Lets Talk About Our Periods, OK?

ID-10080058You know what some people find really weird about me, Toy with Mes?

Okay, first of all, SHUT UP because I’m only talking about ONE thing.  Yes, I know I’m fairly weird, but the thing that some people find particularly weird about me is my willingness to talk about anything to the Internets.  In case you haven’t noticed yet. There is no topic I won’t cover and share my intimate personal experiences on because everyone knows the Internet isn’t real.

You’re not real, are you?

I didn’t think so.  I’m not real either.

But even though I’m not real, there is one subject that I’ve been wanting to tell you about, but have been feeling shy about it and I’m not sure why because it’s actually something I think more ladies should try (I’ve converted two people so far).

It’s the Diva Cup and I really like it.

For those of you who don’t know what it is, a Diva Cup is an alternative to using tampons and pads to hold back the red tide when Auntie Flow comes a ‘visitin’.  They’ve actually been around since the 1930’s. To be honest I think they’ve been around a lot longer than that. I started using one because I was totally freaked out by the thought that my tampons and pads and stuff were treated with chemicals and mouse urine or something and then there I was allowing this expensive toxic crap to have frequent, intimate contact with my lady business!

Icky.

The Diva Cup is a smallish medical grade, latex free silicone cup that you kind of shove up your noonie and it holds your menstruations in until you’re ready to change it.  Think of a contraceptive diaphragm, only with a deeper cup. It has a small “handle” at the bottom to help with maneuvering it.

I don’t think it’s a big deal, but I know some people are totally grossed out by the thought of collecting their bloods in a little cup and then dumping it out in the toilet afterward, but really?  Is it more gross than collecting it in a wad of cotton and leaving it in a landfill?  I don’t think so.

So, I bought a Diva Cup.  While I was ordering it, I was slightly insulted that I needed the “Model 2” for women over 30, or who have given birth vaginally or by Cesarean section.  I sort of read that as “Model 2: for tired old whores,” but whatever.  Maybe those are my insecurities talking and not necessarily judgment from the Diva Cup people.  Possibly.

Finally I got one in my hand. It looks kind of big. At the same time it looks not big enough to hold what I’ve got goin’ on or coming out or whatever, but it really does the job.  For reference, it holds about as much as a super tampon.  I know that means something different for everybody depending on how heavy the flow is, but that’s what I compare it to.

When you’re ready to change it, you wash your hands first and then sort of bear down a little bit or give it a tug and for the love of God BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO SPILL IT ON YOUR WHITE PANTS and then dump it in the potty.  You wash it with soap and water if that’s possible (but you don’t have to wash it every time) shove it back up there and move on with your life. It’s not associated with Toxic Shock and you can wear it up to 12 hours at a time. It has to be sterilized every month by boiling it, and that’s that.

There’s no more embarrassment when the hot young college guy behind you in line at Target catches a glimpse of your box of Superflow Tampons and/or gargantuan period diapers.  I admit to feeling a little bit smug every time I walk past the tampon department at the store because I’m above all that now.  In fact, my friend The Rabbi who is my latest convert, feels the same way.  And then we giggled and gave each other the secret Diva Cup Club handshake because we’re so much cooler than everyone. The Diva Cup even comes with a free pin so you can identify fellow Awesome People like you.  Gotta represent!

Most people, including me, just wash the blood down the drain. The Rabbi’s crunchy granola friend actually saves the blood in a mason jar and dumps it in her vegetable garden as fertilizer. I’m not sure I’m going to go that far with it.  Talk about a marinara sauce!  I just couldn’t look people in the eye when I share with them my summer’s bounty knowing that my tomatoes are so red and juicy because I dumped blood on them.  Also, what do you do with it in the winter?  Do you freeze it and just have freakin’ blood bank happening or what?

I’m all for being “green” and environmentally responsible and I like to reduce, reuse, recycle as much as possible,  but that’s just fucking gross.  My hippie-ness only extends so far and then I have to draw the line.

Now, I have to warn new initiates.  It’s a disaster at first and you might even hate your Diva Cup.

First of all, you’re going to spend some time reading the instructions and trying to understand what the hell they’re talking about.  You’ll be folding it and mashing it and flexing it and inserting it and twisting it and turning it.  I’d actually lube up and give it a whirl before “P Day” because you don’t want to be fiddling with this thing with blood running down your elbow and splashing all over the place.

Once you have it in and you figure out where it’s supposed to be, you don’t feel it at all–if you’ve done it correctly.  You’ll know when it’s in right, but it’s a learning process. Also part of the process is learning to trust it and knowing when you have to run to the potty to dump it out.  Even though I can leave it in for quite a while, even on the heaviest day, mine always leaks a little bit and I have to use a panty liner with it, but I suspect it’s because I’m a small and delicate flower and that I really do need the smaller size, the “Model A: for the fine china.”  Or, maybe I’m just not doing it correctly or my anatomy sucks.

The first time I used it, I must have checked the thing every hour or so.  I shoved my hand up there and fished around and twisted and turned the thing so much that by the end of it, I was sore as hell and felt like a porn star after a 15 dude gang bang.  I don’t mind telling you I was walking a little funny for a bit. Or that I know what a 15 guy gang bang feels like.

And holy shit the mess.  You will have a bloody disaster on your hands, literally.  At first, I did a lot of Lady Macbeth style hand washing and went through rolls of toilet paper trying desperately to eradicate the rather disturbing sight.  I had to clean the toilet seat and the floor every time I took it out.  It was horrible and messy and I was ready to give up–I’m not going to lie to you–but eventually, I got the hang of it and learned how not to create a gory mess the likes of which would give Rob Zombie a raging boner.

Basically you need to be really comfortable with your fluids.  If the sight of blood makes you feel a little ooshie and weak in the knees, don’t use the Diva Cup.  You’ll be horrified to see what actually comes out of you and you’ll probably pass out with the thing in your hand and spill it all over the place and that is how they’ll find you.   Additionally, there’s a veritable rainbow of colors you produce depending on where you are in your cycle, and it you don’t want to know, don’t go there my friend.  My sister-in-law bought one (GILBERTS IN THE HIZ-OUSE!) and used it only once. She couldn’t deal with the sight of it, the big sissy.

Overall, despite my difficulties with it in the beginning, I really like the Diva Cup. I love that I don’t have to carry tampons and have to try to hide the evidence in the bottom of trash cans when I go to friend’s houses. I love that I don’t have to buy chemically treated products every month and I love that I don’t contribute to the landfill. I love that I can put it in and forget it for hours and hours and not worry that I’m getting toxic shock. I really feel like it has made having my period easier. I get mine every ten fucking days. I know what I’m talking about, people: I’m a expert period-getter.

Here, watch this video. It’s a thesis film by Vanessa Tolkin Meyer and it’s very cool.

The End.

PS: Have any of you Toy with Mes tried a Diva Cup or something like it? Are you fertilizing your gardens with the contents, because I’m so not coming to dinner for spaghetti night. If you haven’t tried it, would you consider it or do you think it’s the nastiest thing ever? Testify, people!

Free Digital Photos. Photo by Ohmega1982.

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77 comments

  1. Lisa

    I've never heard of the Diva cup, but I have used Instead which sounds like a disposable version. I wear it either for sleepovers or when I want to have sex during my period but don't want a mess and don't fell like advertising that it's my time of the month. The cup is deep enough to handle the average male equipment, and I've never had a complaint.

  2. Sara

    OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Diva cup!
    One of the biggest things I used to hate about tampons was towards the end, when things were finishing up… they would just totally dry me out! Ick. And they were so uncomfortable.

    It can take a little trial and error to get the positioning right, but it is SO SO worth it! I found that wearing it lower than I though actually was the best for me. Also, making sure the little holes around the top are unblocked is key to getting it in properly. I usually fill mine with water, put my palm over the top, and squeeze the cup to make sure water can spurt through the four little holes. If they are blocked it seems to keep the cup from springing out to it's full shape.
    As far as keeping this clean when you empty it… so long as you pull straight down, you should be able to keep the contents more or less in the cup. Usually I kind of squeeze the cup so it's not rounded anymore and that breaks the seal so there is no suction as I'm pulling it out. I've had more messy mishaps with a swinging tampon on a string slapping into the toilet seat than I have with the diva.
    I've tried the Insteads, but I'm not a huge fan. THOSE were definitely a mess to remove and nowhere near as comfy as the Diva. But, a friend of mine swears by them and says they are even sexytime friendly…

  3. Dan

    My God Woman you make me laugh EVERY time I read your stuff, I love this site! No Diva cup for me as I've got boys dangly bits, but it does sound cool.
    Dan

  4. Alsies

    I love my Diva Cup!! i have been using mine for only about a year.The first couple times were awful and painful. But, you do finally get the hang of it. I can't even imagine going back to pads/tampons!

    I too wear mine higher than they say. Also, I found that it stays in muchhh better if you turn it inside out! Although, it makes it slightly harder to remove. Never have used it as fertilizer though…
    Yay Diva Cup!!!

  5. C

    I *love* my MoonCup (i think my UK version is different from the US mooncup). and, like everyone else that has the hang of these things, i can't understand why people would rather use tampons.

    i know a girl who uses the blood on her houseplants, and whilst they are very healthy plants, that's just a step too far for me.

  6. Ann

    I used a Keeper for 8 years (before I stopped having periods) and god, I don't know why it and the Diva Cup aren't more popular. It's so worth the learning curve. If the money saved doesn't attract someone, how about the reduced waste? The lack of fresh dioxins up in your bits? The TWELVE HOURS you get?

    I cannot understand women who get squicked out by this stuff. So sad.

  7. Gem

    There are several brands of cups.. I initially got introduced to the Moon Cup, I hated it, thought people were crazy for liking it.
    Cut to a couple of years later and I decide to try the Diva Cup, it's more flexible, longer, it's everything the moon cup wasn't. Man, I love it! It's been my best friend ever since, I wouldn't be without it.
    Being able to wear it for 8-12 hours at a stretch (depends on how heavy you are) makes it super convenient, no carrying extra supplies for travelling, no waking up early to change a tampon.
    I try to convert anyone who asks me!

  8. Jessica

    Yes. IUDs are the greatest of all things. Both for making me spawn proof for 5 years and for eliminating my need for a Diva Cup or anything else.

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