Thursday 23 March 2017

Reusable Pads: Fanny's Myth Busters

When Fanny told her friends she was starting a blog about reusable sanitary wear, their reactions ranged from mildly bemused to light vomiting. This was to be expected - not everyone has such an enlightened and pleasingly-clothed vagina as Fanny.  Not being one to be deterred by a little mockery in the face of seemingly left-field apparel choices for the nether regions, Fanny will now attempt to address some of the objections raised mid vom....

Cloth pads are for uber hippies*

I'll level with you - Fanny is really no earth mother.  In fact, Fanny was recently and mortifyingly shamed by a whippersnapper millennial boy-child colleague for her eco-shonkyness when disposing of her lunch wrapper in the wrong bin.

Not just for earth mothers
True, cloth pads have long been championed by the eco-conscious. Makes perfect sense - reusable pads are so much saintlier than 'sposables when it comes to landfill.  Fanny fact. But, that's not what solely motivates Fanny Cool.  If anything, Fanny is basically just a sartorial snob, and wants her vagina to be nicely dressed. Cloth sanitary pads are like accessories for the discerning vagina.  Like a Vajazzle but classier....a San Pazzle, if you will. Not sure that works - forget I said anything.  But anyway. Having lovely prints in your pants is just very cheering when you're having a menstrual moment.  Merrier and so much comfier than plain plastic, not to mention several thousand pounds cheaper long term - and you get braggable green points as a default Fanny bonus to come back at with to your horrified colleagues when challenged on your more visible eco failures.

Meh - sounds like hassle

On imagining dealing with cloth pads for the first time, Fanny conjured up visions of Victorian washer women scrub-a-dub-dubbing away at their grubby laundry in wooden baskets until their knuckles bled, gasping with heat, sweating and broken with the effort and exhaustion, all before having an illegitimate child, falling on hard times, becoming reliant on mother's ruin, and then dying of consumption at the work house.  But amazingly, none of those things happened to Fanny upon switching to reusable towels!
No Victorian suffering required

Here's how it works.  You wear a nicely patterned pad of your choosing and at the point at which you'd ordinarily change your 'sposable, you take it off, fold it, and stick it in a little waterproof wet bag which goes in your handbag/rucksack/briefcase/carrying receptacle of your choice. When you get home you toss the unzipped wet bag in the washing machine with your other laundry.  Eat, sleep, rave, (bleed), repeat.  It's a very little adjustment, but essentially pretty low key as new hobbies go.  And if you forget a mini waterproof bag, a plastic bag will also do the storage job valiantly while you're out and about, before tipping the pads into the washing machine when you get in. If you don't have any laundry to do, you can save em up for a wash, no big deal.

Of course there are cleaning ritual embellishments for those more 'at one' with their menstrual deposits.   Perhaps a smattering of stain remover for oomph, for example.  And cloth pad aficionados sometimes rinse or soak their pads in cold water first for good measure. But these are skippable steps if you're busy/minged out - or just cannae be arsed.

So to summarise - easy peasy and leaves you with plenty of time to get stuck into the mother's ruin.

Ewwww gross!

Germaine Greer, in The Female Eunuch, argues that
"If you think you are emancipated, you might consider the idea of tasting your own menstrual blood".
Fanny considers herself pretty emancipated, but still doesn't fancy this very much, tbh.  Not really Fanny's thing. No sirree.  Fanny would just much rather stick to a nice Sancerre if it's all the same to you. But it does, helpfully, put cloth pads in context in the whole 'I'm not so keen on handling my blood' stakes.

Just a sip?  
And, while I'm at it, maybe Fanny just has really bad technique, but have you ever tried to get a 'sposable pad into a sanitary bin in a public loo? Gingerly lifting a slightly sticky lid with loo paper, before hurling your pad in and dropping the lid, praying to all the gods that someone else's pad isn't stuck to the inside and you're not treated to a manky glimpse?  Or have you ever taken out a tampon in full flow?  With it splonking back and forth like a bloody pendulum as you perform a seated contemporary dance as you try and stop it donking your thighs and the loo seat?  Then cue the giveaway rustling as you faff with plastic packaging... And don't even get Fanny started on that distinctive period-y whiff that users of 'sposables know too well.  Woe is womankind.

Yeah, well cloth pads sort all of that shit right out. No rummaging with sticky bins, no wriggle dances on the loo. Only as much contact with the pad itself as with a 'sposable. And with the invention of the washing machine - no scrubbing. No gross.  Nice and clean. No rustly. No smelly. No blood tasting. Lovely.

Any more myths you need busting?  Comment below and let Fanny at 'em!

*apologies to friends who identify as 'uber hippy'.  You guys are the trailblazers!

Fanny, over and out.

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