Things to Not Put on a Tampon


I’m also 97% sure that “putting vodka on a tampon and then getting drunk through your vagina (or butt)” is an urban legend on par with Rainbow Parties. Has someone probably tried it once or twice? Surely. Human beings are both amazing and awful (and amazingly awful). We are the best creatures, and we are endlessly creative when it comes to doing mind-numbingly stupid things. You know who is a good example of someone who is amazingly awful? Danielle Crittenden. Apparently when she’s not refusing to get on airplanes because brown people are boarding or making a career out of complaining about the women’s movement that enabled her to have a career complaining about the women’s movement, she is testing out the vodka-tampon theory and then acting shocked when it burns. And she didn’t even get drunk! Clearly she should have tried the Diva Cup. That holds a lot more liquid.

You know what else burns? The stupid.

About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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37 Responses to Things to Not Put on a Tampon

  1. preying mantis says:

    Erm. She tested this. Testing it is a thing that she did. You know what? I don’t even want to know. I am just going to write this off as a thing that probably never happened, but there was money to be made by acting like it did on the internet, so we got that article.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go undermine my pets’ self-esteem.

  2. PrettyAmiable says:

    What a fucking dumbass.

  3. Arkady says:

    Ouch… alcohol’s bad enough as a handwash, dread to think how drying it is on a sensitive mucosal surface. I work in a research lab, we use 70% alcohol as a sterilising spray and to wash hands before working with a bunsen burner on (gloves are flammable, safer to work without them). Stings like hell if you get it in your eyes too.

    Tampon’s pretty minor volume delivery tho. I’m sure there’s been at least one Darwin award for more rapid application of alcohol via the ‘non-standard’ route…

  4. The anus is different, because the colon is designed to recycle liquid. Some kinksters use wine or coffee (usually diluted) for enemas, because the uptake is extremely fast, and the common warning is to be careful because it’s easy to get dangerously drunk that way. As a teetotaler, I can’t speak from experience.

    The vagina, well … relatively concentrated alcohol on the membranes does tend to burn. I’d only recommend that for someone with an interest in a specific kind of pain, and even then comes with certain risks.

  5. Andie says:

    Did she try licking a variety of toads as well to see if she got high?

  6. So that’s what the kids are up to these days. In my day, we wouldn’t have dreamed of such a thing. We had respect for our elders and got drunk the way nature intended.

  7. Marksman2010 says:

    “We are the best creatures…”

    I don’t know. I think dolphins (and house cats) are one up on us.

  8. JetGirl says:

    I can’t help myself — I’ve got to give her points for actually trying it.

  9. Tim says:

    I have heard mention of wine enemas — no, have not had personal experience, or even actual second-hand knowledge of it being done, but I am pretty sure it is a thing. The tampon version, though, that might be urban legend. Oddly enough, it came up in the Sunday Ryan’s group I am a regular of. Just last week; they said it was being done by high-school kids. So it could be a recently emerging urban legend.

  10. Robotile says:

    Andie, you joke, but I know someone who purchased a pet toad specifically to milk its glands for some sort of hallucinogenic substance. People do terrible things. I’m pretty sure the vodka tampon thing is rare, but I’m also sure someone, somewhere, thinks it’s a good idea.

  11. BHuesca says:

    It’s not an urban legend. My friend works in AODA at a men’s prison and they’ve had this happen many times.

  12. cooper says:

    No actually it is not an urban legend. I have a friend who is a SAFE nurse, Sexual Assault Nurse, and another friend who is currently a Medical Resident in an Oregon Medical center. It is becoming more common to see female teenagers experimenting with alcohol this way–soaking tampons in vodka. Rectal use has also been reported with males and females as well.

    Apparently, some teenagers believe that it is a more rapid, lasting and intense way to get drunk. Law enforcement as well as EDs throughout the country are seeing this in increasing numbers over the past year. There has been at least some warning sent via medical channels to Forensic nurse examniers and emergency room staff regarding this.

    From a physiological standpoint, ethanol gets absorbed directly and rapidly from the vagina since its a highly vascular structure, and without any barriers, leading to higher serum levels of ethanol more rapidly.

    Beer bongs have also been utilized rectally in the same concept as a vodka soaked tampon- leading to the same rapid effect of alcohol intoxication.

    Teens apparently have turned to this method because they believe that they can hide the smell of alcohol from their parents as well as the police. They have also figured out that this method can avoid the nausea and vomiting and other obvious signs of ethanol intoxication- the only issue is that they often pass out before realizing that they have had too much to drink. (incidentally, it has been reported that a super tampon can hold about a shot of vodka, which is quite potent when it’s absorbed directly into the bloodstream)

  13. Stacy says:

    I hate to sound awful, but after reading her blog entry about her proudly racist and useless profiling techniques, I feel it’s only fair that sometimes her stupid burns her instead of innocent bystanders.

  14. igglanova says:

    You want a quick and easy way to get depressed as all hell, look up ‘butt chugging’ on youtube.


    Good God, humans are terrible.

  15. Matt says:

    Dolphins have many of the same problems as people. I see a lot of people on this site going on and on about wishing they were dolphins and not people, grow up, it aint no better.



  16. Glass says:

    OH A TAMPON! Here I was with a vodka soaked maxipad in my posterior wondering what all the hubub was about…

  17. Sandy says:

    I long ago read an article about women’s alcoholism clinics in Russia having a problem with this, umm, phenomenon of inserting vodka-soaked tampons in one’s lower orifices. I can’t think whether the women were putting the tampons in their vaginas or their butts. The bizarreness of this idea obviously found a cozy spot in my brain and permanently lodged there, although I doubt I could track down the article now, years later. I recall it being a reasonably legitimate news source though. And that’s my half-assed half-remembered anecdotal contribution to this profound, far-reaching and enigmatic topic.

  18. Sandy says:

    Okay so I got curious and did some Googling. Found a 2-sentence reference to this practice in the 1999 Esquire Dubious Achievement Awards: “A Helsinki rehab center reported that some Finnish women, in order to avoid having alcohol on their breath, are soaking tampons in vodka and absorbing the alcohol through their vaginas.”

    Wish the interwebz went back farther so I could find the, or an, actual article. Someone more dedicated could probably find more, but meh, I got stuff to do.

  19. Sandy says:

    (PS. I really thought it was Russia. Probably because vodka and alcoholism. Stereotyping much, brain? My bad.)

  20. zuzu says:

    Wouldn’t that be kind of drippy feeling?

  21. Natalia says:



    (PS. I really thought it was Russia. Probably because vodka and alcoholism. Stereotyping much, brain? My bad.)

    I don’t think most Russians care about having alcohol on their breaths. ;)

  22. Bre Dalemon says:

    What a racist dumbass.

  23. Ledasmom says:

    Okay, as a basically not-drinking-person, I was under the impression that the point of vodka was that it’s not particularly noticeable on the breath.

  24. PrettyAmiable says:

    Silly, the point of vodka is to get you drunk!

  25. Paraxeni says:

    I can attest to taking calls about this, from worried friends of passed-out kids. Ecstasy up the bum? Yep. Vodka in the orifices? Yep. People used to put speed in some really bizarre places. The most cringe-inspiring, nauseating one was from the person who had tried to… wait for it… snort vodka. Snort it. I just sat at the other end of the phone line making fish faces. Not surprisingly the person was literally a bloody mess.

    A friend worked in a drug/alcohol rehab facility, and tampons were used for all sorts of things. When female staff members were having tampons stolen from them, and were asked to lock them away, people switched to pieces of bath sponge or wads of kitchen roll instead. Addiction+human creativity= a neverending stream of ways to get high or drunk.

  26. NC73 says:

    Ledasmom: Okay, as a basically not-drinking-person, I was under the impression that the point of vodka was that it’s not particularly noticeable on the breath.

    Not as noticeable as rum or gin, but yeah, you can smell it if you drink enough. Especially if you’re downing it straight, as many a teen (my younger self included, unfortunately) is known to do.

    PS: Feministe: your blockquoting mechanism is all screwy. I only tell you because I love you.

  27. Caity says:

    You can still detect alcohol on the breath no matter how it gets into you though. It evaporates out of the blood when it gets to your lungs and you inhale it back out. That’s why breathalyzers can be used to measure BAC.

  28. Helen says:

    Not likely to try out the vodka-in-a-tampon thing, but if you’re prone to vaginal thrush, I learned the following fix a long time ago – can’t remember where. Make a half and half solution of cider vinegar and water. Dip tampon in and very quickly (before it goes too squishy) insert. Instant relief.

  29. I think in the interest of science and, of course, THINKING OF THE CHILDREN, Danielle should whip up a big batch of jenkem and test it out, too…

  30. Tim says:


    There was a joke that went around in the business world back in the 80s, in the form of a helpful tip: If you drink at lunch, drink gin not vodka so they will smell it on your breath and know you are drunk instead of just thinking you are stupid.

  31. Tim says:

    Dolphins have many of the same problems as people. I see a lot of people on this site going on and on about wishing they were dolphins and not people, grow up, it aint no better.

    It’s occurred to me several times lately, especially since the GOM BP disaster, that it would be really horrible to be a dolphin. Here you are living in an environment into which another species is literally shitting, and not just literally, but figuratively shitting, dumping millions of tons of stuff even worse than shit besides. You can’t go anywhere else to live, and there’s no way you can get them to stop it.

  32. Natalia says:

    Especially if you’re downing it straight, as many a teen (my younger self included, unfortunately) is known to do.

    Good vodka is meant to be taken straight, with food. Emphasis on “good.”

  33. Bagelsan says:

    The way I drank in college was to have the alcohol in as little contact with my body as possible until it actually hit my stomach. If it burns just when you swallow it, what do you expect it to do when you try soaking a delicate mucus membrane or two in it? :p

  34. skjaere says:

    Oh, good lord! This reminds me of a guy I knew in high school who thought it would be cool to snort Pixi Stix. We all told him it was stupid and it was going to hurt, but no, he had to go and try it anyway. There is no excuse for someone over the age of 15 trying an “experiment” like this, and anyone who does deserves everything they get. *no pity*

  35. NC73 says:

    Natalia: Good vodka is meant to be taken straight, with food. Emphasis on “good.”

    Word. Sadly, though, I put my emphasis on “teen.” Chugging straight, backpack-warmed Absolut = NOT “good” vodka. :P

  36. Politicalguineapig says:

    I’m just glad that my parents had a pretty relaxed attitude toward underage drinking. My sibs and I didn’t have to resort to that sort of thing.

  37. Pingback: Teenagers: Way More Boring Than We All Thought — Feministe |

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