The kinds of people you shouldn’t date

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

When I started writing theNotice, I wanted to create a safe space. Its bread and butter has always been beauty content, but I wanted to create a blog where anyone could talk about the kinds of things you’re not “supposed” to talk about, in the comments or even by email.

That’s why I’ve covered everything from eating disorders to tampons to IUDs over the past eight years, and that’s why I’m talking about relationships today.

I haven’t discussed everything in my life here on theNotice, and frankly it would be weird if I had, but I’d like to be able to say that I haven’t lied about anything, at least. So, for my first post of 2016, here’s a little bit of honesty about my last boyfriend.

(Spoiler alert, he was shitty.)


Source: Happy Monsters

“If someone else is being a dick, that’s not on you.”

When people ask you about your partner, I feel like there’s always pressure to give them the answers that they want to hear. To share super-cute anecdotes about the two of you; to laugh coyly and lie about how good the sex is. It’s easy to champion how well your friends should be treated (so well! Like majestic unicorns!), but it’s so much harder to say “hey, the Nice Guy™ that I’m dating actually kind of treats me like trash” to your mutual friends, hopefully-not-mutual family, and colleagues.

Here is the other half of the story about my ex and I.

My ex was saccharine-sweet to me 99% of the time, but he would also spit words at me and make me feel absolutely disgusting when he had had a bad day. He’d use cute nicknames and tell me that he loved me, but he’d guilt trip me for making him feel bad when I flinched away from contact.

My ex would tell me that of course he worried about me, but he’d follow it up with “because nobody else in your life is going to.” He would tell me that I was being unfair by asking him to see a therapist about his severe depression instead of unloading on me, and did I have any idea how much of a burden it was on him that I have a physical disability?

My ex would call me every night to ask me about my day, but he would also finger me so roughly that I would cry, and then fall into a funk for days over the fact that my crying made him feel “useless.” He would get so mad at me for having panic attacks that I would end up cowered in the corner of my bedroom trying to hide from him, and he’d tell me that I was being unfair, because it’s not like he was hitting me.

whalecom chibird

Source: Chibird

“Even if your relationship could be worse, that’s not an excuse.”

The #1 thing that stopped me from saying anything bad about my relationship is a universal of (too) many other relationships: I was embarrassed to admit that I let someone else treat me like that. But you know what? If someone else is being a dick, that’s not on you. Not even if you covered for them in the past.

But the other thing that stopped me was the knowledge that my relationship wasn’t as bad as many others are. What I’ve come to realize over the past 10 months, however, is that even if your relationship could be worse, that’s not an excuse for the ways in which it sucks. Like, if you buy a really shitty mascara and it clumps your lashes into a gross uni-lash, you’re not like, oh, it didn’t rot my eyes away with acid, so I guess I have to recommend it to a friend now–why would you give more leeway to something as important as your relationship?

I also spent a lot of time excusing him for things because, well, I honestly don’t think that he had any idea that the way he was treating me was wrong. But just because someone doesn’t consciously decide to be cruel, that doesn’t make their actions any less terrible, and I’ve slowly come to remember that your partner’s ignorance should NOT excuse their actions.


Source: Bridget Beth via DIY with Maryann

“If something is unacceptable FOR YOU, then it’s unacceptable.”

There is a part of my brain that looks at this post and thinks no, you can’t say that; it’s unprofessional. It’s uncouth. But like — fuck that part of my brain. Fuck that part of all of our brains. I had no idea that my last relationship was messed up because no one ever tells you what level of anguish is unacceptable, so you know what? I’m going to talk about it. It’s not unprofessional: it’s necessary.

As far as I’m concerned, any level of cruelty high enough to cause mental distress is unacceptable. You’re not a checklist, you’re a person, and if it’s unacceptable for you, then it’s unacceptable. There is a wide margin between an abusive relationship and a healthy relationship, and if you fall short of a even just a passably good relationship–if your partner makes you stressed, sad, and unhappy–then yeah, I think you owe it your yourself to move on.

positivedoodles hedgehog

Source: Emm’s Positivity Blog

“My super-fun two and a half year torture party,”

I stayed with my ex because I thought that all relationships would be some degree of bad, and I was scared that nobody better would ever want me. Everyone has always told me that that was nonsense, because I’m pretty and smart and blah blah blah, but have you met women in general? They’re amazing. They’re all so gorgeous and intelligent and fucking funny, and most of them aren’t permanently disabled–who would want me?

(Lots of people, apparently. There are a lot of lonely people out there in the world.)

I gave myself three days to pick myself up off the floor after breaking off my super-fun two and a half year torture party, and then I got right back into the saddle & tried out my first-ever dating app.* I had my first date scheduled before the week was out, and while we didn’t work out romantically, we’re still friends– we text almost constantly, or at least, we did (but then he got a very cute, very dumb puppy and now he spends all of his free time crying and cleaning up pee.)

*Quick online dating tips: OK Cupid is awesome if you want to screen people for their likes and leanings; Tinder is awesome if you only want to be messaged by people you match with (which can make it a great choice if you’re LGBTQ+). People seem to be hotter and younger on Tinder, for some reason, but more artsy/geeky on OK Cupid.

I met my current partner on Tinder! And I’d tell you the full story, but it’s just not as funny unless we tell it together, so I will keep you in the dark on that for now.

If you wanted an awesome conclusion to this post, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. I am very small, and currently very sick. But I can tell you this: I wanted to share my story so that anyone out there needing to talk (about something present or past) would hopefully see this as a safe space, too. So for anyone who wants to weigh in, share stories, or get all academic on us–feel free to use the comments down below at any time when you want someone to listen.

Anonymous comments are welcome.

pusheen hug every person

Source: Everyday Cute (Pusheen!)

I don’t view the relationship I described here as abusive, but if you’re in a relationship where you feel mentally or physically unsafe, please, please, please check out the following resources to get help when you feel ready.

Lunette menstrual cup re-review & giveaway

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lunette cup wash giveaway

Do you remember way back when when I reviewed the Lunette menstrual cup for theNotice? It’s been a while, but I still love my Lunette just as much as I did then (which is a LOT). So, when they contacted me this month to see if I wanted to give one away to one of you, the answer was, of course: yes!!

–skip to the giveaway–

About the Lunette

Lunette cup review giveaway

from my original Lunette review (with size comparisons!)

I love my Lunette for two reasons: 1) the über-comfortable product, and 2) the brand. Lunette has a wonderful, friendly site, and a great education section on everything from the female anatomy to how to choose, use and care for your cup. Using a menstrual cup for the first time can be a little scary, especially for a teen, but I found that they made the transition the easiest & least… threatening.

Unlike tampons, menstrual cups can be worn for up to twelve hours, last for years, and create virtually no waste — so instead of going through an entire box of tampons every month, you just empty and rinse your cup between uses, boil at the end of your period, and re-use the next month. No need to worry about running out of tampons, and you save around $70/year in the cost of thick pads & tampons.

Lunette size 1 vs 2

Lunette menstrual cup – model 1 vs model 2

Of the three cups I’ve tried (Lunette size 1, Diva cup size 1 & 2), the Lunette is the most comfortable and easiest to use. It washes out with the least hassle, can’t be felt while being worn, and is easy to insert and remove after a little bit of practice (just a few tries should do it!)

If you’re not sure which cup size is best for you, there’s a great size guide on the Lunette site — check that out if you want to read more.

Enter to win

Lunette menstrual cup giveaway

win me!

Lunette has generously offered one of our North American readers the chance to win a Lunette cup in the size of their choice, plus a bottle of their pH-balanced Feelbetter Liquid Wash to keep it clean. I know using your first menstrual cup is a little, uh, terrifying, so hopefully this’ll be the push some of you need to take the leap!

It’s worth it, I promise. You create so much less waste, save a ton of money (for me, I think it would be around $700 over the lifespan of the cup!), and they’re so comfortable and easy to use. Pair that with no dry-tampon feeling and a whole ZERO reported cases of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome), and I think it’s an easy decision to make.

Availability: Can’t wait? You can buy the Lunette cup ($39.99) and wash ($9.99) on their site. And you can order them in different colours!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Je Joue MiMi Soft Silicone Vibrator review, photos | A Valentine’s Day review, from me to you

Friday, February 14, 2014

Je Joue MiMi Soft box

The product: Je Joue MiMi Soft Waterproof Rechargeable Silicone Vibrator in Fuchsia

My dearest, darlingest readers: over 180 of you requested this review in a gift guide last December, and because I was so incredibly overwhelmed by the gesture, consider this my Valentine’s Day gift to all of you. 

Try as I might, I can’t really do anything with theNotice without your support, so thank you. I have a super embarrassing brain crush on all of you beautiful creatures right now, and I really hope that some of you will love the MiMi Soft as much as I do.

Je Joue MiMi Soft

The execution

Packaged in the sturdiest, most luxurious box I’ve ever received anything in, the MiMi Soft is luxury inside and out. With a very cool magnetic charging mechanism and a soft, plush silicone finish, it appeals to both my lady-parts and my inner geek.

Like the original MiMi ($88.99 USD), the MiMi Soft is entirely waterproof, with five vibration levels and five vibration patterns (controlled separately), and comes in four colours: black, lilac, fuchsia (featured here), and Je Joue’s classic purple. Both deliver two hours of use on a two hour charge, and feature metal intensity buttons on their back end that double as points of charge. The buttons are very hard to push, one of the MiMi’s only faults (the only other is its slight noisiness), but I personally think it’s a worthwhile tradeoff — yes, even with my arthritic fingers.

Je Joue MiMi Soft details

Je Joue MiMi Soft review controls hard

Je Joue MiMi Soft intensity buttons/charging ports, & pattern switch (between)

Je Joue MiMi Soft magnetic charger

Je Joue MiMi Soft, with its magnetic charging “port”

The experience

The silicone finish: Unlike the original MiMi, or any other toy I’ve owned before, the Soft version features a thick layer of silicone overtop the ABS plastic. It’s squishy without being too squishy, holding its shape but delivering a very unique, incredibly comfortable experience. Silicone is the safest material to use in any type of sex toy, but it usually feels like a thin, fixed layer of protection overtop a harder material. With the MiMi Soft, however, the silicone layer feels plush and somehow realistic (without being creepy-realistic), and lifts slightly off the inner body of the toy if squished just right. For me, it’s like the difference between bare hands and latex on a stick: which is to say, a huge one.

Somehow, though, the soft finish of this vibrator isn’t even its main selling point. Instead, may I please introduce you to the Je Joue MiMi motor: a little rattly, a little loud, and yet exponentially better than anything else I’ve ever tried. 

Je Joue MiMi review

Keep reading to find out what makes the MiMi a must-have »

Lunette Menstrual Cup review, photos, and… rave

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The first cup that I wanted to review today was the size 1 clear Lunette, simply because I’m awful at saving the best for last. Of all of the cups that I’ve tried, this was by far my favourite! It turns out that it may actually be a good thing that this review is so delayed – the Lunette site has gotten a facelift recently, which should make picking one up a lot easier. (They’re hard to find in-store, at least in Canada.)

The shape: I wanted to give you ladies a really good idea of the size of the Lunette, so it went on a bit of a photoshoot with some popular beauty products ;) The Lunette ismore pear-shaped than the DivaCup – it’s the parabola to the DivaCup’s absolute value function, if you will. To each her own, I know, but I personally find that this helps it sit more comfortably (and makes removal a fair bit easier!)

It also has more of a “tail” than many other cups, but don’t let that scare you away (it’s actually a good thing). I find the longer end makes guiding the cup out easier, and despite my initial worries, you can’t feel it. It doesn’t stick out much, and if it does, you can trim it yourself at home. (Plus, you’ve already got fold-y stuff going on down there. A bit of soft silicone doesn’t make much of a difference!)

The dimensions: The size 1 Lunette…

  • Is 41 mm by 47 mm, with a 25mm stem
  • Holds 25ml (that’s about 4 regular tampons, three super tampons, or 2 super plus tampons)
  • Is appropriate for most body types (the model 2 is usually for those who have given birth, and/or have particularly heavy periods.)
  • (I’m thinking I should probably try out a model 2 sometime, seeing as I bleed like mad and the DivaCup #2 fits me decently. The Selene is tempting, and hey – it would give us another photo op! Hmm…)

A cost breakdown: I wasn’t kidding when I said that I bleed a lot; for the first two days of my period I go through about seven extra super tampons in a day, plus two pads and then another extra super and an overnight pad while I sleep. After that, I use about two regular tampons and one pad for the next three days or so.

Now. The Lunette is $39.99, which seems pretty pricy… at first. However, you can keep a cup for three years according to the FDA (though most cup users say that they’re good for about 10; the FDA’s probably just covering their arses!) so let’s do some math. AURGHHH I hate math.

Tampons: 1 box of Extra Super Tampax per month ($5 for 20), plus two packages of Always pads ($9 for 28) per year. Assuming 13 periods per year. TOTAL: $249 over three years

The Lunette: 2 cups (just in case), plus… say, six boxes of disinfecting wipes (2 per year) and a bottle of Feelbetter? TOTAL: $80 over three years

I rest my case.

Other stuff worth knowing: (more…)

The Cup Reviews: instead Softcup

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For a bit of background information on menstrual cups, read this post.
Oh, and also:
TMI alert! TMI alert! Alert alert alert!

What it is: instead Softcup disposable menstrual cups

What we love

  • The Softcup is a lot less icky than other menstrual cups! There’s no washing/scrubbing/boiling involved, and removal is quick, painless, and relatively clean. It takes a bit of practice, but I can get it out with just a bit of blood ending up on my fingertips; no messier than a tampon.
  • It’s also a lot easier to get in (and out) than other cups — you pinch the two sides and insert it like a tampon. The pink plastic is very malleable, so they really do pinch right together. It’s no harder to get in than a regular tampon (and way easier than supers and extra supers!)
  • There are a bunch of “side benefits” that come along with using this kind of cup. For starters, there are no strings attached, literally! Nothing… hanging out of you. (Ahem.) And while I can’t vouch for it, they do say you can wear the Softcup during sex while you’re on your period for less, erm, mess.
  • The Softcup can be worn for up to 12 hours, unlike tampons (which run 4-8 if I’m not mistaken.) Of course, I have to change mine more often, but my lighter-flow friends (aka every single !@)#!@$ person I know; it’s just not fair!) should be fine.

What we don’t

  • These cups are one-size-fits-all, and unfortunately… we’re not all the same size down there. I found it to be a touch too long for me; it slips too low every now and again and can be hard to get all the way in. So, make sure to sample them first! If they fit, you’ll know: when they’re in properly, you can’t feel the cup at all.

Tips and tricks
As I’ve mentioned, I find inserting the Softcup to be a breeze. It’s awkward the first time, but the process is just so easy to get the hang of. Anyone who can insert a tampon should be fine! (And to be honest, it’s easier to insert a Softcup than it is to insert an extra super tampon, or anything by OB…)

However, I know not everyone is as utilitarian about their female reproductive system comfortable with their ladybits as I am. So I asked Tracey Croughwell (Evofem’s Marketing VP) if she had any tips of her own! She had a ton of incredibly helpful ones to share, so here are a few of them:

  • To insert the Softcup, sit on a toilet and relax. Compress the Softcup, then push it into the vagina. Push it back, not up. You should feel the Softcup go past your pubic bone, and when it’s in place it will be tucked up behind the pubic bone. Once it’s inserted correctly, you won’t feel it.

  • If you can feel the Softcup, it probably is not in place. Simply remove it and try again. To remove it, insert your finger into your vagina. When you bear down with your muscles (like you’re pushing out a baby), the rim will come down and be easier to hook your finger around. Hook your finger around and gently pull it out.

  • When removing the Softcup, remove it slowly and keep it horizontal (so it’s less messy).

  • Removing the Softcup will be messy at first. You’ll eventually get used to taking it out, and the whole insertion/removal process will become quicker, easier, and less messy… and it’s totally worth the freedom and comfort you experience with the Softcup!

Psst — did you notice the “How-To” tab at the top of the Sofcup site? Definitely worth checking out if you’re not sure how to go about using your cup!

Other things to note

  • The Softcup is just over $10 for 24, but the samples are available for $2.50.
  • Because they’re non-absorbant, the Softcup doesn’t cause irritation or dryness. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I love tampons just as much as the next gal (most days)… but there’s nothing worse than inserting a tampon when the last one wasn’t totally soaked!
  • For the same reason, menstrual cups aren’t associated with TSS. And on a health-related note, they’re also free of things like bleach (used to get your tampons that clean-looking white-white,) and latex.
One last thing: we decided to do this review in point-form, just because there was so much information we wanted to share. (And we didn’t want to force you to read three and half hours of text!) If there’s anything we missed, though, don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments :)

P.S. Purple packaging? We approve!

TMI Time: an introduction to cups that go "down there"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Menstrual cups. That’s right. I said it. Intrigued, aren’t you?

Well, everything else is hiding behind a cut so that we don’t scare the ability to reproduce out of passerbys. So click on through if you think you can take it!

The basic facts 

Menstrual cups are soft, malleable pieces of silicone or rubber (no, not like the “dimethicone” kind of silicones, and no, not the “elastic band” kind of rubber) made to hold, rather than absorb, the sloughing off of unfertilized endometrial tissue your period. They’re shaped like closed funnels (don’t scoff; you totally know it’s true) or small bowls (in the case of the disposable cups.)

(Or should that be disposa-bowl?)


The first cup was patented in 1932 (!!!) and was made from rubber. Most menstrual cups are not associated with high frequencies of TSS, unlike tampons. There are a few questions, and by this we mean like, “one question by one study one time,” being raised about the relationship between cups and endometriosis, but there are questions being raised about everything… I mean, your sunscreen can give you cancer, gluten will kill you, and your dog secretly wants to eat your brains.

(Sorry if I’m offending anyone. I just don’t buy into irrational worries until someone else* does.)
*Someone else, like maybe… the federal health authority. Which for the record, still supports cups being on the market. So there! 

[gets off soapbox]

Why they’re gaining popularity

Greenliness! (I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me today.) But no, seriously — reusable menstrual cups mean that you buy one cup and it lasts you anywhere from one to ten years. So sure, they’re synthetic, but so are many tampon applicators and pads. Plus, the durability of cups means a greatly reduced amount of wastes associated with pads and tampons: plastic wrappers, rayon-cotton absorbencies, bleach used to make them white, transport fuel, packaging…

The point is, overall, reusable menstrual cups reduce waste. Also awesome? The fact that many of them can be worn in anticipation of your period (no more washing your undergarments in the sink!) and they can (but don’t always) hold much more than the average tampon — while a regular absorbency tampon will hold 6-9ml, and an extra super absorbency will hold 12-15ml, cups start at 10ml and go right up to 30ml. 30ml!!!

The disposable

“Well, okay,” you say, “but what about the disposable? They don’t reduce waste!”

They sure don’t. And you know what I have to say to that? Pthooey!

…I’m just kidding. (Seriously, what is wrong with me today?!) Disposable cups come with their advantages as well! For instance, they’re much more portable (you have to wash and sanitize a re-usable menstrual cup completely before re-inserting it,) they can be worn during intercourse (yes, that kind of intercourse… stop your snickering!) and they’re much easier for some (no, not all) women to insert and wear comfortably.

Plus, they look like very short, overweight condoms, which makes for a great conversation starter.

What peaked my interest

All of the above! But more specifically, here are some stats about my own period that might help put future reviews and babble into perspective:

  • I feel incredibly guilty each and every period because of the amount of waste I produce. It’s obscene!
  • I always carry my bag into the washroom with me (must… have… lip balm!) so the whole “sneak in a tampon” thing isn’t an issue — but I always worry about when I do need to go change it. Always.
  • My flow is incredibly heavy, especially for someone my size. During a good cycle, I can use about three extra supers on my heaviest day (that’s about 45ml,) but on most of my cycles, I go through seven. Think about that for a second — SEVEN extra super tampons, plus a few pads. That’s A LOT OF FLUID.
  • Seriously. Think about that for a second. I bleed like a medium-sized animal being drained for– I should stop talking.
  • The point is, if I can use something that doesn’t mean having to change a tampon every hour and a half, I’m so in.

Still interested?
That’s good, because I’ll be posting more about them shortly, with a few reviews and thoughts. This post isn’t going up real-time, don’t come crying to me about why I’ve been oh-so-bitchy recently (that’s just my winning personality,) but as I write this, I’ve just finished using cups for my (entire!) period. And you know what?

…I loved it!

A great resource for information on menstrual cups that I’ve recently stumbled accross is the livejournal page of the not so creatively named “Menstrual Cups” community. So maybe the name is a snoozefest, but I kid you not: this page is likely the most helpful page you’ll ever come across, relating to cups!

Would you ever think about trying a menstrual cup? Have you already? Let us know in the comments!

all images credit the sites they link back to. honestly, these three were chosen at random, and there are many many others! they just happened to have the types of images I was looking for. 
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