Do you tuck in the string, or what?

I remember reading Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying when I was about 16 and during the scene where she’s lying in the bath looking down at her body she lists all her parts as if to say “I’m so bold and daring and Liberated to describe myself looking at my naked body” and then she gets to her tampon string gently floating in the water and I went WHAT? Why would anyone wear a tampon in the bathtub? A few minutes later after thinking about it I realized maybe most everybody was super uptight about it and did and might think me disgusting or strange for bleeding giant clots all into my bathwater.

So do you wear tampons in the bathtub? If so, or if not, please explain.

The other thing wrong with the picture of Jong’s protagonist — if she did have a tampon in, for god’s sake why did she not tuck in the string?

I had that thought and then realized maybe no one did. But if you let your tampon string fly free and all, how do you not pee on the string? And wouldn’t that be gross? Then the pee would sort of travel up the string into the main body of the tampon. While pee isn’t really that gross in the first place, and, like some ovens, vaginas are self-cleaning, I don’t really want a bunch of pee fermenting with the blood up there.

So: your assignment: do you tuck in the string or not? Does that fill you with horror? What about the whole bathtub question?

This post has been brought to you by the late night and a glass of wine. And so to bed.

14 Responses to “Do you tuck in the string, or what?”

  1. giddy

    Never occurred to me to tuck the string anywhere–now that you’ve brought it up I will have to try it, but I’m sort of skeptical that it would actually stay dry (maybe it depends on one’s particular anatomy?). I’m not particularly grossed out by peed-on string, in any case, although it has occurred to me that maybe I should be. I always wear a back-up pantiliner or pad anyway, because I soak through tampons so fast, so any pee gets soaked up by that.
    I don’t take baths much, but if I did, the decision whether to leave a tampon in would probably be based on how recently it had been put there. If recent, leave in. If a long time ago and apt to be immediately replaced after the bath, take out. Certainly it’s not gross to have it out, in my view. I had always heard that your flow “stops” when you are in water anyway, so you are unlikely to ooze clots–at least until you stand up and gravity takes over. (I have this problem in the shower…..which is why I will leave a tampon in, in the shower, even if I am about to replace it.)
    I love that you write about everything under the sun in your blogs.

  2. hhw

    I’ve been using the keeper for 8 years, so no more string, but as giddy says, removing it (or a tampon back in the day) pre-bathing would depend on whether it was time to empty/replace and not at all to do with avoiding blood in the water.

  3. elswhere

    It never occurred to me to tuck in the string either. Though I do kind of try to hold it up to pee.
    Also: no tampons for baths or showers. I have this vague belief that taking a break from pluggage will help prevent toxic shock syndrome.
    I can’t believe I’m writing this.

  4. minnie

    i also have the idea that one must take a break from being plugged up. hahahah. i can’t stand to wear a tampon to bed anymore even. no tampon in the tub or shower. i mean, WHY would you need it in there?!?
    Also, i usually tuck it in although not so much for the pee factor as for the not want it ot like get caught outside the underwear and get annoying factor.

  5. Madeline F

    I only tried tampons a couple times a long time ago and they were too painful to pull out so I didn’t go back… But I was under the impression that you took them out before peeing and put in a new one after. Tucking the string away didn’t occur to me. I generally don’t take baths at all, but particularly not during my period because I don’t feel like worrying about whether globs of blood are going to float into my hair and not get washed out and cause rat’s nests. I guess if I used tampons, though, I wouldn’t wear them into a bath because it seems kind of pointless to go to all that trouble when what you want is to dump blood as quickly as possible and there you are in a plumbing-connected thing.

  6. Skud

    1) I wear tampons in the bath, shower, swimming pool, and all. In Australia they’re commonly advertised and recommended for swimming/beach without bleeding everywhere, and I started using them for that reason, so it never occurred to me not to wear them in the bath.
    2) I don’t tuck the string in, and I just pee on it. No big deal. Pee is clean, and it’s only a couple of drops. You get that on your pubic hair anyway.
    3) I do, however, pull the string forward if I’m taking a dump. Or time my dumps and tampon removal for around the same time.

  7. lizriz

    Never thought to tuck in the string, but I do hold it aside when I go to the bathroom. Or I wait to go to the bathroom so I can change it at the same time.
    *Definitely* take it out for a bath or a shower, even if I just put it in. It’s my tampon break!

  8. wheelchairdancer

    Umm. bath/shower. Depends on whose in with me and/or whether it needed changing anyway. Out, pop in the bath/shower and plug in again.
    As for the pee/crap thing… Nope. No tuck in. (Never heard of anyone doing that before now — if you were worried, I suppose you could use the no string, no applicator jobs that I first started with (euro tampons.. did you have them over here?). I usually take it out when doing the dump thing, regardless. More unplugged time.
    Now you know.

  9. badgerbag

    Wow I love y’all and your answers! I am not as paranoid about pee as all that. I don’t think I can hold the string out of the way of peeing without peeing all over my hand? Is this a labial configuration issue, or a pee stream integrity issue?
    And I agree about not wanting to be “plugged up” all the time. I might try the Diva Cup again – it worked pretty well but I think despite all the caveats about childbirth, the smaller size might work out better. It kind of felt like cramming a rubber tire up there. Better to bleed into boxers all night and just wash in the morning.

  10. Katja

    I thought the whole point of the string was to have something to pull the tampon out with!
    So, no, have never tucked in the string. Generally don’t wear a tampon in the tub – of course, I haven’t taken a tub bath in who knows how long.
    Can’t believe I’m writing this at work!

  11. Robin

    I cut the string off after I put it on. It bugs me to feel it. Also, baths, yuck. Only showering.
    Why do they make those strings so long anyway? You only need 1/2 inch to pull the thing out.

  12. Haddayr

    Never occurred to me to tuck. Now that you have mentioned the pee thing, I might.
    I never take baths. They’re hot, you see. I don’t like hot. But if I did, I would certainly wear a tampon. I do not think I would find bathing in blood clots refreshing.
    I certainly wear one when I go swimming.

  13. Jem

    when i go pee i take it out cuz 1 the string gets wet and 2 i dont about any1 else but for me it takes longer to pee with it in

  14. Alexa

    I never wear a tampon while having a bath or shower, that seems weird to me too. And as for the string, I always tuck it in. For me it’s just a weird feeling to have it hanging out.

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