Guys: Will you purchase tampons & the like?

Girls, feel free to answer on behalf your SO/whoever.

I overheard a discussion in line for my too-hot-chocolate a few mornings ago. A woman complained to a friend that she had to come all the way back into town simply because her husband had done the grocery shopping that morning but had returned empty-handed on the tampon front, citing embarrassment. I have heard of this sort of thing before, although a quick poll of my closer male friends reveals no particular issue with buying sanitary stuff for girlfriends. But some guys are apparently too squicked or embarrassed to buy tampons/pads/whatever.

I find it a little wierd. I mean, if you’re that close to someone - especially a husband & wife - how can you still want to pretend that menstruation doesn’t happen? If you’re close enough to be having sex - it seems odd that it would squick you enough to prevent you from the simple act of adding a small package to your shopping basket, just so that you don’t have to think about it.

As for embarrassment - the WORST thing anyone that sees you is going to think is that you have a girlfriend! Or wife! Is that SO awful?


**Will you/does your SO buy tampons ?

If not - what gives and do you find this attitude to be very common?**

I’m happy to buy them, as long as I’m given simple, clear instructions on what to buy; i.e. the brand and the type (usually identified by the colour of the pack, I think). I would find it somewhat embarrassing to have to spend time browsing the available choices and reading information on the product packaging.

My unmarried brother buys them if he gets clear instructions. I achieved this by threatening with not buying fruity yoghurt… I don’t eat fruity yoghurt, so why should I buy it? He used to handle the paper from the back of pads as if it was poisonous - now he grabs it. Dad handled those papers the same way, but then, Dad never did any grocery shopping.

Haven’t asked the married bro, but he usually does all the shopping (except clothes).

Male checking in. Personally, no problem whatsoever. In my family, adding pads to a shopping list would no more be remarked on than sugar or coffee - you just get out there and add it to the trolley. I’ve bought for friends as well, once the teenage embarassment years were past. No current (or past, for that matter) SO, which means I’ve never had to buy pads for such a one, but I don’t see the slightest problem. I’m eternally grateful to my sex-ed teacher who said “menstruation is as natural and biological as a headache - you should be able to speak about it with the same level of comfort”.

I do notice that drugstores tend to wrap them up in opaque packaging, so obviously there’s a certain associated stigma. This is in India, btw.

Male checking in.
Only when I run out of paper-towels and duct tape.

CMC fnord!

I lost my virginity as regards buying tampons for the wife about 20 years ago now. Since it was such a defining moment in my life, I’m going to share it, as I sense that there are some people out there who will be able to benefit from my experience. I haven’t done much for anyone else today, and this will stand as my good deed for this particular day.

I was on a cricket tour of South Wales, based in Swansea, one August. We hadn’t managed much actual cricket on account of the howling gales that kept coming in from the Bristol Channel and dumping water on the picturesque grounds that we were meant to be playing on. So, we decided to amuse ourselves, and it fell to me, being the cerebral one in the group, to come up with some ideas for “gifts” for each of the players. For one fellow, a packet of condoms seemed the perfect fit. So, in I went to the chemist’s (drug-store) and asked the lady on the till, “What condoms have you got?”

“Well,” she replied in that sing-song lilt peculiar to those parts, “what you want, see?”

“Well, something for a special occasion. Something different.”

I had quite an audience by now.

“Well,” she said, warming to her task, “there’s extra strong [giving me a lewd wink - how she knew I’ll never know], ribbed [a frisson imperceptible to the bystanders but noticeable to me caused her not inconsiderable frame to quiver at mention of this particular type], extra lubricay-SHUN [every word gets stressed on the final syllable in those parts], strawber-REE…”

“Stop,” I intoned. “Enough! A packet of strawberry, if you please.”

(“If only I were so lucky,” I distinctly heard her sigh under her breath.)

After that, walking into a shop and asking for Extra Strength Tampons (“No, love, she insists on the Extra Strength…yeah, the orange box – no, wait a mo, I’ll take two, in case it lasts a bit longer than usual…fair point, ought to make sure we have plenty for next month – make it three”) is a piece of cake. You just have to imagine you’re buying these things for someone else…as a wind-up at an end of season party.

My husband is in the “don’t mind at all, just be clear with what you want” camp. In his words:

“I don’t have periods, so it’s all a mystery to me. You have to tell me what you need and what you prefer. Give me a brand name. Tell me regulars, supers, or multipack. If I come back with the wrong thing, I’m sorry, but that means the instructions were not precise. I have no way of knowing what you need other than what you tell me.”

When asked why he doesn’t mind buying them:

“Why should I mind? They’re obviously not for me.”

Nevertheless, I try to do it myself. I’ve only asked him a couple of times when I was quite sick. He is correct; I know more about what’s going on than he does. I once needed some “backup pantiliners”, and since he was on his way to the store, I told him what I needed. My instructions were not clear. I think I just said something like, “You know, just a small package of pads.” Oh, dear. The package was small, and only had ten pads in it. But when unfolded, they were like… super-jumbo sized or something. I could wrap those things around my shoulders twice to keep them in place if I’d wanted to. I felt thirteen months old again. I shutup and used them, though. :wink: Overnight.

Yep, Yep and yep again, I do buy them, and even discuss with my wife which are the cheapest, do you want 1 box regular, and 1 box super or them mixed box thingys?
I also help her choose bras - that gets some funny looks here - conservative as hell aunties wondering why a guy is skluking in the women’s underwear department (thank god for preview, I almost wrote skulking in womens underwear :smack: )
BTW - a Lot of supermarkets her don’t sell tampons, only pads - I’m like, WTF???

conservative as hell aunties wondering why a guy is skluking in the women’s underwear departmentQUOTE]

You should probably start just picking up the undies and looking at them, not dropping them on the floor and saying “Those look fine to me!”

Sniffing them is also right out.

As for the OP: Yep, my guys will buy girl-stoppers. I don’t see why any hetero guy wouldn’t-- I mean, isn’t it supposed to be okay to be hetero? Shouldn’t they be skipping down the aisle proclaiming “I’m dating a woman, a woman, I’m so proud to be dating a woman, a real grown up woman, and all her parts are in working order!”

…wonder if I could get a guy to do that. Wonder how much money it’d take.

Once or twice in the past I’ve been too unwell to to go to the shop and buy some, and my husband has gone. I don’t think he particularly minds as long as I tell him EXACTLY what I need.

Now, thanks to my Mooncup, those days are over, and a box of 30 pantiliners lasts for 5 months.

Seriously, if Mooncups/Divacups had the slogan “Buy this for your girl and she’ll never send you to the store for feminine products again!” I think they’d be onto something.

Ditto. My daughter is more embarassed than I am about me buying them (when she’s around). In her world, guys aren’t supposed to know about…that.

I do love embarassing the kids. One of the joys of parenthood, and sweet revenge for all the rolleyes.

I’m with D_Odds on this one, especially with my clinical lab experience.

“Dad! You’re so gross!”
“What, it’s just blood. Perfectly normal”

I have no problems buying feminine hygiene products, as long as I have detailed instructions on what to get.


As a male of 5’11’, 250 lbs. with a beard to my chest I don’t fear someone mistaking them as being mine. I got no problem with it.

When I was married and my wife was using tampons and pads, I not only knew which ones she used but knew where she was in her cycle (it was my job) and bought them as required as part of the weekly shopping. She never ran out and never had to ask me to buy them.

I actually recall buying tampons for my wife in the early 70s. I was standing at the checkout grabbing things out of the basket to throw in the air and catch (a silly thing I do). When I did it with the tampons, the woman on the checkout grabbed them off me, put them in a little paper bag and then bagged them. I was amused by her look of horror.

I buy them for my wife whenever she asks me to. Modern man and all that. I generally buy them when I buy beer - something for her and something for me.

I’ll do it for the massive points it gets me. Buying tampons makes up for all manner of heinous shit.

I buy them for my wife all the time. No big deal – it’s not like the clerks even notice, let alone care.

I have asked my SO to get them. He has no problem with it whatsoever, as long as like other posters, I make sure to tell him what kind, box color, etc. And I always like the same kind of tampon so it’s easy to tell him which ones.

As a single man I have no one to buy them for - but when I am a relationship I have no problem buying whatever is needed.

All the time. No hu-hu. Just be specific, like I am when I send the wife out for sparkplugs.