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Eight years later (as a grown woman), here I was again facing the same tampon-laced fate. I was taking a swim course at New York Sports Club with some friends. Everything was fine until I woke up that morning, crampy and bloody. “Oh no,” I sighed.

After being forced to use tampons in college in order to take a swim class, I gladly went back to using pads–despite how disgusting they truly are. But in order to take the new swim class, I had to revisit my fear of those pesky little things.

As a part of #TeamBeautiful, I am very close with my coworkers. We talk about everything–which is why I wasn’t embarrassed to tell them that I (at 29-years-old) still don’t know how to properly use tampons and I had no real desire to learn.

“Are you serious?” Ty (our Style & Beauty Editor) practically shouted at me. “Girl, you’re too grown for this foolishness!”

Shamika (our Entertainment Editor) has a more nurturing reaction. “All you have to do is prop your leg up, push it in, hold on to the applicator and pull it out.” She even showed me the same photo my sister showed me all those years ago.

“I understand the logistics, I just feel it every time I use one,” I sighed while Googling, “How To Put In A Tampon.”

“It’s not in far enough. You”ll feel where it stops once you push it up,” Shamika clarified. She laughed when she saw that I literally was watching a non-graphic YouTube clip, explaining my torture step-by-step. “It’s not that hard, Danielle. Don’t be a baby.”

“I don’t believe you,” Leigh, my Editorial Director laughed. Shamika, Ty and I had been talking about how to use it for at least 30 minutes. “You’re still talking about this?!” Leigh exclaimed, solidifying the fear deep inside me (no pun intended).

“I don’t know what it is, they’ve just never been comfortable for me, so it’s always something I’ve shunned,” I tried to save face. I knew that I was way too grown to not know how to properly wear tampons. The fear of it getting stuck or lost inside of me, kept me paralyzed. I was never a big fan of having anything inserted in me. I despised to gyno and it took me 21 years to let a man inside. (I’m not a 40-year-old virgin, but everyone seems to think I waited a long time to have sex).

With pep talks from my girls, I decided that I would conquer this foolish demon. “I’m gonna do it,” I said to #TeamBeautiful as I slowly walked to the bathroom, “Green Mile” style.

Five minutes later, I came back to my desk, with a tampon inside of me. I was so shocked I couldn’t feel it, I thought I’d lost it. “I don’t feel it…”

“You shouldn’t,” Shamika informed me. “It’s in right.”

But all I could do was think about it. I got to the swim class and before I changed, I ran into the stall to check to see if I could still see the tampon string. It was still there. My undies had no stains. I exhaled. “I can do this.”

Except, I couldn’t. I went through the swim class and immediately after, I changed back into a pad. I didn’t know what was worse–feeling it inside of me, or not feeling a thing and obsessing over it getting lost inside of me the entire time I wore it. To this day, I still rock pads. They’re disgusting, but at least I don’t have to worry over them getting stuck and/or lost inside of my womb. I know it’s silly, but I’m only every going to wear a tampon when I have to.

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