Let’s admit it, nobody is actually excited about getting their periods… well, unless you’re having an unwanted pregnancy scare, then you might be a little excited. But after that first little rush of excitement fades, you’re left feeling inconvenienced by its annoying presence for the next three to five days. Although feeling less than unenthused and a little grumpy during that special time, I have never been the type of person to let a sore uterus and a little vagina blood keep me from living my life.
When I first started my period sometime in freshmen year, my mom handed me a pad which I used for probably a day before I was like “Fuck that!” and switched to tampons which have seemed to be the most convenient option for me in my last decade or so of menstruation. A few years ago, I started seeing videos pop up of people raving about menstruation cups. I had to try one. My mom is actually the one who bought me the Diva Cup for my birthday or some sort of holiday after I wouldn’t stop talking about periods or shut up about how much I wanted to try one. (Clearly, my mom and I have a very open relationship. It takes outsiders some getting used to.) If you don’t know what a Diva Cup is, google it. It’s a little silicone cup that suctions in your vagina and catches all the discharge. Not only is it the safer option to wearing tampons, but it’s also environmentally friendly because it is reusable. I was stoked! Having less bothersome periods and saving the planet at the same time?! Bring on the crimson wave!
As eager as I was to try the Diva Cup, my excitement for the product quickly faded after the first few uses. Although it’s a great product and many women swear by it, I just felt that it wasn’t the right size for my body. You know that annoying, rubbing feeling you experience when your tampon isn’t in right? That’s the feeling I constantly experienced with the Diva Cup, no matter how many videos I watched explaining how to insert it, or how many times I took it out and tried again, I could never wear it for more than an hour or so because it would make my vagina sore. I honestly think it was just too big for me, so back to tampons it was.
A few weeks ago my friend Sabrina sent me a link to this new feminine hygiene product called Flex. As I scrolled through the website, I was pretty impressed by the claims the site boasted; could be worn for up to twelve hours, leak free, and sex friendly. I looked at the pictures, I watched the videos and I read the product reviews. Flex seemed like a great product, even though my excitement was a little curbed due to my previous Diva Cup experience. I just didn’t want to let myself down, you know? After thoroughly examining every inch of the website, I discovered the best part about Flex; they will send you a free sample! You do have to pay shipping, which was like $3.95 I believe but, I was totally okay with potentially falling in love with a product or even hating it for less money than all you girls are spending on a pumpkin spice latte right now. It was definitely better deal than spending $30 on a Diva Cup that feels like a roll of sand paper in your vagina.
Fast forward a couple weeks, my Flex had arrived in the mail and was patiently waiting in the medicine cabinet for me to use. I admit, I was actually excited to start my period so I could give this product a try. Finally, it was time for Aunt Flo to pay me a visit. Since I only had one Flex, I had to calculate the perfect time for me to use it to test out all of its qualities. I wanted to make sure it was comfortable, it was leak proof and definitely challenge the mess-free sex claims. I decided to test Flex on the third day of my period, when my flow was a little lighter, just in case it didn’t hold up its end of the bargain. I also wanted to wait until the evening to put Flex in to make sure I could sleep the whole night wearing it. I put Flex in around 9 pm, it took me two tries. The first time I put it in felt comfortable in my vagina, but when I felt it with my finger I wasn’t convinced that it had sealed correctly so I took it out and tried again. The second time felt the same but since it felt comfortable inside of me I decided to just go with it. I went about my business, walked to the liquor store, picked up the apartment and then worked on some homework. So far so good.
About two hours after I had inserted Flex, my “partner” was finally off work and on his way over. When he got here we watched a Netflix movie and drank some beers; soon Netflix and chill turned into Netflix and chill. However, after about four beers in, I had completely forgotten to mention to him that I had this weird plastic disc in my vagina which led to me awkwardly warning him about the situation “So I forgot to tell you about this thing that’s in my vagina, just a warning that it’s there. Let me know if it’s uncomfortable….” One thing led to another and there was sex to be had and still no blood. Everything felt normal to me, I couldn’t feel it at all. Curious about his experience I asked him about it. He said he could feel it with his hand but not with his penis, which didn’t bother him. I kept Flex in all night though my continuous tossing and turning and we put it to the sex-test two more times. When I woke up in the morning, it was still there, still comfortable and still leak free.
Although I was impressed that Flex had done as promised all night, I was still skeptical about its menstrual-proof power. Since I was having a lighter than normal period anyway, I was convinced that my period had already stopped, that’s why it seemed to work. The true amazement happened when I took it out. I decided to take it out in the shower since some of the reviews had warned of horror-movie-like messes. First of all, I was pretty impressed by how easy it was to take out. Believe me, the thought that my “partner’s” penis would push it so far inside me, I wouldn’t be able to reach it had crossed my mind… but there it was, right behind my pelvic bone where I had left it. When I pulled it out I could feel it kind of de-suction itself from my insides which was pretty cool. Also, my assumption was wrong, I hadn’t stopped my period early and the true show stopper was seeing how much fluid Flex had actually caught and kept from coming out all night long, despite certain sexual activities.
Flex really is a game changer and I am definitely going to start recommending it to EVERYONE. It really provides a sense of worry-free control for women and also a sense of sexual liberation for those who might be embarrassed or too squeamish for period sex. Obviously, you have to be comfortable with your body to use Flex and have a general understanding of how your vagina works in order to be successful with the product, but even if you’re not and you want to try Flex, a little self-exploration can solve that issue. Although the price point of Flex is definitely steeper than using tampons ($20 for a box of 8), it is totally worth the extra money to me. Even if you don’t want to wear Flex every day of your period, it is worth the $2.50 each to not have to clean bloody sheets whenever you’re feeling frisky while you’re bleeding from your vagina.
Check Flex out for yourself at