The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

The strange tail of women’s sanitary wear


This post has developed as a result of comments on a post I published a few days ago. It is about the history of women’s sanitary wear and how we are now in a new trend.

I know someone who makes sanitary pads for modern women at home. She is paid by the pad. The pads are sent all over the world by her employer. The interesting fact is that this sanitary wear harks back to the past – the long past, when women washed their pads during menstruation.  Thousands of women are doing it again for all sorts of reasons.

After mosses, leaves and various other helpful aids, rags were used here in the West and washed regularly which was an improvement on the old methods. Women made pads at home with loops that could be fitted on a belt round the waist. Eventually, with the beginning of manufacturing, such things were made by mass production at the end of the 19th century. But they were expensive and ordinary women could not afford them


To those who could afford disposable pads to fit to the belts, no longer were the pads laundered, but now, simply thrown away or burned.

Pads were made from all sorts of materials. Described here.

By the seventies, women tossed away their belts and used self adhesive pads – and tampons. And threw them down the loo. And they were still expensive.

Currently women can choose from a huge selection of styles offered to them commercially. Sanitary wear is a big money spinner. A gold-mine in fact. Modern sanitary wear is still expensive – expensive and TAXED!

So is it any wonder that women are finding their own way out of the grip they find themselves in?

Washable menstrual pads do not need to be disposed of after use and therefore offer a more economical alternative for women. Also called “mama cloth”, reusable menstrual pads can be found on a number of websites, or are made at home (instructions are available online). They have become a popular alternative and are gaining in popularity among women, because they are allergen and perfume-free, and can be more comfortable for women who suffer from irritations from using disposable pads.

So whether you make them yourself, or buy them they are CHEAPER, much more decorative than the boring old mass produced stuff – and greener.

Link to Wikipedia

Author: Elizabeth

I'm someone also pounding the Path, just like you.

5 thoughts on “The strange tail of women’s sanitary wear

  1. [Note for LR: Not sure what the ‘rules’ of your blog are regarding intimate matters and adult language. I will try and express myself in a ‘sensitive’ family-safe manner but should I say something that is ‘off’ please don’t take it the wrong way and delete as you see fit].

    As a male there isn’t much usefully I can say on this. ‘Female plumbing’ has always seemed to me to be a major design flaw on the part of the Creator -along with several others- and proof positive , if proof be needed, that God is indeed male. Would any caring sharing ‘Goddess’ put her creations through all that monthly misery …and expense?

    But there is one thing aspect I would like to comment on , as a heterosexual male, and that is the ‘aesthetics’ of it all. I suspect like most ‘modern’ men I have no problem about intimacy during her monthly courses…if she should feel the need. Although IME ‘it’ tends to figure very low on her lists of wants at that time, way behind painkillers, hot water bottles and coca with enough alcohol and marshmallows .

    The sight of a bloody vulva doesn’t bother me, nor I think most ‘modern’ men. Neither can I say I have ever found ‘scent’ to be an issue…despite the makers of san-towels doing their level best to auto-suggest women into believing they smell bad at that time.

    What however would freak me the F**K out would be her taking down her knickers ( or me taking them down, whatever works etc) and revealing one of those washable menstrual pads your friend makes. Sorry -with sincere apologies to your friend – but those would put me , and I suspect many men, ‘right off our stroke’, screaming as those pads do “CHILDRENS SPINAL INJURY UNIT”. ‘Normal’ white cotton soft ones with wings and ‘aroma protection’ are bad enough but colourful pads with cartoon ‘moons’? Yuck! I’m not joking when I say I’d rather ‘she’ had just stuffed a wad of bog roll in there, as The Bestes Frau In The World has done when ‘taken short’.

    A lesbian-vegan-‘toxic shock is a KILLER’ couple of my youthful acquaintance always recommended a tampon made of natural sponge (you sew a bit of ribbon on it). Indeed they would make them as gifts for their female friends, apparently nothing works better, reuseable and allergen free. And ladies, IME (and men do sometimes talk about such things) many men have no problem with you removing a tampon in front of them…or even doing it for you, if like our illustrious heir to the throne,that’s a ‘thing’ for you both..but if you do use sponges might I suggest you don’t leave them bloody on the bathroom sink, it doth freak a man first thing in the morning-after-the-night-before when he staggers in for that all important first piss of the morning, hung over and bleary eyed. I speak from experience.

    Right, Coffee. I need coffee. NOW….and a smoke or two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your interesting comment putting forth a man’s eye view of the eternal women’s problem.

      It is an aesthetic one.

      Not all cloth pads are decorated, in fact, I would presume not. I point out that they are not made for MEN to look at, but for WOMEN to use!

      Most women, well most women in the past who had an ounce of personal dignity, would not behave in ways you describe in your comment. Perhaps you have been a victim of the new and “improved” type of women!? Some of them have lost the plot, and certainly any feminine mystique.

      My sympathies to you and apologies for the abuse you have endured – and the abuse most “modern” men have got ensnared into.


      • Perhaps it is a generational thing (so much seems to be)? And where does ‘feminine mystique’ end and Xian-Judeo induced shame begin? “i’ll put those in a paper bag for you! *says shopkeeper grabbing the offending packet*. That happened to me more than once. I mean, come on. did the shopkeeper fear children might see them and become addicted? I assume that was the case, if it is true of cigarette packets then it might also be true of Always Ultra…there is no safe level of exposure to Dr.White’s rounded tips. Perhaps plain packs and steel shutters covering the women’s aisle?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s not a generational thing – women have never “flaunted their menstrual stuff”, ever, in History, anywhere, until now in the West. Neither is it anything to do with releasing ourselves from shame. The new feminism is darker than it’s surface fury would indicate. It’s a well co-ordinated societal restructuring with malice aforethought. And women have fallen for it hook-line-and-sinker!

    No shop keeper ever popped anything in a brown paper bag for me – sounds exciting!

    But my children did ask me “what are these things for?”. Hard to describe to a very young person. And not easy to do in a shop!


    • “new feminism is darker than it’s surface fury would indicate. It’s a well co-ordinated societal restructuring with malice aforethought.”

      And I wouldn’t disagree in the slightest. I have never made a secret of , for example, my being violently ‘Pro Life’ (what a God awful name!). I also think that Pincus & Sanger et al did society far more harm than is commonly thought-almost as much as the Smoking Verbot.
      That said, feminism arose out of real grievances and it is important not to throw the baby out with the combined contraceptive pill. Which is, of course, what makes feminism so dangerous…they are RIGHT about some , few,things. If they were wrong about everything, women would have laughed them out of the WI.

      The problem with ‘not flaunting menstrual stuff’ ie being open and honest about the fact is it is very easy to end up like this spoof site:

      Yes that’s a piss take but I have known Xians who seriously feel, almost, that way about female issues- when I first met her The Bestes Frau In The World could have given them a run for their money , coming as she did from a Ultra Pietist ‘laughter is a sin’ background.

      Now stop worrying your pretty little head about such things, dear 😛

      (in other words the line between fighting male chauvinism and evil feminism is thinner than an ultra light discreet towel).

      Liked by 1 person

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