Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This Really Is TMI...

Too much information, that is. And especially if you're a guy, you may want to stop reading this post right about now!! (Or consider yourself fairly warned, this post is about menstration.)

There, that ought to have scared all the guys away from this post! :0) So, okay, I finally joined hundreds of other women out there who have switched from using tampons to the DivaCup.

And why has this taken me months to make the switch?

Honestly, I was very, very apprehensive (ok, scared! There I said it!) to make this change. But I finally buckled down this morning and did it. And you know what? It works like a charm! I'm not kidding. I'm really amazed with this product. It's much, much better than using tampons. Seriously! But I totally understand if you feel squeamish for making this change--just remember, it's really not as bad as you might think. To read other reviews about this product from women all over the country, check-out the comments posted on Crunchy Chicken's blog here.


Dan Myers said...

I am so curious to see if you are going to get any comments on this post, and what kind.

-A guy who kept reading

Michelle Verges said...

Dan!! You're not supposed to read this post!!!

Obviously, my scare tactics were ineffective. Geez, get a clue!!


JENNIFER said...

Will I would like to say at least I am not the only one that made a change too. I made my own reusable pads and I used for the first time last month. I first day or two it took some getting use too, but by the end I felt glad. It only cost me about $25 for the materials and that made 22 pads (night, day, mini) and a lot of liners. I didn't need 22 pads so half of them I put away when these ones fall apart. Jenny

Experimentaholic said...

I am waiting for you to post instructions for knitting wool reusuable condoms. Wait, no I'm not. But seriously, kudos for making this switch.

Meghan said...

Okay, I need to do some more reasearch, I know - something I think I ought to do at home, not work. :) But quite frankly, I don't get it. I mean, what do you do at work? And well, am I just the only girl who is squeamish about getting in "there" and maneuvering around? I'm a totaly sissy about that stuff. Most people tell me it's because I haven't had kids. Apparently you get pretty used to manhandling that area when you are pregnant. Sheesh. I want to be green, but I just don't know if I can make the Diva Cup leap - or the leap for Crunchy's newest challenge!

Michelle Verges said...

Mehgan, I know exactly how you feel because I felt the same way. I bought this DivaCup two months ago, and it's taken me that long to muster the courage to try this product.

And yesterday I thought it would be horrendous to take it out, clean it, and put it back in again. (Oh my goodness, I just had a "I-can't-believe-I'm-blogging-about-this" moment...okay, hopefully this will pass shortly!)

Once again, I was surprised--it really wasn't bad; it certainly wasn't as gross as I thought it would be, and it didn't hurt at all--maybe I have an overly vivid imagination, who knows? But in reality, this wasn't a big deal. It certainly wasn't a Major Moment as I had expected it to be, and I'm grateful for this letdown!

Like you, Mehgan, I don't have any kids. So maybe this is more about feeling comfortable with one's body. I think that's been my experience (that I feel more comfortable about myself and my body; I wonder if it's because I'm about to turn 30 in October?)

Anyway, long story short, I can 100% empathize with you on not wanting to use the DivaCup. And I also want to say not to try it, until your ready to do so.

As for Crunchy Chicken's challenge, the buck stops with me using toilet paper made from recycled paper! I "sacrificed" Charmin paper for recycled toilet paper, too. As far as I'm concerned, I've done my part!


Meghan said...

Well I just turned 28, so maybe I'll be a Diva when I grow up. :):)

It is weird blogging/commenting about it. Maybe as I get comfy with "talking" about it, I'll be more comfy with doing it. I LOVE the idea. It's just transforming it from the brain to action...eeks!

Michelle Verges said...

You are so right on so many levels, Meghan! :0)

It is weird blogging about this topic. I'm silently hoping to myself that none of my students will read this post!!

And I really like your other point. That is, by talking about this issue, we'll feel more comfortable about ourselves, too.

But on a blog?!?? Really, it's too bad we don't live in the same town. I can tell we'd have a lot of fun chatting about this subject off-line! ;0)

Meghan said...

Yes, this is more of a "glass of wine, girl talk on the town" type convo than a "sitting at work, daily blogging" one, eh?

Still, I will say it never ceases to amaze me how uncomfortable with my body & that stuff I can get. I wonder if that's a "puritan culture" (American) phenomenon, or if women as old (forgive me, but you know what I mean) as us have these same issues in many different cultures?

Michelle Verges said...

Yah, I could definitely go for a couple glasses on wine and stay up all night chatting about this stuff!!

Yah, there must be some cultural forces at work here...particularly when it comes to discussing female sexuality, or even female anatomy, for that matter!

This topic has always been taboo for me and in the past, has made me feel conservative about just talking about "you-know-what"...(see, there it is again, self-censorship!).

Not only do I wonder about potential cultural differences, I also wonder if there are cohort differences, too. So do younger girls in our culture feel any more liberated about their bodies in this day and age?

Yah know, I've been to a couple of the Vagina Monologue shows and have been *amazed* at how comfortable these women were at expressing their sexual experiences in the show. Ok, so what if they recited lines in a monologue! If you asked me to recite those lines, I would have cowered (and protested) in a heartbeat!

Anyway, I'm rambling now, but I do wonder about these issues. And I've made some progress in my "old" age...I'd like to think I'm not quite the prude as I used to be!!! :0)

Meghan said...

I think I've made a lot of progress for myself. I'm lucky enough to have stumbled into an amazing belly dance teacher, and both the art and the teacher taught me that I don't have to be ashamed of my body. That alone freed me up to make better, more mature decisions regarding myself and my sexuality. And I've learned that I don't have anything to be ashamed of when I'm true to myself. But that's the one I have to keep re-drilling into my head.

I guess my instinct is that the younger generation is just as hopelessly lost as we were. I mean, more sex and pregnancy doesn't indicate more comfort, right? It indicates more rebellion, more sneaking around, etc. (In general...)

I just watched this awesome documentary called "This Film is Not Yet Rated." It was about the MPAA & the insanely biased ratings system. I won't go into too much detail (if you haven't seen it, you should do so immediately) but one thing I took away was the difference of an NC-17 rating here and an equivalent rating in Europe.

Here, the things that'll get a movie and NC-17 rating are mainly sexual. And we're not even talking assault! We're talking female "O" lasting too long, or showing too much of the body, too much "thrusting" or too close of an angle. Almost anything showing the female pleasure response too close up or lasting too long is ruled as inappropriate for children to see. (Although apparently it's fine for them to see rape because that's not pleasurable, but violent). Guns, gore, massive body counts, assualt, horrid violence - those generally end up with R's in our culture.

In Europe, it's the exact opposite. Movies depicting crude violence, too many deaths, dismemberment, gore, etc end up with the rating that doesn't allow children in (it's a different system & I don't remember what the ratings are). But in that culture, they seem to realize that pleasure and sex are not crimes.

Why is there such a HUGE difference? I mean, that's completely opposite! No one in Europe is saying a 5 year old should watch a woman show her "O" face, but they are saying that a 15 year old should not see violence that their brain cannot comprehend as "art." To me, that seems more correct than how we do it here.

At the end of the day, when we dictate to society that we need to be ashamed of sex, we end up where we are today. As women in the 25-30 age range, we're vastly uncomfortable with our southern hemisphere. :) Children are having children because Mom & Dad say that having sex is wrong, but won't tell them why or give them any information about it. Shame is not a teacher.

Whoa - talk about a tangent. Sorry!

Michelle Verges said...

Right! I've been taking ballroom and latin dancing for about two months now, and it's been great--besides learning these fabulous moves, dancing has helped me build confidence in expressing myself with my body. It's quite an incredible experience!

Yes, I did see "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" by Kirby Dick. What a great (and suspenseful) film! I thought Kirby Dick did a superb job revealing the MPAA's preference towards violence and its antipathy towards female sexuality.

Good grief, what a complex issue! I didn't realize the DivaCup would lead us to this discussion. But really, it all boils down to how comfortable we feel about our bodies, and understanding the factors that facilitate (or impair) our comfort levels with our "southern hemisphere" (okay, vagina, there I said it!)

I have to say, even talking about this issue at length (on a blog, no less) has been helpful for me. The weird feeling I experienced yesterday is waning; it's less taboo for me...well, good! I'm making some progress over here. Thanks for this discussion, Meghan!!

P.S. On a related note concerning the Big "O", I found this book to be quite helpful. It's called "I Heart Female Orgasm." It's a must-read!!

Meghan said...

Cool, thanks!

It's true, if you think about it. The Diva Cup is indirectly related to female sexuality. The ability to use it involves us girlies being comfortable with our bodies. And being comfortable with our bodies means bieng comfortable with our sexuality. And I'll never stop pondering how we got to this age and aren't implicitly familiar with ourselves.

Michelle Verges said...

That's exactly why I love the "I Heart Female Orgasm" book--I really didn't know what constituted an orgasm!! And the number of times I would stop myself from going to that level simply because I didn't feel comfortable with my body responding in that way is countless. This book has helped me understand that how I feel sexually is perfectly normal. It's been so helpful to know this because it's allowed me to be more comfortable with myself. I can relax and enjoy the experience without stopping myself from going to that level.

But really, who talks about this sort of thing?? It has been a taboo topic, and consequently, and until I started exploring this issue for myself, I never talked about this to anyone. On one hand, I think this is too bad, but on the other hand, better late than never, right?

Meghan said...

Yeah, it's always better late than never. I've always cracked jokes about sex w/ friends, but never really explored this stuff. From time to time, I've been lucky enough to have a frank discussion with a friend. But that hardly takes care of a girl's need to be educated! I'm definitely going to search for that book, because it sounds like it'll be a great teacher.

The ever-popular joke is about girls faking it, right? I wonder if that's so prevalent & so many girls just hold themselves back because of misunderstanding? Certainly that's not the only reason a girl would rush it/fake it, but I bet it plays into those actions more than we think. If we were more educated about what is involved, maybe we wouldn't feel so much pressure to force it/fake it/rush it, and it'd be easier for us to achieve it. (And not be embarrassed about achieving it later!)

Experimentaholic said...

Oh dear.

Michelle Verges said...


You shouldn't have snooped into this conversation!! On second thought, I'm actually glad you guys can't help but eavesdrop on this discussion. :0)

It's clear this is a very sensitive topic, and I'm quite aware of who may be reading these comments. But thankfully, we live in a world where we don't have to whisper behind closed doors about this stuff--in fact, we've got the whole wide world to share our concerns and voice our angst about the female reproductive system. Hooray!! :0)

On a slightly more serious note, though, the DivaCup alternative to using tampons means that you have to get somewhat intimate with your body if you're going to use this product.

And in the past, I've not been comfortable enough with my body to do something like this. I remember a long time ago a friend of mine gave me a tampon without an applicator and I quietly shrieked in horror--there was simply no way I was going to insert this tampon using my fingers.

So, right, this is clearly too much information. But Meghan and I needed to talk about this issue because it's important for us to do so. It's important for me to talk about this openly, remind myself it's okay to talk about these female issues, understand why I've been so apprehensive for using a DivaCup (perhaps my fear is related to my views regarding female sexuality), and know that I'm not the only woman on this planet who's trying to overcome these personal inhibitions.

Meghan said...

Experimentaholic, are you blushing? ;P

Michelle, I feel for ya having all these peeps reading my blatant comments on your blog. Sorry if I'm causing you cringes. But good for you for taking the leap and not being (too) nervous about putting yourself out there. I think it's cool. And I love the open discussion of the DC that led to the open discussion of female sexuality and our lack of knowledge about it and comfort with it. Because I really feel that only by addressing it frankly can we overcome it. So, kudos. Thanks for letting me hijack your DC thread.

Have a great weekend, everyone!