|Tampon rocket via Tacky Living|
It's not every day that you get to extol the virtues of fingers in the personal hygiene aisle of a superstore.
On Sunday, America made me do just that, much to the amusement of a somewhat uncomfortable Mistah who probably wondered how filthy I could get, and in public at that.
I was looking for tampons and panty liners. So like the progressive couple that my partner and I are, we wandered together along the personal hygiene aisle looking at brightly colored packages designed to earn a woman's custom by making her feel as freakish, unclean, and self-conscious as possible.
That you should bleed monthly and also value fresh undergarments at all times is a crime in America, so much so that various companies do their utmost to deodorize the life out of the humble vagina by offering all matters of scented disposable paper products – from tampons to pads via panty liners, there is a whole world of synthetic flowers waiting for you.
Far from helping women embrace their womanhood with pride, most of those companies market their products by naming and shaming the most sensitive part of a woman's anatomy by implying that it reeks, no less.
Well, guess what America: a clean and healthy vagina smells no worse than a clean and healthy mouth does. Besides, it works just like a self-cleaning oven.
All the same, heaven forbid you should venture a digit near the oozing, bleeding mess during "that time of the month" in America. Instead, you are encouraged to place little cardboard tubes in your vagina in order to push a tampon through them. If my vagina was a launch pad for tiny rocket missiles, I might appreciate the technology, but I somehow refuse to be bullied into adding to the growing mountain of pointless packaging that is already smothering the planet.
Call me a hippie, call me old school, or call me comfortable with what I have between my legs, but Mother Nature actually made sure that I – and you too – came complete with fitted tampon applicators called "fingers". Those enable me to aim right and ensure the tampon comfortably sits where it should.
Afterwards – if you must know – my hands never look like I have fought with a putrid steak either. That's because I do the rad thing: I wash them before and after, not because I am awkward about putting them in such close contact with the inside of my vagina, but because bacteria loves nothing more than a moist and warm ecosystem.
After much reading of packages promising to respect my anatomy by assaulting it with cardboard, I finally locate one brand of tampons that do not feature applicators. One single brand. So much for choice, America!
The same thing happens with daily panty liners that somehow are still having a hard time differentiating themselves from pads, the more cumbersome alternative to tampons. Again, manufacturers assume that you will ooze copiously for three weeks a month and want you to be prepared by placing a large rectangle of softness inside your undergarments. Also, in a country openly offering all matters of pubic hair styling from the landing strip to the bald – and bold – Hollywood, very little provision is made for those of us who favor thongs over granny undies.
Again, I only find two brands offering g-string panty liners. One is very obviously designed to keep the inside of my legs toasty during Pacific Northwest winters, and probably would withstand Alaskan weather too. It features added sticky wings to ensure the Boeing of the panty liner world does not unexpectedly lift off without clearance from the thong control tower. The other is thin, discrete, breathable and immediately added to my shopping basket.
I laugh so hard that I have tears streaming down my cheeks, and my partner finally cracks up, too.
Sure, we have perfumed products too where I come from – and applicator tampons – but we're also quite comfortable with our bodily functions. In the underwear department, wearing a thong doesn't automatically consign us to whoredom either; instead, it just means that we're not keen on flaunting a VPL.
I feel like a dirty foreigner.