The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: feminine hygiene

Get Your Lady Bits Poised for Perimenopause {and win $250}

This post is for the ladies. Gentlemen, please form a single file line and walk to the gym for a rousing presentation by the Phys. Ed. teachers on how to care for your prostate.

::Glances from side to side.::

Are they gone?

Oh good! Let’s talk shop, ladies. And by “shop” of course I mean vaginas.

I was thirteen years old when I got my first period. The thing I remember most about it was that my mom and her best friend Monica poured Champagne for the three of us (just a sip for me) and then toasted me on becoming a woman. We sat on the floor in my living room and yakked the night away talking about grown-up lady bits stuff, and I felt like I had just been initiated into a wonderfully secret sorority.

Fast forward about thirty years, and I’m starting to notice a whole new crop of strange bodily changes on the horizon. And no, I’m not just talking about the beard and mustache I sprouted after Bucket Head was born.

The thing is, as women approach menopause, there is no formal presentation or celebration that prepares us for this next life stage. We just hear scary labels like “the change” and imagine the worst. (I already don’t recognize myself in the mirror most mornings; I don’t know if I can handle any more “change,” thankyouverymuch.)

But Poise brand wants to help us approach this next life stage with confidence by encouraging The 2nd Talk, a whole new way to learn about menopause and other wellness issues for women our age. And to support us, they are introducing a first-of-its-kind line of products designed to work naturally with our bodies and provide comfort from symptoms.

As a BlogHer reviewer, I’ve gotten a sneak peak at some of the cool new products Poise is introducing this month. And yes, this is a sponsored post, but I think you know me well enough by now to know that I choose my sponsors very carefully, and I always calls it like I sees it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Leslie, I thought you were anti-Feminine Hygiene Products?”

Well, yes and no.

It’s true, I’ve written several posts about the misogynistic message communicated to the world by most of the feminine hygiene industry. I personally do not want to be told over and over that I’m not good enough, and all those sprays and douches and deodorized tampons make me feel like everyone thinks I stink.

But then again, sometimes I really do stink. And I’ve got young kids who are perfectly willing to say that aloud. (Awesome.)

So perhaps my soap and water routine isn’t cutting it, particularly when my pesky Aunt Flo is all up in my vagizness.

Not only that, but soap can be very drying, and we women of a certain age do not need any help drying out our goody bags, if you know what I mean.

That’s where Poise’s new product line piques my interest.

Poise’s new Feminine Wash is Gynecologist tested and pH Balanced. Ladies, take it from me, you do not want to putz with the pH of your poonany, like, ever.

It is also Glycerin & Paraben free which is incredibly important for our health. If you don’t know why chemicals like these are bad mojo, I’ll fill you in real quick (that’s what he said.) Parabens mimic estrogen in the body and are associated with cancer cells. Avoid them whenever you can, but particularly around the thin and delicate membranes of your vagene. And glycerin is major no-no because even though it may feel all fun and slippery at first, it is a man-made chemical that works by pulling moisture from the inside of your skin cells outward. Over time, it will cause more harm than good. Long story short: a dry vagina is a sad vagina.

I do not know what this stuff smells like yet, which could be a deal breaker for me. But if it smells like a fresh, mild soap without the drying properties of soap, I’m totally in, and I think my family will probably thank me for it.

The other new Poise product I’m really excited about is their revolutionary new Panty Fresheners.

Let’s face it, ladies, swamp crotch happens. And the complexity of our anatomy can make it challenging to feel just-showered-fresh all day long.

Fortunately, Poise has engineered a product that is kind of like a cross between the charcoal filter on a litter box and a Stick-Up air freshener.

Oh yes. I went there. Remember those things?

Let’s be honest, sometimes your crotch is a good place for a Stick-Up. Amiright? But we need a safe version that won’t irritate our sensitive lady bits or expose us to dangerous chemicals.

The new Poise Panty Fresheners stick to the OUTSIDE of your undergarments! It’s brilliant, really. Way to think outside of the box, Poise! {Puh-dum-pum-tchhhhh!}

It provides a fresh scent for four hours, but without the risk of putting fragrance right next to your bare skin. These discreet stick-on disks are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested. I’m guessing if you pop one of these down your pants around lunch, it will keep you feeling confident until you can get home and give yourself a Silkwood.

All joking aside, when we feel confident, we can accomplish great things. Poise wants to know, when do YOU feel most confident? Please share in the comments below and you will be entered to win a $250 Visa gift card!

Also, Poise wants to rally 1 million women to pledge to have The 2nd Talk by World Menopause Day on October 18. By joining the conversation, women will gain more menopause knowledge, support, and solutions. Join the conversation at

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some housekeeping to do. And of course by “housekeeping,” I mean tending to my recalcitrant lady garden.

Rules (It may smell like it, but this isn’t Lord of the Flies, you know.)

No purchase necessary to enter or win.

Only unique Entries will be counted; duplicates will not be considered as an additional entry.

You may receive entries on this post by selecting from the following entry methods starting on July 26, 2012 at 9 a.m. PT and ending on August 24, 2012 at 5 p.m. PT:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion, including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: ì#sweepstakesentryî; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.

d) To enter without posting comments, see official rules.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. Void where prohibited.

Be sure to visit Poise’s brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

And thank you for being here and supporting me and each other with your wisdom and humor!

Sincerely, and now with added panty freshness,


Thank you for your interest but this giveaway is now officially closed.

DIY Feminine Hygiene Tips

Let’s just call a spade a spade, shall we? I’m a hairy woman. And it’s gotten worse over the years. Having a vajillion kids really messes with the hormones.

But it’s Tuesday, and you know I’m a giver. Today my tip for you is all about managing your excess body hair. It is swimsuit season here in the Northern Hemisphere, and most people don’t really want to see your short-n-curlies making a break for it out of the sides of your tankini bottom, ladies. Just sayin’.

Everything I’m about to share with you I’ve learned personally from trial and error.

It all started when I noticed my first chin hair over a decade ago. Now I have a full-fledged beard. And my eyebrows are migrating for the motherland. I actually cut myself shaving the other day…my toe. Seriously. If I ever have to spend time in the hoosegow or a traveling circus, I am going to be one popular mamacita.

Annie Jones toured with P.T. Barnum’s circus in the 19th century.

I’ve tried myriad things to manage my facial hair. I’ve waxed it. I’ve bleached it. I’ve used creams that burn, irritate, and cause temporary facial paralysis. I’ve even tried laser hair removal, but to no avail. So now I just pluck, when I remember, or when one of my martini olives gets accidentally speared on my ‘stache. I also tend to wear very low cut tops.  I find that people don’t really notice (or mind) my goatee when they are staring at my sweater puppets. Try this. It works.

Now, as for the bush, that is a different matter. It takes a lot more time and effort to keep my lady garden tidy. What can I say? My father’s ancestors are from Eastern Europe. Body hair protected my people from freezing to death on the Russian tundra. Less of an issue for this little ol’ Southern Belle. And besides, too much body hair makes my camel toe look fat.

I saw Dr. Oz on the Oprah show a few years ago and he was answering all kinds of embarrassing questions from the ladies in the audience. Well, one of the guests was asking about the Brazilian Bikini Wax, and Oprah was riveted! You know that face she makes like “Aw, HAYLE no! (Am I supposed to do that?)”?? It was the same face I made when I found out that ladies are having their buttholes bleached.

“WHAT the WHAT? ALL the hair? Even the butt hair???…. And women pay a stranger to do that? Seriously?”

Well Dr. Oz said that the real evolutionary purpose of pubic hair is to absorb odor and disburse pheromones to attract a mate. I’m picturing a furry cave lady not-so-subtlely wafting her scent in the direction of the caveman football team. Maybe if Ashley had tried this, Bentley wouldn’t have left The Bachelorette so early.

Personally, I prefer a freshly washed goodie basket any day of the week. I think that was the same episode when Dr. Oz called the vagina a “self-cleaning oven.” Um, excuse me, Dr. Oz…I don’t know what kind of fancy-ass-8-burner-Viking-style-stainless-steel-range-and-cooktop-combo you’ve got going on in your condo, but here in my modest suburban prison, the self-cleaning oven still needs a pretty regular spritz of EASY-OFF®, if you know what I mean.

So yes, back to my undercarriage. I’ve tried just about everything down yonder. I’ve shaved it: ouch. Waxed it myself: too hard. Plucked it: tedious. Spent the big bucks on a Brazilian Bikini Wax: humiliating. Gone native: Sas-crotch.

What is a hairy and harried mother of three to do? I don’t think my husband really cares. He’s just happy to get something once in a while…he’s not going to complain about the groundskeeping. But still, you attract more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Wait. Let’s try that again. It’s called curb appeal, people. If your body is your temple, your foundation shrubbery should not be ignored.

Well, imagine my delight at finding a new hair removal product that I can use at home, by myself, that only takes about 10 minutes, for pennies on the dollar? Brace yourself.  This is a beauty secret that you definitely won’t hear at the Curl Up and Dye hair salon.

I have recently started using Magic Cream shave depilatory. Made by SoftSheen-Carson, this razorless beard remover is “formulated exclusively for black men.” Don’t adjust your screen. There is nothing wrong with your eyes. Yes, this is a cream made for the faces of black men, and yours truly is slathering it on my white, female, naughty parts. And since it is gentle enough for faces, you can put it EVERYWHERE down there and get results just like a Brazilian or Hollywood style wax job. Butt-hair, be gone!

How in the world did I discover this, you ask? Well, one of my very good friends (who would like to remain nameless) told me about it. She discovered this gem from a discussion board on one of the parenting web sites! And you thought we were exchanging organic carob chip cookie recipes and ideas for regimenting our children’s sleep schedules. Think again, honey. Women of the 21st century are swapping hygiene and grooming tips for their battered beavaroonies on Gawd, I love the Internet.

So a 6 oz. tube of Magic Razorless Cream Shave* costs about $3-$4, but I just saw that you can bid on it by the lot on eBay. Wow, the secret must be out if people are auctioning this shit in bulk. Me? I’m not much of an Internet shopper. Besides, I really have a lot of fun buying this stuff at my local mega store in person. It is some good clean fun to buy a product that looks like this:

…in one of the most red-necky places on Earth.  Don’t you just love antagonizing the white supremacists bagging your purchases at the Walmart? Oh Lordy. It just doesn’t get any better ‘an ‘at.

Here’s what you can expect if you try this product at home:

  • It smells a little like a bad perm, but not overwhelming.
  • You need to keep it on for about 5-10 minutes (for me, closer to 10)…make sure you have a book or magazine to read while you wait for the Magic to happen.
  • LOCK THE BATHROOM DOOR. If your kids barge in they are going to freak the freak out. “MOM! Why are you spreading frosting onto your vagina?!” Man, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that.
  • To remove: use a washcloth and some elbow grease in the shower.

One other thing to note: the magic only lasts for a few days, and the stubble is not pleasant. But like my anonymous friend says, “You don’t get the up-do three days before the prom. Magic Cream your crotch on a Friday morning and set the tone for the whole weekend.” Oh. Yes. She. Did.

That girl is somethin’, ya’ll. If you ever find a friend who will share a beauty tip like THIS, never let her go.

Alrighty then. You are armed and fabulous. Go take care of bidness, ladies!

I share, because I care.

-Leslie (aka “Iris”)

*affiliate link to my Amazon store. 

VOTY HonoreeAmended: Thank you so much to the members of the BlogHer VOTY Committee who enjoyed this post enough to name it one of the 2012 Voices of the Year in the Humor Category! I am truly honored!


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