Or what Fanny learned upon switching to reusable sanitary wear
By and large, when Fanny tells people about her unorthodox hobby, they tend to be somewhat perplexed. For Fanny is a blogger on the subject of reusable sanitary wear and will happily discuss her menstrual minge attire at every possible opportunity. Fanny is a self-proclaimed fannyist – near evangelical about the joys of reusables and their brilliant benefits, scrabbling up drainpipes with a wonky banner, dressed up like Spiderman and shouting from the rooftops – reusable sanitary wear is the future! Vaginaaaaa! Fannies4Justice, guys!
But Fanny has not always been this way. At one time Fanny was a classic tampon girl. A classic tampon girl with really grim periods: excruciating cramps, an extraordinarily heavy flow and, as a result, an extreme loathing of her menstrual cycle. Fanny’s periods got in the way; they ruined lots of lovely bed sheets, made sex look like a crime scene, and caused her hideous pain. Not to mention the expense of jumbo ginormous tampons and night time pads and a truck load of ibuprofen. If only her period could just disappear, Fanny thought, dreading the monthly miseries. Everything was bollocks and hopeless and having a period sucked. And it wasn’t fair.
So how on earth did Fanny turn from period hater to reusable lover?! Did she step into a phone box as a bespectacled lady with PMS and a box of Tampax in her briefcase and emerge feeling like a Super Fanny with a cape, a happy vagina and a megaphone? Well, no. Not quite…
Fanny needs to save some money!
Fanny, at that time, was broke. Working in the arts and earning sod all, and living off tips as a waitress in a yummy mummy pub that was liberally scattered with snotty wet wipes and drool. Fanny examined every corner of her life to uncover all possible ways of saving her very hard earned tips so she could buy useful things such as food. What could be reduced, reused, recycled, reinvented? What could be cut or snipped or trimmed? And one day, in between scrimping and saving and hiding in the pub toilets, Fanny examined her pants and had a brain wave. That there was a small fortune to be saved in switching to reusable sanitary wear and neatly swerving a monthly spend on pads and tampons.
Finding a reusable pad to try out was, admittedly, more complex than one might have hoped. Net a porter for reusable sanitary pads? Not a porter more like, Fanny sighed as she browsed endless Etsy pages and eco sites, baffled by the seemingly complex array of styles, fabrics and sizes. In the end Fanny plumped for two, at random, as a trial – a super pad with a seriously glittery unicorn pattern, and a night-time fluffy zebra print affair. Little did Fanny know, that zebra number was to become a ‘Little Black Dress’ for her bajingo.
Fanny was immediately and seriously impressed with her new purchases. For starters, Fanny’s new pads were soft. Deliciously soft against her sensitive bits. Compared to the rubbing of a tacky plastic disposables they were just snuggly, vaginary bliss. And they were so easy! Fanny’s care routine went like this – use the pad, take it off, stick in a little waterproof bag, toss into the washing machine with her other clothes. And voila! Oo la la! Weeth theese pads you are spoiling us! And, interestingly, they were way less whiffy than disposables. Safe in the knowledge that her reusable experiment was a triumph, Fanny bought a selection of pads in a range of shapes and sizes.
And that is when Fanny realised – reusable pads were freaking fun! You can get a sanitary pad with any bloody pattern you bloody well like! Want to bleed on cutsey kitty print? Sure – why not! Want to menstruate on fabulous florals? Fill yer boots! Want to bleed on Trump’s face? Make menstruation great again! Or just want the softest damn fabric you can find? Snuggle down, sister! Fanny kept a solitary packet of organic cotton tampons on standby just in case of dire emergency requiring stupidly small pants, like going to the beach, or attending a black tie event. But otherwise Fanny was now a reusable pads girl through and through. Super Fanny found her wings.
As time marched on, Fanny began to notice some changes. The monthly dread was replaced with excitement about trying new pads out. Popping to the loo and looking at pretty rainbows in her kecks made Fanny chuckle. And even more peculiar – her periods became shorter, lighter and less painful. Now, Fanny would really not describe herself as an earth mother. Far from it. She isn’t very adept at recycling, will probably never make her own body scrubs or wear cheesecloth, and has always been more Glasto than Womad. But Fanny couldn’t fail to acknowledge that she felt at peace with her period. Not so peaceful that she’d chant or anything. But quietly content and comfortable in her own skin. Fanny learned that reusables made her feel fanny-tastic.
Down with Disposables!
But Fanny wouldn’t be much of a Super Fanny if she didn’t have an arch nemesis – and the dastardly Dr Disposable was fast shaping up to be the villain of Fanny’s story. Dr Disposable – the insular self-regulating industry dominated by male CEOs – seller of icky plastic crap – sucker-upper of much lady cash. All this time Fanny had been cheerily whacking expensive tampons up her foof for absolutely no good reason. All this time Fanny hated on her period for nothing! Every month Fanny had been blindly handing over her cash for a total con!
But now Fanny had seen through it. The idea that womankind needed disposable pads for anything other than occasional use was just a brazen confidence trick and Fanny discovered that she’d been had.
Justice for all Fannies!
So what can an angry fanny do?! Well there’s a bat-signal in the sky shaped like a giant tampon and it’s calling to us to get justice for our fannies. It’s up to us to spread the word about reusable san pro, reveal the paths that lead away from the disposable trap and celebrate the alternatives.
How totally great would it be to have reusable pads more widely available? To pop to Marks & Spencer for a trusty pad along with your multi pack of pants and prawn sandwich would, for Fanny, really be living the dream. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to invest in research into the potential health benefits of switching to reusables, and to educate young people about all the options – not just the mainstream choices.
For many bleeders disposables will still be the right choice for them – and that is a-OK. But fannies everywhere deserve the facts to make an informed choice. And not just creepy alternative facts like blue blood in sanitary wear adverts, or the lie that is white trousers and skipping through fields on day one of your period.