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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 😀

Thunderstorm/Tornado Warning for Ontario – August 24, 2011

RED ALERTS
August 24, 2011 9:53 PM
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO HAS ISSUED A “RED ALERT”

DUE TO A TORNADO WARNING IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO

Emergency Situation: Environment Canada has issued a Tornado Warning in an area described as:
  • RODNEY – SHEDDEN – WESTERN ELGIN COUNTY – ST. THOMAS – AYLMER – EASTERN ELGIN COUNTY – CITY OF HAMILTON – BURLINGTON – OAKVILLE – HALTON HILLS – MILTON – MISSISSAUGA – BRAMPTON
  • WOODSTOCK – TILLSONBURG – OXFORD COUNTYBRANTFORD – COUNTY OF BRANT
  • SARNIA – PETROLIA – WESTERN LAMBTON COUNTY
  • MOUNT FOREST – ARTHUR – NORTHERN WELLINGTON COUNTY – HANOVER – DUNDALK – SOUTHERN GREY COUNTY
  • STRATHROY- KOMOKA WESTERN MIDDLESEX COUNTY  LONDON – PARKHILL – EASTERN MIDDLESEX COUNTY
  • LISTOWEL – MILVERTON – NORTHERN PERTH COUNTY.
  • WATFORD – PINERY PARK – EASTERN LAMBTON COUNTY WINGHAM – BLYTH – NORTHERN HURON COUNTY SAUGEEN SHORES – KINCARDINE – SOUTHERN BRUCE COUNTY
Recommended Actions: Emergency Management Ontario recommends that persons in the area described above IMMEDIATELY shelter. Everyone in this area should immediately move indoors, and away from doors and windows, preferably into a basement area if that is possible. Do not pick up family members from schools, daycares and institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes. Plans are in place to protect them. People currently outside this area are advised not to enter this area until further notice. If it is safe to do so, pets and livestock should be removed quickly from outside.
Do not call 911 for information about this emergency.

Information is quoted from: http://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/home.html

Periods, Short Airplane Trips & Long-Haul Flights

Being the thrilled blog owner of MiM, I get the joy of receiving many quote-on-quote, “embarrassing” emails from readers and contributors alike with their own experiences of menstruation, particularly events which often trigger question marks. One of the ‘events’ that have been brought up on several occasions involved girls who have questioned me about how they should deal with their periods when flying. Now I have to say, it’s a great honour for me to receive questions from females, because it shows that I am at least, a trusted source of information regardless of my gender and “lack of realistic experience of menstruation”. I’ve flown a lot throughout my life, both short-haul and long-haul trips and you can’t imagine how many times I have thought about the pains of how menstruating women have to deal with the extra “responsibility” of dealing with their periods while on a flight – passengers and flight-crew included. I’m sure a few of the period-loving guys who read my site would smile at the thought of a cute menstruating flight-attendant!

Menstruation, being on up in the air or on the ground should be handled in pretty much the same way. After all, there hasn’t been a commercial aircraft I’ve been that didn’t have bathroom facilities, therefore, you one can change their feminine hygiene product within a private space. Planes, while with much credit to those who clean them, are often filthy with germs so you should take even MORE care when it comes to personal hygiene, i.e. washing your hands thoroughly before touching sensitive areas of your body or handling any feminine hygiene products. To avoid a bathroom faux pas, ensure that as your enter the facility that you lock the door behind you. Most aircraft toilets are equipped to be quite obvious when the door is unlocked/locked, because when it’s locked properly, it is displayed on the sliding switch and the lights will be brighter than usual. Granted I will admit that unless you are in Business or First Class, your bathrooms are quite cramped, but it is more than sufficient space for most people to maneuver and change supplies. There is usually enough space for even someone to put one foot up on the toilet, spread, to insert a tampon , cup or sponge for those who prefer this position. Like any public facility, please do take extra care to dispose used products properly (in the bins, don’t flush) and clean up after yourself. While I personally won’t faint or puke at the sight of menstrual fluid or a half-open, hanging-from-the-bin pad – I’m not sure there are that many people who would appreciate such a sight.

I would say it’s always prudent to keep some feminine hygiene supplies in a carry-on throughout your flight, whether you think you will be getting your period or not (well, unless you’ve gone through menopause I guess), because shit happens right? If you know you are due for your period (or even started), then obviously the decision should come even easier. When planning for the number of supplies to keep handy, think about the time you will be on the flight and figure out the number of them you will go through in that period of time – try to account for your heaviest flow. Do remember that depending on the number of passengers and the frequency that they use the bathroom, it may not always be available to you on-demand. Don’t wait until one of those last-minute-about-to-leak times before deciding to change up. Also, expect that lineups at the bathrooms usually occur when: the plane has just stabilized and the seat-belt light goes off, before/after meals and right before landings. Working around those times will usually help you get into the facility quicker. If your period has already started, try going to the bathroom and changing before boarding. You can also do so before lift-off, but it’s usually frowned upon to clog up the aisles as people are coming aboard. If you “expect your period any time” you can also likewise put on a pantiliner or smaller pad ahead of time (or a reusable product of your choice). Remember that tampons should not be used prior to menstruation, despite the convenience and comfort.

Every woman’s body is different, so while I will say that for most women, their menstrual activities aren’t affected, there are also some women who experience heavier-than-usual flows when flying. However, some of these cases don’t necessarily have to do with “the period itself”  – but that stress and anxiety may also cause changes in flow amounts. First time flyers, especially when it coincides with menstruating days can make the thought of flying stressful. Let loose, because stressing over the crimson tide will only make the matter worse! After all, think about female astronauts being in space, void of gravity and even they menstruate properly, so that should bring relief as to how much effect flying above the clouds will have on menstruation. Alternatively, there are pills that can delay or eliminate menstrual bleeding for the month, but in my opinion, it’s not the greatest choice because I really dislike messing with the body like that. If you’re the type that have heavy flow and really don’t want to deal with having to change and such, you can always use adult diapers (or if you’re the small girl, just baby diapers) that will probably absorb your entire trip worth of flow, if that’s something you’re comfortable with doing. Look on the bright side, you can even relieve yourself of urine and feces without getting up. I’m not sure how safe it is from a smell-standpoint though.

Now, fear not for the women who prefer not to carry any supplies with them or got surprized by their periods! Most plane bathrooms will usually have a stock of sanitary napkins in one of the bins or containers (See picture). Unless you’re one of those unlucky ones who get into a lavatory where some ladies needing the same products beat you to it, they are usually readily available. Suffice to say, the choice of products usually aren’t the greatest (only seen one airline that offered tampons as well) brands or sizes, but they will have to suffice until you get your hands on some better stuff yourself. However, now that I say that, I fly with Cathay Pacific a lot and I find that their choices of pads are quite exceptional, in fact, my most recent long-haul trip they had Kotex Whites (Hong Kong brand name) offered in the sanitary bin. As much as I was tempted to take one as a souvenir, I did also respect the fact that there might be a lady who needed this much more than I did, so I let it be. Worse-case scenario is that if they aren’t available, then you can always page a flight-attendant who can assist you with stocking it up. As much as a commotion that may make, it’s a better alternative than leaking at your seat and having to SIT in it for hours to come. You could always make the lovely toilet-paper pad to hold you up as well and inform a flight-attendant discretely and return to the washroom later to change into a proper product.

For those who are super-super cautious of leakage chances, you can wear disposable underwear (yes, they really do have them) or Lunapanties (I love them, despite not owning a pair, lol – It’s a great concept) to curb the fear. Just like ANY time on your period, being on a plane should be no different and making your period as comfortable as it can be! Heck, why not even consider Lunapanties with their inserts as a complete replacement for your period-traveling needs?! For the guys, if you really see a woman who seems to be in desperate need to get ahead of the line, do show a bit of sympathy by letting her take care of her business. Now of course, if you REALLY have to go, then take care of yourself as well first but try to speed it up a bit! I’m not sure if I’m just extra lucky, but there hasn’t been a flight I’ve been on where I had to stand in line for an extremely long time and there were probably at most, 3 people ahead of me. If you’re flying short-haul distance or flights that have stops, you can always disembark the plane (if permitted) to freshen up, including a more spacious area for you to change your products (or even buy some if you prefer certain brands/types).

Now we come down to the girls who are self-conscious about changing their products, especially disposable ones in the plane bathrooms. First of all, if you’ve never been on a plane, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a lot of “background noise” and even more-so when you’re inside the bathroom. Bathrooms are usually located at the front, mid-sections and end, where it is usually noisier due to engines, turbines and other mechanical things (I’m not a plane engineer, lol). Also, in each of these washroom sections, you can expect there to be the galley, therefore providing more “cover noise.” Rest assured, the likelihood of someone standing directly outside of the bathroom won’t hear your pad or tampon wrapper noise because there’s so many other distracting noises around them. For the extra shy, you can even flush the toilet and for your information, most toilet flushes on the plane are super noisy, enough to mask out a murder scream. Although the doors on the bathrooms are usually not thick, but I’m sure they have some kind of noise-proof material built within them, so the privacy  you’d get in a plane bathroom may even be better than the stalls in a mall.

Just like how many girls take their bags to the washroom, period or not, you can always do the same when you’re on a plane – people don’t think much of it. Being on a plane doesn’t mean you have to act differently or treat your period as if it has suddenly become a monster. Your period should be handled in a similar fashion – with the goals of being comfortable, protected and hygienic! You should also not take risks that you might normally do, such as waiting last minute to change (due to lineups) and that your repercussions of leaking on a plane might be more devastating than when you’re on land. I have read about women who have been so stressed out about flying that they have super heavy flows, so I would really recommend having some of the heaviest absorbency pads/tampons handy, even if you normally have lighter flows. If you’re the parent, guardian or even a younger female yourself who has not reached menarche or who has not achieved a regular menstrual cycle, then being prepared will give you that extra peace of mind, for yourself or on behalf of another female party. Checking frequently is also an option if you’re already on your period and really want to keep an eye on your flow. With so many people on the plane, most people don’t even look up to see if it’s the same person going to the bathroom all the time. With most large aircrafts, there are usually an assortment of 3-4 bathrooms per section (different classes), so if you vary between them, other passengers will be none-the-wiser.

If you’re flying for the first time, all I have to say is that you’re much safer in the air, than on the road. Also, flying is a wonderful experience, that not everyone gets to feel for themselves. Consider yourself lucky, enjoy your flight and better yet, enjoy your trip. Just as I always say, love your period, even if it comes on  your vacation because you can make the best of it!

Opening Up About Menstrual Interests

Having been almost a year and a half since I started this blog, I’ve received lots of comments both on-site and as well as through IM and email. People often ask,  how is it that I can be so open about a topic that is not native to my biological gender? Easy, it is an interest! With that said, the topic itself should not be embarrassing or shameful to tackle, as menstruation and is wonderful and mystical element of the female body. Women may not bond over the fact they share breasts, a vagina or long hair – but, many sisterhoods are formed over a common ground, their periods and naturally bleeding body. Suffice to say, one of my god-sis’ best friend was actually formed inside the women’s bathroom in high school. How could that happen? Simple, she lent one of her tampons to someone she didn’t know who was begging for one. After 7 years, they still remain close friends, despite facing the trials of life, finishing post-secondary, getting a job and working on starting their “adult” life – all through the small act of lending out a tampon. While this may be a rare circumstance to have such a friendship formed, it is but a simple example of the bond formed through an act of kindness over the pains and unfortunate appearance of menstrual flow.

Regularly speaking to my female friends and some male community members over the fascination of menstruation, I have come to realize that particularly for guys, opening up to fellow friends or a female partner is a daunting situation. Particularly in the case of a female partner, whether a girlfriend or wife, I think it’s necessary that two people are able to speak keenly about their own interests, both personality-wise and sexually. After all, if two people are in it for the long-run, why should they not know everything about their other half? Being able to share things openly with each other is an essential part of a functional relationship. Every girl I’ve been with in a romantic relationship knows about my menstrual interests, because I think it should be fair I can share it with them and fair that they need to be aware of it. There needs to be acceptance both ways, the fact that I fee lcomfortable enough to share such intimate details with them and also that they can accept my interest. Accepting in my mind, does not necessarily mean participating in my interest, but simply allowing me to “do my own thing” so to speak. Also, because this interest, generally speaking, is not something of destructive nature I believe wholeheartedly that it should not be something to cause alarm. For instance, if I were to start using illegal drugs, it would definitely be in any girlfriend or wife’s place to say STOP IT, but she should have no right to TELL me to stop. Suffice to say, if bebe asked me today to give up my interest in menstruation, I probably could because of my love and devotion to her that I would be willing to make such a sacrifice. With that said, it doesn’t mean any male or female should have the right to demand that the other person suppress their right to have a menstrual interest, despite whether they want to “take part” in it.

How did I approach the girl’s I’ve been with about my menstrual interests? Well, I would not be able to answer that in any concrete way, because just like any individual, each girl had a differently personality type, predisposed openness to menstruation and comfort level with their own body. I definitely found the girls who had the most comfort with their own body and open-minded personality that they adapted easily to my interest, including ones who even LOVED my passion with menstruation. Each girl is different so I can say for sure that the way I introduced my interests to Girl #1 is definitely differently compared to Girl #2. As I’ve mentioned before, I never had any girls in my life (who I shared a romantic relationship with that is) who did not at bare minimum accept my love for menstruation. Even bebe with her semi-frigidness seems willing to accept my interest in it and try to share herself with me when it came to such discussions. While she is far from being as enthusiastic as my ex over it, her efforts to do so make it extra heartwarming. Sharing such an interest comes with great danger, because it may very well make or break a relationship – or even – friendship. Remember that even in such an “advanced” and “modern” society, many people still ‘have a problem’ when it comes to the subject of menstruation.

Yes, I agree that menstruation, especially one’s OWN menstrual cycle is a personal detail, many people take it beyond the fact that it’s just “personal” – but the fact they themselves resent it or feel disgusted by it. I have no problem with a girl feeling exposed or that she rather keep her menstrual details to herself, but those who feel that their menstrual cycle is shameful is where the ‘problem’ occurs. Just like our sex-lives, some like to share, some do not, but one should not shelter information about periods for the wrong reasons. With each of the girls I’ve had a relationship with, I took many different approaches and anecdotes, with some I could literally blurt out, “Oh by the way, I love periods” and other ones, where I had to play little games of injecting hints over a period (heh) of time.

One thing is for sure, before any one considers telling their partner or someone about their own interests in menstruation, you really have to “feel out” the other person. What kind of person are they, do they seem receptive of such information? What do you have to gain from them knowing, but also, what costs are involved should it fail? The best way is usually to try to engage them in “period talk” of sorts by somehow directing a conversation towards that subject. If the person veers the conversation away, it may mean they’re very sensitive towards that topic, in that case, I would be very cautious about expressing open interest. Likewise, if they engage in that subject and also seem passionate about it, you may have a green light. These are NOT set-in-stone rules, because while a girl might be open about menstruation or even her own menstrual information, she may not always be accepting of you being interested in menstruation. I remember one conversation with a girl I had who would participate strongly in any conversation about menstruation, including divulging many of her own experiences and intimate details of her, but when I ‘tested the waters’ on how she would react to know that a male was interested in periods, she furrowed her eyebrows. Therefore, one must be cautious about indications of openness to menstruation, in alignment with the whether it shows true openness (to all genders) or whether the openness is present under the consideration that it is a “female-only topic”.

While I would love to share my interest of menstruation, there are some girls who are simply object to men knowing anything about periods, let alone be interested in them. It’s up to you to decide whether it is worthwhile to consider pursuing the chance to open the topic or whether it is best to never touch upon it again. Furthermore, you have to ask yourself, if this is a woman who you are interested in, would you be able to go the rest of your life without expressing your interests or perhaps, even suppressing them? Of course I am not saying just because the girl doesn’t share the same love or acceptance to menstruation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be with her, but you just have to consider the long-term impact and your own willpower. After all, there are several members even of Kayo’s community who has admitted that for years they have sheltered their own fetish and interest in menstruation in fears of that it would affect their romantic partners. Opening up to your partner about your love for menstruation is hard, particularly if every aspect of the relationship is “right” that you don’t want to risk the loss of such relationship over your own passion.

While I do not restrict the knowledge of my love of menstruation to girls I date, I definitely keep it close-knowledge because girls that I’ve known for a long-time and built a solid relationship with, or girls like my god-sis’. Also, with each girl, you can get an idea of their comfort level to the degree of which they are willing to share about menstruation, whether in general or about their own bodies. I suppose I’ve achieved comfort in a lot of these girls because they share the most intimate details about their periods with me and sometimes when we’re out, they won’t even say something like, “I need to use the washroom” – they’ll be like, “Hey, I gotta go change my pad!” and that’s just totally cool with me 😛 I have to say though, when it comes to girls I’ve dated or am dating, I also “restrict” the amount of information I share with them based on what I perceive to be their comfort level. Even with bebe, as much as I love her and want to be with her for the rest of my life, there are still some reservations that I make when it comes to my interest in periods with her. Timing and comfort-over-time is a very large factor when it comes to how little/how much you reveal and with proper timing.

Writing this entry, I’m hardly saying I’ve “perfected the art of revealing my menstrual interests” – but with a handful of relationships and 2 serious ones under the belt, I can say I’ve had at least ‘experience’ with displaying my interests of menstrual within the scope of a relationship. Having girls who appreciate my passion in menstruation is a really wonderful feeling and for the guys who share similarities like this with me, I can definitely tell you it is a liberating feeling being able to tell trusted friends and the special person in your life about your own passion. While such interests differs from hobbies like playing basketball, interest in menstruation can still be a respectful interest and with much to learn about. Remember that loving menstruation isn’t just about benefiting yourself, but also about the benefit of others. With knowledge about menstruation, one can better themselves by knowing that when a girl is angry, it isn’t a matter of her (not always at least) PMS’ing or that she’s “on the rag” and knowing the realities and separating the myths of what menstruation is about. It’s about using your love and education in menstruation, that you may be able to help girl-friends, girlfriend and/or wife to cope with her changing needs over the years. With your love of menstruation, you should help your fellow females feel comfortable with menstruation in generality and personally. It is your love of menstruation that in the most painful times of need, that you are there to support your friends and lover and to help them overcome obstacles in their periods and throughout the rest of their lives.

Remember that knowledge of menstruation comes with great responsibilities in knowing that what other women may confide in you when it comes to their period, they may not want to share with the whole world. I am lucky to say, many of the girls who I associate with and who share many details about their own experiences and regular monthly habits, that they openly share with me and feel ok that I share it with the world at-large. Of course since I rarely define names in my posts, I still hold the information which they provide me with in highest regards and if a girl is open enough to share these details with you, that you return the favour of their secrecy. I always welcome passer-byers and regular visitors alike to share their own stories, comments or feedback with me, on the blog or by other methods of contact. I hope you enjoy reading this blog, as much as I love writing it!

The New “You ARE Loved” Site and Brochure!

A month ago, I made a post about Toxic Shock Syndrome and a site called “You ARE Loved” who promote education about TSS. They had a nice little site before, but recently, they have redesigned their entire site with a slick and intuitive layout. They also acquired a domain name so I would like to take the opportunity to provide a link to their new site:

http://you-are-loved.org/

The site is dedicated to the blog owner’s daughter, Amy Rae Elifritz, who last year passed away from TSS.

The authors and contributors of the site also put a lot of work into a TSS brochure they have made and over a twitter discussion, I was happy that they would allow me to share this great piece of work, in hopes that if even all our efforts would help save just one potential TSS death that it will be worth it. Whether it is your friend, sister, daughter or even mother, your knowledge about TSS may very well be that separation between life and death for them.

Please take time to read and pass on the brochure here:

http://you-are-loved.org/files/2011/06/YAL-TSS-Brochure.pdf

I’ve just added You ARE Loved to my blog’s link and if you’re a blog-owner yourself, you should too!

Always Maxi Leakguard Plus with Odor Lock (Regular) Review

So after receiving quite a few emails, IM’s and tweets inquiring about the lack of reviews lately, I finally decided to pony-up and do one. Suffice to say, I only blame my own laziness since I tested this product like 3 weeks ago but just never gotten around to writing something for it. It’s one of those few Always products that I’m really impressed with and the last one to truly make me go “wow” was the Always Infinity. The Always Maxi Leakguard Plus with Odor Lock has really changed the face of Always for me, particularly when it comes to their worst “feature” – the comfort level of their ‘like cotton’ top-layer, which really, feels more like plastic. Another reason why I had delayed the posting of this was to give it to two of my girls to try and lucky for me, when I acquired the pads, 2 of them were days away from getting their periods so I thought, “Hey, I might as well wait until their period comes around to test them with me!” and thus, the procrastination began. Bebe bought these pads for me, so it was extra sweet-sweet 😛

So people have often asked me what is it that I have ‘against’ Always… is it just because they’re such a big brand name and they’re so “popular” that I force myself to dislike their products? Absolutely not. I’m one of those people who like to give credit where due, so if they do make a good product, despite how much (example only) I dislike them, I would still give them the thumbs up. As I previously mentioned, my biggest “problem” with Always pads is ever since they switched to the so called “feels like cotton” top layer, which I have found to actually be more “feels like plastic” giving a very wet, uncomfortable feel. The worst is when there’s sweat involved, then it just compounds the feeling of the plastic-feeling. You don’t have to take my word for it since most people will point out, “But you’re a non-menstruating guy, how would you know?” – well, at least you can take my girls’ word for it. My ex was a huge “Always girl” even when she was with me and we were exploring with different stuff, but after a long-day out in a hot summer’s day or if we were involved in strenuous activities, whenever she changed her pad in the washroom she’d always complain about how terrible the sweat on the pad felt because it caused a “rough sliding” feeling due to the plastic-feeling of the top layer of the traditional series of the Always pads. Whenever she tossed me her wrapped pad to throw in the garbage, the days where her sweat started to collect in the pad was noticeable and rather gross, so I can only imagine how the feeling of a sweaty-period-soaked pad felt on her. In the Leakguard w/ Odor Lock series of the Always pads, they really stepped up their game by changing the top-cover to truly be comfortable, with a dry weave that REALLY feels like cotton, is smooth and flexible to conform to the contours of the body.

It would appear that none of the Leakguard w/ Odor Lock pads come with wings and why not, I have no idea. However, despite not having wings, they still fit well and hold well to undergarment. I’m sure for the women who are devoted to using winged-pads only, this might be a worrying test for them. When it comes to getting the pad out of the package, it is just like any typical Always pad. The pad unfolds into 3 sections and you simply remove the pad from the adhesive. The wrapper has a white resealing tape that allows you to wrap/roll up the old pad, secure it and dispose of it. Because the pad itself does have a light scent it even passes it to the wrapper and helps mask the used and disposed product. This is very useful for the women who often will “pool up” numerous used pads before taking out the garbage, because it helps control the amount of dried menstrual fluid that it begins to affect air quality. This was a very noticeable thing because when I went over to one of my girl’s house who was testing this product for me, her trash full of these (and different) pads didn’t give off the usual menstrual smell. Since she’s living with 2 other female friends who appears to also be having their period, the scenting from the disposed wrappers really helped to kill odour which emits from wrapped, saturated pads.

Another weird thing is that this line of product doesn’t have a lot of variety, they only come in two sizes/absorbency: Regular and Super, limiting the flexibility of the product since it cannot tailor to the various changes while menstruating or that is, unless you simply over-use or under-use the product. Supposedly, the pad is supposed to be able to deal with slight urine-loss, not that most pads can’t do that if it’s only a minor amount, but there’s one thing that’s particularly important when it comes to incontinence problems. Because urine is actually a lot smellier than menstrual flow, it’s an absolutely necessity for any form of odour control to be present in incontinence or partial-incontinence products. Since these pads had both period and incontinence handling in mind, the odour locking methods were rightfully used to design the product. Mind you, a pad like this does not replace pads like Poise or Tena, since those were truly designed for a higher degree of non-menstrual fluid absorbency and the Always Maxi would only be suitable for those who have leakage as a result of a sneeze, cough or a small tinkle, but will not be capable of absorbing a bladder-full of urine – leave that up to the REAL incontinence products.

As you can see, these pad wrapper design has followed suit with the changes to their regular Always-line. The colour coding for the pad wrapper is the same as their regular series as well, yellow for REGULAR and green for SUPER. It has been a while since I’ve last held a REGULAR Always Maxi (original one), but I actually think the Leakguard Odor Lock series is actually lighter, probably due to the composition of the pad. Dimensionally, it FEELS smaller/shorter, but I think probably not, so maybe it’s just my own bias. The regular-sized package of these pads come in 22 units. I paid (or well, Bebe paid) $3.88 for a pack of these, working out to 17.6 cents per pad. I was talking to one of my regular readers, Andie, and it seems like Walmart only likes to stock the REGULAR absorbency and not the SUPER, because the only place I’ve been able to find the SUPER absorbency ones are at the Rexall’s and SDM’s… so what’s up with Walmart not buying the larger ones? LOL. Speaking of which, I can tell that this line of product does not really appeal to the masses, because the inventory on them were nearly untouched compared to other brands or absorbency. I realize it’s a new product and not everyone likes to dive head-first, so hopefully this review will be able to help people out. Really, the pad is far from being an incontinence product, so there should not be a fear or shame that buying these pads will automatically mean you have bladder issues.

As you can see, just by the looks of it, it appears to be a lot more comfier than the traditional Always pad. They’ve finally decided that the rough, plasticky dry weave isn’t good enough for a “new product” and decided to use some REAL material that helps make the wearer feel much more comfortable and secure. Like the typical Always pad, they have the famous blue lock-in core. What’s very noticeable the first time you get a hold of the package or open the first pad is the scent. The scent is not strong like the Stayfree pads, but is still quite pungent. It takes a bit of getting used to and while it is “light” in terms of the strength of the scent, it is one of those unmistakable smells. The smell luckily does not stick around as long as the Stayfree pads, but it is noticeable when the pad is worn, especially if the girl is wearing something that allows air to travel between her legs, like shorts or a skirt. I don’t want to get people all riled up over it not being discrete or obvious, since a smell like this would only ever be detectable by someone who even knows what the scent is, such as a fellow female or menstrual enthusiast. The scent is really useful however as I stated before, both during period-use and as well as for post-usage when it is disposed. The pad is 8 inches (~20 cm) long and is a uniform 3 inches wide (~7.6 cm), except at the front & rear of the pad.

   

The scent is very interesting, because it does more than give off a light smell or to cover-up odour, but also acts as a very cool and smooth feeling against the body. The feeling of this pad when used is similar to that of the Stayfree Thermocontrol pads, where it leaves a cool and comfortable feel on the skin. The pad cover, when saturated, begins to lock in odour, absorb quickly and emits a cool-like feeling. The smell of the scent is hard to describe, I would actually say that the smell is similar to herbs and gives a very soothing type of aroma. The absorbency of the pad is not as quick as the Always Infinity line, but is faster than the standard Always line. The pad itself is lightweight, again, lighter than the standard Always, but not as weightless as the Infinity.

The disposal of the used pad is also nice because of the soft cover, unlike the standard Always line it isn’t as hard and tough to roll or fold up. When doing a test and twisting the pad, the flow managed to stay well-locked in the pad and did not flow back to the surface. With the suggestion of Andie, I disassembled the pad and could not find any obvious traces of absorbing gel and appeared to be made completely of cotton and cellulose-type material. The top cover continued to stay intact even during disassembling and it was very obviously that the “contents” of the pad were locked underneath and not sitting on the top layer, therefore, creating a very comfortable feel when the pad is saturated. The only problem with this design is that because it absorbs so well, it’s hard to tell when the pad has absorbed enough to be changed since it stays light and distributes flow underneath well where it isn’t apparent that it’s already “on the fringe” of leaking. One of my girls who tested this for me did mention that she came to a near-leak incident because the pad didn’t appear or feel like it was ready to overflow because the center of the pad did not look saturated, nor did the pad feel weighty that would make you think it has collected quite a bit. I suppose this pad may take some getting-used-to to avoid the possibility of not being able to gauge when it is necessary to change.

I would definitely recommend this pad to others and has given me renewed confidence in Always. It’s nice to know that they’re trying to get ahead-of-the-game and also moving away from their so-called “like cotton” dry weave and moving to one which feels comfortable, regardless of the weather. After all, pads are terrible when it’s gross outside and you’re sweating, mixed with menstrual flow smell and if incontinent, even urine – so to have a pad that can stand up to that really is impressive. Although the price is steeper than the usual line of pads or other brands, for $3.88 everyday low price at Walmart, I can’t complain. While at first glance this pad might not seem like a good idea to switch because of the price point, remember that comfort, security and absorbency brings a very important feeling to a menstruating individual. If Always continues to modify their pads with comfort in-mind, I’d be a lot happier to start supporting more of their products and perhaps they can win their business back from me and my girls!

You ARE Loved: Toxic Shock Syndrome Awareness

I have been struggling to come up with topics to write about, or rather, maybe just unmotivated, hah… however, I decided to go today and write on a topic that I’ve been meaning to write and post for a while. Toxic Shock Syndrome is known for many tampon users, yet, how knowledgeable are we about TSS to help us make an informed decision for the good of our health? I’m not here to necessarily debate whether I think tampons are a “good” form of feminine hygiene product, but today, we will concentrate on TSS alone and while there may be references to tampons, I’m neither “against” them or “for” them.

Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus

So what is toxic shock syndrome and like many infections, the name “doesn’t sound good already.” TSS is potentially fatal and caused by a bacterial infection which is usually associated with tampon use. There are multiple viruses which may trigger TSS, however, the most common one for tampon-related TSS infections is called Staphylococcus aureus. Despite what has been said and the belief that TSS only occurs in women who use tampons, this is not true. In fact, men and women are both capable of being infected with this bacterium and tampons are not the only cause of TSS. TSS has surfaced since 1980 and even after 31 years, women are still dying from tampon-related TSS. We may not think much of TSS, because there is very little publicity on it and with enough taboo around menstruation, people are not open to aptly speak about menstrual/feminine hygiene related deaths. It takes a very brave woman (Lisa Elifritz), the owner of You ARE Loved to raise public awareness about TSS and tell a very personal story about the challenges she faced with TSS in the death of her daughter, Amy Rae Elifritz.

TSS infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus can occur in a healthy individual and usually show through flu-like symptoms, particularly with high-fever exceeding 38.9 °C (102.02 °F), along with low blood-pressure, confusion, vomitting, diarrhea, weakness, coma and in more severe/terminal stages, multiple organ failure. Tampon related TSS symptoms also include a typical skin rash which is characterized as being severely painful at the site of the infection. TSS can be managed if discovered soon and with proper treatment, recovery occurs usually in 2 to 3 weeks. However, because of the destructive nature of the bacteria and TSS, death can occur within hours of the onset of the symptoms. Treatment within the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) is necessary for full supportive care, along with antibiotic treatment and toxin-reduction drugs.

Reported TSS cases dropped off rapidly after 1981 when 40 women died of tampon-related TSS and stayed “under the radar” for many years, until the fear of tampons begin to taper off. Tampon-related TSS struck fear in many women at the time, however, as girls begin to get their periods at younger ages in this generation, more of them are opting to use tampons and thus, exposing them to the causative bacteria at a younger age and also increasing the likelihood that they may be candidates for bacterial growth leading to tampon-related TSS. The triggering point for attention towards TSS was in a controversial testing of a tampon usable for an entire menstrual period called Rely by Procter and Gamble (P&G) in 1978. The tampon would, by design, be able to last an entire period without leakage or replacement and is said to be capable of absorbing almost 20 times its own weight. After several reported cases of TSS in menstruating women, the spotlight turned to tampons as the cause and eventually the product was pulled off the shelf.

People under the ages of 30 are less likely to have the antibodies to fight off Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, making individuals more susceptible to contracting TSS. Even the most diligent individuals such as Amy Rae Elifritz can be infected by this bacterium, despite regular changing of the tampon, alternating of menstrual products and using the lowest absorbency necessary for the menstrual flow at the time. While detection of TSS symptoms might be more obvious while menstruating, TSS can also occur any time within the menstrual cycle and menstruation does not need to be present, as bacteria may take time to build up or if chemicals/materials are left behind in the body, such as leftover rayon fibers from a removed tampon. Because symptoms of TSS are too much like the common-flu and become deadly in a very short period of time, it’s so hard to determine whether or not it’s necessary to seek medical attention and of course, most people would not want to be too aggressive in thinking they have TSS every time they get some flu-like symptoms. Nevertheless, some would argue that because of the severity of the infection, it’d be better to be on the “safe side.”

So how can one mitigate or avoid the risk of TSS? With over half the reported TSS cases being attributed to tampons, it is a reality, not just a myth. For those who have never bothered to heed the warning of tampon pamphlets, here’s a rundown with some of my input and additional tips offered by the You ARE Loved team:

  • Use the lowest possibly absorbency to handle your menstrual flow
  • The higher the absorbency of the tampon, the greater the risk of TSS
  • Change tampons frequently and look for signs of any tampon remnants which might be left behind (such as shredding as you withdraw)
  • Avoid using tampons overnight
  • Tampon-related TSS bacteria require 8 hours to dissipate, therefore, use other products whenever possible throughout the day
  • Tampons are NOT meant to absorb discharge, vaginal fluid or ‘just-in-case’ situations; Tampons should only be used when menstruation has begun
  • Tampon choice should allow for comfortable insertion and removal, such as being saturated enough to remove easily and comfortable enough to put in. Forcing a tampon in or out may cause minute scratches in the vaginal wall, giving the bacteria an entry for further infection
  • Be hygienic and wash your hands before touching your vaginal area, including clean-handling method for your tampon
  •  Remember to remove the last tampon of your period
  • Do remember that as “very rare” that tampon manufacturers may want you to feel about the use of tampons associated with TSS, it is a very serious and real risk
  • Consider alternate menstrual products, such as sanitary napkins (pads), sea sponges, menstrual cups or natural tampons (usually made from cotton, non-bleached and not composed with rayon)
  • Don’t let TSS-risk slip you over time; Just because TSS hasn’t affected you yet, it doesn’t mean it never will

So what do you do if you believe you or someone else you know has been compromised or showing symptoms of TSS?

  • If using a tampon, remove it immediately as this eliminates the source of the bacteria infection
  • Seek medical attention and alert the emergency operator and/or emergency crew that the illness may be toxic shock syndrome related
  • Avoid using tampons in the future as reinfection is a high possibility

Certainly in the future if I have a little girl, I would certainly give her the choice of using any menstrual product she prefers. Nevertheless, should tampons be her choice of products, I would make sure to educate her on proper tampon handling and hygiene, along with ensuring that cotton tampons are purchased over conventional rayon-based ones. If each and every one of these women fallen can make the world aware of TSS, then at least their deaths will not be for naught.

I would recommend anyone who is interested in learning more about TSS and the story of the Elifritz, please visit: http://www.you-are-loved.org/ and also considering making a DONATION to their cause (due to the site design, I cannot directly link to the donate section).

Is Your Relationship Too Perfect & Having Standards vs. Being Picky

There's bebe and I in the future... LOL! Except.. I'm not as good-looking XD

There's bebe and I in the future... LOL! Except.. I'm not as good-looking XD

I really like these articles I find. I’m into self-improvement because I really want bebe to love me and find ways to be a more effective boyfriend and one day hopefully, husband. I think there’s no person too “perfect” to believe that they can always be better, while still being satisfied with themselves. Satisfaction, yet striving to improve are mutually independent things. One can be happy with who they are, yet continue to believe they have space to grow! “Beauty is in the imperfection“, I love it! 😀

Is Your Relationship Too Perfect?

By Sara Koonar (www.29secrets.com)
Why disputes and disagreements are a good thing

Is your relationship everything you’d dreamed of? Or is you idea of perfect not making you as happy as you thought it would? Arguments, challenges and set backs are what make us stronger and help us create a lasting bond. When you find Mr. Right and things are going smoothly, a little too smoothly, you have to wonder how you will grow as a couple if you have absolutely nothing to work on. Without those bumps in the road, our relationships become boring and unproductive. Building trust and falling in love means completely tearing down your walls and showing that person who you really are. No one is perfect, and if you are pretending to be something you are not, you simply can’t be yourself and you can’t be happy.

Anger is a Good Emotion
Constant disputes or never agreeing on anything can be a stress on most couples, but the occasional fight can help improve our communication skills and help us hash out our feelings. Keeping everything inside and putting on a fake smile is doing you and your partner a disservice. Being able to be open up about your feelings and opinions is what builds a strong partnership. Feeling comfortable enough to show your ugly cry or scream at the top of your lungs means you trust that person to love you at your lowest points.

Love is Blind
If you feel you need to act, dress or look a certain way that is opposite to who you are in order to make your partner happy, you should take a look at the sacrifices you are making and consider whether or not they are worth it. The greatest part of a relationship is being able to be yourself and know that you are loved. Wanting to be beautiful for someone is one thing, but completely changing to fit into someone else’s ideals is not okay. Stand up for yourself and let your partner know that you like who you are and they should too.

Beauty is in the Imperfections
If you can laugh at his loud snoring that keeps you up all night or tease him about his not-so-suave dance moves, loving your partners “imperfections” is what a great relationship is all about. Knowing what makes each other tick or finding out his deepest and darkest secrets is what makes your bond special. Having that connection with him is priceless and more perfect than a relationship that is based on shutting up and smiling through it.

I wonder if my bebe has “standards” or is “too picky” XD I guess I’ll have to find out the hard way 😆

Having Standards vs. Being Picky

By Nora McInerny (www.29secrets.com)
How to tell the difference

You know that it’s better to be single than to compromise your standards. Your coupled friends, your mother and your gynecologist insist that you’re being a little too picky. So who’s right?

Standard:
Having a type. If you know that you’re a preppy princess, then you can feel free to weed out the skinny hipsters from your banker boy dating pool.

Being Picky:
Okay, so you like your guys clean cut. But is it necessary for any man you date to wear exclusively Brooks Brothers, part his hair on the side, have a perfectly hairless chest, drive a Saab and own a vacation cottage? When you’re looking for one specific person, you’re going to miss out on a whole lot of quality humans.

Standard:
A gainfully employed gentleman who takes pride in his career. There’s nothing wrong with wanting someone who is interesting in building a secure and comfortable future with you.

Being picky:
Wanting a dude with a career you’re specifically interested in bragging to your friends about. Not all the good guys end up being doctors or rocket scientists, and who knows? If you expand your horizons beyond the astronaut you’ve always dreamed about, you just may meet the insurance actuary who will sweep you off your feet.

Standard:
Someone who has common interests. Life is more fun when you have someone to share the things you love!

Being picky:
Someone who has everything in common with you. You’re wonderful, but you don’t need a carbon copy of yourself. Breaking up with a dude who doesn’t share your list of desert island movies or whose iTunes Most Played list makes you cringe is going a step – or six – too far.

Sometimes these articles are nice, because it gives ideas from angles that I would never see. Men and women are distinctly different in how they think and perceive things… and I mean it could be said since we’re all “individuals” – but men and women often have attributes that are “like” their ‘own kind’ (as in male/female). I laugh whenever I ask my girl-friends things about bebe or how women perceive things and they often all have a resounding similar answers to each other, while when I ask my guy-friends, they often all reply with thoughts similar to mine 😀 I don’t try to make an analysis out of everything, but it is almost amusing to see how sometimes our brains all walk on the same line 😆 Something that makes it harder is that bebe doesn’t think like the “typical girl” all that time, so I end up not always being able to rely on my girls for “girl-like” advice XD HAH!

Tampons: Virginity and You – Will I Lose It?

Hiho, finally got a new topic to write about as I received some questions by email. The reader writes…

Hello,

I follow your blog with great interest.

[…]

My question is, will wearing tampons affect the virginity? Can only non virgins wear tampons, or virgins can too, or will it tear the hymen?

Thanks,
[Name]

This has always been a very large misunderstanding for those who have been brought up with a more conservative and perhaps in some cases, old-fashion thinking. I will have to say from growing up in a traditional Asian household, that I can relate to the way-of-thinking when it comes to trying to accept something “outside” of the way that “things always have been” and in the sense of menstruation, it is something that is not spoken out, simply dealt with and sanitary napkins/pads being the default and only choice of menstrual protection. Suffice to say, many mothers and perhaps fathers, believe that the usage of tampons will cause the loss of virginity in their daughter(s). Even if the misunderstanding between the link of tampons and virginity is not present, a sizable number of Asian women simply don’t even bother considering tampons.

Obviously, there are Asian girls out there who use tampons, my ex-ex being one of them, but certainly, out of all my Asian girlfriends I’ve had, only one did but yet out of my 2 white/Caucasian girlfriends, both did. Now of course given my lack of dating girls of many cultures, these aren’t very viable statistics, but I have dated more Asian girls than those of other cultures and that means that’s a 100% tampon-use ratio for the non-Asian girls and only 20% of Asian girls. Although my ex and god-sis did try them on my suggestion, I’m not going to consider them ‘regular’ users of tampons.

O.B Tampon Pro Comfort, Sponsored by Beijing 2008 Olympics

O.B Tampon Pro Comfort, Sponsored by Beijing 2008 Olympics

There are two things that play a great part when it comes to the mentality considering tampons, culture and religion. I’m obviously not going to even start a topic of whether I believe X culture is right or Y religion is true, it’s simply that one’s upbringing is likely to have a large influence on menstrual protection choices, if not in later years, but at least the first few years post-menarche.

To first understand the non-existent link between virginity and tampon usage, one must first understand virginity. Virginity can be a hotly debated topic and I can’t possibly cover all angles, so let’s just keep it simple. According to Encarta dictionary, virginity is defined as:

vir·gin[ vúrjin ]

somebody who has never had sexual intercourse

So where exactly do you draw the line on intercourse? Sex used to be a very defined thing, you put it in, pull it out – and it’s not so easy to draw the line anymore. Are you still a virgin if there is no penetration? What category does oral sex fall under? What about sexual relations between homosexual couples? Different cultures, religions and value-systems will have a different take on virginity but for now, let’s consider this the old fashion way, where we consider “intercourse” to only be the insertion of a penis into the vagina.

sex·u·al in·ter·course

an act carried out for reproduction or pleasure involving penetration, especially one in which a man inserts his erect penis into a woman’s vagina

So, the loss of virginity is related to sexual intercourse and not by using of a wad of cotton, a.k.a – a tampon! For many cultures and religions, virginity is a big thing – especially when it comes to the loss of virginity outside of a relationship or marriage. Nevertheless, there are also misconceptions about virginity tied to the hymen as an indicator of virginity. Let’s take a look at what is and the purpose of the hymen as defined by about.com:

What Is the Hymen?

The hymen is a piece of tissue that, during development, blocks some or all of the entrance to the vagina. It exists in many species, and scientists have no real understanding of its purpose in humans.

The hymen being a mere piece of tissue is subject to forces substantial enough to be torn or ripped through daily, non-sexual activities such as bike riding, horse riding, gymnastics, etc. and isn’t necessarily related to a virginal status of a woman. The hymen can certainly break through masturbation or self-exploration It is of course possible to tear the hymen when using tampons, however, as I noted above, virginity and whether the hymen is intact or not does not define whether a woman is or is not a virgin. Furthermore, it is also not impossible for slight penetration to occur (thus causing the loss of virginity) without breaking the hymen as the tissue itself is able to stretch without fully tearing it. The breaking of the hymen may or may not include some bleeding or pain and it happens as a result of inserting a tampon, it is unlikely to be noticed anyways.

It’s hard to say without statistics whether more women are likely to “open up” with tampons after she loses her virginity. I know girls who’ve started using tampons well before they lost their virginity and girls who started using tampons post-losing their virginity – however, I do not believe there is a correlation, only coincidence. There are of course girls who lose their virginity and never use tampons because they feel using pads works for them already. I suppose that after a girl loses her virginity, she feels more comfortable with having something inserted within her. The fear of tampon insertion is generally the biggest thing for young women, whether it is the messiness, embarrassment or the lack of understanding of her own genitalia. No doubt, for girls who have not had sex or masturbated, knowledge of that area tends to be very shallow and may contribute to a more shy-approach to using tampons.

Nevertheless, the bottom line answer is that tampons do not result in loss of virginity. Sexual intercourse results in the loss of virginity (however you want to define sex). Virgins and non-virgins can both use tampons. Tampons may or may not rip/tear the hymen. The hymen is not a indicator of virginity. Although this isn’t the theme of my blog or topic directly, but please remember to practice safe-sex to minimize/prevent transmission of STD’s, especially if you’re not in/with a monogamous partner/relationship and you’re not ready/want to take on the responsibilities of potentially conceiving a child or children.

Here’s a laugh… the amusement starts mostly at 1:20 but to get the entire laugh, you can watch the entire 2 minute-and-something clip… Just laughed at how true the dialogue was…

Approaching Women About “Female Topics”

I wanted to take this opportunity to write in reply to one of my reader’s suggestion for feedback on a question he posed to me a while ago. I know I have been lacking on doing period posts and have done a lot of moping over bebe. Suffice to say, it’ll be a long 6 months for me and I wonder if she even thinks about me and has me in her heart at all while she’s away. She has yet to reply to me since she got home and has yet to talk to me over MSN (sad meh Poh Ching?). Nevertheless, enough thinking of that and I want to address a really fantastic topic brought up to me:

Shuamayal says:
August 3, 2010 at 3:02 AM

– I would request you to write on how a typical women would react if asked about menstruation, bra and stuff, & if you have screwed up a female friend by asking such, how to make up for

it or the proper convenient way to ask so the other person does not feel offended or “exposed” & “embarrassed” as i was told once 😦

It took me a while to approach this subject because it really made me think. I’m going to try to methodically write this towards 3 different “types” of girls, relationship status wise, on how I have experienced female topics with them, 1) girls I don’t know well, 2) girls I know well, and 3) girlfriend/partner. Suffice to say, there are girls who might fall under category one, but who are open to talking about female topics even with a stranger, but girls who fall under category 2 where even after knowing them for years are still shy or reluctant to talk about it. There’s no “catch-all” to my experiences because as we all know, everyone is different.

Before I start typing the core of this response, I’d like to make note that things expressed herein are strictly my own experiences and opinions and may not be of general consensus or even truth, if you read it, it is your choice whether you wish to validate or deny my judgment.

To address the first part of this reader’s question, I think that a typical woman would find it inappropriate to discuss menstruation, bra, panties and stuff if you don’t know her well. Also, I believe that discussions on such topics are better left to more private areas. Obviously a woman would be more likely to oppose talking about her period at say, by the office cooler, rather than in the comfort of her own phone or a private place. I think this is a pretty usual reaction thinking even upon my own reactions to being asked a private question. Given how open-minded of a guy I am (or at least I think I am), I’ve had many girls ask me private questions before and naturally, I’d be more reluctant about answering them in a quiet mall where everyone can hear everything as opposed to if I was sitting at her house or something. I remember one time when my one of my god-sis asked me something super private in the middle of a mall food court and I was like, “There’s no way I’m answering that question until we get home.” I think we all have an expectation of privacy and certainly, I’m sure other people around wouldn’t want to hear the conversation anyways. Therefore out of respect for others and myself, I would say that we should respect the feelings and privacy of a woman when it comes to asking such questions, especially when it is not someone you know well. I would wager that when you ask a woman who you don’t know well about female topics, their thoughts would be, “Why do you need to know?” – and the likelihood is you probably don’t other than out of perversion or immense curiosity.

In a way, when it comes to women you know well, approaching such subjects come with greater danger because as said, it may end up damaging a relationship (whether romantic or just friends) that is already formed. I think that women can also be pretty understanding in that if you’re in at least “good standing” with them, that it won’t ruin a relationship unless you make the situation really awkward where they can no longer continue a friendship with you. I must say most of the girls I’m close with have all been very open about female topics with me and perhaps they find solace and comfort in confiding in me about personal topics that they can rarely talk to other guys about, even their own boyfriends. I guess naturally I’m also more inclined to make friends with those who are equally, if not more, open-minded so I suppose that may slightly skew the numbers and statistics. Nevertheless, I do believe that when I approach my girl-friends about such subjects, they’re pretty good about it. If they feel they don’t want to answer it, they’ll say so softly but without hard feelings. There are girls like Poh Ching who I’ve known for only months and even when we first started talking, we hit it off immediately and we talked about things as if we were “best friends” without barriers. I think we’ve exchanged more information with each other because of our openness, than we have with our own boyfriends and girlfriends before. There are girls like Sophia who won’t tell me anything as well 😛 LOL!

I think part of what made women this way were the way society has brought all of us up. Menstruation is a particularly taboo subject and even amongst women themselves are often discussed hush-hush. I’m glad to see that many of the girls of my generation are beginning to be more comfortable approaching such subjects because it’s becoming a more “acceptable” thing (not that it shouldn’t have been acceptable in the first place). As much as I’ve often asked girls about things like menstruation, oddly enough, I rarely approach my girls about subjects of their panties, bra size, weight and especially not their sizes. With as much experience as I had with my ex’s panties and bras, I’ve never noted her size or anything (did that make me a bad boyfriend? LOL), because it’s not something I’m just all that interested in. I think most guys love to gloat about their girlfriend’s breasts and stuff, but for as huge as my ex’s boobs were, I’ve never actually asked her for any of her sizes. So to answer the question, I don’t have much experience when it comes to asking girls about female articles of clothing. I shall put it quite frankly that I think most girls don’t find it acceptable for you to know about her sizes unless you are dating or married to her. If anything, most of my girls I do happen to know their sizes or weight only because they have told me without me inquiring. Also, it’s very natural for me to know about it because I shop with my girls a lot, so when they ask me to pick out certain sizes for them, it makes it pretty obvious as they try things on – I’m not blind you know 😀 But rest assured, I don’t really get all that hyped about that stuff. If a girl tells me her bra size, I wouldn’t be as excited as if she told me she was on her period or something, HAHAHA.

So the third type of women, one you are dating or married to then I think there needs to be mutual openness here. After all, if you’re dating and ESPECIALLY if you’re married, things like these should not need to remain a secret. Your girlfriend/wife (probably) menstruates, wears a bra, wears panties, etc. so it’s not like that is some worldwide secret or anything. If you’re in a relationship and you can’t even share simple matters like these, I don’t see any reason why the relationship should have progressed in the first place. With all my girlfriends, I have always “tested the waters” with their acceptance towards my interest/fetish by slowly introducing the topic in. You can tell whether they are open to talking about it or that they’re very shy. I know you guys listen to me bitch a lot, but honestly, bebe used to tell me a lot more about her period than she does now or within the past while. Like one of my readers said, it’s definitely a spiteful thing to do, especially she knows I enjoy knowing and what harm will it do to her? I can understand if I used her menstrual knowledge “against” her, like using it to time when she will PMS so I can mock and bother her, but no, I use that information with all the best intentions and so I can be around to be extra comforting for her. I cannot understand what logical girl would not love something like that, but hey, we’re all different. Sometimes trying to read into her makes my head explode, haha. When it comes to all the other girlfriends I’ve had, I could see they were open about sharing female topics and having even a relationship-building effect because it’s a special and meaningful way we can connect talking about female topics and I can get to know their bodies/feelings better! Topics like weight and sizes tend to be a pretty touchy subject for women, even beyond relationship and marriage, so really, it’s up to you whether you want to delve in such information. I think it’s pretty usual for a guy to know a girl’s sizes once they begin to share closet space anyways!

I only know of one girl who I’ve probably pushed away as a result of talking to her about periods. The odd thing was she was the one who approached me about the topic, which is really what pissed me off even more. I can see a girl being upset with me if I approached her about a sensitive topic, but if she was the one to begin the discussion, then that makes her retarded for playing “shy” after the fact. She began to talk about how great she thought using the Divacup was and permanently gave up using pads and tampons and then we had a very brief discussion on it. Heck, I didn’t even tell her anything about my “interest” – but just expressed I was glad she found something that she felt comfortable with and was being environmentally-conscious. She became all quiet about it and eventually stopped talking to me. I think I’d be unhappy if it was something “I did” to cause it, but she was the one who opened up to me about something as intimate as her use of menstrual cup, why the hell would you do that if you were going to be offended by it? Suffice to say, her and I are no longer friends and I have no want of “making up for it” because how can I be friends with someone who will open a topic for discussion and then become all sensitive about it when the other person begins to speak on that subject? The only other girl I can think of that I had to “make up” for it is bebe, because that is the whole reason why you are reading this blog – it is her inspiration and my way of expressing my commitment to her. When I told bebe about my interests, like most girls, she was like “wow” (in shocked way), but slowly accepted it within me. However, I needed to reassure her that knowledge of menstruation in a guy is nothing to be ashamed for her, doesn’t harm her in any way and in fact, helps her feel comfortable with communicating with me about anything, even personal bodily issues and female matters. This blog is dedicated to her because it was a way to ease her into the idea that men should know about menstruation and that it is an ADVANTAGE, not a disadvantage to have a boyfriend who appreciates it. Those are the only two scenarios where I’ve had happen to me where I felt I needed to “make up” for my actions.

I think the easiest way to approach women when it comes to these matters are through tact, exploration and to know your limits. Some women are insanely shy about it while others are open even to a total stranger. Some will only discuss it with their own gender while some will be more than happy to share their experiences with the opposite gender. I try to conjure up a conversation related to periods and see if she’ll continue in that direction. If she does, it’s likely she doesn’t feel too shy about it but if she steers away, it is likely she’s either 1) oblivious, or 2) doesn’t feel comfortable with the subject. A big factor besides knowing a person’s personality is also how close you are with the girl in question. Most of my girls I can be very blunt to, especially my god-sis’ I can just ask, “Hey, I forgot when your period is coming…” or “Do you have any pads/tampons left that I can have?” … while there are girls I would dare not be so blunt and I’d have to “work my way in” to a conversation like that. I could also say I know the girls around me well enough to know who you can approach female topics with and those who you can’t and it’s best to choose your targets correctly as it may result in dire consequences. Obviously asking a female coworker who you don’t know well about her bra size, period or weight is asking to get a lawsuit in your face. For women who are resistant to the subject, then the best thing to do is either CREATE that comfort-zone with them where they’re willing to share or simply don’t even bother. Women are entitled to their privacy, especially if you’re not in a particular relationship with them when it comes to their periods and other female topics. Choose your environment well, don’t pick places where a woman might feel exposed, embarrassed or offended where they feel at least they can be open with you about the subject-matter and try to avoid approaching the subject when she’s surrounded by others. After all, I may be comfortable sharing information with person X but not when person Y is present. Your tone and demeanour plays an important part, if you look like you want the information for perverted gains rather than for personal growth and knowledge, you are more likely to be declined an answer by the girl.

To sum it up, you simply have to know the person you are approaching about sensitive female matters. I understand no matter how well you know a girl, she may still reject or make a judgment mistake and end up damaging things, so it’s up to your discretion and choice whether you want to strike up such a conversation. Within a relationship, I believe learning about each others bodily experience helps connect partners and builds character and the relationship itself because after all, isn’t it a bond with each other that is a foundation of a good relationship? There is no right way of asking a question, only a way and how you do it will determine whether she smiles and answers your question or is a tick away from being slapped in the face 😆 There are then of course girls who I know won’t tell me but I bug them about it, but that is usually in jest and just to poke at them 😛

As people say, “Know your friends, know your enemies.”

Saved $7.99 on TWO packs of Stayfree pads – good deal eh?!

On another note, I FINALLY got to use my coupon $5 off any 2 packs of Stayfree Pads, Carefree Liners or O.B. Tampons coupon at a nearby Rexall that they just built (great excuse to scout it out) which resulted in me saving $7.99 off regular prices! I know this deal isn’t as great as the 99-cent one, but hey, my house has been empty of supplies for 3 weeks now 😀 Just for shits-and-giggles, I timed myself.. from the moment I entered the store, look me 8 seconds to locate and get in the feminine hygiene aisle, 9 seconds to get a pack of Stayfree Super Maxi Pads with Wings and another pack of Stayfree Super Maxi Pads without Wings, 7 seconds to get to the cashier, 25 seconds for the cashier to register my purchase and 4 seconds to walk out the door. In total, I managed to make two CORRECT purchases in a total of 53 seconds. I can now proudly say it takes me less than a minute to locate the right aisle and make a product purchase 😛 Of course it’d be a hell of a lot faster if the lady didn’t spend 15 seconds just staring at my coupon to make sure it was “real” before she put it in – heck, I even had my own reusable bag so I put the packages in myself while she read every letter on that coupon! Some might argue I managed to get out so quick because I’m “afraid” or “ashamed” – lol, but hardly… I’m not afraid to be seen in the feminine hygiene aisle or buying the products, it was because it was about to rain and rained-on pads are disgusting as well I arrived only 15 minutes before closing time because I was too busy talking to Amy over Skype that I lost track of time (gee thanks, haha). All in all, a decent weekend – my back hurts today for some reason though. Again, another sweet-sweet dream about bebe and woke up with my pillow all wet because I probably spent most of the night kissing my pillow thinking it was her, haha. On the weekend after acupuncture, this was the first time I think “something went awry” because I had this massive nosebleed. Whatever meridians were poked must’ve triggered something because I haven’t had my nosebleed like this for a long time, even though I was prone to it back in my “less healthy” days. I have to tell her to be careful about where she’s poking those needles if I’m getting a heavy flow (lol) right afterward because who knows what kind of effect it had on my body!

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