Underwear from the gods

I’ve been on the lookout for alternatives to sanitary napkins. Hesitant to try leakproof underwear or liner, I thought menstrual cups were the ultimate answer to my needs. They seemed so perfect – easy to clean and offered the freedom to swim while bleeding. Alas, I met with its limitations. Being a case of vaginismus, I was forced to try other options to overcome my inhibitions. Will the liner or the leakproof underwear remain dry? Will it leak? Will it smell? I couldn’t decide.

As I tend to, I ran before I could walk. I ran faster than my inhibitions could catch up with me. It’s the only way I could break the thought paralysis. I bought some pairs of leakproof underwear from a Canadian company called Knix. I have been following the company for a while and I patiently waited until they came up with a cotton version of their products. A great example of asking brands for what you want. I did and so I received.

After months of using their period underwear, I’m confident that I will continue using them. They are dry and don’t stink, even after a long day of use. I can’t take them to the pool but I am willing to settle with everything else it offers me. Peace of mind and a clear conscience.

Our mental blocks refrain us from making making the right choices. What are your mental blocks? Are you wiling to take a leap of faith and just go do what’s right for you and the environment?

My previous blog post “Menstrual educations needs an upgrade” has a list of alternatives if you’d like to check them out.

Update (May 20, 2022): I noticed that this underwear started stinking after a while. So I reached out to the maker Knix for advice. Here’s what they said: “Sometimes odour can cling to leftover soap particles from washing. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, we recommend giving the leakproof underwear a short soak in cool water (no more than 30 min) then throwing them in the washing machine on cold without soap or softeners. From there, you dry as usual and repeat the process as needed. Normally, you should use a light soap or detergent with them. However, when you notice odour buildup, it could be due to leftover soap particles that are stuck in the garment. Sometimes this can be from not rinsing enough or from the type of detergent you use. Soaking and washing without any soap for a few times should help you remove that build-up as well as the odour.”

Polyamorous consumption

Photo by Brayden Law on Pexels.com

As I drove down the Patullo bridge on a dark rainy Vancouver morning, I wondered how our relationship with our stuff is. Are we monogamous or polyamorous?

One can’t truly be monogamous when it comes to things, because we obviously need multiple objects in our lives. As many are, I’ve been an integral part of fast consumption. I’ve dated too many things in a very short time. Emotional intimacy with one object was a rarity like the sweater my aunt passed on to me that I’ve outgrown but something that will always be close to me.

Lately though, I’ve been more intentional with every stuff I date. How is my relationship going to be with object A? Are we going for the long-haul? Do I want to fling it with object B at the same time because it’s available? Because Black Friday just seems to make nonmonogamy so easy. Not any kind of nonmonogamy, but the kind that is unethical, that in unkind, that jumps from one object to another without a thought in between. It hurts the system and it hurts our environment.

We might as well be swinging or swapping objects together, sharing and reusing, but at least this way it lasts longer, it has a meaning, it’s intentional consumption.

So when you say you have a capsule wardrobe, you are building something with only the clothes you love. You are mixing and matching to be the kind of poly you want to be.

As I move to a new home, I’m bringing home with me my old partner objects that I have committed to go the long haul with while I explore new things as I grow. Some of the things need repair and I want to make an effort to make amends.

I picked a few pre-loved containers on my way back home yesterday because I had space for them in my life. They have a specific purpose. They bring the scars of their past from their previous owners and I love them just the way they are. The moment I saw them in that thrift store, I knew they belonged with me and me with them.

It’s an intentional journey that cares less about sales and discounts and more about carrying forward the idea of how you want to build your relationships with things.

So I go on the Facebook Marketplace app, I’m hovering until the right object comes along, waiting to swipe right when it does, waiting to ask the previous owner “Is it available?” only when I truly need it.

P.S.: A little joke that I came up with for my Marathi friends. “Aren’t we all polyamras 🥭?!”

Essential vs. non-essential

Photo by Sarah Chai on Pexels.com

Our body is 70% water.

But our brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.

Water is essential.

It’s not always essential though. At least in the case of soaps, detergents, shampoos, or dish soaps.

It’s only important at a stage when the users use it. Therefore, when using soaps, water is an additive. It can be added downstream instead of upstream.

Before liquid shampoos and shower gels, there were soap bars. And now they are back!

They are back because when you order or buy a shower gel for instance, you are essentially ordering a lot of water, which is easily available in your house. When you buy any soap, shampoo, or detergent in the liquid form, you are paying for a lot of water.

Why switch to solid soaps?

  • You end up using (read: wasting) a lot more liquid soap compared to using solid soap.
  • You are lowering your carbon footprint. Solid bars are lighter to transport and take less space.
  • You are saving resources that go into packaging solid bars. A simple paper wrap or a paper label around a solid bar does the job. Some bars even have their brand name etched on them so they are packaging-free.
  • You are probably supporting local small businesses that make solid bars.
  • You are saving energy that goes into producing liquid soaps and their associated packaging.
  • You can use solid bars or powder for shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, and even for dish soap.

What’s the downside?

If your solid bar soap has vegetable oil (read: palm oil), it’s probably contributing to a lot of land use and deforestation. Comparatively, liquid soaps use petroleum-based synthetic surfactants.

No eco-friendly product is perfect, therefore what you choose depends entirely on your values and what you personally choose to balance in this world. What do you think is essential?