Nor are they a "luxury" but that's another blog post waiting to be written.
Now, I’m not sure if this is still a thing that people believe, but I had a comment awhile ago about how a girl lived with her grandma, and because the grandma believed tampons would interfere with her granddaughter’s virginity she didn’t want to buy them for her. But thankfully, she was able to find a pamphlet to show her grandma.
I remember before I got my period listening to a friend talk about tampons in a “sexual” way, and it really weirded me out and din’t make sense to me. I was still very naive, but I just had this feeling that she was making it up.
And of course she was. I have never since heard someone describe a menstrual product as feeling "nice" in that way (if you catch my drift).
And if you’ve ever used a tampon, cup or sponge, you know there’s nothing sexual about all of these things. Yeah, they can feel more "comfortable" if you go from pads to tampons or cups. But not sexually "nice" in that way. Quite the opposite I think.
Back when tampons first went on the market, religious parents were concerned that they would cause their daughter to think sinful thoughts. Kind of makes you want to laugh and hit your head on the table at the same time doesn’t it?
We know that’s not true, but let’s move on to this very confusing idea of virginity, and how it relates to menstrual products. I'm only going to dip my toes into the topic today.
I remember when I was in high school discussing this idea of virginity with my friends, and what we thought “counted” and didn’t. Which is pretty silly looking back.
The “concern” with period products and virginity is that using a tampon or cup could “pop your cherry” or break/tear you hymen. Or I remember the myth that more sexually active girls had to use "super" or "super plus" tampons. Which if know how a vagina works, know that's false.
Now, there are different “types” of hymens.
A normal (which is the most common) hymen stretches around the outside of the vaginal opening in one way or another, leaving most of the opening clear. Then there are imperforate, microperforate, and septate hymens which all stretch across the vaginal opening in one way or another, which can get in the way of not only tampons and cups, but block the release of menstrual blood, which isn't good.
Now, don’t let this freak you out when it comes to trying a cup or tampon. There is a learning curve when it comes to using these period products.
But if you don't want to take the time to go watch those videos (you should) my biggest pieces of advice are:
+ get a hand mirror and check out what’s going on down there because it’s impossible to put a tampon/cup in a place you have no idea where it is.
+ don’t try to put in or take out a dry tampon, which can be tricky, but swirl the tampon/cup around the opening of your vagina before inserting because it will pick up some fluid that will act as a glorious lubricant and relieve you of some awful feeling friction.
+ stay calm, nothing is going anywhere if you’re clenching your muscles.
+ and finally, no, your vagina is not a black hole that things can get lost in (your cervix stops that from happening).
And, just remember this, tampons and cups have nothing to do with your sexuality or virginity. They are just part of life as a lady.