WHEN I WAS 10 years old and the public health nurse taught my classmates and me all about puberty, I came home brimming with excitement over news of menstruation and erections and growing up.
When my mother told me I’d be dealing with periods until my 50s, I was devastated. I thought it was temporary, like growth spurts. I calculated how much money it would cost to keep up with this sort of hygiene, and the math was staggering.
Fortunately, this kind of stuff gets easier with a little practice.
Men, you may feel rather hesitant about reading this article. I understand. The particulars of feminine hygiene can be daunting, even to females, and it’s not uncommon to lash out in disgust. I do realize we’re often cruel about rubbing this stuff in your face. My guy friend was deathly afraid of tampons in high school, and so a classmate once covered a tampon in ketchup and placed it in his lunchbox.
He came out of the closet not long after.
But if you’re reading this article, try to understand the inconveniences of feminine hygiene on the road. Ladies, these products may help should you find yourself in a “sticky” situation.
1. The TBox
“Easily attaching to the side of your toilet, the Tbox holder gives your products a chic safehouse.” My tampons have always needed a safehouse! Plus their tagline is “easy and fun!” which makes me instantly identify with the product.
I live with two boys. Two boys who like to smoke cigars while drinking scotch and watching football. So I tried an experiment: I attached one of these colourful babies with suction cups to the side of the toilet, and waited for a response.
Matt came to me within the hour, looking rather pale. “Why are your tampons attached to the toilet?”
The provoking pattern of the Tbox had proven irresistible, and against his better judgement, Matt had flipped the lid to peer inside. Fortunately, Tbox also comes in a white casing for shared bathrooms.
The other leopard-print and floral patterns are to jazz up your locker or to stick discreetly in your purse. Have you ever been in a situation where you’re groping through your bag on a public bus, and suddenly two tampons fly out from a zippered compartment and skitter across the floor in front of everyone? Was your instant reflex to just sit there completely still, pretending like nothing happened and your super plus heavy flow tampons weren’t at fault? Then perhaps give Tbox a try.
2. The P-Mate
The P-Mate is for any lady who has ever wanted to experience relief like a man, or simply desired to pee her name in the snow. These cardboard instruments shaped like a shoe with the toe cut of are placed against your urethra to allow the flow of urine without ever having to squat in the bushes! I tried these out for the first time last year, and once I got past the unsettling warmth of pee flowing through my makeshift penis, using the P-Mate became pretty fun.
Unfortunately, I kept squatting out of habit and could not wrap my head around the simple concept of standing tall and relieving myself. Growing up in rural Newfoundland, I had mastered the squat from an early age, and old habits die hard. My buddy Glassman had to demonstrate over and over again, which made for some interesting stories to tell later.
Made from recyclable materials, the P-Mate is leak-proof and does not get soggy after use. That way, you can stash a used one in a zip-lock baggie until it can be disposed.
My dream is to someday create the kind of equality with a P-Mate where I can walk into a male bathroom, relieve myself in a urinal while throwing back my chest and whistling, then wink at the dude next to me as I leave the room.
Cost: $5.25 for a pack of 4
3. The Va-J-J Visor
This one I haven’t tried, and it’s really more appropriate for pre-trip planning, but I figure any product by a company with a name like VJJ Enterprises, Inc. is worth exploring. What is it? A “protective vaginal shield designed to help protect a woman’s inner vulva area.” It’s hypoallergenic, disposable, and recyclable.
Basically, it covers your lady bits when you’re getting hair removal, hair colouring (what?), and tanning or spa treatments. You can even wear one when you’re trying on lingerie or swimwear, as to keep the cooties away from your cooter.
Because we expose our va-j-js to too much danger every day.
Cost: Approx $8 for a pack of 6
4. The Pink Stinger Tampon Stun Gun
This is exactly what you think it is: a stun gun that looks like a tampon. Whip it out of your Tbox, advance towards your attacker, and stick it to them. You’ll likely scare them off with your craziness before you even get close enough to try it out, but the idea is just so ridiculous, it works.
It packs a punch, too: the Pink Stinger can deliver a 50,000 volt shock, causing central nervous system disruption and possibly even urination.
Presumably the design is still in the works, as they appear to be unavailable for purchase just yet. The inventor, however, would like to stress that the stun gun is “not intended nor recommended for vaginal insertion.”
Cost: Your dignity.