Last year, I was preparing for my trip to Cuba when I had a terrible revelation, my period was supposed to start on the first day of our trip. Fabulous. Just the thing to make a trip to a developing nation go smoothly, right? What was a girl to do?
I heard about Thinx on Facebook. The company bills itself as making underwear for “women who get periods.” Their underwear is supposed to function as a replacement for traditional feminine hygiene products by absorbing 1-2 tampons worth of blood. Frankly, the whole idea of walking around in blood soaked underwear gave me a queasy feeling, but these were desperate times.
I ordered two thongs and two pairs of boy shorts. While I planned to pack a box of tampons, I needed a backup option for long drives where finding a place to stop along the route might be impossible. But even as a backup option, I wasn’t sure they would work, or if they did, I’d just be totally grossed out by wearing them.
It turns out that I was wrong. Thinx are made to be moisture wicking, heavily absorbent, and anti-leak. I never felt wet. There was no discernible odor. My clothes never got any blood on them. And I never felt gross while wearing them. Overall, I was fairly impressed by how well they worked.
While talking about periods isn’t a glamorous business, it’s certainly a necessary one. I’m blessed with a fairly easy cycle, two heavy days followed by 2-3 very light ones. I wear Thinx on the light days, when I’d rather not wear a tampon for the small bit of blood I have to deal with. And if I have to travel or work long hours on a heavy flow day, Thinx are more comfortable than a heavy pad by far.
I really have only one complaint about Thinx, specifically the thongs. Unlike my beloved Hanky Panky thongs, which are so comfortable I forget that I’m wearing them, the straps on the Thinx thongs roll and shift throughout the day. It’s not a major complaint, but it is a noticeable design flaw.
The other issue that will bother some readers is washing them. After wearing them, you first have to rinse them out under cold water before washing. It’s a little gross, but I let Veronica Mars talk be into buying the Samsung washer with the built in sink, so it’s not so bad. After washing them, you can’t dry them. I feel a bit like a ’50s housewife line drying my unmentionables, but drying them causes the absorbent material to breakdown, and that would defy the purpose of buying period underwear.
I wasn’t aware when I bought them that Thinx fancies itself as a socially active company. They are proponents of something called “free bleeding,” which they believe tackles the social stigma associated with menstruation. They also promote feminist causes and values, though these ideals clash somewhat with the behavior of their former CEO has been accused of workplace harassment and inappropriate touching by employees.
All that aside, I like the product. To my great surprise, the underwear absorb without making you feel gross. They’re a good primary or backup option. I just wish they’d do something about the damn straps, the last thing I need is visible panty line.