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Goodbye Pads & Tampons – Hello Menstrual Cup!

You’ll find this title picture very amusing after you read the entry… (or at least if you know what’s in the theme of the picture)

So yesterday I participated in a grand celebration of a one-year anniversary of Bepreparedperiod tweet chats! It was a fantastic party, again, reminding us that the menstrual cycle is a perfectly natural bodily process and we should not be ashamed to speak about it. It’s also important that both guys and girls have equal opportunity to be educated through books and dialogue. During the tweet chat, I mentioned the excitement of introducing a menstrual cup to one of my girls which @bpreparedperiod suggested I blog on. What a wonderful idea, it totally didn’t cross my mind to write about it! It only happened less than a week ago so it’s still fresh on to my mind on how it happened!

So pretty much the highlight of this entry is that I managed to convince one of my girls to try a menstrual cup, although it was definitely an interesting method… one I would not recommend you employing unless you really know the person is comfortable with it and can take a hardy joke. Last weekend, I was over at her house and recently, I had purchased a menstrual cup from a nearby “green” store. It was in the trunk so I thought, “Hey, why not try to persuade —- to give it a shot?” As with most of my girls, the idea of reusable menstrual products do not sit well, particularly when it comes to the question of, “How do I clean it?” Unfortunately the second I have to say “dump and wash it” or “throw it in the laundry” I get that exasperated look already. I may be a person who likes to poke and prod here and there to see if they’ll change their minds, but I never force… after all, menstrual products are all personal preference and I hate the idea that one is “superior” to another – each has its own merits.

My friend just got her period the day before, so it was a perfect opportunity for me to give her a prod to try out the product. I know she’s weary of it, but she’s also one of my girls who is the type to be persuaded with a wee bit of pressure. We were about to head out to shop, so she went into her room to change. I snuck upstairs to her bathroom and took the basket where she keeps her pads and tampons. I emptied out the pads/tampons into my laptop bag temporarily because that’d be the last place she would assume I’d hide them! I brought the basket back into her bathroom and in place of the 20 some-odd products she had in it initially, I replaced it with one item – a menstrual cup.

Heck, I could be an Olympian assassin being able to pull that off without her noticing my movements and within record time! I see all this running and exercising of mine is paying off 😆 I ran back downstairs and sat on the couch and waiting to hear her reaction from upstairs. I could hear her room door opening and she trotted toward the bathroom, likely to change herself before we left the house. I could hear her screaming my name and I burst out laughing. I’m sure some of my readers will consider this a cruel act, however, I know her well enough to not cause any hard feelings and in the event she really asked for pads or tampons back, I wouldn’t withhold them from her. I expected her to come rushing down and scrounging for her products back, but to my surprize, she didn’t. She called me upstairs and asked me to help her (through the door) to figure out how to use it. Now obviously I don’t have a vagina and have never inserted a menstrual cup in my life, but I guess conceptually I know it as well as I could. I talked her through it and she managed to get it in after about 15 minutes (or at least what FELT like 15) of fiddling with it and came out smiling.

She did ask for a pad to put on just-in-case the cup leaked since it is her first time using one, so I just gave everything back to her. I asked her if it felt anything like using a tampon and she said, “Not at all – feels even better and more reassuring.” I was really pleased that she took an opportunity to try it out and whether she continues using it, she at least gave herself the exposure to reusable menstrual products. A few hours into shopping, she was worried it would start to spill as it was day 2 for her and she doesn’t exactly flow on the light side either. She asked me to wait outside the “family” washroom for her just in case she ran into some major trouble. It took her some extra time (compared to when she uses conventional pads/tampons), but I heard the toilet flush so I assumed everything was ok. She emerged, smiled and told me everything was fine and that the cup wasn’t even close to full. She even happily touted that she doubted any pad/tampon she used could’ve withstood so many hours without leaking when she’s this heavy! She was so pleased with the cup that she even told me she ditched the pad because she felt secure enough.

She did mention that at first, when she had to rinse out the cup it was rather disturbing to see how much menstrual flow there was because she’s never seen the true amount of flow whenever it was absorbed into disposable pads or tampons. She also had to be quite careful upon removing the cup as to not spill the entire content all over the place. Understandably, there are all concerns that many of my other disposable-loving girls have. I always like to give opportunities for my girls try new products, disposables and reusables. I will never force the issue, though it can be quite fun and amusing (person-dependent) to pull something like this off and end up with a great reward. Now I have one more of my girls who has at least tried using a cup and that may perhaps create a path for her to try other reusable products like cloth pads.

While writing this entry, I exchanged a few text messages with her to see if she had any additional thoughts. She doubts that she will adopt the menstrual cup as a permanent replacement of her menstrual hygiene options, but definitely will be replacing her tampon-use overnight as it prevents the worry of TSS risk when sleeping beyond 8 hours. The cup will also be more convenient at home to use, though that doesn’t necessarily mean she won’t use it outside of the house either… however, using disposables can sometimes prove to be a convenience. On her VERY heavy days, pairing the cup with a pad backup would buy her a lot of time in between changing if needed or would give her a peace-of-mind to sleep in. Finally, she can immensely cut down purchases of pads/tampons since she has an extra option to rotate with and generate less trash every month.

I hope you found as much joy through this entry as I did with my little joke – which turned out great. I have to reiterate that this is not something everyone should try, unless you know your ‘target’ well. Though it sounded like I did this in the heat-of-the-moment, there was a lot of contemplation and consideration before pulling this off. Remember that you should never force menstrual hygiene options on someone, but encouraging and providing options through a friendly and helpful manner will bring you a better response. You can never understand another person’s needs, comfort level and feelings, so you should ensure not to press the matter beyond what is reasonable between the two of you! 🙂

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Sasa Hong Kong – Sanitary Napkins From Asia

Feminine Hygiene treasures from Hong Kong to Canada!

Feminine Hygiene treasures from Hong Kong to Canada!

So here it is everyone, after a very long wait for a delivery promotion to be offered through Sasa (Hong Kong) I finally bit the bullet and bought from sanitary napkins that are usually only offered in Asia!

For those who are also interested, it just so happens that they extended the offer and only for 2 more days (expires Jun 13) – Sasa is offering worldwide shipping for free on all purchases over $19USD. My order came to 20.50 which is pretty damn good 😆 For those who don’t want to navigate through the site, you can directly make your way to the feminine hygiene category. Of course the site company doesn’t ONLY sell feminine hygiene products so I  would recommend you browse the rest of the site to see if there are things that suits your needs. After all, normally with shipping nearing $20 on a single order (unless you break the $100 free shipping mark), it’s really a good promotion whether or not you decide to buy some feminine hygiene products through them! This will particularly appeal to Canadians as we seem to have a tough time getting a hold of international products whereas in the US they have some really nice import-product sites which only ship to the continental US.

In this order, I made the following purchases:

2x Laurier Safety Guard Slim Night 30cm (8 piece)

1x Laurier Super Guard Heavy Night 34cm (8 piece)

1x CENTER-IN FUWA FUWA TYPE Napkins with Wings (Night) (11 piece)

1x Laurier Safety Guard Slim Wing 22.5cm (20 piece)

I have already done some preliminary testing on the products, but I definitely waiting for some of my girl’s periods to come around, that way they can do further and more detailed menstrual testing! The first one I tested definitely didn’t make it onto my “love it” scale unfortunately. However, I won’t spoil the fun of saying which one it was that didn’t make the cut, but rather, release reviews slowly and as time permits.

You may notice my lack of updates, but seriously, I don’t like it either. Adult life is not really fun 🙂 Luckily, my girls will be more available as summer as arrived and they will be on break or at least on a lighter (haha) course load… or well, at least for the ones who are still attending school… for the ones who are like me and working, it makes no difference!

The great thing about products from Asia is they tend to fall under 4 categories instead of 3 that are offered regularly in Canada.

Canada:

– Pantiliner
– Ultra thin
– Maxi

Asia:

– Pantiliner
– Ultra thin (Day-Use)
– Slim (Day/Night-Use)
– Maxi (Day/Night-Use)

Most of the ones I have ordered in this shipment fall under the “slim” category… where it’s not paper-like thinness, nor is it the full bulk of what we consider to be ‘maxi’ here.

So this post is just a nice little teaser… how long I’ll be teasing for 😛 I don’t really know… but at least for anyone else who’s interesting in putting in their own order will be happy to know they have a few more days to take advantage of this fabulous shipping offer. Otherwise, you can sit (really) tight and await my next review for one of these lucky products! I have to admit, the shipping speed was pretty good (I just went with the regular service, not the expedited) and I luckily didn’t get nailed at customs for any additional fees (since they would only be allowed to charge PST portion of the HST duty due to all my items being classified as feminine hygiene products) since they probably would only get a few dollars for all the paperwork involved. It only took about a full business week to get to me, from Hong Kong to Canada, ON.

Always Radiant Infinity Overnight Pads – Mini Review

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Box Front

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Box Front

Hi Everyone,

A few weeks ago, I got my hands on the new Always Radiant series of pads at Walmart (they were only $2.97!!!). I haven’t had time to write much, but today I do, so I’m making a mini review. You may think, “Why a mini review? Is it in relation to the size of the pad?” … well no, it’s not, hah, but it’s mini because I’ve written an Always Infinity review here before and the pad itself has not changed considerably, therefore it’d be rather repetitive to write on things that haven’t changed… but rather, I’m going to concentrate on some of the stuff that has changed. I will of course have detailed pictures which may overlap with the previous review for your viewing pleasure. On the 3 insides of the box, they even included $5 worth of coupons for future purchase of Radiant-series products!

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Box Top

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Box Top (Damn those fingerprint smudges!)

Always Infinity has always been a “premium line” of their Always series products. Unless you catch them on a really good deal, they’re pretty hard to match in price when it comes to the number per box versus the traditional bag of Always pads. They haven’t really made the Radiant series anymore “premium” than their original Infinity line so it hasn’t added any additional excitement to the pad…. unless you’re particularly picky with decorations of the pad and box. What I’m happy about is they didn’t do pull a “downsizing” trick like Stayfree did when they went from the normal Stayfree line to the Thermocontrol line. The original Infinity line had 12 overnight sized pads and luckily, the radiant line still continues to have 12.

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Box Rear

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Box Rear

Here is the description of the pad from Always site for the Infinity Overnight:

Sleep easy with the absorbency of a pad like no other. Always Infinity is made with an incredibly absorbent material called Infinicel, which can hold 10x its weight. Which means it’s absorbent enough for your heavy nights and so thin, you might even forget you’re wearing a pad. Its revolutionary new wings are designed for secure protection and less mess on the sides. The microdots help channel fluid deep into the pad and away from you, helping you feel dry. And the form-fitting channels and soft cover sheet provide comfort and great leakage protection. Rest assured, this pad’s got you covered.

When I first heard the sudden announcement of the Radiant line, menstrual community members as well as myself were really trying to figure out what changes they have/will make to the pad. It seems like there were very few answers and when we did get an “official” answer, it was very lackluster as the changes were all non-performance related changes. For instance, making a prettier box or wrapper doesn’t make the pad any better. The only thing that made it ‘better’ (and not for everyone) was that they have added a light scent to the pad.

Here is the description of the pad from Always site for the new Radiant Infinity Overnight:

Longer than our Radiant Regular pads, NEW – Radiant Overnight Pads help keep your period invisible even while you sleep. Our unique technology allows Radiant Pads to conform to each individual and unique shape and with the premium protection and performance you expect from Always Infinity. With NEW fun,designer packaging and wrapper, Radiant is worthy of your unique stye. Radiant Pads also feature a new backsheet design for an extra feminine touch. And we’ve added a light, clean scent, to help you feel fresh.

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Box Left

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Box Left

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Box Right

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Box Right

What is a really awkward thing about the release of the Radiant series is that (SIGH ONCE AGAIN) the US seems to have more products available than Canada. I’m actually not sure who’s “fault” this is, whether it is Health Canada that prevents them from releasing certain products for sale or whether P&G decides not to make a particular product available here in Canada. In the US, there are 3 Radiant pad absorbency available in-line with the original Infinity series, Regular, Heavy, and Overnight. In Canada, for some reason they only offer the Regular and Overnight absorbency. What kind of crap is this? What now, the Canadian population for some reason only floats between either having a light flow or a super heavy flow?

Though I do lament about the fact there hasn’t been any major performance changes to the pad, one of the change is quite inviting (to the nose at least). I always doubt the “necessity” of scenting pads/tampons because of the chemicals used and being in such close contact with sensitive body parts. However, I loved opening the box and the pad to get a very nice orange-like smell. It’s quite pleasing and it does help reduce odour during/after use. Furthermore, when you store it with other things (pads, tampons or otherwise), it makes everything else smell good! I actually happen to store my stash in a musky old cabinet and it has greatly improved the smell of the cabinet 😆 I thought about in the future when I buy these for my girls, I’m going to have to take a “levy” and use it as air freshener!

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Pad Length

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Pad Length

It does not appear the pad dimensions or overall build has changed. The pad is still incredibly light, giving foreign pads like “Laurier F” a run for its money to build a pad that is even lighter than your typical ultra thins. Since the pad is not symmetrical and has a very unique design, it’s necessary to clearly differentiate the front and rear of the pad via the wings sticker.  The box design does have a shiny, attractive look. Instead of having a “fact and myth” section like the Kotex packaging does, Always has a “Let Your Style Shine” section which has recommendations on using crafts to make a fashion statement.

The back of the box has a new layout with an image of a pair of cute panties and the pad itself. Listed are also the “selling features” of the pad:

+ Made differently so it protects differently.
+ Absorbs 4x more than you may need.
+ Soft, seamless and flexible design to move with you
+ Light, clean scent so you feel fresh

Though I really do like the new scent they added and the pretty design of the box, it’s not enough to “win me over” per se for making it sound like this great new product. So far I haven’t quite seen whether they’re completely transitioning away from the original Infinity line, so we’ll find out in time. I still see both stocked on the shelf, but that may be short-lived if they’re actually phasing it out. Lucky for people who buy it, you’re not being short-changed by any reductions in the equivalent packages by downsizing the number of units per box. The “Radiant” series also extends to the Tampax Pearl line, Pantiliner and Wipes.

I hope you enjoy the scent as much as I did 😛 Unlike when Infinity first unveiled, there’s no need to scramble to your nearest store to buy it, there’s nothing amazingly special unfortunately.

Man Wearing a Maxi Pad for a Week: The Max-Pax Experiment by Sam Jordan

So through some random internet searching, I bumped into a funny article posted up by a guy who was “challenged” to know what it feels like to wear a pad. This person wasn’t approaching this from a fetish point of view, but rather, a lady had made a statement to him about, “there needs to be a rule that says you can’t make a maxi pad or tampon joke unless you’ve actually had to wear them.” The author of the comedy article was written by Sam Jordan. He took up this unsaid challenge, to wear a pad for a week so that he could talk the talk and walk the walk.

Since I don’t know about the re-posting/copyright surrounding the article, I chose not to copy & paste it here (even with due credit of course). Feel free to read the article located at this link: http://www.zug.com/live/89365/The-ManPax-Experiment.html

There is nothing terribly graphic in the whole article and it was done in a humourous tone rather than a true “research” standpoint. Even I found it pretty amusing, without casting judgement of course (oh shit, who am I to cast judgment of all people right?!)

I did get a kick at how he “took me a good 10 minutes to figure out how to install a maxi pad” because it doesn’t seem like a very difficult contraption. Ya sure, I know I probably have some extended experience with feminine hygiene products, but I must say it isn’t all that complex given the lack of opportunity to go wrong… unpack, peel stickies, attach to garment and at most – lock down the wings. Onto page two of his article, it was interesting to note that he used boxer-briefs for his pad-wearing week… I suppose that’d work if using the wings weren’t required. Then he mentioned that, “within seconds of wearing feminine protection, I was thinking like a woman and worrying about how my butt looked.” and I always wonder how true that is because most of my girls don’t seem to worry about that. Even for my girls who wear thick pads, unless you’re wearing skin-tight pants, the likelihood of a pad showing through is low. However, the brave soul he is I suppose he’d have a right to question that and worry.

Finally, onto the last page, he describes some of the activities he goes through during the week with a pad on (I hope he changed regularly… if he didn’t – that would be REALLY uncomfortable…) and the restrictive feeling he had. He closed off with on the final night wearing the pad over his eyes for a good night’s rest! I’d be interested in knowing whether he only wore the pad actively during the day, or whether he even wore it at night. All in all, I have to admit this guy sure as hell is brave for daring to wear a pad for a week AND also talk about it online.

I’d recommend reading the article for more details and to view his funny pictures. I got a kick out of an article comment which dared him to try tampons for a week. That made my jaw drop, haha! 😆

Menstruation Through The Eyes of a Typical Male

This weekend, I had the opportunity to get in touch with many of my guy friends. Oddly enough, most of my girls live close to me and it’s only on holidays where I get to see my closer male friends who come back into town. Though we keep in-touch over messaging and phone, it still doesn’t replace that face-to-face contact. More to this, is that I wanted to run some things over discreetly with them, such that I also needed to be able to see their facial reactions and gauge changes in body posture and voice intonation. Now suffice to say, it’s not like I’m some psychology expert, but anyone who communicates regularly with people know that being able to see those factors enhances our ability to detect and sense otherwise undetectable things through other forms of communication.

Yay, I'm part of the 0.5% - lol!

This weekend, having 4 days off (today’s the last day, BOO) – my goal was to collect some ideas from the guy’s about their perceptions of menstruation, or rather, perhaps demystify some of the things guys think or say about menstruation or surrounding topics. Mind you, this isn’t a collection of every “view” of menstruation of all males, but only through contact with a few of my guy friends who “dared” to speak to me about such subjects. To be honest, when I gave them feedback on their statements, it was probably more detail than they were ever hoping for. However, having an opportunity for open dialogue is the start to end the taboo on menstruation, for males and females. If we can’t talk about it, then menstrual negativity is going to perpetuate for years to come. The following is a few of the dialogues I had between my various friends.

The Guys:

“Girls use tampons on their period”

Yes and no. Yes, some girls DO use tampons for their periods. However, ‘tampon’ is not an interchangeable word and only describes one, of the many forms of feminine hygiene products. A tampon is usually a cylindrical piece of cotton or other synthetic materials which is inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual flow. Other notable menstrual protection include disposable pads, cloth pads, menstrual cups, sea sponges, etc. Furthermore, there ARE also women who enjoy free-bleeding and as long as that works with their lifestyle and is considerate of sanitation to those around them, then that’s great!

The Guys:

“She’s angry, it must be that-time-of-month”

I have to say, that’s a pretty nasty statement to make and if you’ve tried that with a less-than-humoured girl, it might result in some kicks to the nuts. Though there are times that PMS may lead to irritability, anger or emotional state changes in a woman, it does not mean her period is around the corner. I believe in 2 things regarding this. 1) Women should not be able to use their period/PMS as an excuse for inappropriate behaviour, 2) Men should not use periods/PMS as a means of attacking a woman’s behaviour. With that said, there have been many articles written by men that essentially says, “PMS is not a valid excuse” and since that would otherwise ruin my point that it’s not coming from the viewpoint of a woman – you can reference an article written by a lady here concerning the topic: PMS is no excuse for acting like a bitch – we should recognize that hormonal fluctuations during a menstrual cycle may be a factor of sharply changing behaviour, but not allow it to justify disrespect. Hell, even if it really is PMS or menstrual temper I can almost guarantee you’d be better off not to point it out, unless you can do it in fashion without throwing oil in the fire.

The Guys:

“The only time that I like knowing she got her period is when I’m worried she’s pregnant”

Well, the sigh of relief may be for both parties I suppose in this case. Menstruation however, is something to love and appreciate. Though I know some of my girls have waited in angst for their period to arrive when they had some “oopsies” – as guys, we should consider that normal menstrual cycle means our partner’s body is functioning well (most of the time). What’s better than your loved ones being healthy? Also, while periods are known to wreak havoc, there are also women out there who experienced heightened libidos are really want their sex! Which leads me onto the next point…

The Guys:

“I hate when her period comes! Means no sex for a week”

Menstrual sex is a personal choice and between the involved participants. Not all girls reject sex during her period. In fact, there are many couples who enjoy menstrual sex. Menstrual sex can be pretty cool, think of all the free lube! As long as you are practicing safe-sex or your partner is healthy, menstrual sex doesn’t pose any significant risks. For those who may be less adventurous with penetrative sex, oral sex or just some sensual time together can just be as fulfilling. After all, they didn’t make sex toys for no reason 😛

The Guys:

“I’m always afraid she’s hurt”

It took me a while figuring this one out because I thought he was talking about cramps. But it turns out that for us guys, we associate “bleeding” (or blood) with pain or injury. True enough, if any part of my body began to bleed, I’d probably freak out. Menstruation though is a normal biological function, so “bleeding” for women isn’t necessarily a sign of injury or pain. Sexual stimulation in/around her vagina during this time isn’t going to hurt her unless she has other complexities. Even if she’s feeling some pain from cramps, a good ol’ orgasm can actually wisp that away pretty quickly!

The Guys:

“Menstrual blood is dangerous”

Menstrual blood is only as dangerous as normal blood contact would be. An otherwise healthy individual without transmittable diseases would not have any major dangers. However, certainly menstrual flow that is expelled from the body is still considered bio-hazardous and may contain bacteria or other forms of germs, but it probably won’t kill you or anything if you come in regular contact with it. If the blood is dried, that’s even a lesser concern as exposure to open air for a period of time already cause major bacterial forms to die. If you’re in a monogamous and know thoroughly the healthiness of your partner, the likelihood of dying in a fiery car crash is probably much higher than a deadly illness arriving from sexual contact from menstrual flow.

The Guys:

“I love being able to ejaculate in my girlfriend when she’s on her period because it’s safe”

I had to ask him what he meant by “safe” – he meant that he’s safe from getting his girlfriend knocked up. I had to break it to him that while conceiving while menstruating is low, it’s also not impossible as conceiving during menstruation has been known to happen. It is quite possible for sperm to stay alive within an optimal environment within the vagina, meaning that pregnancy can occur just before/after active menstruation. Also bleeding may potentially be mistaken as full out menses which may mean fertilization is still possible. If conceiving a child isn’t in your line of responsibilities at the moment (or never), then practicing safe-sex at ANY time is necessary.

The Guys:

“I don’t get it. How can she lose so much blood regularly without dying?”

With the number of pads and tampons that are used and the way they appear when they’re saturated, it may appear there’s a lot of blood loss. The reality is that the amount of menstrual flow per period is not that great (sans medical conditions). At an “upper estimate” of 9 tbsp of menstrual flow per period, it’s not exactly cause for concern of massive blood loss. According to my very quick research, the body begins to have adverse medical reaction at 15% of total blood loss. Given that the human body contains about 5 litres of blood, 9 tbsp is about 0.133 litres of blood – or about 2.66% per period. What is necessary to note is that during menstruation, “flow” that is lost is not entirely composed of blood alone. Barring any medical conditions, a normal menstrual cycle isn’t going to drain your girlfriend’s blood supply low!

The Guys:

“Does she have to change her tampon every time she pees?”

Nope, not unless she wants to or needs to. The urethra and vagina are two different holes (I’d be impressed if you could get your penis in her urethra) and furthermore, most girls usually will hold/tuck the string while peeing to avoid it getting wet. Others just simply let nature take its course and then using some toilet paper to mop up the tampon string dry in case it gets wet. Some girls just don’t care at all, because that’s what underwear is for anyway! It’s like magic to guys, but just with a bit of a tug, a girl can check whether her tampon needs to be changed. If it comes out easily, then it’s all saturated and needs to be changed. If there is resistance, then the tampon is still usable, with the exception that her: 1) period is over, 2) she wants to change products, or 3) her tampon has been in for/nearing 8 hours.

The Guys:

“She doesn’t talk to me about her period”

Let’s face it, most guys don’t really want to hear about girls periods, so therefore, girls have been programmed not to divulge anything about it. Right from Wikipedia sources, “Studies have shown nearly all girls in the USA believe that girls should not talk about menstruation with boys, and more than one-third of the girls did not believe that it was appropriate to discuss menstruation with their fathers. The basis of many conduct norms and communication about menstruation in western industrial societies is the belief that menstruation should remain hidden.” That’s not to say I’ve never met girls who’ve approached the topic of menstruation with me openly (without knowledge of my interest), but in general, I really have to be the one to broach on the topic and show that I’m “accepting” to converse about it before they come comfortable with speaking about it. Unless the girl is particularly open with her bodily functions or that the relationship has progressed to an intimate level, it’s likely you will have to be proactive and show her that she can speak to you about such ‘private’ matters. It might not even be that she doesn’t want you to know, but that menstruation is generally regarded with shame and is indecent to talk about, particularly with a male. If you two ever plan on moving forward with a successful relationship, talking about menstruation is probably to least of challenges.

The Guys:

“I’m so grossed out by periods”

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Honestly, I find semen much more repulsive if anything. The menstrual cycle and the female anatomy is so beautiful. I can only hope to educate you about menstruation to help you change your mind about it, but I’m not going to try to turn a stone into gold.

The Guys:

“Why does she like to ask me to buy her pads/tampons?”

I don’t think most girls “like” asking you to buy it, in fact, most do it only when they really need to, like when they’re clumped over on the couch. Because pads/tampons are very personal choices, most women like to shop for it themselves. However, there are also guys I know who get it as part of their grocery list, but I don’t it’s a really ‘unique’ thing. She has every right to ask you if you guys are involved in a committed relationship and if she has ever bought anything for you in your life, then she can expect you to buy this for her. As long as she equips you with enough information to buy it, it should be fair game. For some women, it can be used as a ‘test’ to see if you’re man enough to do it or they don’t really think anything of it. You’re out getting those apples anyway, why not a box of tampons or a pack of pads?

The Guys:

“It’s amazing, how does she even keep track of how often to change or when it gets full?”

With pads it’s fairly simple, because a visual inspection will allow a girl to know whether her pad is getting full or not. Also, as pads get saturated, the pad will usually become heavier and there may be a damp feeling. With tampons, as I explained above, usually a quick “tug test” will already reveal whether changing is required. For most girls though, it’s just a matter of timed washroom breaks to do a check-up. Some girls may change ahead of time if they’re planning travel which does not give them accessibility to washrooms. I know with most of my girls, they opt to change later when they’re at home as they can get to a washroom any time. However, if they’re heading for a several hour road trip they change before they leave the house or double-up protection. Despite a girl being an expert on her body and diligent on her feminine hygiene needs, leaks may sometimes still happen and that’s ok. It’s like sneezing. Try as you might, but doesn’t stop it from coming out!

The Guys:

“Girls can’t swim on their periods”

Whether the girl ‘can’ swim is subjective on her own skill, not whether she has her period or not. However, if you’re talking about methods to control menstrual flow, they can opt to use internal forms of feminine hygiene, as pads would be out of the question. Feminine products worn within the vagina will offer a chance for the girl to swim while maintaining hygiene for herself and other swimmers. If a girl knows how to swim and doesn’t have debilitating menstrual pains, swimming is great exercise which may help alleviate cramps and maintain a healthy body overall. I do know however, that Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM] usually frowns upon swimming while menstruating (because the body is considered ‘weak’ during that time).

The Guys:

“Girls get their period every 28 days”

This is something I admit that I was pretty ignorant about until I started learning about menstruation from female experiences and stories. To me, the “books” tell you that menstrual cycles are 28 days in length, however, that is not true for many women as bodies aren’t clockworks. Many of the girls I’ve dated before just happened to have a fairly regular cycle every month, but even tracking with bebe for the past 2 years I’ve known her, I can say for sure almost every month she has a different monthly cycle. While she’s perfectly healthy, it does come down to the fact that women do not always have exact 28-day cycles, but rather, vary between 21-35 days and whether or not a woman falls within a 28-day cycle doesn’t necessarily represent overall health. Because I happened to date girls who fell in the 26-29 day ranges, it was awkward for me to start tracking bebe’s to find that hers was much longer (lucky her, unlucky me… LOL). I know a few of my girls don’t really track at all and tell me they just “feel it” when it’s about to come! That’s really cool 🙂

The Guys:

“The washroom stinks when she’s on her period”

I suppose it’s something you really need to bring up with her. Dried menstrual flow does have an odour but is not easily detectable. I know girls who use “open” trash bins who visibly have wrapped tampons and pads in it and the smell is hardly obvious. Unless the girl has very rancid menstrual flow odour, it should not be very strong and only detectable if you plan on sticking your nose in the trash. What makes menstrual flow smell is actually when it comes in contact with open air and begins to fester bacteria. When the bacteria is trying living/decomposing the menstrual flow and pad, that is what emits the stench, not so much the actual flow itself. Proper sanitary practices should already be sufficient to stem the smell. I’ve been to my girl’s house before who hadn’t emptied the trash for 3 weeks and she had pads piled to the top and still the air was pretty clean. I’d broach lightly on the topic with her since it’s rather insulting to be told her menstrual flow smells, but rather, talk about maintaining welcoming environment for guests who use the bathroom as a softer approach.

 

It has definitely been a while since I’ve had the time to write this much! Hope this helps shed some light on what your typical (which I’m not) guys think about periods. I’m glad they offered me an opportunity to trade what I know about menstruation for their personal growth and also that I could share it with the world-at-large here. It’ll also help the girls see things through our eyes and that sometimes we just don’t know any better. Furthermore, I grew up in a conservative family meaning menstruation wasn’t talked about much. Lucky for me I didn’t run into a bunch of misinformation communicated to me from my peers, but certainly I can see why it happens when boys aren’t educated properly about menstruation. They begin to pick up things from their friends and see/hear negativity about periods from other sources. Best to teach them at an age-appropriate level so they develop respect for the female anatomy and a beautiful & natural bodily process!

 

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!

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.

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!

Lunette (Menstrual Cups) Interview with MiM & November 20% Discount

So a short while ago, I was honoured with having an email-interview with Lunette, makers of menstrual cups, washes, wipes and creams for the feminine hygiene market!

Here’s a copy of the interview which can also be found on their site:

Any guys reading this? If so you are in luck because today we’re bringing you a guest interview from the other side of the fence: Prexus Swyftwynd the man behind the blog Men in Menstruation. Prexus started the blog in late 2009 and has been blogging on everything from PMS to menstrual product reviews. In the answers below, Prexus talks about the reactions to his blog, his own and those of his friends (both male and female).

What have you learned since starting the Men in Menstruation blog? Anything unexpected?

I have to shamefully admit that I’ve learned that women can have periods outside of a 30-35 day cycle and still be normal and healthy. I always considered the 30-35 day range to be “normal” because none of my girls or (ex)girlfriends ever fell outside of that range. I always had this assumption in my head that being outside of that range indicated something was wrong and that’s not true. My ex’s period was like clockwork: from the day she ended, I would already know when her next period would be and have chocolates and flowers ready. My current girlfriend also helped me change this assumption; she has almost a 4x day cycle, and it took me a while to get my head around this. I know that in books cycles outside of “average days” can still be normal, but what is read in books sometimes doesn’t sink in until you see it in reality.

Prior to my blog, I also didn’t know there were syndromes such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which make periods (or even throughout the cycle) a living hell. PCOS also affects people of all ages, so it isn’t one of those “old people” problems. Women with PCOS tend to be very open about their periods, perhaps because they’ve spent a lot of time talking to their doctor, family or even friends about it. I’ve had some very in-depth (and I’m always very grateful) discussions with PCOS-women about their periods, with no shame involved in the conversation. While I would absolutely not say I’d want a woman to have PCOS just so she’s open about periods, I’ve definitely seen a trend of openness for those who have it.

Through the blog, I’ve connected with many men and women who are enthusiastic about menstruation. Unfortunately when men get involved in menstruation – from a female point of view – it can either be, “Wow, I’m so glad that guys want to be involved.” to, “Ew, what kind of guy would want to learn about periods? He’s a pervert!” As a single child, I’ve never had an opportunity to learn about periods from a sister, and even from what I learned from my mother, it was a very hush-hush and need-to-know basis type of education. It’s great to see men who are interested in periods. While I know there are men who range from the “just curious” to the fetishist, they should still be respected for their own interest. After all, even the most hardcore fetishist would have taken the time to learn about menstruation, unlike men who shy away from it either through disgust, ignorance or embarrassment. Connecting with women who are PASSIONATE about their period and wanting to change the taboo of menstruation really hits home for me and makes me smile. I admit due to the nature of my blog, many readers (of whom are probably women), don’t speak up, but even if they’re reading my blog and it helps tickle their mind a bit to push for change in this world, then we’re living in a better place!

What do the women in your life think about your blog? How do they react?

Well I only let women who I know REALLY well and who I’d believe to “accept” the blog know about it, so there aren’t many. I’d say there are only about four girls who know me “in person” who also know about the blog, and two of them are my ex’s. The women in my life tend to be very open about their periods with me, and thus, they know about the blog as a result. These girls not only assist me with understanding periods more, but they are also female testers for me. As luck would have it, I am male and thus, lack the physical body parts to test products for my review. With their assistance and my own testing methods, I am can get an accurate understanding of feminine hygiene products to write reviews on them. Often when other bloggers write reviews on products, their opinions usually consist of one individual, themselves. But my reviews reflect the opinions of my helpful women, who have given me feedback on these products, along with my own methods.

The women in my life who know and are involved in my blog love it. They feel as if they can connect to me through feeling a sense of “male security” and with my understanding as a “sister.” I’m not gay nor do I have transsexual tendencies by any means; I just love and appreciate menstruation and the female body. Thus, my girls can easily talk to me about things that most guys would not be able to relate to or even want to converse about. Knowing about my blog also helps them connect with me for topics outside of menstruation. They’re comfortable sharing intimate knowledge with me or doing things that they would feel uncomfortable doing with guys such as shopping for inner-wear. Even when the girls discuss things amongst themselves, they are inclusive of me and take an opportunity to educate me about female things.

I “introduce” my blog to my girls (or rather, the existence of it) through a very smooth method to avoid shock. I will often drop hints that I write articles about menstruation and that I’m essentially pro-period before I even get into the whole point about owning a blog on it. Since these girls are ones who are close to me, such as ex’s and best-friends, they know me well enough to probably deduce that I have some (or lots) of interest in menstruation. The blog is usually more of a, “Oh really?” than a, “OH MY GOD, REALLY?” I’m very careful about who I tell about my blog because it has both menstrual and personal information on it. For the women who do know, they think it’s fantastic and will offer help whenever I need it, whether that’s borrowing them for a week in a month to test products or to answer questions. I have yet to tell someone about my blog who I didn’t trust me deep down, so I’ve never gotten negative reactions from them.

Do many of your guy friends know you blog about menstruation? What’s their take on it?

Only two of my guy friends know about my blog, and both of them really like reading through it to learn about periods. I won’t call myself an “expert” on periods, only someone with perhaps “above average” knowledge on it. Sometimes they come to me with questions I don’t answer on my blog and that also gives me a topic to write about as an entry. They’re more of the “curious” type than the fetishists. As “weird” as they think my blog and interest in periods are, they do see the benefit of having such knowledge. It’s less intimidating for them to learn from a fellow male than if they were to have to speak to a female about it. It’s hard for me to introduce my blog or even any knowledge of menstruation to my guy friends because they’re quite repulsed towards the idea of a bleeding vagina. I always heckle them by asking how they can love vaginas so much, yet the thought of it a week per month can totally put them off from it. It’s like they want to pretend it doesn’t exist, but they only acknowledge it enough to stay away from the red a week every month.

Be sure to check back for the rest of the interview and check out Men in Menstruation on WordPress.

And then part 2 of the interview…

Welcome back to part two of Lunette’s interview with Prexus Swyftwynd, the blogger behind Men in Menstruation. In part one, Prexus talks about the reactions to his blog, his own and those of his friends (both male and female). In this next part, Prexus wraps up his interview with thoughts on menstruation and the market and a little about himself.

Where do you think menstrual products are going in terms of the future of the market? What do you see as the trends?

I certainly think that more and more women will adopt reusable products; however, we have a long way to go before that becomes a “majority” of women. As far as I can see, there will always be some form of “toss and go” conventional product because I don’t think every women is comfortable with emptying their flow at a later point. Perhaps this may be a cultural thing; many of my female Asian friends won’t even give me a chance to encourage them to try these products. It will take years of cultural conversion and education before certain cultures can let go of the taboo of their menstrual flow and menstruation as a whole. If major disposal pad/tampon makers can continue to haunt consumers with “discrete” and “fear” tactics, there will continue to be a demand for such products. Companies will continue to find better “technologies” to enhance pads/tampons. But I can’t imagine companies being able to enhance absorbency and comfort while maintaining a reasonable price-per-use as compared to products such as cups, sponges or cloth pads.

What’s really great about reusable products is that they really encourage women to love their bodies and be in touch with them! Women who use reusable products often are much more open to conversations about menstruation and the female body, over those who use disposable products. By encouraging our younger generations, we can help them adopt reusable products early and remind them that their bodies are a beautiful and worth respecting. Society as a whole still revolves around a lot of “disposable” items in our daily lives, so it’ll take many years before we realize the damage we’re doing to ourselves and the environment. In the next 100 years, disposable pads and tampons will probably still continue to survive, but my hope is that through education, younger women will pick the right product for all women instead of going with the type of product is best for just the individual.

What’s your sense of awareness and interest in menstrual cups in Canada?

I think there is quite a bit of awareness but just not widespread acceptance of the cup. I’ve brought up the “cup” in conversations before with various women, and although they were fully aware of what the product does, they were not very keen on it. I can’t speak on behalf of all women in Canada, but I’d wager there are more women who still use conventional products than have shifted to cups. Because cups are internal products, that poses a second “concern”; for women who don’t use tampons, the thought of adopting a menstrual cup only brings in more fear and sometimes repulsion. I live in a fairly large city, in which we’re quite “connected” with media and internet accessibility, so information on menstrual cups is available and read by my female friends. However, few of them have adopted or even tried such a product. One of my female friends told me outright that she wouldn’t even “begin to imagine using a product like that regularly.” Even my girls, who are regular tampon-users, have no interest in using menstrual cups, since they can withdraw their tampon and just drop it in the toilet – no “maintenance” required.

The cups are also being sold at “organic” retailers here, so with them hanging off display shelves, I think it’s at least creating somewhat of an “education” for the cups. I’ve seen women gathered around such displays before, taking in the information on menstrual cups or other similar products. Most women end up walking away afterwards, but who knows, maybe they just need time to consider switching to a menstrual cup later on! At least they know about cups and even if they don’t make the decision now, they still have the knowledge and may pass it on to others who are willing to make the change!

What are your other interests outside of blogging?

I’m an avid computer gamer, so for several hours a day (I know terrible), I’m either rescuing princesses from towers or blowing heads off zombies, lol! Outside of a computer environment, I absolutely adore spending time with my girlfriend. When I’m not spending time with her, I’m usually spending time with my girls, shopping, doing daily things or just sitting around talking over coffee. I affectionately call them “my girls” as they’re a group of close female friends with whom I have great non-romantic relationships. In this day-and-age, we should remember that males and females can just BE FRIENDS.

I also run my own business outside of my regular day job. In addition to money purposes, I also consider it an interest because I help connect those who are are afraid of computers with modern technology. I enjoy showing people the wonders, particularly seniors who have never been in touch with such widespread technology, to discover all the things they can do and the things available to them. I believe technology has really enhanced my life and hope it may for others too, no matter what age!

After work, I will usually spend 30-60 minutes working out to stay in shape. Like most people, I wish I were more fit but all of it starts with the first step. I’m a big fan of laughter; the thing that I like to do most within the day is talk by voice or text with my friends and share funny moments. Every day of our lives, something funny happens and many people go through their day in a blur, missing moments that should make them laugh or smile. If every day I can just bring a smile or laugh to one of my friends, it makes me feel great. I used to volunteer a lot when I was younger, and I miss it, especially knowing that one “insignificant” person in the world can make some difference. After starting my career just a few years ago, I continue polishing my time management skills, so I can accomplish more within a day without sacrificing sleep time to stay healthy!

Any last thoughts?

I just wanted to thank you for giving me an opportunity to answer these questions. Recently I had some crazy lady tell me that I am a guy that “hates women,” and that has left a poor taste in my mouth. I hope these answers will shed some light on who I am, what this blog represents (or wants to represent, despite sometimes encountering difficulties) and just being period positive. I can’t wait to feature brands like Lunette on my blog, and together we can continue our trek so that future generations can feel positive about their bodies and comfortable with menstruation as a “normal” topic to talk about!

Although I’ve had interviews in the past for private studies and educational research, this has been the first time where my answers have been publicly posted! I was so excited and thrilled to be taken note by a professional business.

Lunette cups are really darn cute because not only are they a great eco-friendly menstrual cup, but also because they come in various colours!

Lunette is also having a 20%-off sale from their Lunette online store. Check out the discount code on their site for it! You can redeem this promotional code on their November SPECIAL post.

Congratulations to Lunette on their BLOG LAUNCH!

Check out their YouTube channel.

Why Your Tampon/Pad Needs to Last – Ryanair now to remove toilets from its planes

I think we always want a pad or tampon (whether disposal or reusable) to last a reasonable amount of time. After all, a menstruating woman probably doesn’t want to spend every 30 minutes checking to see if her product is already full. However, a new airline is going to put your feminine hygiene product to the test! Ryanair, according to the article below, is planning to greatly reduce or eliminate on-board bathrooms. Hell, even someone who is not menstruating, has weak bladder issues or any other medical condition that would be critical to ensure that toilets be available would find this a cause for concern. Even a healthy human needs to expel their bodily byproducts once in a while, so how could someone even think about removing something like washrooms – as limited as they usually are already on flights – from their planes? This almost sounds like it’s inhumane, as legal and as much of a right they have to do so on their aircraft.

Of course not having this carrier here in Canada, it’s of little concern to me other than the amusement factor, but what about for the places who DO have Ryanair as a carrier, how receptive will customers be for a mere few dollar discount on their flight ticket to have a basic human amenity removed from them? Yes, there are countries who don’t have fancy washrooms or an actual commode to sit on, BUT at the very least, they have some spot they can go to do their business. Being up in the air, there doesn’t leave much room to take care of one’s personal business, so that‘s even worse than 3rd world countries. Short-haul flight, an hour or two without having to go to the washroom? Sure, MAYBE. But anything longer than 4 hours and I think that pushes people’s threshold of comfort to go urinate, defaecate or change their incontinence or menstrual products. Although I suppose considering the savings on the washroom, they may need to begin offering fecal-incontinence supplies for all passengers as compensation.

I could understand airlines cutting costs by making food/drinks an on-board paid purchase, pillows and blankets a paid luxury or even asking fliers to bring their own toilet paper to the washroom – but the availability of washrooms on a flight is crucial and I think is highly unfair to those whose needs for washroom relates to a medical condition. Even if your pad or tampon could absorb for a period (heh) of time, I know that sitting on one’s menstrual blood or having a tampon plugged up there continuously can be uncomfortable, so being able to change a saturated product is not just to prevent leakage, but for an overall feel of freshness. Sooner or later, there will be a charge for a life-jacket in the event of an emergency on a plane. Didn’t pay for your life-jacket ahead of time or don’t have cash on you when the plane is sinking? Well too bad, go die.

Official article and comments located @ http://www.everydaymoney.ca/2011/10/ryanair-now-to-remove-toilets-from-its-planes.html || The article below is NOT written by me nor owned by me in any way.

Ryanair now to remove toilets from its planes

We’ll admit, we kind of have a fascination with Ryanair here at EverydayMoney.ca.

Stock-photo-15643861-toilet-in-the-planeWhy? Well, can’t say for sure. Not only does Ryanair not fly to Canada, it doesn’t even fly to North America, meaning only backpackers and Euro travellers have ever sat on one of the outfits Boeing 737-800’s.

But much in the way that Entourage  is considered “lifestyle porn,” Ryanair is a kind of airline porn, in that the headlines it makes are irresistible to anyone that’s ever flown on a plane.

Now, after a laundry list of budget saving initiatives we’ll discuss below, Ryanair is proposing its latest strategy to slash fares for budget travellers: removing  toilets from its planes.

About a year-and-a-half after the Dublin-based airline sparked controversy with its move to charge passengers to use its washrooms, bombastic Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary now just wants to do away with his loos, nearly altogether.

O’Leary says he’s in talks with Boeing to remove two of the three toilets found on-board Ryanair’s planes. Doing so would allow adding six more seats to its cabins.

Ryanair, which carries 75 million passengers a year, flies as many as 189 passengers each flight. If three toilets (or one toilet per 63 people) are brought down to one, and six more seats are included, that leaves just one can for 195 travellers. Legally speaking, according to the Independent, there is no legal stipulation for an airline to provide even one washroom on its aircrafts.

In O’Leary’s defence, once more, he always brings these wild ideas public for the benefit of the passenger. No matter what he proposes, he always insists, at least, it’s all for lowering fares.

“(Removing two of three toilets) would fundamentally lower air fares by about five per cent for all passengers,” he says, noting that about three bucks of a typical $65 ticket might be saved if more seats can be added to Ryanair’s cabins.

In previous bids to bring down airfare, or at least cater to Ryanair’s idea of what travellers want, the airline has floated the idea of flying with just one pilot per flight, adopting standing-room only trips and even child-free flights, which Ryanair says are coming this fall.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

Posted at 12:31 PM in Consumer News, Current Affairs, Travel

You may need to start working your menstrual schedule around the next time you want to take the plane. This might also be a good opportunity for pad/tampon makers to start using this airline as a test of their product(s). I guess with this airline, men wearing pads won’t be such a foreign idea anymore…

If anything, I’d fly on this carrier just so I can make a point by shitting and pissing all over their seat or in any spot I can find so that they can enjoy the cleanup and smell.

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