Have you ever wanted to have sex while you had your period but didn’t want to deal with the bloody mess? Well, now you can!
The good folks at Jade & Pearl sent a sampler pack of “Sea Pearls” – Sea Sponge Tampons to me to test and I was MORE THAN PLEASED with the results. … And so was my partner. This gives a whole new spin on “Spongeworthy”.
For a complete product description click here:
The Tested sample
Premium 3 pack: Ultra Soft Mediterranean Silk Sponges in 3 sizes: teeny, regular, and large sponge. Different sizes for different days. Retail price is $20 for this combination.
I was so intrigued when I received this set! I tore open the packaging right away to inspect the goods. I was impressed with the brochure that was included with the sponges. It included information about the sea sponge, the history (Evidently, Cleopatra used to see sponges as tampons), and health considerations (cautions for Toxic Shock Syndrome, similar for this product as when using any internal device during menstruation) as well as other useful information.
The little sponges themselves when they are dry are surprisingly hard. But have no fear: once you wet the sponge with warm water it softens up right away. The instructions say to squeeze out all of the excess water and then insert the sponge into your vagina “until it feels secure and comfortable”. Being experienced with using the Diva Cup, this step was not difficult at all for me. I imagine people who use regular tampons might be a little uncomfortable with using your fingers to insert the sponge into their vagina if they’re not used to touching “down there”. Once the sponge was inside it was undetectable to me.
Removal and Rinsing
Removing the sponge requires a great deal of comfort with your vulva… And with blood. If you have a tough time with touching your vulva for sponge insertion then reaching up and digging inside for the sponge (once it contains menstrual blood) is going to be tougher. Your vagina is an enclosed space and the sponges will not get “lost” inside you (provided you’re using the correct hole. Do not insert this into your anus). Using your fingers, you reach inside your vagina to feel for the sponge. You may need to “bear down” a bit to be able to reach the smaller sponge otherwise prepare to go on an archaeological dig. LOL. The sponge comes out in one piece, providing you don’t pull pieces off of the sponge as you pull it out – they are very delicate. Only you know your own menstrual flow, and depending on the volume of your menstrual flow and the size sponge (read: relative absorbency of the sponge), you will need to rinse the sponge from time to time. Think of this as no different than needing to change your tampon. Once you squeeze the water through it and the menstrual blood out, rinsing it thoroughly, squeeze it out and then you can reinsert the sponge for continued use.
Cleaning and Storing
Once you have removed the sponge and are finished using it, you will want to rinse it clean and prepare it for storage. The brochure provides a handful of helpful suggestions on how to clean and disinfect the sponges, ranging from hydrogen peroxide to baking soda to Colloidal Silver. The method I chose for disinfection was to use 1 tsp. Tea Tree oil in 1 c warm water and soak for 10 minutes. It smelled clean and pleasant (While I was soaking the sponge in the water and oil mixture, my 9 year old said the smell in the cup reminded her of the smell of her Waldorf preschool. LOL)
The back page of the Sea Pearls brochure included information to encourage the user to make a change from typical tampons. For example, did you know that there are health risks associated with using conventional tampons? These risks have to do with what happens to the tampon fibers during their processing (bleaching) and the various synthetic components that are used. There’s also a section on the benefits to our planet for using Sea Sponge tampons as opposed to traditional tampons.
Preparing for sex
Ok, now for the information from the teaser in the first paragraph: the sex during menstruation review. I was very excited to have period-friendly sex. If you know your own menstrual cycle, you may already have identified the times that are most pleasurable for sex, i.e., at ovulation or other points during your cycle. You may discover you really like sex during menstruation. I know orgasms are GREAT for relieving menstrual cramping.
(Let me back up for a minute… there is nothing wrong with having sex during your period. Your vagina is not gross or disgusting. I hear stories often that men are the ones who don’t want to have sex during menstruation but, anecdotally in talking to many men, I have not run into a man who is COMPLETELY turned off by this and won’t have sex as a result. Many men and women have very pleasurable sex during menstruation… you can too.)
When it came to sex, my partner barely noticed the sea sponges at all during penile-vaginal intercourse. Except for when fingering, he wouldn’t have known the sponges were inside at all. My partner and I were using condoms so there wasn’t any additional material to rinse out of the sponge, ifyouknowwhatimean. I tend to have a heavy flow and a medium sized sea sponge did the job in a satisfactory manner. I did rinse it out once after sex to go back and have sex again later. In hindsight, I wish I would have rinsed the sponge out right before sex the second time because I noticed a tiny amount of blood leakage at one point after being in the ‘woman on top’ position (which makes sense too because, you know, gravity). My partner was unfazed/didn’t notice. Perhaps I was hypersensitized to look for any trace of blood. Personally, I’m not a big fan of blood sport or having my bedroom look like a crime scene (which up until now I have staved off by my Liberator Throe, a different but complementary review). For that teeny tiny amount of leakage I noticed, I would remedy that next time by putting in the next bigger size sponge… or rinse the sponge out before having sex again.
Bottom line, I LOVED THESE “Sea Pearls” Sea Sponge Tampons and highly recommend them! Eco-friendly, sex affirming, and easy to use. There is really no mess or fuss during intercourse, the biggest challenge for some women might be getting comfortable enough with their own bodies to get the sea sponges in and out of the vagina (but this is a valuable piece to learn for yourself anyway). Once you get used to the sea sponges, this product allows you to do away with the “we can’t have sex because I have my period” excuse. Bonus!
So for those of you who don’t have sex just because of the mess factor- get some sea sponge tampons, then get some!!
A HUGE thank you to Jade & Pearl for offering you, the readers of this blog, 10% off each item in your order just by entering code: MAMA10. This offer expires expires September 30, 2013 and does not discount the shipping charges.