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HomeArts & CultureDiary of a Diva Cup procrastinator

Diary of a Diva Cup procrastinator

By Katie TothSex Columnist

It’s the first annoying day of my period and I’m doing it. I am taking the leap and purchasing a Diva Cup.
I’ve heard about Diva Cups for years now. Every time I go to the drugstore to buy more maxi pads and tampons, I always think to myself, “Damn, I should really buy one of those sometime.”
The problem is that I’m a terribly forgetful charter of my monthly painters and decorators, so they tend to just swing by my house and offer me a surprise.
For those of you who haven’t been hearing about the Diva Cup for years, let me explain. Menstrual cups such as the Diva Cup or the Keeper, are flexible cups made of silicon or rubber that you insert into your vagina to collect menstrual blood. The Diva Cup costs about $40, but each one lasts for several years.
Today is my day, though. I am going to finally stop reading about Diva Cup users, and become one. I cycle down to the local sex-and-bookstore and pick up a Diva Cup. Carpe diem! Seize the moment! Promote sustainability!
I am so excited that I have finally bought this Diva Cup that I also purchase a few reusable cloth pads for overnight use and even surprise myself with Vinnie’s Roller Coaster Charting Calendar, with about a million different stickers for heavy flow days, cramps, PMS symptoms and period predictions!
I bought stuff. So I’m sustainable. Right?
Wait. Now I actually have to use it all.
I go home and take my cup out of the box. Gosh, it looks big. And the silicone – it’s thick! I read that there are actually two models: model one for women under 30 and those who have not given birth, and model two, a larger cup, for those who have given birth or are over 30. I must have picked model two. I think to myself. Oh well, I guess I can use my last tampons and pads and go back to the store tomorrow.
My roommate asks me how I like my Diva Cup, and I tell her it’s not in because I have the wrong model. She picks up the box. It says model one in big letters, surrounded by pink. She looks at me incredulously. She says she is absolutely confident that it is the right one. But it looks so intimidating.
She takes my cup and shows me how to fold it up so that the entering end is really small for easy insertion, and offers me the suggestion that I can trim the little tail at the end a little bit so it’s smaller. “Great!” I think. Now I just have to clean it, and I’ll use it tonight. Right after I go to the library to do some homework.
After I come back from my urgent and important university education, I read the instructions on how to clean the Diva Cup. This looks hard! They suggest washing the cup with Diva Wash or unscented soap, and boiling the cup for 20 minutes. But we have guests in the kitchen making cake, and as I look at my bar of scented Irish Spring sadly, I decide to put on my pad and go to bed.
I have worn my first reusable pad overnight, and I’m so impressed with how comfortable and breathable it is that I decide to skip on the Diva Cup and wear another pad in the morning. One setback: I’m wearing a baggy pair of jeans, and when I put on my American Apparel skinnies, they quickly are pulled off due to obvious pad-ness. To be fair, I’m so bloated they would have been a painful decision anyway.
Wearing the pad has been soft and gentle, without that weird plastic feeling rubbing up against my vulva. And I’ve bought two options: one with red polka dots and one with pictures of cars!
As I put in my new pad, though, I’m left staring at the used menstrual item, wondering what the hell to do with it. Luckily I have a load of dark-coloured laundry to do, so I soak it in cold water in the sink and then throw some laundry in the wash before I go to school.
If I’m going to be washing each of my pads in a sink full of cold water individually after I use them, and doing a load of laundry, how sustainable is the reusable pad phenomenon going to be?
As I cycle home for lunch from school, I begin to see that as superior as these pads feel to regular pads, they are still pads. The bunching feeling that occurs when you’ve got an absorbent item squeezed between your vag and a bicycle seat has not, and will not, magically disappear.
Unfortunately, I’m just too busy this lunch hour to wash my Diva Cup, so I fish around my box of menstrual products for a tampon without an applicator. It’s small, so there’s less waste, right? I mean, I know that the bleached cotton and synthetic products aren’t the best thing for my vagina ever, but it’s right there and it seems so convenient.
I leave the Diva Cup hanging in its little Diva bag on a hook in the bathroom, and promise myself that I will pick it up later. I do, however, manage to make time to figure out the answer to my reusable pad query. Apparently, one tip is to have a bucket of cold water into which you can just throw your reusable pads. Then at the end of your cycle, you can throw all of them in the laundry together, and flush the cold water down the toilet. Awesome!
So, I’m on day three of my period, and I still haven’t used Diva Cup. This morning I have to wake up early, but luckily I have a new pad that dried in the laundry last night, so I scuttle with my bicycle for some coffee before a morning class.
When my roommate comes by and asks me what I’m writing about on my laptop, I say, “Um, how I keep procrastinating on using the Diva Cup?”
“It’s just hard,” I explain. “I have to actually clean it. And it’s different. And it’s a big vagina cup that looks scary. And what if I don’t clean it properly?”
“No!” she cries. “It’s so simple! You boil the water. You put it in for 20 minutes. Then you take it out! You’re ridiculous! Do it!”
My head hung with shame, I boil the cup and then take it upstairs to put in my vagina.
I even decide to be proactive. To combat my fear of the silicone, I’ll take a little bit of lube and lather it on the cup before folding it and trying to shove it in there. Horrible, horrible idea.
“My vagina! The Diva Cup just snapped and hit my cunt in the face!” I scream through the walls of the bathroom.
My roommate, a trained Diva Cup user, tells me to hold the cup tighter, so I try again. But it slips right out of my fingers and again, the folded up silicone cup slaps back into place, offering my vag a hefty beating.
“Oh god, I’m bleeding! It’s even making me bleed!”
“Katie, have you forgotten that you are on your period?” she reminds me.
Right.
I wipe off the lube and try one last time. At first, it is not the most comfortable thing ever. It requires some bearing down and some short fingernails, so that I can hold onto the cup and twist it until hear a quiet, but not painful this time, “snap”, reassuring me that this Diva will protect from unexpected leaks.
After coaxing, procrastinating and trying four other kinds of menstruation protection, I have finally managed to insert my Diva Cup on the second-last day of my period.
Making the move to sustainable, and likely better-for-you products isn’t always, the easiest. It’s easier to be all into staying with our status quo routine of spending more money on more things that are supposed to help us manage our bodies, all the while producing heaps and heaps of waste.
It’s too bad that all my procrastination and silly excuses means I don’t have a lot of time to tell you how effective it is or how comfortable at night. Come back in 28 days and find out.

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