Before I tell you this story, you need to know that I just started seeing Badger a little over a month ago, and we just made it a very monogamous YES WE ARE BOYFRIEND AND GIRLFRIEND a few weeks ago, and it’s all very new. There are levels of intimacy we have reached and levels we have not. For example, yes to physical intimacy and at the same time we still close the bathroom door when we pee or shower or brush our teeth. It’s one of those call on the way to work, text all day long, call to say good night super-close, wonderful relationships that start working immediately, and we like each other very, very much. But it’s still all very new.
Ok, so I’m on a lot of Zero-Waste/Minimalist groups on Facebook. One thing I have been noticing lately is a lot of discussion around menstrual cups. For those of you not in the know--as I was two weeks ago--this is a soft, plastic ...well, cup, that you put in your vagina to catch the blood when you have your period. You empty it every 12 hours or so, and because you reuse it, you are putting nothing in landfills and saving money by not purchasing tampons and pads. No one had ever told me that such a thing existed before! Why is that? Why aren’t we talking about this? This sounds amazing!
Everyone on the boards spoke of how amazing they are, so I thought, “what the heck,” took an online quiz to see which one was best for me, and dutifully purchased that one from Amazon.
One morning I followed instructions: washed it thoroughly, squished it, made a few attempts at getting it inside, and suddenly, it was in comfortably. I did it! Planet. Saved.
That afternoon Badger wanted to introduce me to some friends of his who were showing Alien, so off we went. I was thrilled that I couldn’t feel the cup at all and was even able to forget about it and be my normal, awkward self around new people.
Except when I went to the restroom. Sitting there, I remembered that it was inside me and decided that moment would be a great time to pull it out, look inside, dump it, and put it back in. So I tried. And couldn’t reach. There is a small tail at the bottom of the cup that lets you know where it is and I couldn’t even move that around, couldn’t even get a hold on that. You’re supposed to grab the bottom of the cup and squeeze or stick a finger in to break the seal, but that was just not possible in that moment.
But, no matter. These things are good for 12 hours at a time, so I cleaned up and went back to watching Alien with Badger and his friends. It ended, we left, and I told Badger about my bathroom adventure. He laughed with me, and I said it was a good thing that he is six foot two and has long fingers because I might need his help later. We giggled about it even more and went back to my place, where I was soon expecting the gals from my Badass Book Club.
When we got home, I had about 15 minutes to spare, so I went into the bathroom to try to get the cup out again. I pushed and pulled and poked, and ...nothing. It was still stuck. I texted Bear somewhat frantically. She sent me back a couple of websites to look at and suggested I relax. I looked at all of them. Nope, couldn’t figure it out.
The Badasses came, we discussed our book, and I shared my struggle with them, hoping that they would have the magic words to tell me what to do. They did! Google! They Googled and we watched videos and looked up information. Armed with this, I went upstairs to my bathroom and confidently began to follow the instructions to get it out. My shower seemed like a safe place to make a mess, so I squatted to make my vagina shorter--as instructed!- and reached up inside.
I tried and tried--really I did. All the positions, all the suggestions. But, nothing. It stayed stuck where it was.
I put a towel around my waist and opened the door to where Badger lay on my bed. “Do you want me to help you, baby,” he immediately asked sweetly, looking up from the game he was playing on his phone.
“No. I do not want you to help me,” I responded, and shut the door on him then went back in the shower to try again.
Nothing. Still stuck.
I went back to the door again and opened it and stared at him, humiliated beyond words and certainly not ready for this level of intimacy in our two-almost-three weeks of real relationship. He looked at me for a moment, then got up and came into the bathroom saying, “I read the instructions while you were in your book club, let me just wash my hands.” Horrified and wanting to die from embarrassment, I went to back in the shower and squatted. He came over and began to gently try to help and I just whimpered because it hurt when he did.
We repeated this a few times. Apparently the cup does this suction thing where it gets absolutely stuck to the vagina walls, and this is how the blood does not escape. Each time he tried I felt even more mortified and each time he tried it hurt. He would gently suggest that I relax and I would gently explain to him right back that I WAS VERY RELAXED HOW COULD HE NOT TELL THAT I WAS RELAXED? And then he would put his arms around me and kiss my cheek.
“Would you like me to take you to the emergency room,” he offered sweetly more than once.
“NO I DO NOT WANT YOU TO TAKE ME TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM,” I responded.
“Baby, of all the things doctors find in body cavities, this one is not embarrassing,” he countered softly.
Finally, he came up with something brilliant. “What if I go to the store and get some personal lubricant for you,” he suggested.
“Then everything will just become really slippery and we will never get it out,” I said, smashing his plan to pieces. He waited a moment, giving me time to think about it. “Oh, but then you’ll be able to get your finger on the side and break the suction seal…” He nodded because that was his whole point.
“Why don’t you listen to a meditation,” he suggested while he put on his shoes and socks. “I AM TOTALLY RELAXED,” I reminded him in return. He nodded and kissed my forehead before he left. I got in bed to wait and must have fallen asleep because moments later he was back.
“Let’s try this again,” he said. I sighed and went back in the shower. He washed his hands, put the lube on, and came over to me. I couldn’t even look him in the eye. Moments later, I heard (felt?) a pop and he pulled it out.
Later that night he held me close and kissed me, whispering, “don’t try that again unless I’m around, ok?” I promised I wouldn’t. This did not stop him from asking where the hell it was the next morning when he didn’t see it on the sink. I promised him I had put it away, not used it again.
I will probably research more and try it again next month. But only if Badger is around. I agree with Edna that superheroes should not wear capes. But some of them do wear nerdy t-shirts.
I am grateful.