There are a lot of things I don’t have time for: Hulu commercials, hold music, waiting for pizza to cool. But the thing I have less time for than all other things: the monthly, five-day Carrie reenactment that is my menstrual period. Cramps? Mood swings? Super extra ultra strength tampons? ZERO TIME FOR THAT. Put me in a bunker with a bottle of Midol and a pack of granny diapers and I’ll see you in a week.
So when the folks at My Cotton Bunny tweeted at me that they wanted to send me a free edition of their monthly period box, I was like, “YES PLEASE and also what’s a monthly period box.”
In the same week, because this is what my life is like apparently, I got an email from a woman named Nicole from a company called Spicy Subscriptions, offering to send me THEIR monthly subscription box. At first I thought “spicy subscriptions” meant cooking spices like cardamom and shit and I was like “HELL YES SEND ME SOME GARAM MASALA” but it turned out she meant “the spice of life” AKA sex. (p.s. No one calls it that.)
Nicole described the box as “romantic and relationship-based products.” Sadly, I have no relationship upon which to base my products but she assured me the box could work for singles too. I told her to send it on over because let’s be real: I can use all the help I can get.
Well, since I was already getting a period box and a sex box, I figured let’s just round this thing out and get all the possible boxes for my box. So I asked the good people at Juniper to send me their period box too.
So, first of all, let’s talk about what a period box is because I was NOT initially on board with this idea. I thought it was some kind of gross “send your man to get tampons! lolz he will get the wrong ones!’ body-shaming thing but it turned out to be much nicer than that.
The concept is that every month you have that day, right? You’re going along, minding your own business, when suddenly your uterus is like “REMEMBER ME? LET’S HANG OUT” and you realize you have zero tampons in your purse and your Midol bottle is empty and there is absolutely no ice cream in the freezer and SHIT IS ABOUT TO GET REAL. But then, instead of going Hulkmania on your roommates, you open your mailbox and there is this delightful little cardboard box inside! And when you open it, there are tampons. And Midol. And CHOCOLATE. And suddenly everything seems like it just might be okay.
At least that’s how it was for me this month.
Let’s break down some boxes, shall we?
4 Tampax Pearl light tampons
8 Tampax Pearl regular tampons
8 Tampax Pearl super tampons
3 Always Infinity regular pads
2 Always Infinity overnight pads
5 Always Infinity Liners
4 Midol painkillers
1 bar Calolea glycerine olive oil soap (hypo-allergenic, cruelty-free)
1 Brownie Bliss brownie (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)
1 mini bag J&M key lime cookies
3 bags Pukka tea
3 honey sticks GloryBee (orange, amaretto, sour grape)
1 bag dried pineapple by Nibnaks
PROMO: Until 8/31, Autostraddle readers get 50% off your first box if you mention Autostraddle in your order comments!
My Cotton Bunny ($14/mo)
2 hair clips
1 mini bag handmade marshmallows (+ coupon)
2 honey sticks by Nature’s Kick (peach, pink lemonade)
1 full box Tampax Pearl regular tampons (18 tampons)
PROMO: Add an “A” to the end of your phone number when you sign up and you’ll get an extra special gift in your first box!
As you can see, these services are pretty different. Juniper is twice as expensive and has way more goodies in the box. Juniper also times the box to arrive in sync with your cycle whereas My Cotton Bunny just comes when it comes.
With both of these boxes you choose your favorite brand, though Juniper has more variety, and they have varying levels of customization for your tampon/pad/pantyliner/painkiller preferences.
I realize that 85% of y’all use diva cups because gay and so this may be a non-issue for you. I’ve tried to use those things so many times and I want to love them but they just do.not.work. for me. My lady doctor said it’s because I have a tilted uterus but when I told this to a friend of mine, she informed me that this was a lie propagated by the patriarchy. WELL WHAT ISN’T, AMIRITE?
I am someone who is perpetually out of tampons which is particularly annoying because I don’t have a car, so from that perspective, I am SO DOWN with this period box idea. I am also down with receiving brownies in the mail. I’m not sure that I’m down with paying $28/mo though? But I realllllly like getting surprises in the mail. My Cotton Bunny is definitely the more affordable option since $14 is honestly not THAT much more than the box of tampons would cost at the overpriced Stop-N-Go by my house but I wasn’t that excited by the hair clips or the honey sticks, so.
A thing I really liked about Juniper is that it’s super customizable – not only can you choose between like six different brands, but they have this thing called a BFF which is a person you can text or email any time with questions and special requests and they’ll do their best to accommodate you, so if you want extra panty liners or you really don’t like Midol or you need the extra double strength tampons (hello), you can tell them that. Based on their snack selection, they also seem pretty sensitive to food allergies and such.
Alright, enough about that. Let’s move on, shall we? To the OTHER box.
The spice box.
So, my main concern about this box was how heterocentric it might be. I can’t speak for other months of course, but the box I received was pretty neutral in this regard, possibly even skewed a little gay but that’s probably just my lens.
Spice Box ($25-35/mo)
1 bottle Moist lubricant
1 bottle Chocolate Strawberry Fantasy Body Topping
1 tin Comfortably Numb mints
1 Luv Touch Mini Mite “mini massager”
1 Pleasure Lickz vibrating “tongue stimulator”
1 sample Pink Indulgence creme lubricant (with “tingling sensation”)
1 sample Crazy Girl sparkling body lotion with sex attractant (!)
PROMO: Typing in the promo code “autostraddle” will get you 5% off your first box!
So many quotation marks! Let’s dive in.
Okay, so first of all, there was NO POSSIBLE WAY that this box would not contain at least one flavored lube/condom/body topping. I am convinced that these products exist solely for sex shop raffle prizes and bachelorette party gag gifts. Have you ever heard someone say, “Be right back, honey, we’re out of Piña Colada massage oil.” Literally zero people have said that.
Unsurprisingly, it was kind of gross.
Second item of concern: WHY ARE WE CALLING THIS A MASSAGER? It’s a sex box. There is a thing in it that vibrates. We’re all adults here, people. Well, I technically am.
I was actually super impressed that there was an entire vibrator in this box. So luxurious! This vibrator is pocket-sized and adorable but unsurprisingly very loud. Also, please take a good, long look at those “interchangeable attachments.” THEY ARE MADE OF SPIKES. Seriously, you guys. As someone wise once said: “Shake ya ass… but watch yourself.”
I have not tried the Comfortably Numb mints but they say they are “specially formulated to reduce the discomfort associated with oral sex.” I have two thoughts on that subject: (1) frowny face, (2) does that mean they cure TMJ? Because even my dentist doesn’t know what to do with that shit.
TONGUE VIBRATOR. I have not tried this yet due to aforementioned spinster status but am considering bringing it to lipstick night on my upcoming Chicago trip and just waving it around while saying, “LAAAADIIIIIEEES.”
I am fascinated by pheromone-based products and anything that claims to contain something called “sex attractant,” mainly because I will take literally any help I can get. I have actually never used such a product but I’m saving this sparkling body lotion for a Very Special Night when I need that extra boost. Also when I need to smell like a cupcake, apparently.
Laurie lives in Madison, WI where she builds databases for a nonprofit, plays ukulele for her webcam, and consistently confuses hot butches with 14-year-old boys. Read about her loves, losses, and ill-advised life decisions on her blog, Your Ill-fitting Overcoat.