The Diva Cup is the greatest thing I’ve put in my vagina that has not resulted in orgasm.
Whenever I use it, I emerge from the bathroom wanting to spread the gospel of the menstrual cup to anyone within a half mile radius. One time I excitedly gushed to my mom about them in Target.
I don’t care that I’m 10 years behind the times. I don’t care at all. My life is better now, and everything that came before has just faded away.
If you’re new to menstrual cups, here’s the deal: they are silicone (usually) bell-shaped receptacles that sit in the vagina, up against the cervix, to catch menstrual blood. They vary in size, texture, rigidity, stem length, and how much the company relies on traditionally feminine bullshit to sell their product. To insert, you fold the cup and slide it in your vagina, rotating the base until the cup pops open against your cervix to form a seal. When you’re ready to empty it, you break the seal by squeezing the sides of the cup, then carefully extract it from your vagina and dump out the product of your loins.
The only reason I got a Diva Cup instead of frantically researching every other option was because I was able to borrow my friend’s Diva Cup first. She’s the kind of person who once bled so heavily it went down into her socks, so, I was treading on sacred ground. And I loved it. I loved the Diva Cup and immediately ordered one for myself.
I was glad that the first menstrual cup I tried worked well for me, and I didn’t want to jinx it by ordering a different brand. The Diva Cup’s rah-rah girl-power dELiA*s throwback pink-and-flowery-everything mantra is disgusting and I find the founders’ pink jackets deeply offensive, but at least the cup itself is void of gendered assumptions.
It was pretty easy to get the hang of the Diva Cup. I’m lucky, I think — some people have difficulty achieving a seal, struggle with removal, or feel awkwardly jabbed by the cup’s stem. Some need a different cup since the Diva Cup is one of the longer cups on the scene. For me, the learning period was swift and painless. I wore panty liners (and still do when I’m worried), but never had more than a few stray dribbles of blood. Inserting it was only challenging when my thumb was sore: from burning it on my mug warmer, from my cat scratching me when I tried to put nail caps on him, from biting my nail too short.
I will admit there are things about my life that make using the Diva Cup exceptionally easy. Like that I work from home and my sink is within tossing distance of my toilet. And that I don’t bleed so much that the cup needs to be emptied more than once a day. And that blood fascinates rather than repels me.
Zealous menstrual cup proponents sometimes insist that cups aren’t messy at all. But the Diva Cup is messy. Dumping it into the toilet, carefully wiping it off with toilet paper, re-inserting it, and wiping excess blood from my fingers and vulva… is messy. Because blood oozing from a vagina is fucking messy. Welcome to reality and earth. Not everything needs to be sanitized for our protection.
Personally, I love the visceral sight of my blood, and I take pleasure in pouring it out in the shower. It’s easy to just toss a used tampon or pad, but the cup invites me to appreciate the sheer amount of gore that my body produces. I’m much more aware of changes in color, consistency, and amount — from the bright red, runny blood to the viscous dark snotty stuff.
Ever since I got my
birth control implant slut stick, my bleeding has been irregular. The Diva Cup makes it tolerable: I get the telltale cramps, wander to the bathroom to insert my Diva Cup, and promptly forget about it. Hours later I remember to check it, and sure enough, it is ripe with blood.
I routinely forget I’m even on my period when I’m wearing the Diva Cup — that’s how comfortable it is. One time I forgot it was inserted and started using a dildo and it even halfway worked. It didn’t jam into me with pain; it just felt like my vagina ended sooner.
The Diva Cup can be remarkably accommodating. I’ve kept it in while my partner inserted a couple fingers above it. I’ve used it with the small bulb of the Feeldoe More inside of me, although it did leak a little from the movement. I can wear it with the We-Vibe 4 with no issues whatsoever.
I’ve learned to follow my intuition with the Diva Cup, though, because whenever I disregard it, bad things happen. Like that time I hadn’t emptied the cup recently but still thought I could insert the NobEssence Dare in addition. When I pulled out the Dare, I accidentally tipped the cup and blood promptly began dripping into my pajama pants, underwear, and new bathroom rug. A+, me.
Another time, I got cocky and decided to wear my best cutest underwear. Something felt off as I drove to my girlfriend’s place, but I figured I was just cramping. Turns out, the cup was not inserted correctly and I had bled all over my underwear. No matter how much you want to impress your girlfriend, cute underwear is no longer cute when you have to scrub it in the sink pre-fuck.
Even my subconscious knows that the cup can sabotage me if given the chance. I once had a dream I was about to do a porn scene, but true to life, I had to take out my Diva Cup first. Well, of course, it spilled blood all over everything. Subsequently, the porn scene never happened and I got lost in a labyrinthian spa. So. Don’t tempt fate with the Diva Cup. It knows.
But really, I’ve realized, rotating the cup until it pops completely open against my cervix is key to achieving a maximum seal.
The Diva Cup does stain and develop a smell over time, but I soak it overnight in hydrogen peroxide and the next day it’s good as new. I know the company advocates boiling only, but the company also says shit like “yes, you wear the Diva Cup in ‘there,’ in your vagina… but we promise, it is not as scary as it sounds.” Boiling doesn’t do jack shit to quell the color or the smell — hydrogen peroxide does.
If you’re not comfortable removing and placing things in your vagina, which sadly would’ve been me 10 years ago, menstrual cups are not for you. If you can’t handle the sight or smell of blood, they’re not for you. If you’re an extremely busy businessperson with no time for the folly of emptying a cup mid-day in the office bathroom, they might not fit your lifestyle.
But if you’re a person who menstruates and have ever felt displeased with the experience of tampons or pads… you need a menstrual cup.
It would hardly be fair for me to proclaim that the Diva Cup is the best menstrual cup out there, or to promise that all vagina-havers would prefer it over other brands. But this thing has legitimately changed my life — and it only cost me $28. The only way the Diva Cup could be better would be if it paid me every month for all the menstrual products I no longer have to buy.
Share your menstrual cup experiences in the comments section!