Tampons. And Other First World Problems.

I am getting really rather irritated by tampons at the moment.

(Not literally. This isn’t another Flaps of Flame post, before you all panic.)

Before I start, for the gentlemen amongst my readers, who might not have enjoyed the first hand experience of inserting a tampon, may I suggest that to get a similar sensation you cut yourself a large, tampon shaped chunk of sweet potato – skin left on –and shove it up one of your nostrils? There you go. This makes it even more mystifying that for an extended period of time they were officially classed as ‘luxury goods’ and therefore subject to VAT. I mean, I don’t know what those members of the Government responsible for making such decisions have experienced when it comes to ‘luxury’, but suffice to say we’re probably not working from the same dictionary definition.

Now, I appreciate that, when it comes to sanitary protection, we are privileged to have a choice. We don’t have to use tampons. We could use sanitary towels instead. However, on balance I’d rather avoid my labia being scalped every time I make a sudden movement. Sanitary towels are being added to my Original Source mint shower gel list of things which really need to come with more of a public health warning.

(Oh. And in the interests of completeness, there are also moon cups. I appreciate that for some ladies these provide the perfect solution. Please also appreciate that, for this lady, the very concept of a moon cup scares the bejeezus out of her – I think I may have watched Jaws once too many times – and do not attempt to convert me otherwise. Ta.)

So, why is it that I’m so irritated by tampons? In theory, they serve a useful purpose, right? Well, yes. Yes they do. But, I take major issue with the allegation that they are a ‘discreet’ form of sanitary protection. For something which has apparently been designed to be discreet, I honestly think that a tampon might be the least discreet object ever.

Let’s be honest – none of us really want to go racing through the office wearing a giant placard which says “I’M ON MY PERIOD”. However sexually liberated and equal opportunities society might be today, there are still some things that the rest of the world doesn’t need to know about. In the same way we don’t generally walk past our colleagues announcing “I’m off for a big poo”. (Although I do know one or two people who positively rejoice in celebrating such a fact.)

So, given this… can any tampon manufacturers out there please explain their choice of tampon packaging? “You want to carry this tampon about your person in the most unobtrusive manner possible… so I shall make the packaging BRIGHT FUCKING YELLOW! AND ORANGE! AND GREEN! AND PINK!” Marvellous. Thank you so much.

Now, in theory, the new style of small and compact tampons means that you should be able to conceal them surreptitiously around your person. Which would be fine, EXCEPT THAT NO PAIR OF JEANS HAS BEEN MADE FOR WOMEN IN THE HISTORY OF ALL TIME WHICH HAS A POCKET LARGE ENOUGH TO ACTUALLY FULLY CONCEAL A TAMPON. So you try alternatives. Such as concealing it up your sleeve. Only to have it fall out in the middle of the floor half way through your walk of shame across the office. This has happened to me more times than I care to remember, and despite many, many attempts I can confirm that there is no possible way to gracefully style it out.

What this means therefore is that the best option for tampon transportation is your handbag. Sounds fair enough, were it not for the fact that the insides of handbags are tampon Kryptonite. Mine barely have to touch the innards of my bag before their outer cover is ripped off and I find myself with a handbag filled with “mice! White mice!”, as Beth once gleefully described them.

And then… you get to the toilet, and you sit down on the seat, and you open your handbag, and you search around for your tampon, and you go to open it… and it sounds like you’ve got a fucking family bag of Kettle Chips in there with you. Other than the sound of your footsteps on the bedroom floor of a small child after you’ve got them to sleep and are trying to sneak out of the room unnoticed… there is no other louder sound in the world. This, may I remind you, from an object which is allegedly ‘discreet’. DISCREET MY ARSE.

(Can I just briefly end this with a footnote to my many commenters who seem to take great delight in being utterly appalled at my vexation at such#firstworldproblems. Yes, I am well aware that I am substantially more fortunate than the vast majority of the world’s population. Yes, I am well aware that my front bottom’s exposure to mint shower gel and my infuriation at not being able to find a consistent size 10 pair of jeans are very much #firstworldproblems. But no, I am not going to stop ranting about them, because the fact remains that even #firstworldproblems are still very very very irritating.)

2 thoughts on “Tampons. And Other First World Problems.

  1. As a man, I was surprised that you didn’t say cut a small potato to size leave the skin on and shove it up your a**e. Have you considered very small sandwich bags to keep them in after removing the wrapping so that they do not make so much noise in the loo.. only a thought.


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