Journalism From The Fringes of Girl Culture #724: THE SEA SPONGE
by Suki Kent
THE PREMISE: SUKI TESTS STUFF. PEEING STANDING UP. ATKINS. BIZARRO MENSTRUAL
DEVICES. WHATEVS. THIS TIME: THE SEA SPONGE!
Do you remember the first time? I do. I'm standing in my bathroom dressed
only in a t-shirt and lacey knickers, seasponge in hand, remembering the
first time I tried to introduce an 'internal sanitary device' to my tenderest
parts. That was years ago, but I think I've found the secret of eternal
youth, because right now, I feel 13 again.
So here’s the deal. Rumours abound about tampons being dangerous.
They’re certainly dangerous to my bank balance. One night at a friend’s
house we’re having a whinge about tampon prices and she runs off
and gets her (gulp) sea sponge. ‘This is what I use’, she
grins. ‘You just rinse it out and shove it back up there. It’s
RINSE IT OUT, SHOVE IT UP
Sounds tempting, I concede, but.....well, bit weird, innit? You want security
when you’re menstruating, like the advertisers tell you, right?
I mean, when I’m rollerskating around in my tight white hotpants,
I need to know the boys aren’t getting more than they bargained
for when they look at my behind. And for that, you need little hard, nuggety,
secure tampons growing inside you like little secure corks.
intrepid girl reporter mere seconds before she shoved an innocent sea
sponge up her filthy c*nt.
But a couple of months pass and then another friend of a friend tells
me she’s a seasponge girl too. OK, how weird can it be then, really?
Next thing I know I’m standing in front of the mirror, scowling
at myself because half of me wants to shove this thing up my cunt, and
half of me doesn't dare.
SOFT LUMPY THING
I mean, how big IS it up there anyway? I look at the sea sponge, a little
soft lumpy thing about 5cm long and 3cm diameter. What if it gets lost?
I take a deep breath, just like I did the first time, at 13. If it gets
lost, I can always send my boyfriend up there after it with a torch, right?
So fuck it. (Literally). Up it goes. Comfy? Hell, yeah. I don't feel a
BLEED BLEED BLEED
Four hours pass. We’re in Catch sitting by the fag machine, drinking
pints of Stella and discussing books and sex. That's the outside. Inside,
it's bleed bleed bleed. I flex my muscles there and wonder if it's time.
I try to hide a grin as I head for the toilet.
The loos are empty. Good. In I go, and in goes my experimental wandering
finger. It's there alright, up beyond the muscly, ringy bit. I poke its
squishiness. How the hell do I get it out???? Though several fingers have,
at any given time, been Up There, I personally have only put one finger
up THAT FAR, just to pop in a Lil-let. But to get this thing out, I need
leverage. I need grip. I need opposable thumbs.
|HOT, MOIST AND RED
I try to pop the sponge out by bearing down, but it's not having any of
it. (Good thing too, or you'd find yourself giving birth to sea sponges
at all kinds of embarrassing times: at the library, in the work canteen,
whilst cutting some shapes at your local discoteque.....) So it's the thumb
/ middle finger team in action, then. I grab a section of sponge, and pull.
It slides out onto my hand: hot, moist, and, er, red. Ew! It's a spongeful
of blood! It's not blood like on a tampon, all sort of sitting on it. It's
IN it. I giggle. This is kinda disgusting, but more than that, it's hilarious.
Do I dare? Do I dare do I dare..... do I dare....... squeeze it?
I GOT YOUR CARNAGE... RIGHT HERE
The thought's no sooner fully formed than my fingers are flexing around
the sponge. Inky red jets of blood squeeze out onto the white porcelain
and I gasp and giggle. I'm grossed out and impressed all at once. I flush
the chain and rinse the sponge in the water that shoots out, rinsing the
blood away. I'm secretly impressed with the carnage. I know I'm supposed
to be disgusted - after all, the tampon ads all tell me that I'll just die
if anyone knows I bleed every month - but in a way, I feel kickass. Blood
and guts and gore - people play video games to get this stuff but me, I
got it right here.
However, my task is not over. The loos are still empty so I sneak out
to the sinks. The sponge must be spangly clean before it gets anywhere
near my privates again. Hot water and soapy bubbles flow through the sponge,
and the blood washes away down the sink. Then: agggh! The door! I turn
the tap off, hide the sponge in my hand, and leg it back into the stall.
Then I put the sponge up inside me again. I’m done.
NASTY BY NATURE
I'm smiling as I walk back through the pub, past the chiller cabinet full
of quiches, past the leering men in shorts, back to my companions. They're
still talking about literature, not knowing that I just faced nasty ol’
Nature, and won. I won against squeamishness. I won against rayon, chlorine
bleach, and wasting money far better spent on fags and charity shopping
than on tampons. I won. And you can too. Mr Sponge - the thinking girl's
flexible friend. Go on. I dare ya.