Culture //

Once in a red moon

Issy Comber reviews a different kind of cupping.

A moon cup.
A moon cup.
A moon cup.

Hey everyone, I’ve got my period! That happy crimson hug which proclaims me a baby-free zone for the next month. I usually celebrate for around twenty minutes, then I remember that when I’m on the rags I blow up as big as a house, become gassier than a gluten-intolerant burrito enthusiast and just generally enjoy a Tarantino death scene in my pants. Womanhood, hooray!

But this month, I tried something different to aid me, something that came in the post, dressed in silicon. Presenting: the Moon Cup! A small medical-grade silicon cup which one inserts to catch all of that menstrual madness, the Moon Cup has been hailed as cost-effective, highly sustainable (it lasts up to 8 years) and generally progressive femme product.

First of all – how does it feel to put in? Well, the circumference of the cup’s widest part is just larger that a 50c coin. To put it in your vagina you need to bend it in half, insert, and it opens inside you. This was a strange experience to begin with – and only hurt slightly because I wasn’t expecting it – plus I had been doing stress kegels that day, y’know? When it was in, it stayed in unbeknownst to me for the next six hours.

During those six hours I went to Fisher, ate a banana and then pottered off to my job. I work behind the bar in a reasonably up-market cocktail venue. There are no staff toilets so when I went to empty the moon cup – a strange process where you pull on a small stem and the cup comes out with a small ‘pop’ – I found myself caught (literally) red handed in a bathroom full of upper-middle class cougars. Hurriedly, I bypassed the rinsing of the cup and washed my hands as discreetly as possible. I went back out to the bar and then bent down to the fridge to survey the pale ales. The cup shifted in me and I let out a yelp – not having put it in properly in my haste. Bloody Marys, anyone?

In an average cycle, gals supposedly bleed out around six tablespoons of blood. That’s funny because I feel like when I’m on the rags my vagina becomes the elevator doors in ‘The Shining’. Having the cup gave me perspective on that – and seeing exactly what was coming out of body was a strangely comforting feeling.

As the week continued, other perks of the cup emerged. It carries no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which tampons do, and it also lacked that dry ‘cotton-y’ feeling. It had its awkward moments (removal/application with burrito hands, hurried wash outs in Fisher bathrooms), but these could have been avoided with some simple planning. Overall, the cup was cool.

A feminine product that encourages sustainability, saves me cash and encourages connection to my body? It’s a bloody ripper of an idea, and something that I’ll continue to use for years to come.