As I was driving to Hobby Lobby to collect much needed supplies for my upcoming period, I chuckled to myself about how even my menstruation is crafty.
No, I'm not going to paint with my period blood...I might be kind of an odd duck but that pushes even my boundaries.
Instead, for the 18th year since I read the book Cunt and discovered the sea sponge, I'm going to yet again refuse to spend a cycle shoving 'a wad of dry fucking cotton' into any part of my body, bleeding or not. It's abrasive. It's uncomfortable. It's full of things I definitely do NOT want coming in contact with the inner workings of my girl parts.
I'm writing this post to share with you the many reasons why you might also want to get crafty with your periods.
A bit of a back story. I started bleeding for the first time at 13. There was no debate in my mind in tampons vs. pads...I had zero interest in wearing what at the time to me equated to a diaper of blood and tissue. Tampons it was. Three years went by like this, three years of cramps so terrible I couldn't get out of bed for days. Three years of heavy bleeding that went on for 4 or 5 days. Three years of dreading the cycle of the moon. Three years of resisting my own female body. And then, at 16 years old, I quit shaving my legs and armpits, started shaving my head, got radically female, and read the book Cunt.
I quit shaving my head a long time ago (thank goodness--my head is much too round for that), I still don't shave, and I still use the sea sponge.
Pretty much immediately, my periods improved. I began bleeding a normal amount, and the duration shortened from 4-5 days to 3-4. My cramps disappeared. I can probably count on both of my hands the number of times I have had period cramps in the last 18 years. Before the sponge, I was bedridden for days.
No more pain. No more dreading the moon cycle. No more running from my womanhood.
No more intimate contact with pesticides and phthalates, no more waste products.
No more rich white men getting richer off of my body. I can reuse a single sponge for 2 or 3 months, and at about a dollar a sponge it costs me nearly nothing to bleed.
Here's how it works:
Purchase the sponges (don't forget the Hobby Lobby app and your daily 40% off coupon), and sterilize them before use. I reuse my sponges for 2 or 3 months. Be sure to sterilize them each month before use.
Sponges have to be dealt with more often than tampons because when they get full, if you laugh or cough and they haven't been recently rinsed, you're in a bit of trouble.
*The first day of my period always requires more attention than the following days, and if I'm going out, I wear a panty liner just in case something makes me giggle at an inopportune moment.
And as far as rinsing them in public goes... lucky you! Many establishments now offer handicap bathroom stalls with sinks INSIDE so you can save yourself the dilemma of the audience at the sink. Me on the other hand, I started doing this stuff long before such conveniences existed...
If you know of an alternative to pads and tampons that I haven't listed, please share with us in the comments below!