Amityville Horror: Horror or Hoax?

When George and Kathy Lutz moved into the three-story colonial in Amityville on New York’s Long Island in December 1975, they were thrilled.

 

The sprawling house at 112 Ocean Ave. had cost them just $80,000, and they loved it. “It was a dream come true,” George Lutz remembers.

 

 

True, the house had been the scene of a horrible multiple murder a little over a year before, when 23-year-old Ronnie DeFeo went from room to room methodically shooting his parents and his four brothers and sisters in their beds. But the Lutzes sat down with their three young children and agreed the family could handle it.

 

Just in case though, the day they moved in they had a priest, Father Ray Pecoraro, bless the house. According to Lutz, the priest said he felt an unseen hand slap him in the sewing room and heard a voice say “Get out.” Then, Lutz says, Pecoraro became ill with flu-like symptoms and his hands began to bleed.

 

The family moved in anyway, but within days they began to notice strange phenomena.

 

“There were … odors in the house that came and went,” Lutz says. “There were sounds. The front door would slam shut in the middle of the night…. I couldn’t get warm in the house for many days.”

 

Lutz says the family kept the fireplace burning day and night in a futile attempt to stay warm, and found strange gelatinous drops on the carpet when they woke up in the morning. At times, he claims, his wife was physically transformed into an old woman, with the face, hair and wrinkles of a 90-year-old.

 

 

Lutz claims that he mysteriously woke at 3:15 a.m. almost every day — around the same time the DeFeo murders were believed to have happened. One night, he says, he heard his children’s beds “slamming up and down on the floor” above him but he was unable to do anything because he was immobilized in bed by an unseen force. Later that night, he woke to see his wife levitating and moving across the bed, he says.

 

The next morning, just 28 days after they moved in, the Lutz family fled the house, leaving their clothes in the closets and food in the refrigerator. If the family had not left, Lutz says, he believes something horrible would have happened. “I try not to think about it,” he says.

 

Psychic Slumber Party

 

As word spread of the Lutzes’ experiences, people interested in the paranormal contacted them. Two months after the Lutzes moved out, reporter Laura Didio assembled a group of psychic researchers to evaluate the family’s claims.

 

The investigators spent a night in the house, walking from room to room trying to pick up ghostly vibrations. “It was like a psychic slumber party,” Didio remembers.

 

One of the researchers, Lorraine Warren, remembers an “overwhelming feeling” of “horrible depression” in the house. The team also took a series of time-lapse photos of the upstairs landing. None of the photographs showed anything out of the ordinary except one, which had what Didio describes as “the face of what appeared to be a little boy, peering out from one of the bedrooms.”

 

Meeting With a Murderer’s Lawyer

 

Things returned to normal for the Lutz family after they left the house, and George Lutz began to wonder if it was the house’s horrors that had driven DeFeo to kill his family.

 

“We realized there was something so wrong there that it would be inhuman, it would be improper, to just let him rot in jail and not try to help get him some kind of psychological help,” Lutz said.

 

At his trial, DeFeo had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, claiming he had heard voices and that on the night of the murders something out of his control made him kill. The jury rejected that defense and sentenced him to six life terms.

 

Lutz contacted DeFeo’s attorney, William Weber, who was already fielding book proposals from publishers for his client’s story. The Lutzes’ story of a haunted house had the potential to drive up interest in a book, and Weber agreed to meet George and Kathy Lutz to hear their account.

 

Weber remembers the Lutzes as starting out in a “reserved” tone, with “no ranting and raving going on.” But then, he says, the three went on to consume at least four bottles of wine and the evening turned into a creative writing session about what kind of thing could go into a horror book. “There was this give and take, and toward the end we were creating ideas,” he said.

 

One such idea, according to Weber, was giving the gelatin drops the Lutzes found on the carpet a sinister explanation: “If you were talking about the green slime, why couldn’t it have come from a demonic source?” he told Primetime.

 

Weber says he never believed the Lutzes’ account of inexplicable happenings during their stay on Ocean Avenue. “Absolutely not. Because they were making a commercial venture,” he said.

 

Lutzes Find Another Project

 

The Lutzes say they felt pressured by Weber and did not like his idea of offering a share of the profits to DeFeo. They decided not to work with him and, after moving to California, ended up agreeing to a book project with author Jay Anson.

 

The result, The Amityville Horror: A True Story, released in 1976, went through 13 printings and sold more than 6 million copies. The film version, released three years later, was a huge box-office success. But the Lutzes never signed a contract with Anson, and the book and the film netted the family only about $300,000, the family says.

 

Lutz admits that some of the scenes in the book and the movie — such as the green slime — were an embellishment. But he insists the book and the movie are based on events that actually happened during the family’s 28-day stay in the house.

 

He denies making anything up, saying that if they had, they would have come up with a better story and would not have fled their house, leaving their belongings behind. But he says people are entitled to call his story a hoax if that’s what they think. “I can’t tell them what to think. I can just say what I experienced.”

 

Medium Says Indian Chief Was on Warpath

 

Weber continued to pursue his book project, enlisting Hans Holzer, a professor of paranormal psychology, self-styled ghost catcher, and author of dozens of books on the occult.

 

In 1977, Holzer visited the Ocean Avenue house with a medium who claimed to be able to talk to the dead. According to Holzer’s account, the medium went into a trance and said there was an Indian chief on the warpath in the house because it had been built on the site of a sacred burial ground. Holzer believes Ronnie DeFeo was possessed by the angry spirit of the Indian chief, and that the chief will not leave the house until it burns down and leaves the land bare.

 

But members of the Montauket tribe of Long Island are skeptical of Holzer’s theory, saying there are no records of a burial ground in Amityville. Even if there were, “that doesn’t mean we will go into somebody’s body and capture their soul and control in a very negative way … that’s not us,” said the tribe’s Chief Straight Arrow Cooper.

 

Joe Nickell, a professional skeptic who has made a career out of challenging claims of paranormal activity, believes there is no scientific basis for any of the claims, from Holzer, the Lutzes or anyone else: “The bottom line is that … it was a hoax, or is, simply, at best, a matter that’s not proven. And that’s not very good for America’s most famous haunted house.”

 

As for DeFeo, he told Primetime he lied when he said he heard voices commanding him to kill, and was only trying to create a better insanity plea. He is still serving six life sentences in an upstate New York prison.

 

So in the end, who is telling the truth? After nearly three decades, there is very little proof either way — though no one who has lived in the house on Ocean Avenue since the Lutzes has reported any strange activity.

 

 

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What to know about Mueller’s use of a grand jury in the Russia probe

By MIKE LEVINE

Aug 4, 2017, 3:32 PM ET

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Robert MuellerPlayThe Associated Press

WATCH What to know about Mueller’s use of a grand jury in the Russia probe

News broke yesterday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has begun using a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., as part of his investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with associates of President Donald Trump.

 

But what exactly does a federal grand jury do, and what does it mean that Mueller has started utilizing one in the nation’s capital?

 

Here’s what you need to know.

 

How is a grand jury different from a common jury?

 

Common juries –- the ones often depicted in dramatic movie scenes and TV shows –- are responsible for deciding whether a defendant is guilty of a crime. Grand juries, however, have a different role. They’re generally responsible for deciding whether a defendant should be charged with a crime in the first place.

 

Grand juries operate in secret, and prosecutors present their case by laying out evidence to support it, including by using in-person witness testimony.

 

Comprised of between 16 and 23 members of the public, grand juries usually last for 18 months, although that period can be extended under certain circumstances.

 

In order to indict a defendant on any charges, prosecutors must convince the grand jury that there is “probable cause” to believe a crime was committed.

 

Special counsel utilizing DC grand jury in Russia investigation

Inside the bills aimed at checking Trump on firing Mueller

What kind of authority does a grand jury have?

 

To help determine whether such “probable cause” exists, grand juries have special authority to take their own investigative steps, which are often guided by prosecutors.

 

Federal authorities can use grand juries as a tool in their investigations and use their authority to issue subpoenas to demand that uncooperative suspects, witnesses, and companies hand over private documents or testify behind closed doors.

 

It’s standard-operating procedure for a single grand jury to handle multiple matters over its lifespan. They may indict an alleged drug trafficker on a Monday, and then approve a subpoena for evidence in another case on Wednesday.

 

In some cases, prosecutors will use a grand jury for the sole purpose of collecting evidence in an investigation even when it’s not yet clear that a crime was likely committed.

 

Where does the Russia probe fit in?

 

Earlier this year, federal prosecutors were using a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, to collect evidence in the federal probe of Trump associates and any potential ties they could have to Russian operatives.

 

But in mid-May, after Mueller became special counsel and started putting together his team, the entire federal probe became based out of an office building in downtown Washington, D.C.

 

Then, weeks ago, Mueller’s prosecutors began using a federal grand jury that sits in the federal courthouse in Washington, just a few blocks away from their offices.

 

In certain circumstances, federal authorities might seek to impanel a special grand jury to focus on one specific matter.

 

There is no indication, however, that Mueller has been using a special grand jury for the Russia probe.

 

There is also no indication that the grand jury his team is now using in Washington was specifically impaneled for the Russia investigation.

 

Inside Playboy Mansion: ‘It’s like a prison and Hugh Hefner prefers tennis to sex’

Playboy bunnies open on life inside the Playboy Mansion and say Hugh Hefner is more like a grandad who imposes curfews on the girls

MAIN-inside-playboy.jpg
(Image: Getty)

It’s a place so notorious, its very name is enough to strike trepidation into the heart of any aspiring young pin-up.

For more than four decades, the Playboy Mansion has been synonymous with sleazy glamour and easy women – a monument to one man’s warped view of the world, a grown-up fantasyland known for A-list guests, wild parties and even wilder girls.

But today the famed personal fiefdom created by Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner is far from the hedonist’s paradise imagined by the public, according to British twins Carla and Melissa Howe.

In an exclusive interview, the 24-year-old Slough sisters, who split their time between the £34million Californian mansion and the UK, tell how the recession, 88-year-old Hefner’s latest marriage and his increasing frailty have all combined to make his empire more Saga than swinger.

These days, bunnies and playmates are more likely to be asked to join Hef in a gentle game of tennis than a romp in the hot tub.

See inside the Playboy Mansion

(Image: Getty)

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There are three movie nights a week, mostly featuring his favourite films from the 1950s. And any inmate who wants to leave in search of a social life is subject to a strict 9pm curfew.

In fact, say the twins, the security at the 22-bedroomed pile is so strict it’s “like being in prison”. Says Carla: “When you’re here you have to be in by the 9pm curfew. You’re not allowed to invite any friends up to see you.

“You’re definitely not allowed male visitors. If you break the rules you get banned. Once you’re out, you’re out, you can’t come back.

“Hef’s wife Crystal went to do a DJ set miles away so she had to stay overnight. But she was still back by 2pm the next day. ”

And the credit crunch that has hit the world has resulted in cutbacks that mean it’s not as luxurious as it once was.

Kendra Wilkinson and Hugh Hefner(Image: WireImage)

The Playboy Bunnies’ £630-a-week allowance has been axed. Now they’re down to free room and board at the mansion.

“The Playmate of the Year used to get a Porsche,” reveals Carla, who knows a thing or two about cars from her motor-loving ex, Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.

“Now she gets a Mini Cooper that she has to return after a year!”

And while the Mansion still hosts its fair share of celebrity events, where the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Snoop Dogg walk the red carpet, it is now available to rent for private parties.

But surely the infamously lusty Hefner is still hopping from bunny to bunny behind the scenes?

After all, former Playmate Kendra Wilkinson recently revealed in the Celebrity jungle how she had to get “very drunk and very stoned” to endure sex sessions with the octogenarian tycoon 10 years ago.

According to the twins, age, ill health and his two-year marriage to model Crystal Harris, 28, have finally made a faithful husband out of Hef.

“I’m really relieved,” says Carla. “In the past he would have slept with all the girls.

“We’ve heard stories about him having 16 girls in the grotto and once he’d finished they would be passed on to the next man there.

Hugh Hefner gets married to Crystal Harris in the Playboy mansion(Image: PLANET PHOTOS)

“But now it’s not like that. To be honest, he’s so old now I couldn’t imagine him trying to make a move. He has to walk with people around him because he’s frail.”

A fake American news website reported just before Christmas that he’d been found dead at the mansion. It turned out to be a hoax. But he’s still a shadow of his former self, insist the twins.

“It’s like being with a grandad,” says Carla. “Not long ago they called in the nurse because he’d had a fall in the grotto. The only woman that sleeps with him now is Crystal.”

Melissa, who previously dated Ashley Cole, admits: “His friends can be a bit flirty – but the only men
we really didn’t like were from a private party held there. They were really pervy, all the girls were fighting to run away.”

Hugh Hefner with Carla and Melissa Howe

But if Hefner’s sexual appetite is waning, his business instinct is as sharp as ever, says Carla. “He reads everything about the mansion. He gets press clippings brought every day with a box of his favourite doughnuts. He still sees it as a business, so you’d be surprised how strict it is.”

Melissa adds: “If you do something wrong, you’ll get an email. There’s a strict code of conduct. There are even rules about Instagram and Twitter.You’ve got to show everything in a good light and if you’re drunk in a picture you’ll be in trouble.”

Hefner has a novel way of putting even minor offenders in their place – ordeal by seating plan. “There are three dining tables,” explains Melissa. “In one room is Hef’s top table where everyone wants to sit, then the family table which is second best.

“But in another room beside the kitchen is the table for the more lowly guests, the nobodies and the girls who’ve annoyed him. Hef decides the seating plan every day and no one wants to end up on that third table.” There’s a zoo in the gardens and a games room with old PacMan machines, but the main entertainment is the mandatory film nights.

“Friday, Saturday and Sunday are movie nights,” explains Carla.

“We have to be there ready to have the buffet, then Hef will get up and order everyone through to watch a movie in the cinema room.

“Sundays are best because you get films that haven’t been on in the cinema yet – we saw the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One – but on Fridays it’s always a 1950s movie and they’re really boring.We try to hide but there’s not as many girls there as you’d think – it’ll usually just be a few of us.”

One regular guest is Hefner’s lookalike son Cooper, 23. But, says Carla, the heir is nothing like his dad, despite rumours he’s being groomed to takeover the empire. “He’s got a girlfriend and he’s shy around the girls,” she laughs. “And a bit geeky.”

For the twins there’s a suggestion of disappointment that the Playboy Mansion is mostly life in the slow lane now. But one person is rather relieved – their manager mum Hazel, who trains adults with learning difficulties in Aylesbury, Bucks.

Admittedly, Hazel, 45, is fairly tolerant of their chosen lifestyle. But her girls admit she wouldn’t be sad to see the mansion doors close for good. “She wouldn’t be happy if we’d been here in Kendra’s time,” says Carla. “She’d like us to move on to something classier.”

The Truth About Pit Bulls

shutterstock_105631460With the amount of fear mongering that exists currently regarding pit bull-type dogs, I feel it’s important to publish the truth about these dogs. Although most dogs labeled as pit bulls are actually a mix of different breeds with similar physical characteristics, anything that has the appearance of an American Pitbull Terrier is incorrectly labeled as a pit bull, even when there is no relation to the APT at all. For the purpose of this article, therefore, I will call dogs with similar physical characteristics pit bull types, unless I am referencing the American Pitbull Terrier specifically.

Since I came to the US fifteen years ago, I have worked with American Pitbull Terriers and pit bull types and have treated everything from minor to major behavioral issues in these dogs, including aggression. For the past 3 years I have also been working with my colleague and friend Jim Crosby, canine aggression expert and forensic dog bite investigator, on investigations where people – including children – have been mauled or killed by dogs. Jim Crosby has had his hands on more dangerous dogs and dogs that have killed people than anyone else in the world. There is no one more qualified when it comes to understanding why dogs aggress and why tragic incidents such as human deaths from dogs happen. Yes, some people have been killed by pit bull types and some have been killed by other breeds, but the correlation between the majority of these deaths, regardless of breed or breed type, is owner ignorance, recklessness and irresponsibility. Most of the human deaths from dogs he has investigated over many years could have been prevented if human failure had not been such a significant contributing factor.

My experience therefore qualifies me to write and talk about this breed type more than any journalist or scaremonger out there determined to instill fear. And to be clear, I’m not an American Pitbull Terrier or pit bull type advocate. I’m an advocate for all dogs. I’m also a realist and these are my observations.

Does Breed Type Predict Behavior?
Every dog has their own set of personality traits that make them unique, and it’s impossible to predict a dog’s behavior solely on its breed type, because the way a dog is raised and the environment in which he is raised in has a significant impact on behavior, regardless of breed. So while I do take breed predisposition into account when I’m working with any dog, I never rely on it solely as a predictor of behavior. The myth that all pit bulls are dangerous or ‘bred to be violent’ is simply not true, but myths like these continue to instill fear in the general public and cause devastating misunderstandings.

Do All Pit Bull Types Have Similar Behavioral Traits?
No. Some have a tendency towards certain behaviors, but not all. Their range of behavior defies any singular label and is as complex and variable as any other breed type, crossing the spectrum from the gentle and even-tempered therapy dog used to help children read more fluently in school programs, to the dog labeled a liability for biting or even causing a human fatality.

Are There Any Accurate Pit Bull Type-Specific Generalizations?
If I had to pick some tendencies and make a few generalization about pit bull types they would be the following:

  • Although there are always exceptions, pit bull types and bully breeds generally tend to mature earlier and show demonstrative behaviors from a very young age, with pups engaging in rough play and muzzle punching. They tend to get overly excited during play, (normal for many breeds) which can frighten other dogs. As the puppy matures, play can become rougher with adolescent and adult dogs becoming less tolerant and sometimes reactive. Overly exuberant play can provoke a negative response in other dogs’, which can quickly escalate into a squabble or fight. To avoid this situation, play should be supervised and controlled with human intervention to avoid negative behavior. This is the case for any dog that plays with other dogs, regardless of breed or breed type.
  • Pit bull types enjoy a zest for life that is often incomparable to others, but they can sometimes offend other dogs or scare people with their enthusiasm. Body slamming, jumping and sometimes grabbing an arm or piece of clothing is an exuberant (but usually non-violent) way of greeting, and can be interpreted or perceived as threatening or even aggressive. Because of their friendliness and willingness to engage, there are no parameters for some pit bull types when it comes to invading personal body space.
  • Like any dog, pit bull type pups need to be well-socialized from a young age and taught self-control. Teaching a pup to greet a person by sitting rather than jumping is a good way to start, and a pup should be removed when play gets too rough or when the greeting is too energetic. This will help set boundaries that will guide the puppy into making better greeting choices.
  • Pit bull types tend to be highly demonstrative and emotional dogs that think with their hearts rather than their heads. Some find it hard to control their impulses in different situations. Teaching any dog to think before acting helps to focus an emotional brain into one that is actively thinking and problem solving. For example, asking a dog to wait while his food bowl is put down and eat only when given a release cue, teaches valuable impulse control that helps focus attention. Pit bull types are exceptionally quick learners when given the right motivators.

Do Pit Bull Types Suddenly Explode?
There are countless stories of pit bull type dogs ‘suddenly exploding’. This seems to be the common layperson’s explanation whenever there has been a bad bite or a fatality, but the actual incidents of true explosive rage in any breed of dog are very rare. Many bites are the result of a combination of environment and circumstance. The signs of discomfort might be subtle and easily misunderstood, ignored, or go unnoticed until they come together in a perfect storm that ends in a bite. Dogs never bite ‘out of the blue’ or ‘for no reason.’ There is always a reason for every behavior.

Can People Cause Their Dogs to Bite?
Yes. All too often people get pit bull types and fail to give them the outlets they need, or worse, turn them into loaded weapons. Their ‘gameness’ and desire to please tends to attract the wrong kind of people who use them to enhance personal image and status, or as protection for themselves or their families. Many pit bull types are kept in the yard tethered to a chain their entire lives, causing hyper-reactivity and fear which has on occasion led to disaster. Until authorities take more notice of the other end of the leash and hold people accountable for their dogs’ behavior, the situation will remain the same.

Can the Number of Dog Bites Be Reduced?
The key to reducing the number of dog bites and keeping people safe is not to ban an entire breed, but instead to make all dog owners accountable and responsible for their dogs’ behavior while encouraging them to raise their dogs appropriately. Good socialization and using only positive training methods creates emotionally balanced dogs, a fact that science has proven again and again. Force free training and humane discipline is more effective, less confrontational and therefore safer for any breed of dog.

Mandatory education in all schools to empower children with a clearer understanding of canine body language as well as educating parents and caregivers to be more aware when mixing children and dogs will also keep people safer.

Why Are There So Many Pit Bull Types In Shelters?
In some cities in the United States pit bull type dogs account for half of all dogs that end up in shelters, and the devastating reality is that very few of them make it out alive. All too often, owners have damaged and abandoned these dogs to the point where re-homing becomes impossible, and it’s because of human irresponsibility along with media hype that the pit bull and other bully types are now a breed type many people fear.

Do American Pitbull Terriers and Pit Bull Types Make Safe Family Dogs?
Yes. Any dog that is raised responsibly can be a great family dog including the Pit bull and pit bull type dog, but with a reckless or clueless owner, any breed or type can become an out-of-control liability that ends up either hurting somebody or on a shelter’s euthanasia list.

 

RESEARCHERS SAY A REAL ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WOULD END LIFE ON EARTH IN 100 DAYS

Of course the zombies depicted in films like Resident Evil or in The Walking Dead aren’t real. The dead won’t come shuffling out of the grave to dine on our brains anytime soon. That doesn’t stop scientists from trying to find out what might happen if they did exist, and a recent study found that if that nightmare scenario did come true, humanity would be screwed.

 that in a paper published in a British university’s Journal of Physics and Special Topics some imaginative researchers detailed using the results of mathematical modeling of how communicable diseases spread to discover humanity’s true fate if zombies became real:

In the new analysis, the University of Leicester undergraduates assumed that each zombie would have 90 percent success at finding and infecting one human per day — a rate that would make the zombie virus twice as contagious as the Black Death, the plague that devastated Europe in the 1300s.

The researchers further estimated that each zombie could live 20 days without braaaaaains.

Assuming a starting population of 7.5 billion people, approximately the world’s population today, the students calculated that it would take 20 days for a single zombie to start an epidemic of noticeable proportions. At that point, the pandemic would have begun. Assuming no geographic isolation, in fact, the human population would drop to 181 by day 100 of the epidemic, with 190 million zombies roaming around.

The initial research did not factor in some basic common sense elements, like the fact that there are some very isolated human populations out there that might not be quickly consumed at all, or even a Walking Dead scenario in which the living do their best to wipe out the undead with well-placed head shots.

Just like that.

When the living self-defense scenario was plotted with the same models, the researchers found that humanity stood a slightly better chance of persisting. The number of living was still reduced to a terrifying 100 or so, but the undead eventually died off and humanity began to recover.

But like we said, none of this will happen, so it’s all fodder for science fiction and horror writers now, right?

Let’s hope so.

SPY GAMES: COULD YOUR KIDS’ TOYS BE CONDUCTING SURVEILLANCE ON THEM?

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU

Your children’s privacy is paramount and these dolls can be exploited by hackers.

Those big brown eyes of your child’s favorite teddy bear may not be as innocuous as they seem. That, at least, is the charge being levied by a number of privacy groups who late last year filed a complaint regarding the “serious lack of understanding of children’s rights to privacy and security” exhibited by a number of connected toys. So before you get too excited about introducing your tots to technology, you may want to take a closer look at just how connected these playthings really are.

According to the complaint, which was filed with both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Union, Genesis Toys and its tech partner Nuance are committing “obvious breaches of several consumer laws.” The privacy groups assert that the toys i-Que and My Friend Cayla each suffer from a lack of security, which makes it possible for anyone to hack into one of the toys and listen in on the conversations it’s recording. The privacy groups further assert that the toys employ illegal user terms, which do not actually ask parents to consent to having their children’s speech recorded; and hidden marketing, which endorses a number of products in a questionable manner.

“Children are especially vulnerable, and are entitled to products and services that safeguard their rights to security and privacy,” said Finn Myrstad, head of section, digital services in the Norwegian Consumer Council. “As long as the manufacturers are not willing to take these issues seriously, internet of things technologies are not suited for toys.”

“There’s all kinds of intimate details of their personal life, their parents’ personal lives. We know how kids at younger ages don’t necessarily have the same social filter,” Gartland said, “so these children could be chattering on about anything, really.”

While Nuance insisted in a blog post that it does not share voice data, this may not be enough to convince concerned parents of these toys’ safety.

It certainly wasn’t enough for German regulators, who decided to ban the doll altogether, calling it an “espionage device.” On Friday, Jochen Homann, the president of Germany’s Federal Network Agency (the Bundessnetzagentur) announced that selling the toy in the European nation would henceforth be illegal and further noted that the agency has a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of society — children.

While it’s not yet banned in the U.S., the doll is rather hard to find. You can buy it online on Amazon but you won’t find it at Toys R Us or Walmart.

“With internet-connected devices gaining ground, market supervision will become increasingly complex,” said Monique Goyens, director general of The European Consumer Organization (BEUC). “The challenge to make sure EU consumers are properly protected is huge and cooperation between authorities and consumer organizations is key. The fact that business malpractices do not halt at the border is making this task even harder.”

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Creative Or Crazy? 7 Ways to “Spruce Up” Your Vagina

Beautify Your Vagina

You’ve tried shaving. You’ve groomed and kept it clean. But you’re still not quite satisfied with the aesthetic down there. What’s a girl to do to go that extra step in showing some love to the lady parts?

Maybe you’re just curious. Maybe you or your partner want to try something new. Or maybe seriously looking for an edgy new way to spruce up your vagina. Whatever the motivation, there are several options.

Piercings and tattoos have been around a while, but there are some newer choices. This is by no means a complete list (there are some amazing things out there), but here are eight things you can choose when looking to beautify the vajayjay.

#1 The Vajacial

Yep, it’s like a facial for your vagina. A spa treatment of sorts. The Vajacial is a 50-minute treatment that includes plucking ingrown hairs, special cleansing, intense moisturizing, and an enzyme mask. Different salons and spas may call it something different and offer variations, but the main purpose is soothe and beautify the area. The vajacial calms those red bumps after shaving, and exfoliate and smooth the skin.

#2 Bleaching

Speaking in bleaching, it’s an option unto itself. Don’t freak out, it’s not actual bleach…well, mostly. When people use the term “bleaching” when referring to the vagina, they most often mean a cream to lighten and brighten the area. But some women are actually going for the full bleaching treatment.

Read Here How Bleaching Disturbs the Intimate Flora

#3 Hair Design

Shaving the pubic hair has been around for a long time. But for the most part there were few choices: mild grooming, the landing strip, or removing it all. Now, you can put some art into it. Sunsets, hearts, lightning bolts, flowers…your pubic hair becomes the canvas for whatever you choose. There are even stencils!

Pubic Hair Design

#4 Vajazzling

It’s exactly what it sound like. Bedazzling the vagina is a trend that is swiftly gaining popularity. Vajazzling typically involves applying jewels and/or glitter to the bikini area for decoration. It’s kind of like a sparkly temporary tattoo. And if you can imagine it, you can probably do it – butterflies, words, simple sparkly patterns, lips, fireworks, pretty much anything. The pattern will last a few days, and loose fitting clothes are recommended while the jewels are in place.

vajazzle Vagina

#5 Labiaplasty/Rejuvenation

Two of the more extreme choices is labiaplasty or vaginal rejuvenation. Both are surgical options for improving the shape of the vaginal area. Labiaplasty involves reducing the labia to combat loose skin or “flabbiness.” Vaginal rejuvenation is a procedure to tighten the vagina. Both are very expensive, require a recovery period of 4-6 weeks, and are quite painful.

Read Here Why We Don’t Recommand Labiaplasty

#6 Implants

Most of us have heard of piercing, and vaginal piercing or clitoral piercing has been around for a long time. People who have done such piercings say they add to stimulation and pleasure during sex. Now you can also opt for implants. Pebbles or crystals are implanted under the skin. Women say the added texture is pleasurable, and sometimes opt for the crystals for “extra energy.”

#7 Merkins

Saving the best for last, there’s always the merkin. After all the popularity of shaving and smoothing, the merkin comes as a bit of a surprise. It is literally a wig for the vagina. And should you think this is a completely new thing, you would be mistaken. The merkin apparently dates back to prostitutes in the 15th Century, who used the wigs to disguise the fact that they had shaven the pubic hair to get rid of body lice or evidence of sexually-transmitted disease. In modern times, the simple and natural merkins are used for women who cannot grow pubic hair (or miss it once they’ve waxed). But, along with the natural ones, there are colored merkins, merkins with feathers, extra-long merkins, and furry merkins. If you’re curious, do a web image search for merkins. It’s fascinating!

Vagina Merkin

There was a time when any modification to the bikini area would have been considered strange. But these days, there are many choices for beautifying and enhancing lady land and they’re all readily available. Whether you want increase sexual pleasure, improve vaj-esteem, or just feel like being creative, there’s something out there you can try. Have fun, but be conscious about the choices you make. After all your Vagina is beautiful just the way it is. But getting creative from time to time won’t do any harm. 🙂

This is Your Nightmare Scenario

What would happen if stocks crash? What would that do to people’s retirement plans? How would that change the way young people think about stocks? And what would it do to our country?

The cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio now reads 30 for just the third time ever. The two previous times it printed a three handle, not only were future returns lower, but they preceded major market tops that would define a generation of investors.

The chart below shows the CAPE ratio and the S&P 500 (log). This visual tells a lot of stories, but for the purposes of this exercise, I want to focus on the two previous valuation spikes in red, which were followed by two stock market crashes in gray.

2The CAPE ratio is great for setting return expectations, but it’s terrible at anticipating the end of a bull market. For example, the CAPE passed 30 in June of 1997 and would ultimately peak at 43.5, two and a half years later. Over that time, the S&P 500 gained 84% (TR) and the NASDAQ Composite gained 228%!

The most reasonable statement one can make regarding the CAPE ratio at 30 is that we should expect lower future returns. And if we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that expected returns do not equal realized returns, and expensive markets don’t have to crash in order to reach some sort of equilibrium. After all, it’s not as if there are 350 instances when the indicator hit 30 and 350 crashes followed. There were only two. Now three. The jury is still out.

Following the election and the rapid acceleration of stocks, a friend of mine took his 401(k) to cash. I have two other friends who recently purchased homes which they’re renting out. They both expect they’ll get a better return from their real estate than they would in the stock market. These are anecdotal observations, but the chart below confirms that Millennials aren’t too enamored with equities. And this is at all time highs. What would another sawing in half of stocks do to my generation? If 2000 was fool me once and 2008 was fool me twice, what would 2019 be? Would we ever trust the stock market again? Should we? Who would want to buy something that just got cut in half three times in twenty years?

screen-shot-2017-06-23-at-2-05-21-pmThe United States has experienced just six distinct bear markets since The Great Depression: 1929, 1937, 1969, 1973, 2000, and 2008. The chart below shows the instances when stocks were in a 40% drawdown. To see a third crash in two decades would be unprecedented. But the fact that something hasn’t happened tells us very little about what can happen. Political scientist Scott Sagan has the perfect line to address the sort of thinking that prevents us from using our imagination: “Things that have never happened before happen all the time.”

1Thinking about stocks getting cut in half is an abstract exercise, so to make it a little more real I created this chart, which shows a 50% decline between today and 2019.

3Entering these numbers was an uncomfortable experience. And if just charting a fictional 50% decline made my stomach churn, how will I behave when real money is on the line?

I’m 32 years old. I hope to be investing and remain invested for the next fifty years. I have a long time horizon and I understand how risk works.

But am I fooling myself into thinking I can swallow a 50% drawdown? Am I being too cavalier? Am I complacent? Am I the herd?

I think I’ve put myself in a position to endure a severe market downturn without bailing at the worst possible moment. But I’m also not naive enough to think that’s not a possibility. People much wiser and smarter than me have thought the same, only to have discovered they weren’t as mentally strong as they had previously thought. When the time comes, I’ll remind myself of what Morgan Housel said, “Every past market crash looks like an opportunity, but every future market crash looks like a risk.”

We’ve already experienced two market crashes in the twenty-first century, which is why some people feel that the next bear market will look like the previous two episodes. And while a third crash is 100% possible, I don’t think it’s probable.

Investors always have to be prepared for the nightmare scenario, but let me be perfectly clear. If we are in a stock market bubble, I don’t see it. And I promise I won’t use this post as an “I warned you” if stocks crash. But if this shook you a little, good. As I’ve said before, the time to prepare your portfolio for a storm is before it arrives, not after.

 

The Most Powerful 3-Step Guide To Vaginal Dryness You Have Ever Read

Vaginal dryness is extremely uncomfortable, and doesn’t only affect your love life, but your self-image and life choices as well. The sensation of having sandpaper where moist silk should be, is painful in many ways, and sex can become unbearable for both partners.

Our bodies carry our joys, pains and little secrets. Fear, shame, guilt are all subtly locked into the cells and can manifest in different ways: through stiffness, ailments, the way we hold ourselves. Remember how the theory of communication channels says that body language takes up 55% of all the messages we exchange? Our bodies are extremely expressive. Just as others can read us by looking at our posture, gesticulations, mannerisms, we too should be able to read the hints our bodies send us. Your body tells you when something is out of balance. This is also the case with vaginal dryness. It’s a sign you need to take yourself on a journey of not just external, but also internal, exploration. Ready?

#1 Determine The Real Cause Of Your Vaginal Dryness

It’s much easier to treat vaginal dryness if you understand its origins in your individual case. And trust me: There is always more to it then just your vagina being dry. It is usually your emotions, heart & soul being part of the bodily sensations.
The following questions will help you determine the real cause of your vaginal dryness:

Are You Low in Estrogen?

The phenomenon is more common at certain life-stages, such as during menopause and post-menopause, when the body experiences hormonal imbalances and estrogen levels decrease. Due to hormonal factors, vaginal dryness is more common between the ages of 40 and 60.

As estrogen is a fat-soluble hormone, sufferers also include women on persistent low-fat diets. For your vagina to be lubricated, you need to eat the right (healthy) fats and stay hydrated.

Are You Stressed?

Vaginal dryness is also more common in women who experience a lot of stress, as this is known to imbalance you in different ways, and interfere with bodily functions and arousal levels.

Do You Use Medication?

There are some specific bio-mechanical causes, which include the use of certain medications (those containing antihistamines, cold medications, antidepressants, cancer treatments), and surgical procedures that interfere with hormonal balance (removal of the ovaries, hysterectomy) and can lead to vaginal dryness.

Do You Use  Soaps?

Most soaps and detergents you can buy are not organic and are a mix of chemical man-made ingredients. These kind of soaps and detergents can cause vaginal dryness by causing allergic reactions and imbalances in the intimate flora. Also I highly advice not to douche. It kills all the healthy bacteria needed to create balance in the intimate flora. Buy natural, organic soaps or wash with pure water.

Did You Experience Trauma, Abuse, Sadness, Depression?

However, if you opt for an internal journey, you can be taken on a much steeper path, that will reveal any underlying trauma and past experience contributing to vaginal dryness. Negative experience, abuse, and your psychological patterns and attitudes towards sexuality and the body can all play a role in becoming dry.

Are You Experiencing Stress In Your Relationship?

You should also ask yourself about the bond you have with your partner. Do you feel aroused? Are there pending issues between you and your partner that are manifesting through sex and that you haven’t openly addressed?

—-

Usually, you will feel which of the above reasons best describes your cause. Is it the life-stage, lifestyle and diet, or some deeper psychological issues (and little secrets)? The reason will resonate with you, and tell you about your body’s coded language.

#2 Look For a Cure That Perfectly Suits You

Every women is different. And not everyone needs the same treatment. Based on the cause, you can now search for the relief that best suits you.

If the main reason is the lack of estrogen, many women reach for mainstream estrogen therapy (complete with side effects). You can however, explore other more natural options (and I am highly suggesting you do this as this will help in holistic healing and long-term health):

Hormone-Balancing Diet

Sex hormones need fat. Your first step should be to introduce a diet rich in fatty acids, particularly omega 3. Raw pumpkin, fish, sesame and sunflower seeds are all good sources. Eat food that contains isoflavones, which help to regulate estrogen levels. They can be found in flax seeds, soy, legumes, nuts, cherries and apples. You also need to make sure you get enough vitamins A and B, and might need to supplement these. As lubrication is connected with hydration too, make sure you drink enough water. Your vagina will be as grateful for the extra water as your skin is.

Exercise

Adrenal glands and ovaries get stimulated by regular exercise. A cardio-vascular work-out will help with your hormonal balance, increase the flow of blood to the vagina and de-stress you. That’s 3 in 1!

Secret Ceres – The Secret Weapon

Secret Ceres has been the secret weapon for many women all over the world who are suffering from a low libido. I have been working with women all over the world to help heal vaginal infections, low libido and other ailments lowering the sexual pleasure and I can wholeheartedly recommend it along with all the other holistic treatments. Secret Ceres is made of Punica Granatum (pomegranate tree), Drip Stones (Crystals) and Kaolin (porcelain clay). No added chemicals and works wonders to bring back libido, lust & life. For more information click HERE.

Vaginal lubricants and pessaries

While you’re waiting for the more natural approaches to take effect, you might need to resort to lubricants and vaginal suppositories (pessaries). Make sure to buy a good quality, all-natural lubricant that will not be an additional irritant. Saliva is a good lubricant and a part of erotic foreplay. Other good natural lubricants include aloe vera, jojoba and coconut oil (I always use raw virgin coconut oil). You can also try vitamin E pessaries.

Gain Clarity Through Meditation & Inner Work

If the reasons behind vaginal dryness are mainly psychological, open up about these. Look for a way to work through them, and try to resolve them constructively. Remember every physical DIS-EASE within our body is there to guide us and help us become more in tune with ourselves.

In order to get to the real cause of the vaginal dryness I recommend to dive into silent contemplation (e.g. meditation). It also helps to authentically share your feelings with close friends. They might not always directly be able to give advice, but only speaking about it will help you understand more in depth what is going on. You can also consider working with a holistic sexual health coach. Contact me directly for some personal recommendations.

#3 Enjoy Your Body & Listen To It!

It’s your body, so listen to it. Learn its lingo and be positive about the changes you can make in your life. Don’t force yourself to have sex if you don’t feel wet, as this can cause injury to the vagina or urethra, trigger infections, and deepen your sorrows and negative associations. Instead, look for a long-term solution and embrace your body.

Most importantly see this as a positive challenge. Do not run away from it, close up or hide it. It can be solved but you have to be open to whatever is coming to you for healing.

The 3 Most Common Reasons for a Smelly Vagina

First things first: There is no such thing as an odourless vagina.

Most women have some form of discharge at most times of the month, which is a part of the vagina’s way of cleaning itself. Depending on the time of your menstrual cycle the discharge of your vagina changes in colour and odour. Also it is important to mention that the structure, smell & colour changes during sexual arousal & during pregnancy.

However, if the smell becomes unpleasant or strong, or if your discharge is rather yellowish-greenish, it may well be a problem that you need to further examine.

Here is a list of three of the main causes for vaginal odours, and how to deal with them. Remember these are only the most common reasons among women. There can be many other reasons that I will dive deeper into in another article.

 #1 Bacterial Vaginosis {Approx. 1 in 3 Women suffer from BV}

The vagina, like many parts of the body, is regulated by bacteria (e.g. Lactobacilli). In a healthy vagina, there will be a large number of helpful bacteria, which maintain your vagina’s health, as well as some unhelpful bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the unhelpful bacteria overwhelm the helpful ones, causing a mild infection.

SYMPTOMS:

  • a watery, grey or white discharge
  • an unpleasant fishy smell
  • a burning sensation during urination

BV is incredibly common, being suffered by around one in three women at some stage during their lifetime.

Sadly, Bacterial Vaginosis tends to reoccur frequently, so that women with the condition may find it coming back again and again. The reason being so is that most doctors prescribe antibiotic without a second thought or women buying over the counter medicine. None of these will ever cure BV holistiBacterial Vaginosis Antibioticcally.

In most cases a BV might clear up by itself (as the good bacteria usually win the fight over the unhealthy ones). Still there is the possibility that other problems may be caused by it. This is even more important for pregnant women, since in rare instances it can lead to complications such as miscarriages and premature birth.

The Most Common Reasons For Bacterial Vaginosis:

  • Scented soaps and bubble baths
  • Antibiotics
  • IUDs (intrauterine device), such as a contraceptive device made from plastic and copper that fits inside the uterus
  • Washing your panties with strong detergent
  • Smoking
  • Vaginal deodorant and douches
  • unprotected sex (but BV can also happen in girls who never had sex before)

#2 Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Many STDs can lead to changes in discharge, sometimes causing an unpleasant smell. The two main culprits for smelly vaginas, when it comes to STDs, are:

  • Gonorrhoea
  • Chlamydia.

Most Common Symptoms of STD’s (also called STI):

  • a change in discharge, usually making it thicker and puss-like (usually green or yellow)
  • a nasty smell.

If you think you may have an STI, I advice you to have your doctor examine it as soon as possible and abstain from unprotected sex until the infection has cleared.

Must Read: It’s Tough, But do it – Assess Your Risk: STIs

#3 Wrong Hygiene Regime

If you suffer from a smelly vagina, but don’t have any change in discharge, it is possible that you have to change your vaginal hygiene regime.

As mentioned before, vaginal deodorant and douches can cause many more problems than they solve, by upsetting the balance of bacteria in your vagina.

Remember this rule: “Only put on your skin what you would eat.”

Everything you put onto your skin or vagina gets absorbed immediately into the bloodstream. It is as if your skin is having a dinner every time you put a lotion full of chemicals on it. Would you eat this?

My Hygiene Regime Recommendation:

  • take of your panties from time to time & let your vagina breathe. Oxygen kills bad bacteria magically
  • if at all use coconut oil or all-natural oil (e.g. after shaving)
  • use plain water to clean your vajayjay
  • if at all use a mild scented all-natural soap (without alcohol & chemicals you don’t know)
  • exercise (it helps to balance your intimate flora)
  • try to avoid fried foods & incorporate tons of water, fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds

The connected vagina

The first rule of menstruation etiquette is you don’t talk about menstruation, particularly to men. If you must discuss your period you do so quietly and euphemistically. When you’re surfing the crimson wave and have to go to the bathroom, you make sure your period paraphernalia is carefully concealed so people remain clueless about your condition. The biggest breach of menstrual etiquette, however, is leaking in public.

Luckily technology has stepped in to save women from their unpredictable uteri. A new startup called my.Flow promises a “solution to menstruation mortification” and “a girl’s worst nightmare of having blood leak through her new white pants”.

posted by moody cow (83 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Oh for God’s sake. Is it just me who can think of a list of nightmares for women (must they use “girls”?) that outrank leaking blood? Get rid of the stigma of menstruation with education, as the article says, rather than paying to stick devices in your knickers that attach to a tampon string that wirelessly connects to a fob that syncs with an app I mean just fuck the fuck off seriously
posted by billiebee at 3:21 AM on May 18, 2016 [86 favorites]

I think ‘girls’ is, for once, relevant here – teenage girls worry about this stuff all the damn time. Not sure I want my sanpro to be part of the Internet of Things, but if you have a very heavy flow (I see you, copper IUD) this could be useful.
posted by mippy at 3:25 AM on May 18, 2016 [11 favorites]

I know girls worry about this – I was just thinking the other day of a Lil-lets advert when I was a teenager which showed two photos of a girl raising her hand in class with the caption “Sir can I go to the toilet?”, and in one hand was an obvious tampon and in the other you couldn’t see anything because Lil-Lets. Obviously Sir knowing you had your period was teh worst. (They never suggested you just not raise the hand holding the tampon but anyway). We shouldn’t be encouraging girls to worry about this shit by suggesting they buy hardware to deal with it.
posted by billiebee at 3:31 AM on May 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

But..but..no teenage girl in the history of ever would do that! Just put it in your blazer pocket like a normal person.
posted by mippy at 3:39 AM on May 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

This is not a real problem
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:41 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

“my.Flow”?

Yeah I guess it’s technically mine, but I don’t really have a relationship with it as such. (Is that maybe a problem? I still don’t think so).
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:43 AM on May 18, 2016

There was a Kickstarter for something similara while ago. Although I think they took the money and ran.
posted by mippy at 3:44 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Gee, I miss the simple times when all I had to do was walk my unclean self down to the menstrual hut and hide for 2 to 7 days.
posted by nightrecordings at 3:47 AM on May 18, 2016 [57 favorites]

I feel like one of the things that did the most to make me feel like a woman (as opposed to a girl) was the day I realized that if you got your period unexpectedly, you could go up to another woman – just about any woman*, even strangers – and ask “do you have a tampon?” and even if they didn’t have one to give, there was never judgment. I think it’s more based in teenage embarrassment than the way we were taught, but the shame was definitely there. There was a real sense that absolutely no one was supposed to know.

* So much so that when I got my first period – as luck would have it on a weekend my parents were away and we were staying at my grandparents’ house – I ransacked under every sink and all the closets looking for a pad because I was on this, I knew what I needed, no need to involve any grownups, nope. When I couldn’t find any pads and had to ask my grandmother where she kept them, the look on her face as she cracked up was (in retrospect, not so much at the time) priceless. Because of course nobody told us anything about menopause.
posted by Mchelly at 3:55 AM on May 18, 2016 [52 favorites]

Tangentially related, I saw this IndieGogo the other day – I’d love to know if it actually works.
posted by Mchelly at 3:59 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mchelly while that looks like it could be brilliant for people with painful periods, the language again is so aggravating – “Livia…is here to save you from your uterus”, “Getting your period sucks”… I mean I know a lot of women suffer terribly with them, but the constant referring to periods as a negative burden to bear really annoys me. They are most definitely a burden to a lot of people but not to all of us and they are not negative by default. They might not be as burdensome if medical procedures to help were freely available instead of blocked by judgements and misogyny, so maybe we should be putting the effort into changing that instead of capitalising on women’s misery – literally – by selling them ever-increasing amounts of nonsense.
posted by billiebee at 4:11 AM on May 18, 2016 [13 favorites]

Word! re being able to ask other women, Mchelly. I don’t bleed because I’m on the pill that makes it so (best thing ever), but I still carry a single tampon in my purse for when other women need one. Yep. Because every time I’ve ever sort of desperately needed one, someone has been there to hand me one and smile that been-there smile.
posted by heyho at 4:11 AM on May 18, 2016 [15 favorites]

I do think teenage girls worry tremendously about this. I have a very distinct memory of reading a “true” “embarrassing story” in one of those teenage girls’ magazines. The story consisted of a girl playing in front of the school on her high school basketball team, and just as she went for a layup, her very bloody tampon fell out and lay there on the gym floor for all to see.

Now, I am in general a pretty hard to embarrass person. But I just cringed every time I imagined myself in that situation. The fact that I still remember it so distinctly umpty-billion years later says something about how viscerally I felt the (fictional!) humiliation.

To be clear: I think it’s awful that a natural process of women’s bodies is coded as so shameful and gross, and I think products like this feed into and exploit that cultural encoding. But I think there absolutely is a market for it.
posted by forza at 4:25 AM on May 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

Menstruel cups are much less prone to leaking – and are reusable.
posted by jb at 4:33 AM on May 18, 2016 [7 favorites]

At least this thing was the idea of a woman, no matter how problematic, as opposed to this Microsoft bra which seems to be an entirely male train wreck.
posted by moody cow at 4:38 AM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

* So much so that when I got my first period – as luck would have it on a weekend my parents were away and we were staying at my grandparents’ house – I ransacked under every sink and all the closets looking for a pad because I was on this, I knew what I needed, no need to involve any grownups, nope.

I am forever grateful to my sister-in-law for the one time that we were all on a family outing with my parents and my brother’s family; I took her aside and quietly said that “Okay, Mom is 65 and your daughter is 6 – that makes you the only other menstruating woman in the house, so…” She just laughed and handed me something from her purse.

You’ve also reminded me of a moment from my senior prom, when I was in the restroom and discovered my period had just started, but the only vending machine they had in the restroom where we were sold – condoms. And fortunately, someone’s prom date walked in just as I was discovering that, and she saw me standing there staring at it and whimpering and said, “ohhhh, you need a tampon? Here.” I don’t know who she was – I’d never seen her before and she didn’t go to our school. It’s possible she was an angel who had become someone’s prom date expressly so she could be there to come to my rescue.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:46 AM on May 18, 2016 [60 favorites]

Hi. My name is Rock Steady. Something you might not know about me is that I have a good attitude towards menstruation.

posted by Rock Steady at 4:54 AM on May 18, 2016 [11 favorites]

At least this thing was the idea of a woman, no matter how problematic, as opposed to this Microsoft bra which seems to be an entirely male train wreck.

Eh, I wouldn’t assume gender by the content and quality of an idea especially since the Microsoft bra was developed by Mary Czerwinski, who is “a cognitive psychologist and senior researcher in visualization and interaction at Microsoft” (as per this article.)
posted by I-baLL at 5:02 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

At least this thing was the idea of a woman, no matter how problematic, as opposed to this Microsoft bra which seems to be an entirely male train wreck.

Holy crap, that is ridiculous. They developed a device for women to have a minimally intrusive EKG, and the best application for it they could think of was stress overeating?

Though it doesn’t seem to be correct that it’s “an entirely male train wreck,” since the lead researcher on the project seems to be a woman. (On preview, as I-baLL said.)
posted by biogeo at 5:04 AM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

If men got periods, it would be a badge of honor to walk around with a big stain on our pants.

The teenage girls and boys I work with seem pretty OK with this today, which is progress. When I was a teen 30 something years ago, I remember the mortification of the girl(s) who leaked onto a classroom chair. They would have to go home for the day because the embarrassment was too much. And the follow up taunting was relentless.

The boys in my school are actually pretty sensitive and understanding when the girls need help. Unfortunately no one is teaching them about their bodies and how to monitor and manage this normally occurring process, and so many of them are frequently unprepared and “surprised.”
posted by archimago at 5:17 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

> Menstruel cups are much less prone to leaking – and are reusable.

Word. And some/many of us, especially after using them for a while, can feel when our cups are full and need to be emptied. Which means that we don’t need this product at all: bodies can just be awesome like that, and do awesome stuff. Yay for bodies, menstruating or not!

>There was a Kickstarter for something similar a while ago.

The Looncup! Thanks for linking to that; I was wondering what became of it. As per the latest update, apparently the makers have now decided to make the BlueTooth antenna a part of the body of the cup instead of the stem; in a way, that makes sense, because plenty of cup users are bothered by the stems and need to cut them off. Unfortunately, at the same time, the realtime update feature disappeared as well (quelle surprise!), which was the main selling point for the whole contraption in the first place and now many backers are asking for a refund. Excuse me while I snicker.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:25 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

this Microsoft bra which seems to be an entirely male train wreck

My bra already lets me know when I’m stressed out and eating too much because I find remnants of chocolate in there.
posted by mippy at 5:29 AM on May 18, 2016 [64 favorites]

I was tempted by the Looncup, but I could see that it would be no good for swimming (which is what I was researching cups for) and also, what happens if you pass through airport security?
posted by mippy at 5:30 AM on May 18, 2016

Yesterday, I was pleased to listen as a pair of girls in the high school biology class I teach gave a few confused boys an accurate, matter-of-fact, and unashamed overview of female reproductive anatomy, and how menstruation works. It even included a demonstration of how tampons can absorb a large amount of water.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:31 AM on May 18, 2016 [14 favorites]

I went to a Catholic high school and took a great deal of pleasure advertising my period in order to embarrass my teachers so I could get out of class.

Me: (hand up)
Teacher: Yes, Dressed?
Me: “I need to go to Room 321 to ask Lisa C for a SANITARY NAPKIN, sir!”
Teacher: (flustered) Ah, ok…!

Me: (popping head into Room 321) “Ms so-and-so? I need to borrow a SANITARY NAPKIN from Lisa – can she get one from her locker?”
Teacher: (flustered) Ah! ok…!

(me and Lisa leave and fuck off for the afternoon)
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:35 AM on May 18, 2016 [77 favorites]

I have a very distinct memory of reading a “true” “embarrassing story” in one of those teenage girls’ magazines. The story consisted of a girl playing in front of the school on her high school basketball team, and just as she went for a layup, her very bloody tampon fell out and lay there on the gym floor for all to see.

Oh yeah!! Those embarrassing stories were like 70% period-related (otherwise, 15% about toots and 15% something to do with your crush) and I honestly think it manufactured horror where there wouldn’t have been otherwise. Leaking menstrual blood–especially when it’s a new thing and you’re still figuring out your entire pubescent body–should rank closer to armpit BO than to all-time humiliation.

And of course, the biggest problem (about which, again, boys were blasé and even celebratory) was the fact that masturbation exists and is awesome. That one didn’t even make it into teen magazines’ HOW EMBARRASSING features. Too unspeakably horrible and weird and freaky!!
posted by witchen at 5:59 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think I’m on the other side of the fence on all of this. While I support destigmatizing and eliminating the shame from menstruation, I don’t think the fact that it’s a natural bodily process means that we should deny the fact that it’s a natural bodily process that for many women is anywhere from minorly inconvenient to outright incapacitating. There are all kinds of natural bodily processes that men and women both share and that we nevertheless don’t want permanent reminders of on our clothing, and at least one male-only effluent that is not widely celebrated to my knowledge) as an appropriate adornment for the crotch of one’s pants.

I dunno. Maybe it’s my ADHD but remembering all my period-related remembers–like when to expect it, having supplies with me when I need them, how long it’s been since I changed my tampon, or even simply remembering to reinsert a fresh tampon during the bathroom routine!–has always been a huge struggle for me. Other than that menstruation was not a terrible burden for me, until what I can only assume to be perimenopause arrived and all of a sudden it’s like the elevator scene in The Shining for a week at a time, at an increasingly unpredictable interval that only loosely approximates a month.

It’s good to be able to talk about a problem without stigma, but that’s not the same thing as reclassifying it as “not a problem.” I’m not sure I would invest in this technology–I’m not an especially early adopter–but I can definitely see a role for technology of this nature.
posted by drlith at 6:05 AM on May 18, 2016 [13 favorites]

So the Internet of Things is finally finding its way up our various bodily cavities – I feel we’re just one small step away from the true Internet of Shit.
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:07 AM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

drlith, I mostly feel that it sounds rather awkward to have the string of your tampon clipped to your waistband. It makes me feel uncomfortable just thinking about it (apart from the way that tampons all by themselves are uncomfortable to me). What if you’re in a hurry to go and pee, and yank your pants down without thinking?

Menstruation, and the risk of leaks, are a problem for some of us, for sure. Personally, I prefer the solutions that we currently have.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:21 AM on May 18, 2016

Speaking as someone who, to her embarrassment and horror, realized yesterday that my period arrived in a fury and I was traveling on a bus with no tampons on my person, I welcome options where I am not in tears with pain and a soaked crotch and nowhere near a place of privacy or safety.
posted by Kitteh at 6:21 AM on May 18, 2016 [9 favorites]

So the Internet of Things is finally finding its way up our various bodily cavities

The future is now.
posted by freya_lamb at 6:47 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

And here’s where I expound upon the wonders of the Clue app! Track your periods! It lets you know when your period is coming! I love it!
posted by cooker girl at 7:07 AM on May 18, 2016 [6 favorites]

Just saw this on my Twitter, OBGYN Jen Gunter talking about why it’s not a good idea to use a natural sea sponge (as recommended by Glamour). Which is a good general reminder to be careful what you stick up there.
posted by emjaybee at 7:10 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

So, when I was working the front desk at an art museum, one morning we had a Famous Female Author come to speak in one of our galleries. Part of my job was checking bags both in and out if people weren’t leaving them in the coin-op lockers in the lobby. So, I greeted FFA and took just a cursory peek in her bag on her way in. She was very cool about it.

Later on, I was relieved for my lunch break by the building manager; when I got back, FFA hurried up to the desk from where she had been waiting just around the corner.

“I’m so glad you’re back,” she said. “I was waiting for you because I have tampons in my bag and I didn’t want that man rifling through them.”

I don’t know, maybe it’s silly, but it sort of made me feel a little better to know that even famous, successful women still worry about their tampons like the rest of us.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:11 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Menstruel cups are much less prone to leaking – and are reusable.

I wish we still had the BLINK tag, so I could say (as I feel like a say every time this comes up) Menstrual cups do not work for every woman, because not everyone’s anatomy is the same. If, for example, you are one of the about 1 in 4 women who have a tipped uterus, there is a high chance that a cup won’t work for you. (Many women who have a tipped uterus can’t use tampons comfortably for the same reason.)

Cups are great, but they are not the one true way.
posted by anastasiav at 7:13 AM on May 18, 2016 [21 favorites]

And here’s where I expound upon the wonders of the Clue app! Track your periods! It lets you know when your period is coming! I love it!

I too love Clue and am kicking myself for not paying attention to its notification that told me my period was due yesterday.
posted by Kitteh at 7:14 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wish we still had the BLINK tag


MeFi still has it; it’s the browsers that stopped rendering it.
posted by cortex at 7:17 AM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

Ths is not a real problem

Are you sure? Here, watch these commercials. Just to be sure.
posted by Vic Morrow’s Personal Vietnam at 7:20 AM on May 18, 2016

anastasiav: Cups are great, but they are not the one true way.

Of course they aren’t. Of all the ways that people deal with their periods, there is not a single one that works for everyone. I’m pretty sure we all realise that.
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:21 AM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

And here’s where I expound upon the wonders of the Clue app! Track your periods! It lets you know when your period is coming! I love it!

Until the day you start on the path towards menopause and your cycles start going haywire and any kind of tracking app pretty much throws up its little electronic hands and says “I have no idea what’s going on any more FUCK THIS”.

Ask me how i know about that kind of thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:21 AM on May 18, 2016 [13 favorites]

The story consisted of a girl playing in front of the school on her high school basketball team, and just as she went for a layup, her very bloody tampon fell out and lay there on the gym floor for all to see.

why were they playing basketball naked?
posted by poffin boffin at 7:42 AM on May 18, 2016 [10 favorites]

Does anyone have teen-girl magazines in their lives (daughters? read them yourself for fun? I do not judge!) and do they still have an endless parade of those real-life-embarrassment-story columns? Because yeah, I remember they always seemed to be full of Someone Found Out I Had My Period stories. I don’t think I ever actually had any sort of horrifying menstrual drama, but oh, how I lived in fear that I would someday, because Seventeen had taught me that was a frequent occurrence. I’m vaguely curious whether that’s still a thing we’re horrifying young women about.

(Between the Mirena, and the DivaCup before her, I have not needed a tampon or pad for myself in a solid decade or so now. But I still keep a small stash in my bathroom in case a guest ever needs one. It’s never occurred to me to carry something with me, but I think maybe now I will.)
posted by Stacey at 7:49 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have a very distinct memory of reading a “true” “embarrassing story” in one of those teenage girls’ magazines. The story consisted of a girl playing in front of the school on her high school basketball team, and just as she went for a layup, her very bloody tampon fell out and lay there on the gym floor for all to see.

OH MY GOD I REMEMBER READING THIS. All these years later.

I am not in the market for this kind of thing — I can barely be bothered to upgrade a phone, much less become an early adopter for new technology. But now I remember how miserable the very idea of a stain could make me when I was a tween and young teenager. I didn’t get a reliable source of those good, thin, broad pads for a couple of years; they were new then. The little bastards from Kotex or Modess were easy to find in a school vending machine or hide in your purse, but they weren’t much good to me.

If this could help a teenage girl . . . well, I still think it’s expensive nonsense, but girls that age don’t get much peace of mind. Free tracking apps are helpful for knowing when to go out forearmed, but if you are irregular, you can still get fooled, and girls are often irregular.

Here’s my humorous story of pointless double standards.

posted by Countess Elena at 7:50 AM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

I hate this idea so much. It is incredibly unnecessary. And cumbersome. I can’t imagine anyone I know using this. Adding technology to everything is so bizarre.
posted by agregoli at 8:34 AM on May 18, 2016

But I still keep a small stash in my bathroom in case a guest ever needs one.

Thanks for notifying me of a privilege I didn’t bother thinking about. Going to pick some up in case a houseguest is ever in need.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:37 AMon May 18, 2016 [22 favorites]

fffm, that’s cool, and please open the box and remove a tampon or three. As your houseguest, that would make me feel that it’s okay to take one.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:38 AM on May 18, 2016 [26 favorites]

Anyone else horrified by this part where they explain why they use purple liquid in demonstrations?

Well, says Field, “in pad commercials it’s usually blue so we wanted it to be a little more realistic. We thought we’d go for red but didn’t want to alienate anyone. We want to change the conversation [around periods] but we’re not looking to cause a revolt. So we mixed blue with red. It meets in the middle.”

WHO WOULD THEY BE ALIENATING? WHO WOULD BE REVOLTING?
posted by meemzi at 9:38 AM on May 18, 2016 [16 favorites]

Well, says Field, “in pad commercials it’s usually blue so we wanted it to be a little more realistic. We thought we’d go for red but didn’t want to alienate anyone. We want to change the conversation [around periods] but we’re not looking to cause a revolt. So we mixed blue with red. It meets in the middle.”

Oh – that’s what’s supposed to happen.

posted by Mchelly at 9:48 AM on May 18, 2016

WHO WOULD THEY BE ALIENATING? WHO WOULD BE REVOLTING?

At first I was going to make a joke about aliens but then I realized that maybe they’re talking about people who get queasy and feel faint (or do faint) at the sight of blood so maybe them?
posted by I-baLL at 9:51 AM on May 18, 2016

WHO WOULD THEY BE ALIENATING? WHO WOULD BE REVOLTING?

Us fragile men and our pathetic and shameful inability to handle biological reality. Way back in the mists of time–like, highschool–a friend of mine did a tampon commercial. The two things she mentioned were: 1) it paid extraordinarily well, way beyond what she’d received for any other TV work she’d done to date, 2) being absolutely surrounded by men on the set. I didn’t pick up on that, of course, as a stupid teenager. But it makes sense; if women were making every decision about tampon/pad/cup advertising from top to bottom (incl. scheduling the ads on the air), I’d be willing to bet cash money the liquid used would be red. But because it’s fragile men, it must be sanitized for our protection.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:00 AMon May 18, 2016

Some people don’t handle the sight of blood well, no matter from which part of the body it is issuing forth. Maybe I’m fragile, but large amounts of blood can be ptsd-inducing for those of us who have witnessed severe traumas that involved blood. I can see why an advertiser might think twice about using red liquid in this circumstance, apart from judgementalism about periods.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:07 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes but it’s not that, is it? It’s because ugh period blood. It’s not like they use large amounts of any coloured liquid in those adverts, it’s a tiny amount for demo purposes. They’re not restaging Carrie or anything. In laundry detergent adverts they generally show a child’s cut knee to illustrate blood as one of the stains that can be magically removed and I was in adulthood before I figured out that it was really a stand-in for menstrual blood. I would pay good money to see a detergent advert where the “housewife” figure shakes her head and smiles wryly as she holds up a white shirt with dirty cuffs, a child’s sports kit covered with grass stains, then finally a pair of knickers with a bloody gusset.
posted by billiebee at 10:16 AM on May 18, 2016 [11 favorites]

Hey, I imagined this device some time ago! I could have gone out and disrupted the period space!

Seriously, while the apparatus here seems cumbersome, the underlying idea of your tampon’s notifying you when it’s getting saturated is not a bad one. You don’t have to be consumed with dysphoria not to want to walk around with blood all over your pants. I work in a professional environment–if I had tomato sauce all over my crotch area, I’d have to go home and change. The big problem with tampons has always been having to keep an eye on saturation in light of variable flow, and of course you can’t tell that’s happening until just as it’s starting. Solve that, and less worry, less waste.
posted by praemunire at 10:19 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes, girls’ magazines still have embarrassing moments letters in them. My daughter loves them even more than the quizzes and rereads her favorite mortifying stories. I haven’t seen periods yet, but there is definitely a lot about crushes (especially doing anything slightly dumb in front of them) and the rest seems evenly spread between farting and underwear (including having to wear a bra and anyone having the knowledge that you wear one). It might be that this is marketed to 8 and up since it had no problem with being embarrassed about seeing underwear.

It does seem like everything connected with puberty for girls is embarrassing in US culture. It doesn’t seem fair that guys get to be proud of facial hair — what do young women get to be proud of that’s better than being a girl still?
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:19 AM on May 18, 2016

billiebee: “In laundry detergent adverts they generally show a child’s cut knee to illustrate blood as one of the stains that can be magically removed and I was in adulthood before I figured out that it was really a stand-in for menstrual blood.

I… had not figured that out until you just said it now. I am 40. I am confident I would neverhave figured it out if you hadn’t mentioned it, despite the fact that I do the majority of the laundry for my wife, my teen daughter and I. Thanks, billiebee. The amount of privilege that gets pointed out to me on a regular basis on MetaFilter would fill dozens of invisible knapsacks.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:27 AM on May 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

There’s so many fish in the barrel of how advertising treats women, I guess we could give them a pass on the blue liquid thing: it’s probably their finely tuned data indicating blue for fake body fluids sells 0.005% more whatevers than any other color – they use the same thing in baby diaper ads.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:34 AM on May 18, 2016

ok but if clear red liquid is so terrifying to people then how do they handle kool-aid commercials, it must be very startling to see this enormous blood jug come smashing through the wall bellowing crazed exhortions for youths to enjoy his gory nectar

anyway maxi pad commercials should obviously use rainbow glitter suspended in a clear non newtonian fluid
posted by poffin boffin at 10:50 AM on May 18, 2016 [39 favorites]

Seconding rainbow glitter. Also still waiting for shark-themed menstrual supplies.

I guess girls get to be proud of boobs but unless you have the right boobs, it’s shame city.
posted by meemzi at 11:09 AM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

I dunno. Maybe it’s my ADHD but remembering all my period-related remembers–like when to expect it, having supplies with me when I need them, how long it’s been since I changed my tampon, or even simply remembering to reinsert a fresh tampon during the bathroom routine!–has always been a huge struggle for me.

Is technology the solution, though? I mean for tampons, following the instructions is advisable anyway (to prevent toxic shock syndrome), should be enough… A liner for backup isn’t required but such products exist for people who need them. Pads – it’s not really hard to tell when it’s time for a reup, we already have a sensor system (but even disregarding that, just from a hygiene POV… regularly? every few hours?). Forgetting to bring pads/tampons while out is not a problem that’s likely to be fixed by increasing the amount of gear to remember.

There are 1 million other things that could do with attention (and money), I just find this baffling…

Reducing the *cost* of existing supplies, or maybe not taxing them, or maybe asking business owners to actually fill those 25 cent machines, might be a better use of time but idk
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:15 AM on May 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

Sorry – I do get the issue of forgetting to do things that need regular attention. This is a device I do think is useful.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:39 AM on May 18, 2016

When I was in school, if I had all the brain power available to me that was being used up contemplating when my period was coming, or if I had it, how bad the stain all over my ass was, because I DEFINITELY had a giant stain all over my ass, oh boy I could have gotten in to MIT or something. As soon as I found out that it was possible to be walking around with a stain on your ass without knowing it & without warning, it became an all-consuming obsession. Even now, with years of experience to know that it doesn’t come shooting out like a geyser and you have a little time before it reaches your pants, I STILL get these thoughts.

This prevarication around the right way to challenge menstruation etiquette, the desire to be revolutionary – but not revolting! – results in a sort of confusion as to whether my.Flow is breaking down menstruation stigmas, or monetizing and reinforcing them.

I thought the article itself was really good, very insightful and actually going and pointing out all the problems with this technology. In my opinion the only technological breakthrough that menstruation products need is to just be wide & tall enough. Pads have been getting narrower and shorter, I guess to save money? This is why I only use adult incontinence products now. They are so much more reliable.

But if we have to have some kind of Internet of Things shit, awhile back we were talking about nanobots that scoop you out in your sleep. I would go for that.
posted by bleep at 11:48 AM on May 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

Ah, sorry, bleep… that does sound difficult.

I think your lower-tech solution makes more sense than this thing, though.

There is a place for assistive tech for attention issues (which I also suffer from), for sure, but for devices to be extremely task-specific like that, not applicable to any other use, is (I feel) maybe not that helpful for this problem. Gadgety, so gadgety, Inspector Gadgety
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:08 PM on May 18, 2016

I don’t use tampons but I think in the future, if there was a way to alert you it was done that was tiny, waterproof, completely unobtrusive, disposable, environmentally-friendly, and affordable, it would be pretty cool. This is not there yet.
posted by bleep at 12:18 PM on May 18, 2016

Ugh, do not want. Just oh hell no.
posted by Lynsey at 12:22 PM on May 18, 2016

I’ll talk about measuring trees any time.

…. Oh, I thought you said “mensuration”
posted by humboldt32 at 12:23 PM on May 18, 2016

ok but if clear red liquid is so terrifying to people then how do they handle kool-aid commercials, it must be very startling to see this enormous blood jug come smashing through the wall bellowing crazed exhortions for youths to enjoy his gory nectar

It’s funny, but you just never know. I lived 2 blocks from the People’s Temple in San Francisco until they moved to Guyana, and while the giant Kool-aid thing doesn’t terrify me, the Jonestown event sure “colors” my perception.

Yeah, blue liquids in advertising look “clean” and I’m sure it’s focus-grouped all to hell.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:23 PM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

Courteney Cox for Tampax, back in 1985. This commercial was extremely controversial at the time because Cox *gasp* used the word “period” to refer to menstruation. (This was the first time it was done on a US TV ad)
posted by SisterHavana at 2:08 PM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

“it must be very startling to see this enormous blood jug come smashing through the wall bellowing crazed exhortions for youths to enjoy his gory nectar”

Laughing so hard I may rupture something…
posted by WalkerWestridge at 3:00 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Internet of … Tampons?
posted by joelman at 3:00 PM on May 18, 2016

They also use blue liquid to symbolize urine in diaper ads, but that could just be because yellow liquid would be more difficult to see.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:34 PM on May 18, 2016

“…president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research” *

Yessss. More proof for my students that there is an association/society/committee/etc. for absolutely everything. Also for just sheer awesome: yes, let’s have more research on the menstrual cycle–please and thank you!

*Linking to their Fb page because google thinks their website might have been hacked
posted by librarylis at 6:18 PM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

I go and find the only other woman on the floor
it’s the secretary sitting at the desk by the door
I ask her if she’s got a tampon I could use
she says
oh honey, what a hassle for you
sure I do
you know I do
I say
it ain’t no hassle, no, it ain’t no mess
right now it’s the only power
that I possess
these businessmen got the money
they got the instruments of death
But I can make life
I can make breath

posted by bendy at 6:27 PM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

I loved reading those mortifying stories in magazines (I would still read them if those magazines were lying around somewhere) but I was never actually afraid of anyone seeing my tampon/period blood/whatever. I’m sure this was just because I was a big nerd who did not give a fuck. Once I had my period at a boy’s house and wrapped my tampon in tissue and threw it in the garbage, and he went to the bathroom after me, and when he came back he was like, “omg, I was in the bathroom and I sneezed and I grabbed a piece of toilet paper from the garbage to sneeze in and it had your tampon in it! Agh!” and I was like “? are you an idiot? Don’t take used tissue out of the garbage??” And I’m pretty sure that story was calculated to make me feel maximum shame, despite the fact that he was the one rooting around in the garbage. I think that cemented my no-fucks-giving forever.

I think my “period stain” shame would be about on par with my “blew my nose and a boog got stuck to my nostril” shame or my “saliva randomly squirted out of my mouth while talking to someone at work” shame or my “didn’t eat breakfast and stomach is grumbling on a date” shame. Which is to say, bodies are inconvenient, but literally who cares about a little menstrual blood.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:20 PM on May 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

I’m also highly confused about the “bloody tampon falls out during basketball” story? Like it must have really worked its way down, then fallen out, then fallen out of her underwear and her shorts? What? … possible… yet unlikely? Does this happen to people? I would imagine a pad getting unstuck and wiggling out would be more plausible.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:23 PM on May 18, 2016

I could see that happening to me. Everyone’s body is shaped slightly differently plus the learning curve to getting them ALL the way up there. Getting them in and having them stay put doesn’t work great for everyone.
posted by bleep at 10:47 PM on May 18, 2016

Bleep: I think that stoneandstar’s wondering isn’t so much about “how did the tampon work its way out of her body” so much as it’s about ‘how did the tampon not get caught by her underwear”. And I’ll admit that that’s something I’m wondering about the “went for a layup and her tampon fell out onto the floor” story myself, because I wasn’t under the impression that female athletes went commando.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:59 AM on May 19, 2016

I assume that the tampon-basketball story was actually fake (as I assume, in hindsight, all of their embarrassing stories are). As a naive 12 or 13 year old with little experience of tampons, none of this occurred to me, of course. I just assumed that tampons were amazingly hard to keep in one’s underwear… like all the blood made them super-slippery or something. This story contributed to a new fear of spontaneous emergence of the tampon. The fact that it could do so in some completely unpredictable way that violated the laws of physics made it more scary to me — I could never predict it! — rather than making me think that the story was clearly made up.

I never said I was a smart kid…
posted by forza at 3:01 AM on May 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

“…president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research” *
Yessss. More proof for my students that there is an association/society/committee/etc. for absolutely everything

I know you probably don’t mean disrespect but the Society is not just some one off thing made up a few years ago for the internet. They’ve been around since 1979.

I love love love the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and the blog Re:Cycling. They are doing amazing work and it was really them who convinced me to let go of my period shame! And also get angry about the almost total lack of research regarding periods.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:17 AM on May 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Fuck pads and tampons and cups and aps and all that nonsense. I want menstrual extraction to become a real thing. Especially since developing fibroid tumors I bleed like crazy for the first day and a half (as in changing once and hour or less, I don’t sleep the first night) and then my period can be as long as TEN FREAKIN’ DAYS LONG! If I could just go, oh look, my period started better go get my vag vac. Boom, done! my life would be soon much better.
posted by Belle O’Cosity at 12:31 PM on May 19, 2016 [4 favorites]

VagVac as an option would be a fine thing. If it happens before the next bloody go-around, even more fine.
posted by datawrangler at 1:02 PM on May 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I know you probably don’t mean disrespect but the Society is not just some one off thing made up a few years ago for the internet. They’ve been around since 1979.

Er, of course not? I’m not quite sure what went awry with my words, but I intend zero disrespect and did not assume that they were a) recent or b) made up. I am genuinely excited that there is a society promoting menstrual research and I am genuinely excited to tell my students about it where relevant.
posted by librarylis at 5:54 PM on May 20, 2016

I would like to share some words of wisdom from one of my favorite old-school riot grrrl bands and the woman who wrote the song actually turned out to gain some fame and recognition when she became one of the front women fpr Sleater-Kinney. This is a Heavens to Betsy song called my red self: “what is the color/the color of shame/is it red/is it blood blood red? does it creep out/from my two legs/up to my face/if you notice the stain.
never wear white when your shame will creep right through. is this the rag/you use to humiliate me/because I was born/I was born a girl? is this the rag/you use to humiliate me/because I was born/ Iwas born to bleed? never wear white we are shame will creep through never wear white or your shame will creep right through. What is the color the color of shame? I know it’s red I know it’s blood blood red. Is this the period/Too long too strange/for you to understand/ [gets louder, angrier] so you make me hide/the truth from you/so you make me hide/my red self from you.
posted by CallandTesponse at 10:09 AM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]