Man’s guide to buying Feminine Hygiene Products


This post is required reading for newly married or about to be married men. Fact is if you are married (or in a live-in relationship) it is inevitable that you’ll will be called upon to buy Feminine Hygiene Products (FHP). This post outlines a simple procedure to remove all the drama and the tension from this simple activity. It is even safe for delicate types with fragile machismo sensibilities to read.

I can’t understand why guys get squirmy when it comes to buying FHP for their significant other. Perhaps they over look some foundational facts:

  • It is OK for a guy to be unfamiliar with FHP.
  • They are products that are not chemically or biologically toxic to men or women to handle
  • FHP are not a banned substance and therefore can be legally procured

The whole procedure is a procurement exercise. Only the target product is unfamiliar. Therefore the mission critical step is to acquire detailed product specifications from the end user (your spousal unit). Demand specifications of the brand AND the target product type within the brand. There is no excuse for failing to familiarise yourself with the packaging if there is an empty box lying around. Otherwise get clear details of what it looks like.

It is unlikely that you will need to know about an alternative brand unless stocks nation wide have been suddenly depleted. I doubt women are that stupid to request such errands in a last minute situation. However there’s nothing wrong with being thorough and having a back up plan.  

I think the biggest fears guys have about buying FHP consists:

  1. Being confronted by a wall of unfamiliar products
  2. Being seen by other guys while in above situation
  3. being seen by other women while in situation No 1
  4. Having to “deal” with the checkout attendant/sales clerk

A well planned preparation stage will avoid situation no.1. Particularly a sub situation of having to make a plaintive phone calls to the end user while in situation No1. I have never had to do this but it must be unpleasant. It seemed so from distraught look on the face of the young fellow I saw paralysed before the shelves. He was reading the product labels into the mobile phone clamped to his head — clearly not enjoying his retail experience.

Fear numbers two and three are utterly ridiculous and should not be a cause for sweaty palms – at least for those with a drop of self confidence. You have every right to procure if you are not shop lifting. It also shows that you are “man” enough not be herded around by silly superstitions AND that you have a caring character. Specially when spousal/significant other unit is temporarily off-line with a cold.

When the female checkout counter person (fear number four) gives you that slightly patronizing smile, think of it as part of the theater of customer relations. If you suspect that they will be giggling behind your back later on, who the FUCKING shit cares! Certainly now you – who have more important things to worry about like avoiding trishaws.

I’m no anthropologist but I suspect all this male squirming about FHP has ancient cultural factors. Particularly the ancient seemingly global cultural phobia that regard female menstrual cycles as polluting to that delicate flower called masculinity. Perhaps the official anthropologist of the Sri Lankan blogosphere will offer more insight once exams are over. Till then, there’s a readable overview of Menstrual taboo on wikipedia.

A proper procurement procedure for FHP though should remove whatever concerns/fears implanted in you by there traditions. In short, think clearly and get over it. You are married man in the 21st century. There are plenty of things other to be terrified about.

18 comments

  1. Well said Cerno! And you know what? After the initial procurement, once the said subject is familiar with what he is buying, the next purchases will be a breeze. Like most things, it’s the first time that’s daunting.😉

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  2. TMS: Thank you🙂 I think thought that you are having a very generous estimation of male memory when it comes remembering these things.😉 Repeat product specifications are recommended or you might get the wrong variant😉

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  3. Cerno – I fully agree with your opinion on TNS’ opinion. She assumes, quite wrongly, that we men have memories. Numbers 1 and 2 are my main issues.

    No 1 – Because the wall kind of gets bigger and more confusing the more you look at it, the pressure means a chap can’t focus on anything.

    No 2 – Because other men look at you with that superior eye, they give that look that says “Oh yeah, you couldn’t say no could you? You just didn’t have the courage to tell her to get them herself”

    No 3 – I have found that other women appear helpful and kindly, as if they understand that you’re trying to help.

    No 4 – I agree with Charm Bracelet – they just don’t care.

    All this was before my divorce though, things may be different nowadays!

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  4. Oooh official anthropologist! Love it🙂 You’d be surprised the lengths men go to in attempt to avoid the “evils” of menstruation which in some parts of the world are considered deadly (not to perpetuate the myth of the PMS-ing woman I’m sure). My favourite text (by Luc de Heusch) being one describing the rites de passage of the Tonga people, who smoke and steam babies to rid them of any female pollution before they are integrated into the social world of the father. The list does go on🙂

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  5. RD🙂 Well the post was aimed at addressing both your points😉 specially the thing about the “superior eye“. Of course spousal unit would normal ever (risk) involving me when she does this type of shopping. This particular day she was off line with a cold. Personally I don’t think its a power issue.

    Vindi: Good to see you about😀 and thank you for the reference🙂

    Jack: Glad you like it😀

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  6. Someday Cerno …. I might print this out and take it to the store and the checkout people will stare @ the paper and I will worry they stare @ the FHP… Someday ….

    Coulda used this a few years ago though😀

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  7. Hi Cerno! I as one about to be a good husband rather than a great lover, avoided all these by a simple trick. When I was asked to buy one such thing to do with a pad or something, I bought a huge pack of senior diapers. Ever since, I have never been asked buy any such item. (Not that I am asked or allowed to do regular shopping either. It is a given fact that I do not know how to shop, properly, according to the loved ones). Good read.

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  8. Dili:😆 Never thought a blog post would be that useful but better late than never🙂

    <b.Kalusudda:😆 That is a hilarious! A clear case of not being given accurate product specs. You aren’t to blame🙂 or are you😈

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  9. Hi Cerno,

    I can absolutely relate to these awkward moments (situations 1-4!). I wonder why we are all so uncomfortable with natural, human necessities?

    Seems like we should just get used to it…maybe if there was more emphasis on Male personal hygiene, men would grow more comfortable with dealing with feminine issues.

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  10. Tom: A very good question🙂 I guess the human body and the cultural perceptions of it still aren’t in sync. Then again very few things are

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  11. Call me terribly old-fashioned, but I see no reason why a lady should ever call upon her fellow to buy her unspeakables for her. What ever happened to cultivating and maintaining a little mystery (even within a marriage)? It’s best to be discreet where the grosser things in life are concerned. Feminine hygiene products are such a small expense that it’s not as if you should need someone to pay for these things for you. And why emasculate your man by having him stroll down that aisle of things he doesn’t need to know about? Stock up on these things when you’re at the store yourself.

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    • I don’t see anything emasculating about a simple trip to the supermarket🙂 It no different than buying a bar of soap. Its not something that happens everyday. Even for people who diligently stockpile certain products there’s always the odd day when in the crazy business of life you realise you’ve run out. I suppose there are certain cultural views about bodies etc that differ from person to person. Yours might be a bit more traditional but I won’t say its “old” fashioned. Just understandably different. Anyway this post isn’t a manifesto as much as a humorous take on a one off event😀

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