I noticed a flurry of articles on menstrual cups over the past week, but with a bit of a twist. Far from the usual “I tried it and I liked it even though I didn’t think I would”, or “I’m a glamazon who tried it and I wasn’t sure I liked it”, and “menstrual cups improving lives for marginalized women in low-income countries” (see here and here for some recent excellent examples), these recent articles had a uniquely tabloid spin.
“Switching from tampons to a menstrual cup 'can improve a woman's sex life'” reported the Daily Mail and many others. I’ll stick with the Daily Mail because they’re the most obviously tabloid (UK) paper.
Sex usually sells, from cars to click bait (and in turn to cars). And “sex” in advertising usually loosely translates to “pubescent girls looking hungry”. As it happens pubescent girls, some of them economically disadvantaged, are a feature of many articles about menstrual hygiene. As these articles are also about menstruation that almost by definition means they don’t fall into the “sex sells” category. Unless I missed something major.
Meanwhile the other main use of “sex” in life and in advertising consists of admonishments to make yourself sexy and to attend to your “sex life” in the same way you might redecorate your desperate lounge room in the fear that someone may, or may not, visit. Sexy ways to eat salad. New sexy socks. Sexy beach body tips. Your sexy new autumn hued couch. Sexy ways to sex up your sex life. Etc. Anyway I digress. The point is to this list of rituals to salvage your sexy sex life can be added the menstrual cup!
The Daily Mail report starts with the usual apologetic disclaimer: “you may think they are only used by hippies and those with questionable hygiene”. This is swiftly rounded out with a nonsensical dichotomy: “but menstrual cups could actually improve your sex life” (hippies don’t have sex lives?).
What this actually refers to is a survey by Intima, the brand who created the LilyCup and LilyCup Compact, of 1,500 women. In the survey, half of the users of menstrual cups said their sleep improved after switching to a menstrual cup; and two thirds “reported decreased vaginal dryness after switching”. Hence the sex life part. The lack of vaginal dryness part I mean (or maybe the quality of sleep too).
The survey also discusses environmental and economic advantages, the lack of odour, and things like the (I think impressive) stat that “84 per cent of women said they felt more confident during their period”. Also “78 per cent felt more comfortable with their body”. Those are pretty good stats but not apparently the sort that prompt clicks.
You can read the full tabloid story here:
While you’re there you can peruse the side bar about celebrities “flaunting” and “showing off” various things (but not, apparently, their menstrual cups - at least not as yet).