Women may assume other women have menstrual products and painkillers

If you are a woman (or others think you are a woman), women may occasionally ask you for pads, tampons, or over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen.

This is because most women menstruate, and periods aren’t always entirely predictable. People who menstruate can end up bleeding through their pants if they get their period unexpectedly and don’t have a pad/tampon. Pads and tampons are often not readily available (most bathrooms don’t have vending machines anymore).

Often, the only way to get a pad/tampon quickly is to borrow one from someone else who uses them. Since most women menstruate, often the best option can be to discretely ask a woman within a certain age range if she has one you can use. Since most women have been in this situation, most women are willing to share occasionally (with the expectation that others will share if they need them). So, if people think that you are a woman, they’re likely to assume that you have and are willing to share. 

Similarly, many women have migraines or cramps, and carry ibuprofen or other over-the-counter painkillers in order to deal with it. For whatever reason, it is often not readily available (office vending machines occasionally have it, but not usually). Being caught without ibuprofen when you need it is really miserable — and most women who experience menstrual pain have been in that situation and wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. 

So, it’s generally socially acceptable for women to ask each other for ibuprofen, and most women are willing to share from time to time. (So long as it’s not a situation where someone is regularly mooching off of them and not reciprocating.)

Tl;dr Most women of a certain age menstruate, and most people who menstruate are occasionally caught without menstruation-related things they need. (Eg: pads, tampons, ibuprofen). Often these things are not readily available, so most women share with each other from time to time. If you’re a woman or others assume you’re a woman, they may also assume that you have these things.

cues for showering



I haven’t had a shower/bath in a week, because the main thing that cues me to do that is temperature. If I am too hot I will take a cold shower. If I am too cold, I will take a warm bath. If I am just right for a few weeks, as often happens in spring/autumn, then it doesn’t happen. Do you know any other cues I could use? What cues do other people use? I can’t smell myself.
realsocialskills said:
Could you use sweat and oil as a cue?
People always have skin oil and sweat to some extent, even when it’s not hot. And when you don’t shower for a while, it builds up. That makes the texture of your skin and hair hair feel different. It can be particularly noticeable at your crotch and armpits. Could you pay attention to the texture and presence of sweat, and shower when it changes?
Alternatively, what about relying on a routine? Like, showering every day or every other day regardless of apparent cues that you need to? That might be easier than trying to think about it.

genderhawk said:

I have two clues, hair and pain. I’m multi-racial and my hair is very thick and very tightly curled, and I can’t deal with it unless it is wet, so when it gets too knotted/matted I know I need to shower or bathe. I also have a lot of pain issues that can be helped by a bath, but that’s not something most people can relate to.
another thing that has reminded me to bathe include someone talking about hot baths/showers online or on TV and for a while it was just my routine to take a bath before bed.



I can’t think of any other blogs to ask, or just, anyway to find the answer to this question, but I’m writing a short story about a young man with chronic pain in his leg (as a side effect of lycanthorpy) and I want to know if, on a good day, but one where he was…

lysikan said:

It depends on what the cause of the chronic pain is and where. For example, if it is muscular or skeletal then dancing is out, but if it is in the nerves then dancing could be possible. Mobility aids, such as using a cane to take some of the weight off the leg, COULD reduce the amount of pain even from muscular or skeletal causes, but unlikely to reduce it enough to make the dance fun.

(My guardian suffers chronic pain in his legs from hip replacement and we got to see all three types of pain after it.)




do you have any tips on personal hygiene/showers for someone with both chronic pain/mobility issues and severe depression? often i shower the very least i can and still get away with it, it’s disgusting how long i’ve gone without showers just…

ischemgeek said:

For me, certain shower head types are painful. It’s a sensory thing. Fine powerful jets are really painful for me, but thicker more powerful jets feel wonderful. 

So if it’s that the jet itself hurts your skin, consider trying a different showerhead if you can make that happen. I have an adjustable showerhead for because most people prefer the kind of jet I find painful.




do you have any tips on personal hygiene/showers for someone with both chronic pain/mobility issues and severe depression? often i shower the very least i can and still get away with it, it’s disgusting how long i’ve gone without showers just spotwashing in the sink and applying deodorant etc. i don’t understand what makes showers appealing to other people. all they do is put me in pain and take an immense amount of energy out of my day. this might be out of the reach of your blog though, sorry.
realsocialskills said:
I’m posting this mostly because I think many of y’all probably have advice on this.
A couple of things I can think of to suggest:
Is your soap hurting you?
  • For some people, certain kinds of soap and shampoo hurt
  • If you find showering painful and you’ve only tried one kind of soap, it might be worth trying another kind.

Is showering exhausting because standing is painful?

  • If so, using a shower chair might help
  • Or, if you have a tub, maybe sitting in the tub and using one of those flexible shower heads would work?

I don’t really know. Have any of y’all found solutions that make showering work for you, or that allow you to be clean without showering?

wheeliewifee said:

Before showering:

Convincing myself to get naked is key. I have to decide that I’m going to take the step beyond sponge baths and sink-washing my hair, and actually get IN the shower. 

I convince myself I’m only going to stay in for 5 minutes to rinse off my body and shampoo my hair. It sometimes takes a little internal arguing, but I almost always agree that five minutes is doable. 

Once I’ve decided to fully undress, I do prep work ahead of time to a) make the shower more appealing, and b) to make the recovery period after the shower easier. 

I set up a mini set of speakers in the bathroom, with a playlist of my current favorite songs. I set out easy to wear, comfortable clothes. I sometimes even prep a snack ahead of time for after.

In the shower: 

I use a bench, and sit as much as possible. 

I start with shampoo, because that’s usually the thing that helps me feel cleanest, and I can get my body fairly clean without an actual shower. 

I use my arms as little as possible. I only apply shampoo to my roots and rub it in at the top, the act of rinsing actually pulls the shampoo through and cleans the rest of my long hair. While rinsing, I just sit there. I let the running water do the work. After two minutes or so I may rub the water through a bit to make sure it has rinsed clean. 

Then I continue sitting and use a loofah sponge with a handle (purchased at the dollar store) to apply soap to my body. 

I usually stand up to rinse off my body (using attached grab bars I bought at Walgreens), but you could remain seated and use a detachable shower head to rinse. 

That’s the end of my quick shower, which is almost always less than five minutes. Often, once I’m in I decide to just stay and shave, deep condition my hair, etc. But if I’m not feeling up to it, this routine works well. 

After the shower:

I apply a small amount of coconut oil or conditioner to my hair and leave it in. 

I usually lie down and rest in my towel for a while, then I get dressed, eat my snack, and practice some self care to reward myself for completing that difficult task!

A few other things to mention:

You can get a shower chair (to borrow and see if it helps) through your local Independent Living Center. The National Council on Independent Living website ( lists locations in the US. I’m not sure of the names internationally, but I know similar organizations exist. There are also often shower benches at thrift stores. 

An IL center could also possibly help you get grab bars as well. 

If you overheat easily, or have an illness like POTS, it may be helpful to take a cold water bottle into the shower, and/or crack open the shower curtain. 

I prefer to have my legs clean-shaven, but sometimes I can’t stay in the shower long enough to complete the task. So I will use a foot-spa (you could even just use a bowl of warm water): I sit on the couch, put a towel on the floor, wet my legs with a wash cloth and warm water, exfoliate with a loofah, then rub on coconut oil, shave, and rinse with a washcloth. 

Hope that is helpful! :)

A question about pain




Some autistic or otherwise atypical people show pain differently than most nondisabled people do. 

For instance, some people show pain by laughing, or by getting really quiet.

How do y’all show pain? What are some ways of showing pain that get misinterpreted that would would like others to know to look for?

daughterofprometheus said:

I learned to simply stop showing it.

When i did show pain people would only make it worse.

So i stopped showing it.

liquidcoma said:

yeah same

or i kinda space out temporarily due to the feeling of an urgent need to not express pain


A question about pain



Some autistic or otherwise atypical people show pain differently than most nondisabled people do.

For instance, some people show pain by laughing, or by getting really quiet.

How do y’all show pain? What are some ways of showing pain that get…

satans-lapdog: said:

Laughing until I can’t breathe. It’s almost manic. Or I twitch uncontrollably.

another response about pain

It seems like a lot of people mention being more snappish when they’re hurt. I’m the opposite. I’m usually kind of argumentative and disagreeable as my default setting but I become very sweet and easygoing when I’m sick or hurt because I lack the energy to be my usual self. I think any dramatic shift in personality is usually something to look out for.

some replies about atypical ways some people show pain

monsterquill replied to your post“A question about pain”
often i either make a face but stay completely silent, or say “ow” but my
face stays completely blank.
also when I was a little kid, my siblings were sick and my mom was taking care of them, but later it turned out i was the sickest of all and had to go to the hospital, and she hadn’t known bc unlike my siblings I hadn’t shown any sign of distress.

ipsticklizbienne replied to your post“A question about pain”

i honestly never thought about this and that’s weird i’ve always just added more pain (?) to my leg especially so when i chose to take it away the natural pain seemed less intense but i also just stop talking
aura218 replied to your post“A question about pain”
I don’t think I do show pain. My mother always said “you don’t act sick when you’re sick.” As an adult, I’ve had doctors blow off my symptoms b/c I don’t act sick or hurt.
kinthulou replied to your post“A question about pain”
Self-diagnoses autie with fibromyalgia here: I usually show pain by moving less. I’ll stop bouncing and swaying and doing a lot of things and move slower. I’ll also talk less, but usually remain cheery. People just think I’m less excitable or tired.
dohegotthebunty replied to your post“A question about pain”
i knew a little girl who was always pretty energetic and in-your-face so everyone assumed it would be really obvious if she was hurt but she clammed up when she broke her arm and no one realized for a couple hours
im-significant replied to your post“A question about pain”
I get very short-tempered and want to be left alone. I may react to light, sound, touch, etc by flinching, freezing, or sometimes lashing out. My verbal skills also get worse when I am in pain, so asking me what’s wrong/trying to help often makes it worse
chavisory replied to your post“A question about pain”
I can get really quiet, or really snappish and cranky.
ragingpeacock replied to your post“A question about pain”
I dunno if it is unusual, but I tend to get irritated/overemotional. i also hug myself. i feel like i show pain more obviously than most people. or maybe I’m just in pain more often. oh yeah just remembered sometimes I grab at my hair and clothing
skelletonclique replied to your post“A question about pain”
I’m not disabled, but a disabled friend of mine shows pain by covering their ears and/or freezing a lot of the time.


A question about pain



Some autistic or otherwise atypical people show pain differently than most nondisabled people do.

For instance, some people show pain by laughing, or by getting really quiet.

How do y’all show pain? What are some ways of showing pain that get…

wolfesbrain said:

I tend to either do nothing or try to hyperbolize my reactions because I have a high pain tolerance so sometimes I remember, “oh when I did this and didn’t react, people freaked out, so I need to react.” and then I end up overdoing it.

Some pictures of autistic pain body language


A question about pain


Some autistic or otherwise atypical people show pain differently than most nondisabled people do.

For instance, some people show pain by laughing, or by getting really quiet.

How do y’all show pain? What are some ways of showing pain that get misinterpreted that would…

youneedacat said:

Those are pictures of my facial expressions during different levels of (mostly) really nasty awful pain, from when a piece of my feeding tube got jammed under my skin.




Social skills for autonomous people: Some things about speech


Sometimes people have speech at some times, but not others.

Sometimes people have very fluid fluent speech sometimes, and choppy forced slow speech at other times.

Sometimes when people can’t speak, or have trouble speaking, it’s because something is wrong. Sometimes it’s because they’re…

I used to have a really hard time convincing people that sometimes lack of speech wasn’t overload or shutdown (or as psychiatry so inaccurately put it, ~anxiety~ or ~dissociation~), but rather just being myself.

And that far from always being a result of stress, speech caused me stress and lack of speech meant I was less stressed.

I knew the autism expert I saw was no expert when I heard her tell me that if we reduced my anxiety, I wouldn’t have to rely on my keyboard so much. Later on I found out she believed meltdowns and shutdowns were not sensory at all but rather ~off task behavior~, ~manipulation~, and ~tantrums~… And I lost my last shred of respect for her.

Also, even when it *is* the result of stress, that doesn’t necessarily mean that something is *wrong*.

Sometimes it just means that life is happening. Like, when I’m doing hard things, my speech gets worse. When I’m working a lot, I look more conspicuously autistic.

This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t work or study or do hard things. It’s important for us to be allowed to do hard things, and to be allowed to be stressed and have lives. Stress is part of life.

Sometimes people try to put us in bubbles where we don’t ever do anything hard or stressful. And take any autistic sign of stress as an indication that something is wrong. And that things need to be lighter and softer and less substantive.

Those places are not good and they are not understanding or accepting. They are hell on earth.

I’m guessing that what might be appropriate here is a similar level of consideration often extended to me by my friends when I had pain every day but still wanted to do things, hang out, interact. Yes, I did periodically double over and cry out in pain, and I did often have trouble concentrating because of the pain medication I was using, but because that was an ordinary thing and my friends respect my ability to know my own limits, no one made me lie down or stop doing things. If they were concerned they asked me if there was anything about the situation that needed to change - sometimes they’d suggest something, like taking a break from walking or moving out of a crowded room, but always gave me the chance to make a decision about it myself. I’m not sure whether this would be appropriate for all people, but I think that what makes the difference here is respect and trust.

Yes. Respect makes all the difference.