Learning to Love Your Scent: Vulva and Vagina Edition

This is the single best article about the scent of vulvas and vaginas.
The article is called

“Vulvas and Vaginas Smell Like, Well, Vulvas and Vaginas” 

I think this topic is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT.  I have wayyyyy too many girlfriends who don’t like cunnilingus because they are insecure about their scent.  If any guy or gal going down on you thinks you’re going to smell like peaches and strawberries, they are mistaken and need to learn that vulvas smell like vulvas.  (SPOILER: Most people who go down on women know that vulvas smell and taste like vulvas.  Those of us on the receiving end need to learn this fact and learn to love our scents.)

Martha Kempner wrote this article.  She deserves a serious low five.

She starts with a very important anatomy lesson:

VULVA = “everything on the outside between your legs – your labia majora, labia minora, mons pubis, clitoris, clitoral hood, urethral opening, vaginal opening”

VAGINA = “the muscle that connects your uterus to your body”

My biggest pet peeve is when people call vulvas “vaginas.”  VULVA is an awesome word.  We should use it more.  Especially correctly.

Kempner goes on to talk about what vulvas should smell like and how vulvas should be taken care of.
(SCENT SPOILER: However you smell is normal.  Be concerned if your smell changes – then something is up.)
(CARE SPOILER: Taking care of a vulva is easy peasy.  Do almost nothing.  Read the article for more info.)


Which Menstrual Cup is Right for YOU?

A few days ago I wrote a post about having an eco-menses.  All of the products that I recommended are based on my personal experience.  Not everything that works for me is going to work for you.  Here’s a great article a friend shared with me about alllllll the different types of menstrual cups!

If you’re considering a menstrual cup, this article is a great guide to figuring out where to start on your journey!

Some things to think about when choosing a cup:

  1. Have you had children or are you over the age of 30?
  2. Where does your cervix sits – is it high or low?
  3. How heavy or light  is your flow? (Cups work great for both!)
  4. How firm do you want the cup to be?

The article explains each in this list and even has come awesome comparison charts and photos.

Ch-ch-ch-check it out!

Learning to Love Your Period: Inspiring Blood Talk

This image has gone viral, and it couldn’t have at a better time.  Not only did I write my first “Learning to Love Your Period” blog last week, but I’m also bleeding right now.  I think it’s time for me to get back in touch with my photographer side, set up the tri-pod and depict what bleeding means to me.  (And if you haven’t read the article yet or seen all the images —> http://www.scoopwhoop.com/news/insta-photo/?ref=social&type=fb&b=0)   What bleeding means to Rupa Kaur – her images include bleeding on the sheets (above), splattering in the shower, washing these sheets, and sitting on the toilet changing her pad.

Her images all reflect normal life for those of us who bleed.  If you’re a person who has periods, there’s a 150% chance that bleeding on the sheets has happened at least once, if not 85 times before.  Bleeding in the shower – yep.  Washing the sheets – yep.  Changing/cleaning whatever product of choice to soak up your flow – yep.

In my photoseries, I would depict an eco-menses.  I would add photos of:

  • dropping a full Diva Cup on the bathroom floor (but do I really want that to happen again?)
  • my fingers after putting my Diva Cup in
  • handing washing my cloth pads
  • machine washing my cloth pads
  • perhaps watering my plants with my collected Diva Cup blood (would this be called “blooding” vs watering?)
  • wearing my cute bloodstained HareBrained period panties
  • a blood stain I left on my partner’s bed
  • splattering on my really really cute bathroom rug
  • some used cloth pads

Will I share these?  Not sure.  They might just be for me.  But maybe I’ll share them with you, too.

Bleed on, my fellow bleeders!

Learning to Love My Period: Having an Eco-Menses

Aunt Flo. Shark Week.  Girl Flu. Leak Week. Riding the Cotton Pony. The Red River. That time of the month.  Pele’s Eruption (my personal title). Whatever you call your period is up to you.  It’s also up to you how you treat yourself during your period.  A lot of women seem to hate their menstrual cycle.  It has this stigma of being horrible, dreaded, messy, gross, smelly, painful, and unclean.  But periods are a fact of life for most women.  And damn it, I LOVE my period.

I’ll give three important reasons:
1 –  Pele’s Eruption lets my know that my innards are functioning correctly.

2- She lets me know that I’m not pregnant.

3 – She validates those previous week’s thoughts of “THAT’S why my nipples have been SO SORE” or “THAT’S why if feels like my abdomen is REVOLTING” or “THAT’S why I ate that entire box of Oreo’s.”

That being said, I argue that a woman doesn’t completely love herself until she learns to love her period (or at least make nice with it).  Hands down.  This may seem way out there, but making periods fun is possible.  I have fun with my period every month.  The pain of cramps reminds me that I am human.  Those horrible waves of abdominal agony bring me back to my body, into the moment.  As for the mess, I have found a few ways to have a little fun with it.  I’m going to share those with you below.

First things first, I’m all about having a eco-friendly period.  I don’t use dispoables EVERY time (though I do have organic tampons scattered in all bags, jacket pockets, corners of my car – because your NEVER know if Pele is going to have a mind of her own and ERUPT out of NO WHERE.)  Anyways, years ago I got hooked on cloth pads.  I’ve gotten questions about them being bulky – nope, they are cloth, so they just feel like underwear material.
Party In My Pants, a business in my home state of Wisconsin, makes THE BEST cloth pads.  Please check these out


My Cloth Pads

My Cloth Pads

The designs are freaking ADORABLE and, damn it, I like bleeding on something cute that’s meant to be bled on for once (unlike all the super cute pair of undies I had that I did not mean to splatter on. Sigh.)

Secondly, DIVA CUPS.  (Some people prefer Moon Cups or Soft Cups – same idea!)  I love my Diva Cup.  I love her, sometimes I hate her, but mostly I love her.  I am super in touch – literally – with my bloodshed.  I know how much I bleed, I know I can go hours upon hours without having to change it, I know that my period blood does not inherently smell.   Another great thing about this lovely friend is that it shortens my period by about two days.  How is this possible?  Think about when you’re bleeding – your lady fluids trickle down the entire inside of your vagina, getting stuck in little nooks and crannies along the way that will hang around and keep your flow super light, yet super stainy in the end.  With a diva cup, your lady fluids drip right in to the cup.  No distractions for that lady color to hang out.  Just – bloop! – right in the cup.  I MUST ADD – I hate my diva cup sometimes because sometimes I still fudge up the insertion process.  By the end of day 1 I get the hang it of again, but I do need a few test spins (literally) before I get her up there correctly.  Practice makes perfect!

Find those here —>  http://divacup.com/

WARNING: You will have to get in touch with your lovely vag, your lovely blood, and the lovely times when you’re learning to use it and it spills all over your lovely bathroom floor.

THE FUN CONTINUES!  I have the Paragard IUD, so for the first year when my uterus, Pele, and Ingrid (as I like to call my IUD) did not get along, I had to deal with spotting, month long periods, and irregular bleeding schedules.  I was looking for a product that would help me on those days when a cloth pad was too much, a tampon was WAY too much, and my Diva Cup was unnecessary.  (You know, those “brown” days?)  I found something that has worked for me for the most part.  Thinx Underwear is basically a built in pantyliner.  Certain styles can even hold a little more than that.  I use these for my brown days, for my heavy flow days as back up to my diva cup, and for my light days when I don’t feel like a pad or sticking anything inside of me.  They also go to a good cause.  NOTE: These run small!! Go by hip size!!

Find those here —-> http://www.shethinx.com/

WARNING: Wearing these undies ALL DAY when you’ve got some lady drips going on can cause some funky smells to happen, despite what they say on the website.  I recommend not wearing them ALL DAY.  (Not that I’ve done this or anything …)

These are the funniest underwear I have ever owned.  I stumbled upon these a year or so ago, but they were sold out of everything because everything is freaking hilarious.  “Crime Scene,” “Cunt Dracula,” “Sour Puss,” “Aunt Flo,” “Bleeder of the Pack,” “Evil Beaver” – all names of the undies depicting rage and blood and hilarity.  I suggested they come out with a “Pele’s Eruption” and even got a handwritten comment of “That’s hilarious!”  Hopefully they take me up on it.

Another awesome feature of the HareBrained Period Panties is that the inside is lined in black.  No need to worry about stains – granted sometimes it is nice to know what’s going on down there.  Either way, these patterns are a great way to have fun with your period!

NOTE: Also go by hip size with these undies!! I usually wear a medium in undies, but with these I got an XL because I have more junk in the trunk than I realized!

Thanks for reading!  I hope I was able to shed some insight into the wonderful word of eco-perods and LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR PERIOD! AND LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF!!!

Love and hugs to everyone – BLEED ON, MY SISTERS!!!