Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Untitled, to minimize embarrassment

I attended a conference in Boston last week, at which a Canadian colleague whose research I greatly admire told me he'd done a google search of a psychological construct he publishes about, and found it referenced in a blog he assumed belonged to one of my grad students. I blushed furiously, debated (internally) the merits of lying, then decided on the truth, not because I'm ethical but because I'm too lazy to do the work necessary to maintain a lie. I admitted the blog was mine. At that point we shared a nervous laugh and changed the subject.

Hence, it's with some trepidation that I post about my experience with my new potential best friend, the DivaCup. Now that he knows my blog address, I fear sending my colleague into hysterics with this post. Alternatively, maybe my boss will find this one, although if she's googling "DivaCup" she's hardly in a position to cast stones.

Anyway, in one of the funniest blog posts and threads of comments (93 at last count!) I've ever read about female reproduction (about anything, really), my hilarious and honest and totally unpretentious friend Jonna proclaimed her fear of and, later, love of the type of cup-like intravaginal (god, what an ugly word) device that's designed to replace tampons, called, variously, the DivaCup, the Keeper, or the Moon Cup (not to be confused with the Moon Pie, which is useful during the menstrual cycle for completely different reasons). No early adopter of innovative technology, I had never tried such a product, but the posters on Jonna's site were such fans and offered such convincing arguments that I decided to order my own DivaCup. Model 2, of course, for women over 30 or who have had a child (even a c-section -- WTF?). Following Jonna's model of fearlessness and self-deprecation, here's my report, consisting of random observations of the pros and cons of the device. Men (and that means you, Don), click away now.

* The DivaCup comes with a lapel pin. It's an enamel flower adjoining the word Diva. It is far too precious to throw away. I'm waiting for the right person to send it to, preferably at Christmas, accompanied by an inedible fruitcake.

* Installation is both easier and harder than I'd expected. First, may I suggest that you rinse the thing with water the first time you use it. It's easier that way to, uh, put it where it's supposed to be. The diameter of the opened cup is about 1.5 inches, which, folded into fourths, isn't as small as you'd think. It's about the size of 3 tampon heads compacted together, so "gentle glide" is not an apt description. Once it's in, though, the thing snaps open like a golf umbrella in an elevator, and it becomes pretty clear that it's not going to leak.

* It doesn't leak. The manufacturer recommends emptying and cleaning it every 12 hours. On the first day I wore it for 13.5 hours, with white underwear, daring it to disappoint me. It did not.

* You can't feel it. Really. The "stem" is pretty close to the entrance to Hoo-ville, but you can't feel it, even when you sit down.

* HOWEVER: If you have an aversion to blood, stick with tampons. Even 1/2 ounce of blood is a lot. Don't believe me? Fill a shotglass halfway full of water, then spill it on a plate. Now imagine it's blood. I was okay with this because blood doesn't freak me out, but I know people who faint at the sight of a few drops. I had no idea how much blood is absorbed by a tampon until I used the DivaCup, which of course just contains it. So--lots of blood. Can I say blood again? Blood blood blood. Lots of blood--but nowhere near enough to fill the cup. So when you remove it, don't worry about the overspill. But for the love of all that is holy, squeeze the cup to break the seal before pulling it out. You'll see. (Oh my god, it just occurred to me that DivaCups could be used as shotglasses. By a group of a women. At a sleepover. Just before the mass disrobing and pillow fight.)

* The feeling of liberation from tampons is amazing. On Jonna's blog everyone mentioned "no more strings" and avoiding the "pendulum whack" and so forth, all of which is true, but you know what I'll miss the least? Trying, in a public restroom, to minimize the volume of the wrapper rustle that broadcasts "I'M INSERTING A TAMPON" as loudly as a 3-year-old stomping on bubble wrap. Now, I'm not going to suggest that cleaning out the DivaCup in a public restroom is a comparatively discrete affair, but I don't intend to use a public restroom for this purpose. Since you only have to change it before bed and again upon awakening, you can do it in the privacy of your own home (or hotel room or, god help you, tent).

* No more strings. No more fucking strings. Once I got a massage from a man, and he went up pretty high on my thigh, and all I could think was, what if his ring catches the string? Needless to say, the massage did not relax me. No more accidentally (and publicly) pulling a tampon out of my bag when I am searching for a pen. No more worry about changing 'pons in the middle of the day. No more worry about leaking at night. No more worry about toxic shock syndrome. No more worry about clogging up the pipes with undegraded cotton. And it's good for the environment! (Okay, I don't really give a shit about this. I'm sorry, but that furniture set you bought last year when you upgraded to a 3000-square-foot house exceeds the volume of all the tampons you will use in your reproductive life, and probably degrades more slowly. So let's challenge our thinking about what's "good for the environment." But I digress.)

* No more tampons? Not so fast. See the tent comment, above. If I am ever camping, which is unlikely because I loathe it, but you never know--if I am ever camping, and water is scarce, I'll be packing the 'pons. You need water--clean, running water--to use the DivaCup. Trust me.


Blogger Urban Chick said...

**steps forward to embrace the new convert before leading her to the bar for an initiation ceremony which involves drinking tequila shots from some 'very special receptacles'**

4:43 PM, April 05, 2007  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Ok, I have been cracking up all afternoon over "entrance to Hoo-ville", and all I want to know is did you make up that usage, or is Hoo-ville common slang that I've completely missed? Whichever, you've got to add it to Urban Dictionary.

6:12 PM, April 05, 2007  
Blogger Jonna said...

I just wrote a blood warning, too! I realized I was so overzealous and in love with the cup that I neglected to mention that VERY IMPORTANT fact. Because it is a lot. A LOT. It didn't bother me a lot, but it was pretty gross, I'm not going to lie.

Oh K. I love you. You just kill me. "Hoo-Ville" BAH!

9:27 PM, April 05, 2007  
Blogger PFG said...

I may give it a shot (no pun intended). Your comment about the no more tampons flying out of the bag reminds me of a fun story...
Oh and you pretty much hit the nail on the head about why I don't publicize my blog more. The colleague. Fewer links = less googlable.

12:36 AM, April 08, 2007  
Blogger violetnoir said...

Okay, babe, I've tried the Keeper, and let me tell you: In my opinion it ain't one!

My sister loves it and urged me to try it about two years ago. I should have known better...she actually loves having a period.

Anyway, at first I loved it. I had no problem inserting it, and it did not leak.

The problem arose when I had to finally, after twelve hours, take it out and, um, empty it. Believe me when I tell you that I AM A HUGE KLUTZ!!! That Keeper is a bloody mess, literally and figuratively. I will leave it at that, because I don't wish to offend or gross out you or your readers.

I would love to replace tampons, but I don't see doing that in the forseeable future. Actually, I see doing menopause, but my friend just keeps on a-coming every dern month.


5:30 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Parisjasmal said...

I will NEVER be able to look at my perfume decanting supplies the same again. EWWWWWWWW

3:04 PM, April 15, 2007  
Blogger WinterWheat said...


5:25 PM, April 15, 2007  
Blogger StyleSpy said...

See, I used to have a cat named Diva, so this is a little weird for me...

I have a feeling that this thing is along the lines of the contraceptive sponge and as such, sadly, not for me. Redhead has a long and winding road (pace, Paul McCartney) and on more than one occasion during my wild & woolly youth the partner du jour ( or nuit, as the case may have been) had to be called upon to help a gal out with removal. (It just occurred to me that perhaps this is the source for my prediliection for long, lanky men -- their long, lanky & ever-so-useful fingers!)

Plus, I just... I dunno... Ya know...? I'm not terribly squeamish and I truly don't mind my period & all (love me, love my body & all that), but... the risk of having my bathroom sink look like the shower scene from "Psycho" is just more than I think I want to deal with first thing in the morning.

9:02 PM, April 15, 2007  
Blogger mireille said...

There are so many things in the post that ... oh, never mind. The Hoo-ville brought Dr. Seuss to mind ... and then I imagined whether Horton had anything to do with this innovation. From there I free associated to the shotglass full of ... oh, vodka, I think. I don't know if you can tell I'm on my second glass of Friday champagne, but I raise my glass to you, my young women friends. Braver than I ever was! I mean, my diaphragm got retired the first time something so untoward as ... oh, never mind. Anyway, you go, girls. If you ever want a funny post on HRT, come visit c'est chic. As weird as divawhatevers are, you gotta hear about the increased libido opportunities with Estratest. love you all. xoxo mireille

9:07 PM, April 20, 2007  
Blogger an9ie said...

Can I say blood again? Blood blood blood.

Heehee, that'll flush them out.

I just went and read all the comments at jonniker's, and I admit, I am now, officially, intrigued.

10:17 AM, April 24, 2007  
Blogger Julia said...

Hoo-ville. LMAO.

2:44 PM, May 31, 2007  

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