hinder. I think America right now needs some more natural disasters to deal with, because the government sure has a lot of petty time on their hands. Perhaps they need more terrorists attacking them or something similar to 9-11 to let them know people aren’t happy with this. Whatever catastrophe’s happen to the US in the near future, they’re totally deserving of it. I’d be happy right now to wake up tomorrow morning and see not SOPA-related stuff on the news, but that perhaps that their country has been hit by cyber-criminals from China or a nuclear meltdown. In my prayers tonight, I will not be praying for a sound sleep, but in hopes that the US will be taught a lesson by the world not to try to break the world as much as it already is and perhaps concentrate on fixing the economy (by not robbing your citizens money due to “copyright” crimes) and creating a respectful country like it once was. I wasn’t born hating Americans, in fact, Americans used to be who I considered to be Canada’s greatest friend (beyond military and trade means), but that when I saw Americans in Canada, I’d be nice to them. Now when I see them on our highways, I try to run them off the road (especially if they’re speeding/driving recklessly because they think as an American, they can ignore Canadian-law), when I see them at tourist locations, I give them no respect, when I see “bad things” happen to the US, in the back of my mind I’m grinning and thinking “those suckers deserve it.” I loved Americans at one point in my life, but they have shown me too many times they’re not worth respecting.

Yes, perhaps I’m petty as well, but so is the US when they come up with things that stop the world from advancing. Sooner or later, they’ll turn into North Korea and China who monitor the breakfast you’re eating in the morning to how many shits you take a day. Hey wait, aren’t those countries the one that US detest the most for oppressing their citizens of free speech and uncensored internet connectivity? If the laws do get passed, US, you’re welcome to govern stuff in your own shitty country, but don’t impose laws on Canada and internationally where you don’t own dick all. I need to see if I can find toilet paper with the US flag printed on it so I can wipe my ass after I take a rancid shit.

Fulfilling Sexual Needs “On The Rag”

Believe it or not, there are women who still have (or even heightened) sexual needs during their period. I’m a firm believer that as long as you’re in the “mood” for sexual release, your period should not stand in the way. As I’ve mentioned many times, for women who suffer with cramps, orgasms have been a known form of cramp alleviation. Due to the nature of the contractions of vaginal muscles during orgasm, it helps loosen things up and sets off circulation of “happy hormones” which have a long-lasting effect. With my ex, after an orgasm, her cramps would go away for hours before they bothered her again. For many of my non-menstrual community members, many of you may be set off about pleasuring your female partner during her period. There are many non-penetrative or alternative methods to get her off, with some methods, not even requiring you to “get dirty” so to speak. It’s kind of unfair to love her vagina every day of the month other than her period days. You should love it just as much, if not even more, when she’s menstruating!

One of the things I’m told by menstruating women is that most of time, they have no mood to even be thinking about orgasming. Of course, these are all personal choices. However, for those who do have the mood, one of the spoiling factors may be the thought of making a mess. Sex/masturbation on your period won’t exactly cause your period to stop (seems like most people think water-pressure stops your period in the pool), but it’s a great way to treat your body right! I’m sure for many of us who are reading this, we know the wonders of an orgasm, so why not during your period too? Contractions during orgasm also forces menstrual flow from your cervix to come out quicker. Although I hear that it “makes periods shorter” I think I would rather safely say that it helps clean the uterus better but not necessarily whether it would make one’s period shorter. Some women even experience better and stronger orgasms during their period, so who wouldn’t want that?!

Here are some thoughts about “taking care of things yourself” which other women have shared with me that may be of interest:

  • Masturbate in the shower with whatever preferred method, there’s no mess to clean up as it goes all down the drain.
  • Masturbate through your pad/panties for clitoral stimulation – whether by hand or using a toy – the pad will absorb both your flow and vaginal secretions. When you’re done, you can just wrap and toss!
  • If you use sex toys, it can keep your hands clean, but menstrual flow may still end up going down your leg or on the sheets. Make sure you clean your toy thoroughly after use!
  • If you masturbate on a bed or like object, you can use new/old towels, bed spread or anything that will absorb any vaginal or menstrual flow from your “good” sheets/covers.
  • You can masturbate with a tampon in as long as you are not using other objects to penetrate your vagina as that may cause discomfort and pain from forcing the tampon up.
  • Masturbating with your fingers is perfectly acceptable as long as proper hygiene is adhered. Your menstrual flow and menstruating vagina is nothing to be ashamed of at all.
  • If you’re a bit concerned about menstrual flow on your fingers, you can put a condom over the finger(s) which you would insert
  • Using menstrual cups or sponges is similar to the use of a tampon when masturbating. As advantageous as they are, care should be taken not to force the cup or sponge beyond what feels comfortable.
  • Don’t neglect other areas of your body, such as your nipples which may be more sensitive during your period. There are many erogenous zones of the female body such as behind the ears, neck and thighs.

Just before I continue onto the next section, I think some people feel that the “thought” of considering masturbation or sex during one’s period is normal. I’ve read so many forum/question headers that have asked, “Is it normal to masturbate on my period?” – YES, YES it is! Masturbating ON or OFF your period is a healthy thing to do.

So have you ever considered sex on your (or your partner’s) period? If so, many of the hints given above might be a good precursor when considering “sex on the rag”. Let’s take a look at some of the following thoughts that I have concerning sex when the river runs red:

  • Oral and anal sex is an option for those who really don’t enjoy menstrual sex.
  • Mutual masturbation or foreplay can be a lead in to further sex or to enjoy a non-messy night.
  • Use old sheets or covers on top of the bed/couch to prevent stains from menstrual flow, vaginal secretion or ejaculation.
  • Care should be taken to remember to remove menstrual cups, sponges or tampons when penetrative sex is desired.
  • Certain sexual positions may minimize “leakage” of menstrual flow if you’re trying to keep things clean, experiment to find the most desirable one(s).
  • Menstrual flow can act as a lubricant as well, so it might save you some money 😛
  • Dental dams may be used for safe cunnilingus to prevent STD’s or for those who’d rather just not have menstrual flow in their mouths while being able to continue to orally pleasure their partner.
  • If you ejaculate into your partner during her period, she won’t have to worry about taking care of residue semen as it will otherwise leak back onto her pad, tampon or other menstrual product.

Of course after all this is said, don’t forget that safety is paramount. If there’s any discomfort during menstrual sex, it should stop at once. Furthermore, menstrual fluid carries viruses just like other bodily fluids, therefore both partners should be aware of each others health statuses. Furthermore, sex during her period does not mean pregnancy isn’t possible.

While I wouldn’t claim this to be an exhaustive list, it will hopefully pave the way for you and your partner to talk about whether menstrual sex is right for you. If one partner is into it and the other not, perhaps some compromise can be made. If neither partner are interested, then perhaps it gives a future opportunity to explore that avenue. If both partners are interested, then great since you’re probably well on your way already! Masturbation during one’s period can bring a heightened experience of orgasms and sexual interest. It also allows an individual to be in touch with their body and to feel comfortable with the idea of menstruation and masturbation, neither of which need to be exclusive of each other. I can understand that women may experience discomfort, pain or perhaps even lack of libido during their periods and that’s fine. I only hope to share with you my thoughts through experience and through anecdotes from others.

In a more roundabout way, the willingness to masturbate during one’s period may assist them with being more period-positive or at the very least, body-positive! Every menstruator deserves to have their bodies respected and not only cast aside just because a bit of blood is coming out (and seriously, it really is just a bit). Speaking for myself, I can’t deny my love for women (or well, womAn, but “women” in general) in their entirety, so it’d be very unfair to say, “Well I like your vagina only 20 or so days in a month, otherwise I don’t want to go near it!” I know not everyone will agree with that, but everything is worth a try at least once (or at least things which are safe to do so). Menstrual masturbation or menstrual sex can help form even a stronger relationship between you, your body and your partner – and to enhance love for periods and the appreciation of menstruation!

Eco-Clean Laundry Ball – A Better Way to Clean Cloth Pads

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to wrap up this year with a nice, eco-friendly post. As someone who has spent a lot of time promoting disposable feminine hygiene products, in 2012, I hope to be able to provide more information on menstrual cups, cloth pads and the likes to my readers. To start, I would like to re-post an entry written by Be Prepared Period. I felt this post was particularly worth posting because I had just finished some discussions with my girls about converting to cloth pads and one of their greatest concern was cleaning of used pads. To many, the idea of cleaning cloth pads might be a bit icky, especially if you’re accustomed to being able to wrap/roll & toss.

After seeing this post, I spread the information to my girls, telling them that they have a new method of cleaning their cloth pads with minimal effort on their part. I know that looking at your own menstrual flow, especially all spread over a cloth pad might not be a beautiful sight (though I stand by the fact that menstrual flow is a beautiful part of the female body), the Eco-Clean Laundry Ball serves as a great tool to cleaning cloth pads AND the rest of your laundry!

Suffice to say, with most organic and environmentally friendly solutions, the initial costs tend to be higher than conventional products. For instance, organic menstrual hygiene products, including reusable and disposable products, all tend to cost more than your everyday disposables. However, in time, not only do most people save money, but more importantly ensure good health for their body. I’m sure almost all of us would agree that our health is of utmost importance and by using organic products, you are one step closer in making healthier options for yourself and your loved-ones.

I hope you will enjoy this post as much as I have and thank you to http://bepreparedperiod.com for their permission for me to re-post this article which they have written. For the purpose of this post, the contest information has been removed to not interfere with their rules & regulations and the fact the contest is already expired.

A Better Way to Clean Cloth Pads

Finding healthier products for one’s body and the environment is a growing trend. As more and more people better understand the effects that many traditional products have on their health and the environment better options are being sought after.

One specific type of product that has been increasingly popular is cloth menstrual pads, such as Lunapads. Lunapads and products alike are a great reusable menstrual option that allows women to save money (after the initial investment), be eco-friendly, all while choosing a healthy alternative to disposable pads and tampons.

Mini Pantyliner Open & Snapped

Choosing this reusable option (or considering the change) leaves many with questions like, “How do I go about cleaning reusable cloth pads?” We realize this can be a big change for those making the switch from disposable feminine hygiene products.

While we are not familiar with every brand of cloth pads, we can tell you that Lunapads can be washed by hand or machine in any temperature with regular detergent and can be air or machine dried. That said, we have a question for you. Picture this…you are excited to try out your cute, new, organic cloth pads, you’ve gone through your cycle and it is now time to wash them. You put them in the wash and now what do you do? Do you add a chemical detergent? Doesn’t that seem wrong? You’ve spent the extra money to put a healthier, organic fiber next to your skin and now you are going to wash them with what?? Detergent? Did you know that this once organic cloth pad will absorb the detergent and hold it next to your skin? If only there was a better option… (an option you AND your septic could LOVE)

Here’s the exciting news…there is one!!! About 9 months ago we were lucky enough to meet Jean Cox with H2O at Home, a company that continues to think outside the box creating environmentally friendly and chemical-free products. Their vision is to introduce their unique products and to spread the idea that YOU can preserve the environment WITHOUT making compromises to your household. While we could go on and on about the many awesome products they offer, we plan to share with you one (okay..maybe 2 or 3) special products that can help you with your laundry.Laundry Ball and Net

The first product, the Eco-Clean Laundry Ball, was what first attracted us to H2O at Home. This nifty little ball allows you to wash your personal items and clothes with little or no laundry soap. That’s right! This laundry ball allows you to wash your personal items with LITTLE OR NO LAUNDRY SOAP!!! Knowing how many skeptics are out there, it’s hard to imagine using little or NO soap, but we are here to tell you, “It works GREAT with no soap!” We’ve been using it for about 6 months and absolutely LOVE it!

Many ask, “How on earth can my laundry get clean with NO SOAP!?!?” The simple but maybe not so simple answer is, it works by increasing the pH level of the water to that of classic detergents. Inside the Laundry Ball, friction from ceramic pearls reinforce the cleansing properties of water, softens fabrics, protects against oxidation, eliminates mold and germs and preserves colors. It really is pretty amazing! Many moms that have children in cloth diapers are turning to this option of cleaning as they become aware of the dangers of using laundry soap. Now think, if this ball can clean poopy/soiled diapers, imagine how well it will work on your cloth pads or other laundered items! With no chemicals, this product is perfect for those with allergies or sensitivities.

Netepur SoapAs mentioned above, the Eco-Clean Laundry Ball is not the only wonderful product out there by H2O at Home. Another question or challenge you may have is, “How do I remove stains, is there a more natural option for that too?” And the answer is yes; there are actually a couple options. H2O at Home also offers a product called, Netepur Soap. This natural textile soap is perfect for pre-treating stubborn stains. In addition to blood, Netepur Soap will remove grease, grass, food and even red wine. Plus it is 100% biodegradable! And speaking of biodegradable, Ruby’s Red Wash is another wonderful option. It was specifically designed for menstrual stains, and is made from live bacterial cultures.

And if it wasn’t great enough that H2O at Home has these terrific alternatives to cleaning without chemicals they also have a personal line of products including a Feminine Wash (Many women do not think of using a separate soap for this, nor do they understand you are not supposed to use regular soap in this area). H2O at Home’s Feminine Wash is an extremely gentle cleanser that balances and protects your most sensitive areas. It is made of an intricate blend of organic geranium, calendula, cornflower, and aloe that calms and soothes skin irritations. It is also pH balanced making it safe for daily use, and is ECOCERT and COSMEBIO certified.

So what do you think? Are you as excited about these cleaning alternatives as we are? Do you have questions? Let us know your thoughts! Please feel free to comment below.

(Just an FYI, as you may be wondering…this post is not a paid post. Our intentions are only to share with you healthier and eco-friendly alternatives based on our own personal reviews.)

For more information on the Eco-Clean Laundry Ball, “Click Here” or for information on more products by H2O at Home visit Jean’s website. You can also check out her holiday specials “here.”

Seasons Greeting & Merry Christmas 2011

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone Seasons Greetings and/or Merry Christmas from the Men In Menstruation team.

For those of you who got or already have your period today, congratulations! I hope your period treats you well as it’s a beautiful gift to have over the holidays. If your partner starts her period today and you’re a menstrual fan like me, I’m sure that this is a better Christmas present than anything money can buy 🙂

If you’ve delayed getting gifts, consider buying some reusable feminine hygiene products this year or perhaps to vouch that in the new year 2012 that converting or at least trying a reusable menstrual protection is on your list of things to do!!

Have a safe one, everyone!

Interesting Thoughts For Holidays

You know, holidays always brings along interesting thoughts. It’s Christmas Eve here in Ontario, with only a mere few hours away to 2011’s Christmas.

Last year, this time, Bebe told me (she was in Malaysia at the time and I was visiting in Hong Kong) that she’d come to Hong Kong to meet up with me. When she sent me her itinerary, I seriously thought I was in heaven. I was blessed, excited, thrilled and felt like I was on top of the world. For the 5 days which Bebe stayed in Hong Kong with me, it was amazing and undoubtedly for the my entire lively existence could be the best week so far. Holidays, draw upon many of our memories thinking of the past and potential futures. Likewise, this will be the 5th year that my dad has not been with us. Though his physical presence is no longer here, his memories still live on in all of us and as well a reminder not to be sad, but to cherish all the time we had.

This year, will also be my first year that one of my ex’s has decided to ignore me. I know I skipped out on plans with her as a result of my mom’s health issues. I tried explaining to her, but apparently that wasn’t enough to convince her that I had a legitimate reason to lose a plan. I understand her being upset, particularly because I’m one of those people who absolutely hate it when people lose plans on ME or aren’t punctual with a set time. I can definitely give grace for situations where there were uncontrollable situations or changes with matter of life-and-death. To be honest, I do quite miss my ex’s presence and though we only touched base once in a while, she was and is still a very important person in my life. Though we may be separated for many years again, perhaps one day we will meet up again.

Christmas is a time to rejoice, both to enjoy happy times but also to reflect on the bad. Not everything in life is happy and I know several friends and family who have even lost someone special in their life this year. However, we can continue to make the best of our life and to honour those we have lost by keeping them close to our hearts.

I also want to make this Christmas great, by reminding myself that one year ago, how special Bebe made me vacation to Hong Kong (which normally rocks already) by visiting me. She took the time, effort and money, to come meet me and make my holiday a shining one. I also want to thank her mother and father, for raising such a wonderful daughter and hope one day, they will entrust me with her in my arms. I also want to remember my deceased father who along with my living mother, gave life to me to enjoy and make this very blog entry this day. I want my ex, “L” to know that despite her ignoring of me and being upset with my lack of responsiveness to plans, that I still do miss her a lot and her status within my heart hasn’t changed.

On a happy note for me, I went to visit one of my god-sis’ today and when I got to her house, she jumped on my back (because she’s considerably younger than me) and told me excitedly she got her period this morning. She loves it when she can give me good news like that, so I smiled and gave her her present 🙂 It made my day nicer! 😆

Seasons greetings and have a safe & happy holiday!

Making Your Washroom “Girl” Friendly – Toilet Etiquette

With the holidays arriving quickly upon us, many of us will be traveling from location to location, either hosting a party or being a guest of a party. One thing that one of my friends recently approached me about, was how to make a washroom “girl-friendly”. I do attest that with many of my male friends, particularly those who lived off-campus with a bunch of guys or on his own, that their washrooms tend not to be girl-friendly. Of course washroom etiquette goes beyond whether the toilet is friendly for females, but just general hygienic practice is equally important. Unless that particular bathroom is not going to be available for guests, it’s important that guys keep some thoughts in mind if you plan on having girls over, or rather, if you plan on having them over ever again.

One key thing that most “male” washrooms neglect is a trash bin. Other than just the obvious disposal of tampons, tampon applicators, pads and pad wrappers, many women also opt to discard used toilet paper (non-excrement ones) in the trash rather than in the toilet. This is more true for those who have older houses who know that one-too-much toilet paper into the commode will usually get it clogged. Most of the girls I know and have actually ran this by do say they prefer disposing their pee-wipe toilet paper into the trash rather than in the toilet. Only 2 of them told me they “dispose it in the toilet all the time”. As I have noticed, washrooms in male-oriented living quarters tend to lack trash bins… I suppose one could argue that we have no ‘need’ for one for ourselves as any time we need to wipe is usually when we defaecate and not generally for pee-wiping.

Many of my girls have told me they dislike going to male-only households for this reason, because while pitching used toilet paper in the commode and flushing is a reasonable expectation, I can definitely tell you that pads do not belong in the toilet whatsoever. I have had to help a friend unclog a toilet before because his girlfriend couldn’t find a trash in his washroom, so she attempted to flush it down the toilet. Though most modern toilets and sewage systems will marginally deal with pads, you’re not going to get lucky every time. By providing a trash bin, you allow a girl to discretely dispose of her used products rather than trying to ‘hide’ it by flushing it down the toilet. If you’ve never had the experience before, plumbing work is very expensive. Please provide a trash receptacle of some sort in the washroom, better yet have a lid on it. Speaking of which for the guys, for your own trash emptying sake, you might want to use a bag so that you can close your eyes, tie it up and take it to the trash after.

The following recommendation doesn’t necessarily apply just to making a washroom girl-friendly, but might even be applicable for the guys. If you plan on having guest over, particularly when there are lots of women (because let’s face it, most of us would agree/admit that households with more women tend to consume toilet paper at a MUCH quicker rate than an all-male household). As long as you have space to spare in your washroom, ensure the toilet paper roll is regularly available and to always keep 1-2 in an accessible and open area, unless you know the guest well enough where they’d rummage through your drawers to get spares. I will usually keep 2 extra rolls of toilet paper right on top of the commode, above the water tank. Here’s an extra thought for you too, though I kind of experienced this (sadly) in a public washroom. Before using that particular stall, I didn’t check to see if there was actually toilet paper available – or well, enough of it. After finishing up my duties, I went to get toilet paper and sure enough, there was a questionable amount left. If you’re hosting parties at your own place, try to always ensure that there is an ample amount of toilet paper available, because no one wants (or wants to see someone) to waddle or scream from the washroom for toilet paper to wipe!

If you can, provide a fixed air-fresheners or a spray. Many of us would say we “over eat” during the holiday seasons, so then we all know, “What goes in, must come out.” In a house that only has one or two available washrooms for guest, make sure that the revolving doors of visitors don’t have to face the last persons stench. I know, I know… our bodies shouldn’t be shunned, but most of us don’t excrete rose-petals either. Pads or tampons which are not properly disposed and allow prolonged contact with open-air may emanate a smell, so if you’re not providing a close-lid trash, then the air freshener will help to mask any dried-period smell coming from the used products.

Clean up after yourself, because I’ve seen some very raunchy male toilets before. We, I’ve seen toilet seats covered in pubic hair and toilet bowls that doesn’t seem like they’ve ever been cleaned. Also, as a penis-owner, I can say we don’t always have “full control” – or rather, water dynamics can be a very interesting thing. For girls who don’t have brothers/father/male family members living in the same household or who are just super-hygienic will sometimes cringe at the thought of pee-droplets all over the toilet. I remember one of my girls came over had to actually ask my mom to wipe the toilet for her before she could go – because apparently, it is OK for my mom to taint her hands wiping it, but not her. Of course I knew it wasn’t my pee because I have a habit of making sure “pee spray” is cleaned up due to training by my bebe 😆 Even bebe having 4 brothers, she still can’t stand when pee flies everywhere so I’m also extra diligent about splash-back when using her toilet. Don’t forget that many girls sit on the toilet when they go, so clean up the seat to the point where even you would sit on it (unless you’re a really dirty person). If you can’t do that, perhaps consider providing those toilet seat covers.

Looking to be extra girl-friendly then consider leaving accessible pads and tampons in the washroom so that one of your visitors caught off-guard doesn’t have to make it “public knowledge” that her period has arrived. Plus, no one wants to spoil the mood of the party or have to leave just because their visitor dropped in for a visit! I know 2 of my friends who really dislike having girls over who don’t seem to know how to “wrap and dispose” their stuff properly, so they even provide small brown paper bags for girls to throw their stuff in before dropping it into the trash. To me, that’s overkill and probably being environmentally unfriendly – but to each their own. I can stand the sight of a used, opened-pad and tampon without getting all queasy, but I can also understand that people don’t generally like looking at someones (or even their own) liquids. For the girls: If you consider flushing your tampons or if you’re on your period, please try to make sure the tampon is actually whisked away on the first flush and that your menstrual flow and clots don’t come back up. Again, not something that bothers me, but something that definitely bothers most guys to see 😛

Keep your ‘questionable’ products hidden. I know that in the end, your washroom is your washroom, but if you have girls visiting (and particularly if you’re trying to make a good impression), it is a good idea to “keep it clean”. If you normally leave stuff like porno magazines, lube, sex toys or whatnot in the washroom, it may be a good idea to conceal them well. I’m sure not too many girls would imagine you don’t masturbate, BUT, sometimes it is a matter of “out of sight, out of mind” – because a girl probably doesn’t want to be going pee and seeing your lube and toys on the counter top.

I know that when you live alone or with other guys, letting things get “out of shape” can be very easy and reversing that, takes a lot of work. I remember going to my guy friend’s house who had 4 guys living in it, sharing a single bathroom. I was afraid to touch anything in that bathroom, worried that if I did, I’d probably get a handful of pubes or that white soap may not actually be… soap. There were clear indications that no one wiped anywhere after peeing, since there were dried pee-spots all over the floor and splashes against the seat. That washroom was barely me-friendly, let alone for most girls (and I have a pretty high tolerance as it stands) to even think about relieving themselves there.

If you have any further thoughts or considerations, please feel free to comment or let me know 😀

When Even the Best of Guys Needs Help

This will be a short post, but I recall a commercial that reminded me of a particular retailer when I was in Hong Kong. A mass merchandiser drugstore similar to North Americas equivalent of Shoppers Drug Mart or Rexall provided a very unique service which might help with guys who may feel that purchasing feminine hygiene products for his partner or a female family member is a daunting task. As mentioned in the subject of this entry, even the guys with the best intentions may be completely confused by all the choices of feminine hygiene products when standing in the aisle. Sometimes, it isn’t even the guy who’s embarrassed, but I’ve found that men in the feminine hygiene aisle seem to cause embarrassment or an aura of awkwardness even for the ladies. Even for the guys who are not afraid of wandering down the aisle and making the purchase, mistakes are bound to be made resulting in a very disgruntled female in your life (or worse, females)

In Hong Kong, at least one retailer has managed to provide somewhat of a solution for this. A household’s female member could actually call ahead of the time to the store to make arrangements with a list of purchases to be made. Within a reasonable amount of the time (and the efficiency in Hong Kong is impeccable), the products are already packed and ready to go for pickup. If there are sensitive items as part of the shopping list, the retailer will usually put all the purchases in paper-like bag, or you can always request one at no extra charge. When purchases include things like feminine hygiene products, condoms or pharmaceutical items, they’re pretty diligent about making sure that these purchases can’t be viewed ‘from the outside’. One might say this is “backwards thinking” and especially to be something promoted on my site, but let’s face it, not every guy will ever feel comfortable or buy these items accurately. Therefore if there is a foolproof way of ensuring the right items are purchased, here it is!

The retailer has a bunch of funny and cute commercials, with a guy who’s been asked to make purchases because his girlfriend’s “best friend has arrived”. He confidently says he can take care of it because he knows he can rely on this retailer to ensure the right products are purchased and that they are discretely handled when he arrives to pick them up. I know this might raise a few concerns are it’s contrary to my hopes we can make feminine hygiene purchases just as if were buying fruit, but sometimes you can’t change everything and everyone. At least this will provide a more reliable method of a girl to ask her male friend/family to get something for them if they’re unable to go to the store themselves.

After this is all said and done, this service is available to all customers, not just female ones… however, for the sake of the topic of the blog, I rest my case. I’m sure a guy could ask his partner or female family member to pick something hemorrhoid cream or wart remover and it’d be perfectly valid to have these items prepacked and ready to leave the store! Other than this service, the next most discrete way at getting the right items is delivery services, which also seem to be rare in North America (or rather, at a reasonable price), but speed of getting these products would be a concern if the leak is already pooling up 🙄 I wonder if retailers here will begin providing such services or whether it would be as popular here as it is in Asia…

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