The Tampon Controversy: Why Slovenia Hates Tampons

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Two percent of women in Mexico use tampons. Four percent of women in Italy use tampons. I wonder how many women in Slovenia uses tampons?

I bet you’re asking yourself what those three countries have in common – Catholics.

The Roman Catholic Church has no official position on tampons, yet people swear there were/are some priests who’ve spoken against it in 1933, when the first modern tampon was introduced (the-tube-within-a-tube applicator). Apparently the priests were associating tampons with birth control and sexual activities – not that a man who hasn’t seen a vagina in his life or any other man has a saying what goes in it. I bet they called tampons - Satan’s d*ck, or something.

When I got my first period my mom gave me a bunch of pads. She also told me that I shouldn’t use tampons because I’d lose my virginity. At 12 years old. I don’t think she even knew that this kind of thinking originated from RKC – she was probably told the same by her mom (my grandma) who most likely heard it in church.

She came from a sermon one morning, saying that the priest said women shouldn’t shop on Sundays because it’s the ‘Lord’s day’, and if we do, we’ll go to hell. She also thinks women shouldn’t drink from bottles because it’s very ‘suggestive’.

Anyway, I believed her, plus I thought tampons hurt. So when I was 13 and we had a sports day at the pool – some of us girls couldn’t swim because we were on our periods. The teacher (who was a guy) asked why we couldn’t just use tampons. We were outraged. We didn’t want to lose our virginities at 13, in a swimming pool!

Basically – I didn’t use tampons until I was 17. That’s when I had enough of bleeding for a week every year when we went on summer holidays for ten days. Safe to say, I used it wrong.

Since tampons in Slovenia don’t have the applicator (I didn’t even know such a thing exists until I saw it in a Zoella video, two years ago) I didn’t know exactly how far to insert it. I bought the cheapest ones, because they’re expensive, and the instructions were either non-existent or very confusing. I learned how to properly use tampons probably like a year later.

None of my friends used tampons, either. In fact, most of them started using them at 20, I rarely meet a girl even nowadays that uses them.

The problem is – no one taught us about tampons. Not at health days, not in sex ed, not even our moms. Why are everyone so cringy about tampons in Slovenia? Is it really some bizarre catholic-rooted behavior?

I know a lot of women swear on menstrual cups or pads, but I can’t help but to feel that my body will suck in the cup and never let it out (yet another irrational period fear). Pads are too messy for me. So, I swear on tampons.

Did you know tampons in Slovenia have 22% sales tax? Yeah, apparently they’re luxury items. Because I feel so rich every time I bleed from my vagina. And the government is not inclined to lowering that tax, or even taking it out of the equation – ‘because it’d be bad for the tax system’.
Yup, ladies, our periods are paying for Slovenian roads.

Even the cheapest tampons in Slovenia are way too expensive to buy once a month.

If you’re afraid of getting TSS (toxic shock syndrome), let me put you at ease – if you take the tampon out after four – six hours, you’re going to be okay. Never let it in longer. Also, don’t buy super absorbent tampons – in 95% cases of TSS these were the culprit.

As I think tampons are great, they’re still much hated in Slovenia for some reason, even by the government. I wonder if sales tax on tampons would still exist if the decision was in the hands of female politicians.

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