Switching to Menstrual Cups Made Harvesting My Blood for Witchcraft 1000% More Convenient

I don’t know why I was so hesitant to try a menstrual cup, honestly. For some reason I thought that it would be more annoying than tampons, but when I picked up Flex Menstrual Discs pack after someone at Autostraddle mentioned them, I both realized I was devastatingly wrong in my previous assumptions AND I was hooked.

I mean, you only have to change a flex disc twice a day? WHAT?!? This opened up untold possibilities for me, just in the world of not having to stick tampons into every pocket and crevasse of my person when leaving the house for extended periods (ha). That and there is no nasty dingle dangly string. Life-changing.

Then, the good people at Aisle offered me a free menstrual cup sample (if you’re an A+ Member, both Aisle and GladRags offer A+ Member discounts and carry menstrual cups by the way). And my world just exploded. It was a total galaxy brain moment.

So, I tried the cup! You boil it like a dildo to sanitize it which was cool and made me feel safe and then I just popped it in. There were no leaks and I only had to empty it 2-3 times a day which means that yes I could sleep for like eleven straight(gay) hours without getting up which is a thing I sometimes do on my period. You clean it in between…um…emptyings which is cool and yes, does feel far less wasteful, or at the very least is far more convenient than other products.

Look, maybe you’re going to some kind of event. What if you didn’t have to change your tampon in the woods or a port-o-john while at a festival or a sex party or whatever gathering? What if the cup… was simply sufficed or was easy enough to handle while on an egregiously long hike? I know that feminists have been trying to tell me this since the first time I went to a Rainbow Gathering and it’s my own fault for not listening, but we are all on our own journeys of self-discovery! I ACCEPT THE ADVICE YOU ALL KEPT GIVING ABOUT “MY MOON” OKAY. Which is that, I need to embrace my independence outside of corporate constructs, especially those grounded in the cotton/disposable products industry. And it’s been nice, and actually has made me a more present member of the community because, honestly, worrying about my period was holding me back in ways I did not even realize.

But reader, it didn’t take me long before I moved onto the next most logical step. Rather than dumping my precious period blood down the sink, I instead saved it in a vessel and used it for witchcraft. When I poured the contents of my menstrual cup into that first mason jar, I was just whispering “this is genius,” I tell you what.

This is FREE BLOOD, people! Free! Listen, my fellow menstruators, there is no Buffy (but also-literally-everything-else) style palm-slitting required with this method! I never understood why they did that in movies and on TV anyway. Palm/hand is literally one of the worst places to have a cut. You’re on your period. You’re gonna suffer anyway. Why not get something out of it?

I do have to note that the traditional CUP was way easier to harvest blood from than the DISC, though I did try it with both. The disk is made of a thin, almost wrap-like plastic in the center, so if you want to get the blood, you have to do a lot of finagling. I do speak from experience, but recommend the cup for this purpose, ultimately.

Look, I by no means invented using menstrual blood for witchcraft. That shit goes waaaayyyyyy back. But the thing is, with modern tampon technology, I was always unclear on what the best way to collect period blood actually was. What was I gonna do? Wring out a tamp? Have period blood with a bunch of bits of cotton in it? Plus it sounds like a mess. The menstrual cup makes this so tidy!!

I rate this experience 5 out of 5 pentagrams. No further notes.


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Nico Hall

Nico Hall is Autostraddle's A+ and Fundraising Director, and has been fundraising and working in the arts and nonprofit sector for over a decade. They write nonfiction and personal essays and are currently at work on a queer fiction novel. They live in Pittsburgh with their partner, Sadie. They are also a gardener, project queer, witchy/wizardly human and are currently mourning their lovely senior rescue dog. Nico is also haunted. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram as @nknhall.

Nico has written 112 articles for us.

44 Comments

  1. Hahahaa such great descriptions!

    Menstrual cups seriously changed my life. So much more affordable long term, and wayyy less leaks (although on those rare occasions that I feel that suction slip, I hightail it to the toilet before it slips out everywhere!).

  2. Amazing and accurate title. If you know, you know. Also, for the love of all that is holy keep track of those mason jars. -signed a witch’s consort/housemate.

    Also a belated thank you to everyone who ever put pro-menstrual cup propaganda in a public bathroom. It worked at least once!

  3. unrelated to witchcraft but highly related to the tidy joys of mestrual cups: are we boiling them EVERY…emptying? or are we cleaning it another, slightly less time-consuming way mid-use?

    honestly this confusion is one of my biggest hang-ups and I would love to get onboard the cup train again!

    • just googled this, and even with all the knowledge of how shitty medical personnel are to women, I just really… do not believe this is possible? I think something awful happened re: her cup, but I genuinely cannot fathom that it would enter her uterus and stay there for 7 months. and even if, by some medical mystery it did, that would be a super rare occurrence (that could also presumably happen with tampons).

      I totally get being freaked out by the story, but I think it’s probably not a great reason to say nay to cups. (though there are plenty of good reasons! I personally just don’t like the feel of them)

      • Yeah, I’ve seen some medical professionals speculating online that what she experienced was a uterine prolapse, with the cup stuck behind her cervix, still in the vagina but somewhere it couldn’t be felt. It’s horrible the treatment she (didn’t) get, but I don’t see how a cup could fit through a cervix.

        But I’ve been lucky enough to be able to choose not to menstruate (hormonal IUD) so personally I don’t need to worry about product choices. I get how even reading that could give anyone with a uterus the heebie jeebies!

    • yeah what happened to nicole cliffe was awful!!!! that said, it does feel incredibly rare, and i’ve got a fair enough understanding of the current state of my own cervix that I don’t think it’s possible for my body to…DO that rn.

      thank goodness Nicole figured it out!!!!!

  4. Wow, I just read all of the comments on Reise’s article on diva cup non-use. I hope this new diva cup article spurs a million comments in which we can all discuss our periods because I fucking love that shit. Not getting my period, of course. Discussing it! Uterus owners, let’s go!

  5. Oh, I got so excited I forgot to say what I was planning to say: I tried using a brand of cup O can’t recall and it was really hard to insert and also really hard to remove the cup, and so so messy that I realized I could never imagine doing any removal, emptying or replacement anywhere but in my empty bathtub with me naked and squatting down.
    That said, I recently felt the urge to try again (at least on non-work days) so I could use the blood on my houseplants…

  6. You can get reusable discs of the same material as cups (Nixit is one such company that makes boilable silicon ones) and they were a HUGE game-changer for me. I always leaked at night with cups but NEVER with discs. Combined with the contraceptive implant which has eliminated all cramps I now feel like I have WON AT MENSTRUATION!!!

  7. I literally started making agreement sounds and body movements the moment I read the title of this article. I have a jar of blood mixed with spirits and roses in my fridge right now…I appreciate this reminder to go do juju. Lmao!

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