At dinner one night after work, my friend Girlie wore an expression usually reserved for people who had big news. You know the one — that strange mix of glee and anxiety before you tell a friend that your life has changed or is about to change. A couple of years back and in the throes of our mid-20s existential exploration, we both made the resolution that the template domestic life was not for us. Engagements and babies were off the table so it had to be something else.
Before I could ask her what it was, she blurted out, “So I’ve been using a menstrual cup.”
I gave her a blank look. That was the first time I had heard the term. She then explained to me, as we ate roast beef and mashed potatoes in a restaurant in Bonifacio High Street, that the menstrual cup is a silicone device around the size of a shot glass that a girl places inside her cervix to collect menstrual blood. It’s kind of like a reusable tampon, but instead of absorbing blood, the cup collects it for you to dispose of later.
It all sounded fascinating. That shot-glass imagery was definitely one for the poetry books. Hey, maybe I can use it sometime. But what really struck me was how energetic Girlie was as she told me about it.
“It’s a game-changer, Raydon,” she exclaimed.
“How?” I asked.
She elaborated that since it was washable and reusable, she was saving money usually meant for disposable pads. It’s also a good option for traveling. It had its own case and everything. Imagine a portable bag for a Nintendo 3DS.
I could sense the relief emanating from Girlie after telling me about the menstrual cup. It was clear she’d wanted to talk about this for quite some time. I made sure to validate her experience by asking her more about it and what made her decide to bring it up in the first place.
“It’s something all girls go through every month. And this has just made life easier.”
“I have to ask because I know you haven’t been intimate with a guy before. Did it —” I asked.
“Oh yeah. The first time I used it, I think I pulled something. When I saw the blood, I just assumed that was it,” Girlie said.
“I have to say, I think this can be a form of empowerment in a way. Dude, you broke it in, yourself. You did not wait for a guy to potentially mess it up.” At this point, we had to swallow our food to make sure it didn’t go the wrong tract as we started laughing.
I loved that moment. Maybe we were able to talk openly about it because society has improved. There’s less stigma surrounding period-talk and other bodily functions. We’re more educated now. We recognize that our bodies are not the enemy or some taboo topic to be swept under the rug.
I would also like to think that there’s something about my presence that made my friend decide, “Yup, Raydon is the one I’m gonna reveal my life-changing period news to.”
I probably would have drawn the line at a live demonstration. Girlie and I have been friends for 15 years as of this writing — but we’re just not there yet.
She blogged about her experience with the Sinaya cup. You can read it here.
Photo via womenshealthmag