This morning, a friend sent me a link to FLEX, a new “tampon alternative you can wear during sex.”
At first, I was intrigued. The design is beautiful, and the concept of not using tampons that are potentially toxic to our bodies is a good one.
Their sales video goes something like this:
“Hey, don’t you hate your period?”
“Isn’t it so gross and smelly and awful?”
::Insert Our Brand as The Solution::
This, ladies and gentlemen, is NOT the solution.
The solution, at its root, is far deeper and more complicated than continuing to hate something so natural, essential and divine about ourselves and finding yet another way to suppress our connection to it.
I’m just now learning how to love, heal and embrace my cycle.
Somatic sexologist / sex educator (and my teacher) Lara Catone loves her bleeding time and no longer sees it as a “shameful inconvenience,” as society often frames it, but instead an incredibly powerful gift.
“One of my missions through my work at The Artemis School is to shift our menstrual culture,” she says. “I envision every woman and girl learning the physical and hormonal fundamentals of her cycle so that she can partner with her body and live out the innate magic that is her birth rite.”
Her birth rite. Sing it, sister.
FLEX’s angle, however, speaks to the typical and oh-so-tired societal dread of (and estrangement from) our natural rhythms.
Above: Actual screenshots taken from FLEX’s marketing video. Did you really just write “smelly,” and also presume to be about “a world in which women love their bodies”? Are you f*cking kidding me?
FLEX ends their video with a testimonial from 28-year-old Lindsay:
“FLEX made me forget I was on my period!”
Excuse me? Why is “forgetting” and further distancing ourselves from our body awareness a thing to strive for?
Marketing that promotes this attitude as healthy is the furthest thing we need right now, in a time when accepting/choosing our bodies—whatever gender they are or we choose them to be—is so critical.
An actual solution starts with a mental shift. First:
Can we please replace “ew period!” with “yes creation!”?
Because for all of us who are all about “creativity,” consider that every month you or a woman you love is filled with the juice and power of the essence of it.
Stop turning away from it, shoving things up it, masking it with toxic perfumes, and ingesting chemicals to halt it.
- I realize I’m speaking to an audience of women who will feel strongly about this post. I invite you to let it sit with you, breathe deeply and look softly at your own reactions to it. <3
- As far as “period-proof” inventions and technology that I love, try THINX panties, which allow you to free-bleed (no corkage fees here).
- If you desire to learn and know more about embodiment practices, especially around women’s wellness, I can help you through my regular coaching practice.