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So, uh…I finally took your advice.

April 29th, 2020 No comments

I want to preface this with: This is not a review.

I bought the cups pictured here from Amazon, but that link goes to the manufacturer’s site in case you’re boycotting Amazon. It is not an affiliate link and I don’t make money (or clout) if you buy these cups. All other links within this post are for reference and do not make me money (or clout). I chose Lena Cups on a whim because they had more good reviews than bad ones and they came two to the package; one for regular flow, and one for heavy flow. Seemed like a great deal for a beginner set of cups. I don’t know anything about the company. Frankly, I got lucky.

Here’s what happened.

As I’m sure you all know, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. It’s fucking crazy.

I turned 40 (40!) in isolation (on April 6). I had to cancel my yearly visit with my mom because she’s in her 60s and immunocompromised and I will not be the reason she gets sick. She isn’t being as careful as I’d like her to be, but that’s typical Mom behavior. She’s always going to do what she wants to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

Truth be told, I’m not being as careful as I’d like to be, either, so I don’t really have much room to talk.

The first time we heard that other places were experiencing toilet paper shortages, I scoffed. We had gone to the store that day. The shelves were full. We live in a tiny town in a cluster of other tiny towns. There aren’t enough people here to clear our shelves. I figured we’d be fine. So we bought our usual package of 6 double rolls, and left the store confident.

It would be four weeks1 before we’d see toilet paper in any store within a 50 mile radius again. Four. Weeks. For those who haven’t worked retail, that’s at least eight delivery days.

So when I started hearing rumors2 of shortages on period products, I screwed my courage to the sticking point and ordered menstrual cups. I have enough to worry about right now without also having to worry about free bleeding. One way or another, I was going to make period cups work for me, even if I hated them.

I was really worried I was going to hate them. I don’t like spending money on things I’m not going to use. I’d tried those rings with the plastic bags (link for reference…I’ve never used this brand and do not affiliate with this company) on them. Those things suck (for me). They don’t fit in my vagina the way they’re supposed to. Inserting them hurts. Removing them is messy. I was so afraid that period cups would give me the same shitty experience, and I didn’t trust anyone who said that they wouldn’t because I felt like I wasn’t properly explaining the problems I had with the rings.

I fully expected them to take weeks to get here. Pretty much all major online stores have established a priority hierarchy for their products. Some have halted shipment of all non-essentials. But apparently, Amazon considers period products a priority because they were here in two days, so I got to try them out right away. Sometimes they get it right question mark?

https://twitter.com/RayneMillaray/status/1246154446872158209?s=20

Insertion the first couple times made me anxious. I’m a quick study, and generally get things figured out (on a cursory level) within a few minutes and a couple of tries, so when that didn’t happen, I got really worried that it wasn’t going to happen.

There is definitely a learning curve. Everyone’s right about that. But it’s not some mystical aspiration that you won’t ever attain, as a few people have suggested. One girl claims she had to go to the hospital to have hers removed because it went sideways and lodged itself in her vaginal walls. While I don’t doubt her story, I think it’s probably got a lot to do with her not taking the time to learn how to insert the cup and test it to be sure it’s inserted properly.

But what do I know? I don’t know her. Maybe she inserted it perfectly and it just wiggled around and got stuck.

I started with the Lena Small because the product page mentioned it being “for beginners” and women who have never had a vaginal birth. Thing is, it’s a tricky little bugger. It’s relatively soft silicone, and it’s about the size of a spool of thread, so if you don’t get a good grip on it, it unfolds as you’re inserting before it’s in place. Because I’ve got arthritis and pretty severe carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in both hands, it can be difficult for me to get a good grip, so any amount of friction can knock it loose.

And that’s how I learned I needed to add lube. Once I did that, I was able to get the cup positioned perfectly without it popping open before it was in the right spot. And while you’d think the lube would make the cup slip out of you, it stayed in place just fine.

If you’re not sure which lube to use, I’m a big fan of Sliquid (not an affiliate link) because their lubes are natural, and free of parabens and glycerin. I use their Organics Natural Aloe Based Lube (also not an affiliate link) for cup insertion, but I also really love Sliquid H2O (still not an affiliate link) if you just want something simple and water based. But you can use any water based lube (still not an affiliate link) you like. There are plenty to choose from.

I had seen somewhere that the fold makes all the difference, but the only fold I knew was the C fold. I did an internet search for menstrual cup folds, and found this site (disclaimer: I have no idea who owns that site. Didn’t even look into it. Just found the info helpful). And I read every section on that page. And I watched every fold video. And I tried every single one. I’ve settled on the triangle fold because it’s the only one that seems to allow me to get a good grip on the folded edge. But what with the arthritis and CTS, that could be a me thing.

Turns out, the fold does make all the difference, though. Once I’d figured out my preferred method, insertion became a breeze.

A thing to keep in mind when you’re picking out your cups is that size definitely matters. During a period, the cervix moves around some, resting lower than average in the vagina on some days, higher on others. This can result in longer cups not sitting properly in your vagina, which can lead to leakage and cramps. You want the cup to be positioned under your cervix so that the opening of the cup lines up with the opening of your cervix, but not touching it.

The Lena Large is one of the longest heavy flow period cups on the market, and it’s a little long for my vagina on days when my cervix is low. It still works a treat, though. I used it mostly for overnights because (nights are heaviest for me) I’d be sleeping so I figured I’d notice it less, and I was right. I didn’t notice it at all. But I think now that I’m comfortable with insertion and removal, I’ll be using it on heavy days, too, provided my cervix cooperates. I’d very much like to not ever have to empty my cup in a public restroom, please and thanks.

Some people experience discomfort if the stem hangs out of their vagina like a tampon string, so they cut them. The stems on the Lena Cups are flexible and have no sharp edges. The Lena Small doesn’t extend out of my vagina, and I can’t even feel it when it’s inside of me. The Large’s stem does extend out of my vagina, but I can’t feel that one either. I find it easier to remove the cup if I can grab onto the stem and wiggle it to my vaginal opening before grabbing ahold of the base and releasing the suction. So I’m keeping mine the length they came. YMMV, though. Do what’s most comfortable for you.

So my next concern was mental comfort. Am I going to be okay with sticking my fingers inside my bloody vagina to remove a cup full of blood, and seeing a puddle of blood come out of my body, and the smell, and whatever else comes with walking around with a cup that collects your blood and uterine lining inside of you? There’s a big difference between blood soaked cotton and an actual warm puddle of blood in a cup. But none of that was as jarring as I expected it to be. In fact, I was kinda fascinated. I’ve never seen my period blood in a puddle like that. It’s always half soaked up by something.

Physical discomfort isn’t an issue because I really can’t feel them when they’re in. Like, at all. Which is actually part of the draw for me because tampons are so uncomfortable. And this is just a theory, but I’m pretty sure I had less cramps because I didn’t have clots trapped against my cervix by a tampon. We shall see. My periods are monsters so maybe it was a fluke.

The first thing my sister asked me when I told her I was switching was how much of a mess it makes. Honestly, I haven’t experienced any more mess than I get when I use a tampon. My flow is irregular and unpredictable, so I change my tampon every single time I go to the bathroom (which I didn’t do when I was poor af and couldn’t afford period products, so if you don’t, no shame here). Because of the irregularity, I still end up bleeding through without knowing it when I’m wearing tampons, which results in messy retrieval and disposal. Most of the time, using the cups isn’t even that messy. Maybe a little blood on my fingers that I wipe off on toilet paper before dressing and washing my hands.

This does have a lot to do with how you remove the cup, though. I use the stem to wiggle it to the bottom of my vagina, squeeze the base to release the seal, then wiggle it side to side as I slowly pull it out. Some people prefer to slide their finger inside until they feel the rim and break the seal that way. But you have to be sure to break the seal. Because of the movement in what is basically a closed vacuum at this point, if you don’t break the seal, you’re going to have a difficult time getting it out.

I haven’t spilled the cup once, but I have dropped it after emptying it. I bumped my hand on the toilet seat and that baby went flying. Luckily, I was in my own bathroom. Hopefully, that won’t ever happen in public.

Honestly, I love them. Had decided I was a convert by the end of the first day, and I’d only been using them for about 8 hours. Unless my hands lose the ability to manipulate the fold, I don’t think I’ll ever use a tampon again.

So here’s some benefits, in no particular order:

  • You know what you’re putting in your body. As of right now, New York is the only state that requires companies to list all intentionally added ingredients in their period products on the package, and that only became law last year. It went into effect on April 9 but manufacturers have 18 months (Aug 2021) to comply. Most cup manufacturers disclose their products’ materials because they know that part of the reason so many people have switched is to protect their bodies from bleach and formaldehyde and other undisclosed chemicals cotton farms and tampon companies use as pesticides.
  • You don’t have to change it (in this case, empty it) every time you use the restroom. Menstrual cups are safe to use for up to 12 hours, so once you get to know your flow, you can go longer between cup empties without worrying about overflows and mess. And silicone doesn’t absorb liquid, so you don’t have to worry about urine being soaked up by your period product if you don’t take it out while you pee.
  • You won’t run out of period products when you don’t have the money to buy more. Even if you only have one cup, you still have all the cups you need because you can empty that one cup and reinsert. If you want to wash it in between dumping and reinserting, carry some butt wipes so you don’t have to waddle to the sink with your pants around your ankles in a public restroom, or time your outings so that you don’t have to empty it at all while you’re out.
  • You’re reducing your carbon footprint. The average person can create up to 62,415 pounds of garbage over the course of their life just from their period. That’s fifteen and a half whole cars of period products in a landfill for just one person. There are 169.22 million people with uteruses in the US. That’s potentially 2 billion 622 million 910 thousand cars worth of period products in our landfills. Most of which is plastic. Holy wow.
  • Cups don’t dry your vagina. Most of my period-having life, dryness hasn’t really been an issue. If anything, I’ve overproduced vaginal lubrication the vast majority of my life, even on my period. But over the last couple years, I’ve noticed a change. I mean, I am 40 (40!). I’m not having issues with dryness, but I am noticing that I don’t always produce as much wetness as I used to. It’s whatever, but I’ve also noticed that this has translated to tampons making my vagina feel like an old leather shoe someone dug out of an archeological dig, which makes insertion and removal painful and sometimes impossible without lube, which gets sucked up by the cotton and allows for less blood absorption.
  • I literally can’t feel the cup when it’s inserted properly. Obviously, on days when my cervix is lower, and my flow is heavy, I feel the Lena Large a little bit, but most of the time, it’s like I’m wearing nothing. Which is a major pro for me because tampons are hella uncomfortable and pads are…just no.
  • Better collection method for period magic. No, really. You can’t do much better than a cup that collects it all for you while you go about your life.
  • Less period smell. I won’t claim cups eliminate period smell altogether because that would be a lie. Every thing has a smell. But for some reason, the period smell is much less prevalent and offensive with cups. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know.
  • SAVE MONEYYYYY!!!!! Who doesn’t want to do that, right? I have a super heavy flow, so I’m spending, on average, $20 a month on period products, so $240 a year. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you learn that 33 states have a “tampon tax,” while Viagra remains tax exempt, $240 a year seems like way too fucking much.

M keeps saying, “If they’re so awesome, why isn’t everyone using them?” And I honestly couldn’t tell you.

What I can tell you is this. At least one of you is sitting here reading this, thinking, “Okay, maybe that works for her, but it’s probably not going to work for me. My pussy’s too finicky.” You want to be wrong, because honestly, tampons suck, and pads are gross, and you’d really like to have a better option.

I know because that’s how I felt every time someone in my stratosphere announced that they’d made the switch and gushed about how awesome cups are for them. And now I feel really dumb for waiting so long. That’s, like, 10 years I could have been having more comfortable periods and not spending money on something I use once for 5 hours and throw away.

And now that I’m done with that infomercial…I swear to you this is not an ad, or sponsored post, or anything like that. No one is paying me to write this. I just truly expected to hate everything about these cups because I hate everything about those stupid rings with the plastic bag attached, and when it turned out I absolutely love them, I was shocked, and I wanted to share the best thing to happen to my period life with you just in case one of you is in the same boat.

Hope you’re faring well in the pandemic.

We had a brief scare. My stepmother had to be tested for COVID19, but the test came back negative. That’s a whole nother post that I might write some day.

<3

1. Since then, we’ve only seen 2-3 packages on the shelf every other week.
2. So far, there has been no evidence of a period product shortage in our area, but if there is one in yours, I have two boxes of cardboard applicator tampons that need a home. One is a light, regular, super multipack and the other is super plus. The boxes are open, but I only used a few.

FYI

April 8th, 2020 No comments

I feel like this goes without saying, but believe it or not, people change. Beliefs change. Morals change. Lifestyles change.

This blog spans 15 years of my life. M and I have been together 17 years, and we’ve been through a lot of shit in those years. Hell, who’s not going through a lot of shit right now?

I had a blonde phase.

Rayne with blonde hair

I’ve moved on to pink and purple.

Rayne with pink and purple hair

I realized I don’t actually hate pink. I just said I did because it was a “girl” color.

I realized a lot of shit about myself, actually.

What I’m saying is not everything in this blog rings true for me anymore. And while I’ve been saying for years I’m going to edit the old stuff, I honestly can’t bring myself to spend days on end wading through the bullshit that I used to spew and reminding myself just how much of an asshole I used to be.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m still an asshole. I’ll probably always be an asshole because there are still a lot of things society says I should do that I think are dumb. I’m not afraid to admit that. But some of the shit I used to say and do was wholly fucked up. And even if I had an excuse, I wouldn’t give it to you.

So this is just a warning. Take some of the shit I say in this blog with a grain of salt. Even I don’t stand by half of it anymore. Maybe some day, I’ll be in a headspace that allows me to revisit and explain why I was a dumb fucking bitch back then and what’s changed since. Today is not that day.

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Don’t listen to the weirdos. You don’t suck at D/s.

June 20th, 2019 Comments off

a picture of Rayne with blonde hairHi.

How are you?

I feel like it’s been a year since I posted here, but it’s only been since Valentine’s Day. Time sure flies when…well. Hmm.

First things first, if you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you probably haven’t heard that brunette Rayne has been cancelled. I’m actually planning on doing something like this (click link)(I don’t know why I felt the need to put that there, but I’m leaving it) in the very near future, but when I finished bleaching my hair, and looked in the mirror, I fell in love. So I’m putting that on pause and enjoying this unnatural blonde for a while. Next step is a second processing when I do my roots to see if I can’t get it lighter so the colors will be more pure when I decide to do them. That’s probably happening in a couple weeks. But that’s as much of an update as you’re going to get right now. I came here on a mission.

Every once in a while, I pop on FetLife to see what’s going on. I don’t interact much anymore. I got tired of the backbiting and one-upping and “your way’s wrong”ing, of which I was absolutely a part, so I removed myself from the situation.

I popped on today and was surprised to see that a local dom who used to throw hissy fits about being expected to get permission before touching people in a kink space talking about how important consent is to him. I guess you can teach old kinksters new tricks.

(Sometimes I tell the same joke on my blog that I told on my Twitter, only on my blog, I use the correct words. Shut up.) Read more…

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Valentine’s Day is Every Day

February 14th, 2019 1 comment

found here

So yesterday, M’s coworker asked him what we’re doing for Valentine’s Day.

M said, “Nothing.”

We live paycheck to paycheck and M gets paid on the 15th and 30th every month, so our Valentine’s Days usually look like this:
Wake up around 8:30am. Smooch and snuggle in bed for a few minutes.
I get up and make breakfast for us and the cats.
M gets up when breakfast is ready and starts working, eating while he works.
I clean.
I read.
I tweet.
I write.
I make lunch and M eats while he works.
I hang out with the cats.
I talk to M when he’s got a free moment.
I play video games.
One of us makes dinner. If we’re lucky, M gets to stop working, but that’s rare. Often, he eats dinner while he works.
We usually have sex.
We watch TV or a movie or play video/board/card games.
We go to bed. Read more…

How’s things?

January 7th, 2019 Comments off

Hi. How are you?

No, really. How are you?

I know that’s, like, a default thing we all ask friends, family, and strangers, and we don’t often actually want to hear (or care about) the answer. But I really do. How are you?

I’m okay, today. I know you didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

Money’s tight because we had to lease new furniture because our old furniture was literally causing both of us spine and hip injuries, and then we spent more money than we should have over the holidays. Our bad. But we’ll get through it. We always do.

My mental health has been in the toilet. Some time over the holidays, I realized that I really don’t give a shit if I live or die. I’m not having suicidal ideations. I’m not actively suicidal. I just don’t care what happens. Read more…

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Weird Dude Dreams

September 26th, 2018 Comments off

rayne selfie

All of these bad selfies I’ve been using in posts are a cop out. I need to get back into photography. Maybe some day.

Quick note: Our theme seems to be having occasional trouble in Safari. I can’t figure out what’s causing it. It’s a super old theme, and we’ll be updating to something more modern and less of a pain in the ass to maintain, but for now, M’s buried, and he does all my theme work, so it might be a while. If you’re having theme issues, please drop me a line at rayne@insatiabledesire.com and let me know what browser you’re using, and then try another browser. Thanks! Sorry for the inconvenience.

I’ve been having a lot of really weird dreams involving me being a dude.

A lot. Of really weird dreams.

There was this one where I was on testosterone. That was a while ago, so that’s all I really remember about it (and if I’m to be honest, I only really remember it because I was running a Twitter search for a conversation I participated in about whether or not “cis” is a slur, and that was one of the tweets that came up).

There was one where I was a trans man, but I couldn’t afford to transition. I had come out, and my family had disowned me, so I moved in with my friend and her husband (who, weirdly, lived in the house I spent my teen years in), and her husband was a complete piece of shit who kept doing fucked up shit to me because “you’re too pretty to be a dude.” Read more…

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