Welcome to the forty-eighth installment of Queer Your Tech with Fun, Autostraddle’s nerdy new tech column. Not everything we cover will be queer per se, but it will be about customizing this awesome technology you’ve got. Having it our way, expressing our appy selves just like we do with our identities. Here we can talk about anything from app recommendations to choosing a wireless printer to web sites you have to favorite to any other fun shit we can do with technology.
Header by Rory Midhani
It’s the thing a very many of us have been asking for. We’ve all been sending good thoughts to the Startup Gods, begging them to let us keep track of our periods without the color pink or any blossoming flower imagery. We’ve had comment after comment after comment wondering why such a thing doesn’t exist, or if it does exist, why we can’t find it.
It’s finally here. And nary a petal in sight.
For now, MCALC (made by Sexmind) is only an Android app. Alas, I got rid of my Droid long long ago. But! According to their website, they’re launching a campaign to release on iOS very soon. Here are three reasons I CANNOT EFFING WAIT to put this on my phone and tell it all about my flo.
- The app is entirely gender neutral and the creative team at Sexmind doesn’t infer anything about your gender while using the app – they plainly state on the website that the team is aware of the difference between gender and having a period. While this isn’t a concern for me, what it results in is a clean, bold design that I much prefer to the usual, this-looks-like-the-inside-of-Barbie’s-vagina scheme. Plus I like supporting a company that supports my community. Plus plus! I like that this company doesn’t assume that even cis women socialized on pastels and Polly Pocket will want more of the same in their adult life.
- While I’ll never say never, it is highly unlikely that I will ever want to pop a crotch-monster out of my hoo-ha. The app doesn’t assume you want to get preggers while using it, while that is the sole intention for many other menstrual calculators. I’ve always felt a little weird using other period trackers because I just kind of ignore that whole subset of features. Currently, the app has a setting for wanting to have sex and wanting to be great with child. They’re working on a neutral setting that doesn’t assume either thing – that gets that you just want to know a little more about your body and know when you’re likely to get a magical visit from the red fairy.
- This calculator comes with notifications, something that my current period tracking app lacks. Now I use a Diva Cup, so I won’t need to be reminded to buy pads or tampons. But what does happen to me is a major sweet tooth. Like, I’m on my period right now and I do not have chocolate in this house. If I had cake ingredients right now, believe me when I tell you this – I would get in my kitchen and bake a cake, then suck that thing down SO FAST that it would leave a cake-shaped vacuum that would pull in extraneous kitchen material. The vacuum would be so strong that I would probably have to replace the tile backsplash. That’s how fast I would make and eat a cake right now. But of course, I did not have the foresight to buy cake ingredients last week because I wasn’t thinking about it. So now I have to get out of bed, remove the heating pad from my entire midsection where it is wrapped around me, and go buy cake stuff. And I’m just not going to do that. I’m going to sit here and wish upon a devil’s food cake and watch some crappy TV and moan. Bottom line? Notifications would have been helpful in this situation, even if I have to replace “pads” with “cake ingredients” in my brain space.
While I’m not completely sold on the “it’s safer to have sex today” function, since calculation methods are not in fact the best way to get preggers and also that there are more risks than that to sex, I do have to give them props that they don’t say “safe.” They say “safer.” Emphasis on the -er.
The app is still in beta, which means there’s still a ton of bugs to work out. But anyone with an Android device can download it for free and provide feedback to the developers. With a little bit of community participation, this app can probably grow big and strong and be exactly the kind of menstrual calculator we’ve been wishing for. And MCALC team? Hit me up when you need beta testers for the iOS version.