Social Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Menstruating women: are you embarassed if someone sees your feminine supplies?

Asked by tinyfaery (36289 points ) January 21st, 2010

A coworker and I walked into the bathroom at the same time and she dropped her tampon. She was so embarassed that she turned red. I giggled and told her that’s in no big deal. Afterall, it’s a women’s bathroom.

Then I started thinking, why be embarassed at all? About 50% of the population menstruates and the other 40% or so are with women who menstruate. Why the shyness about it?

What do you think?

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43 Answers

phil196662's avatar

I think they make a big deal out of it, I go buy tampons for the Wife and my remark if some give me a weird look is “I am Really heavy this month”... And give me this smirk

Likeradar's avatar

I used to be. I’d hide tampons under something else in my shopping cart, and be so embarrassed if someone saw a pad in my bag.
But now I don’t care. I mean, I don’t show off my lady goods on purpose but who the hell cares that someone knows I have reached puberty? I think it’s pretty obvious. :)
I guess getting over it comes with growing up.

phil196662's avatar

@Likeradar ; your S/O’s gonna find out anyway so don’t be embarrassed!

Trillian's avatar

I think that some people just are. I personally don’t care. I don’t advertise it but neither do I hide it. I take what I need with me to the head at work because I don’t want to take my bag in there. I don’t dance down the hall with it on my head, I just carry it.
Maybe she just wasn’t comfortable having someone know that she was about to go use it right now. Maybe… I don’t know. It’s kind of a private thing. I know logically that we all use the toilet too, but I don’t like having someone in there when I’m using it if I happen to be…. you know. Pooping.
And maybe she’s just young. You care less and less about stuff like that as you get older.
@phil196662, you’re a funny guy. Good come-back. I’ll bet you’re completely deadpan too! ;-)

wilma's avatar

The situation you described may have embarrassed me a little, but not much. The older I get the less that sort of thing bothers me. In fact hiding a hot flash is way harder than hiding a tampon. Most women will have to deal with that a time or two in their life, so get ready…

faye's avatar

Some people are embarrassed into old age about bodily functions! So some people get cancerous drainage from their uterus and die when they should have told a doctor years before.

Likeradar's avatar

@phil196662 Uh, I’m pretty sure he knows. ;)

phil196662's avatar

@Trillian ; Thanks! have done stand up comedy before and actually have had people thing I was serous and had to let them off the hook! The wife is the same way but I can spot her expression when she joshing me!

Jude's avatar

Not at all.

When I was 16, well then, yes, I did the same as @Likeradar and hid the tampons under a bottle of hairspray, and a bag of munchies (for ex.) when shopping. Now, I couldn’t care less if someone sees me with the goods. I’ll go into Target, buying a single box of tampons and that’ll be the only thing that I’m getting. There could be a bunch of people in line behind me and it wouldn’t bother me atall.

Tink's avatar

I am, I don’t like when people see my “stuff”, either underwear and bra shopping. I just get the sense eveyone is looking at me buy those items and it creeps me out. That’s why I do what @Likeradar did, and hide my things under a shirt or something I find along the way.

Facade's avatar

Nope. I’m not embarrassed of anything of that nature. I recently went to Wal-Mart at it’s busiest time just to buy some lube haha! And a lady with her kid let me go in front because that’s all I had in my hand =) People are so nice when they’re uncomfortable

poisonedantidote's avatar

when i was a kid i my mother sent me to buy them for her a few times as an errand, or they where to be purchased among other items on occasion, i never thought anything of it, still don’t. they have great big shelfs of them in the supermarket right out on display for all to see. seems like a normal product to me.

and i know i know, im not a menstruating woman, so ill stfu now

laureth's avatar

I think this is something that comes with age. When I first started, I was mortified. My grandma didn’t help by saying something like, “Now, you mustn’t ever let anyone know! Especially your grandfather, or any men!”

Now I’m older, and I even live with a man who has been married before, so the idea that women menstruate is a fact of life. Heck, he even washes my flannel pads sometimes.

liliesndaisies's avatar

No. Besides i’m happy being a woman. :)

borderline_blonde's avatar

I get more embarrassed buying toilet paper.

phil196662's avatar

Your standing there squeezing the charmin @borderline_blonde ?lol

knitfroggy's avatar

Not in the least. when i was about 15 tho, it was a different story

gasman's avatar

When I was 6 or 7 I could read the words ‘feminine napkins’ on a product my mother kept in the bathroom. I had no idea why it was there & wasn’t particularly curious about it either. But one night my parents entertained dinner guests & when someone requested a napkin I cheerfully suggested there was a whole box in the bathroom. Oh, my poor mother… (this was in the 50s :)

le_inferno's avatar

Nope. I especially don’t mind shopping for them, I don’t care who sees. Everyone knows I get my period. However, I think it’s mildly embarrassing when a guy is going through my pocketbook and notices one of those gigantic, hefty pads (I used to need those cause I wasn’t able to wear tampons. Now I can, thanks to a hymenectomy). It’s just really unattractive, it’s like a diaper. Tampons are slim and cute and wrapped all pretty, I don’t care if anyone sees those in my bag :P

susanc's avatar

I’ve told this story on here before but When my friend Melinda was 12 and had learned all she needed to know from her friends, but hadn’t started menstruating yet, but had seen big blue boxes of Kotex in the linen closet all her life, she thought maybe her mother had forgotten to have the Talk with her, so to be helpful she went to her mother and said, “Mom, what’s Kotex?”
And her mother said: “I don’t know.”
That’s how embarrassed we should all be.

jrpowell's avatar

My sister leaves tampons on the floor in the bathroom. Not used ones. They are in a box. They are just next to the toilet. The United States needs to get laid more.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Facade – And what would make her kid notice and ask questions? Him or her seeing and feeling Mummy suddenly get uptight, and then following her gaze to the lube in your hand. If she was chill, then no worries.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

It sure never bothered me. It’s a fact of life, after all. And bless my husband, I think he bought them as much as I did. He STILL buys my panty shields on occasion & doesn’t bat an eye. He lived with me & our 2 daughters for many years. He was used to it all.

The co-worker who was embarrassed in the bathroom…I don’t get her. Its nuts to act that way!

jrpowell's avatar

I’ll buy them no problem. Everyone shits and women have periods. Whoopty-to-do.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@johnpowell I like your style!!! :-)

Blondesjon's avatar

I know that when I was in High School I developed a little later than the other girls. I was painfully shy and the only parent living at home was my holy rollin’, Jesus lovin’ mama. Long story short I got my first period in the shower after gym class my senior year. Mama hadn’t explained menstruation to me so I thought something horrible was happening and I kinda freaked out.

The other girls thought that this was hilarious and actually began pelting me with tampons while they chanted, “Plug it up! Plug it up!”. I was humiliated and then furious after I learned what all of the blood really was.

Maybe your co-worker suffered from a similar experience when she was younger? I know that for some, the high school years can be very painful. Don’t even get me started on the Prom that year.

caly420's avatar

Not at all.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, my DivaCup, tampons and pads are right there next to my husband’s shaving supplies and receiving blankets and the hair dryer – all on the shelf, visible when you walk into our bathroom. There is no reason to be embarrassed about such things and I have already explained all of my ‘feminine belongings’ to my toddler who, at one point, decided that my DivaCup made a terrific hat and bath toy.

MagsRags's avatar

Remember the old print ads for sanitary napkins those of us who were around then? A series of elegant serious fashion models in a series of beautiful outfits, usually ballgowns posed in a large and stately room, with the tagline Modess…. Because
That link is to old ad photos on an amazing website I just came across, www.mum.org the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health. I’ll be bookmarking this one! Anyway, we’ve come further than we sometimes realize.

holden's avatar

Heaven forbid anyone find out I have a functioning uterus.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Not at all! I let my gladrags soak in the bathroom while my housemates’ boyfriends are around…no big deal!

ccrow's avatar

I realize menopause has its own selection of joys, but I am SOOO glad to be done w/all that!! Not because of embarrassment, but after I was done having babies & because I had a lot of irregular spotting/bleeding, it was an incredible nuisance.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@ccrow I could have written each & every word there. Amen.

casheroo's avatar

I remember it being the end of the world if anyone knew in middle school…lol

I don’t care. I do try to be discrete if I’m walking to the bathroom, only because not everyone needs to know I’m going in to change a tampon. I wouldn’t be embarrassed if they noticed. I remember by high school, I completely got over it, and was always the one who forgot to keep an extra tampon in her bag so I had to ask ALL the time. That sucked.

My husband buys anything I need at the store for me. He’s a saint when it comes to that, because I need some pretty embarrassing products and he doesn’t get embarrassed at all (thank goodness!)

eponymoushipster's avatar

just tuck the string in. what’s the big deal?

daemonelson's avatar

I didn’t know that females were. I suppose I’ve never really tried to go looking at someone’s feminine hygiene products.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

I’m not embarrassed about it at all. Strange enough, I crack jokes about it sometimes.

To a friend of mine who’s a girl—>

me: “did you just say you were afraid of seeing blood?!”
her: “oh, no”
me: “lol! ok good, because we see it every month anyways!”

My sister on the other hand, thinks I’m crazy for even talking about such things. I guess she feels it’s more of a personal thing.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

No. So many times I’ve had to go into a minimart or grocery store only for tampons and I learned to just get over the idea I should feel I had something to be embarassed about. I mean c’mon, I’m a human female, there are lots of us in the world and for much of our lives we’re going to bleed every month for several days and it means our bodies are functioning properly, all natural and no biggie. In the past, I don’t think I’ve had a partner who at one time or another hasn’t made the trip to the store for me and understood there will be little toilet paper wrapped bundles in the toilet trash bin for awhile. When I’m at work and ask for bathroom breaks more frequently than usual, I’m pretty sure they know but I’m not concerned if the guys see me carry my handbag with me or see it unzipped open and spy a tampon in there.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Not at all. I won’t have them on display but if I drop one out of my bag or something I don’t think anything of it. There have been times when I have had to ask co workers if they have a tampon I could have and have had the same asked of me.

jayne23's avatar

There is abs nothing to be embarrassed about.I have told this to my teen daughter too,because she finds it very embarrassing to carry her period kit to school.She would always prefer visiting the nurse if she got her period at school.One day she stained bad,and that is when she realized the value of the kit,i gave her when she got her 1st periods.I had given her adira period panties that prevent staining in that kit.Now she has learned from experience and carries the kit all the time.

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