Saturday, March 24, 2012

What We Put Up There

Marriage Hygiene (single ladies not allowed)
Today, I thought I would venture into the exciting land Douches and Menstrual products.  Since I was a little girl, and after I was introduced to the reality of menstruation,  my mom prepared me for all the different gadgets and cleaning tools that I've may be subjected to. But some of these gadgets and cleaning tools just seem terribly unacceptable to me. First up, Lysol.

I love this ad from 1948, urging women to use Lysol as a douche.  I got the ad from an amazing site, one of my favorites, The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health that is chalked full of these ads and other lovely tidbits.  Regardless, from the 1920s to the late 40s, women were encouraged to douche with Lysol. After all, a woman must not embarrass her man in bed.  It is amazing, really, all the stuff women have been encourage to use to make her smell better, if you catch my "flow."

Think about it people, Lysol does not smell that good anyway - it smells clinical and, well, not sexy. It is not like they made a rose smelling Lysol for women. But what a bargain!  Lysol was more than a two for one product: clean your bathroom, clean your kitchen, disinfect the garbage can, and then disinfect yourself! Imagine it, if will you, that romantic evening between you and your loved one. Your loved one suggests a shower, but you want to make sure that your extra clean for that special moment:
Excuse me sweetheart, just give me a moment why I douche myself.  Fresh and clean!
 Didn't you just use that stuff to clean the toilet?
 Well, you said you admired a thrifty shopper!  Two for one coupons and two for one products.  Grrrrrrr (sex kitten purr) 
Seriously, can you imagine tasting Lysol? Yuck - how will that help the marriage bed anyhow?

One of the most interesting fixtures of these ads is that they are all labeled marriage hygiene indeed, if you look at the ads, right next to the happy Lysol bottle, you can see a form in which ladies could fill out, in order to receive more information regarding marriage hygiene. Of course, marriage hygiene is secret code information for: women who have sex. Or, should I say, women who have permissible sex, i.e. married women. Talk about freezing out an audience, because I'm sure even in 1922 there were plenty of women having sex out of wedlock. But, apparently, those women couldn't use Lysol because Lysol was reserved for marriage hygiene only.  Egad!

Besides douches,  There are all those products used to help women with their menstrual flow. The most popular throughout time has been the pad, but today many women prefer the tampon. And the one product that keeps coming back, but then is quickly ignored again, is menstrual cups. Menstrual cups look like a bell shaped diaphragm, and they are designed to catch the menstrual flow. Now, I have never used one of these, the thought actually horrifies me just a little bit, the potential mess and all, but my mom tried them back in the 1970s. I can tell you how much she enjoyed these lovely little items, because she took the whole package of them, threw him on the dining room table, and had my sister and I make Christmas ornaments out of them. We had menstrual cup bells hanging from our Christmas tree for years. As the woman said to her man: waste not want not. R

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