Photo Credit: VH1 Celebrity
Constant reader M.H. sent me an email that warns parents to be on the lookout for a weird new fad spreading among teenagers: inserting vodka-soaked tampons into body orifices in order to get drunk without the telltale drunk-breath.
Even news organizations are helping to spread this nonsense:
1075 The River, 14 Nov 2011, Teens using vodka soaked tampons to get drunkThis is CRAZY. But it is NOT an urban legend and is apparently everywhere. Teens are using tampons soaked in vodka, inserting them, and getting drunk. And they're doing something even more strange involving their butt. Details in the video (if video box doesn't appear below, please wait for it to load).
Blogger Aunt B. at her blog Tiny Cat Pants gave the vodka-soaked tampon a try and found them too limp to insert properly and so doesn't buy the idea that kids in any number are out trying to do this (1).
However, Danielle Crittenden, managing editor of the Huffington Post in Canada, was able to jam a super-plus tampon into her hoo-hoo and get a bit of a buzz, but caution, it did burn unbearably for at least ten minutes (2).
Snopes, which debunked this particular urban legend, noted that
Crittenden's research also showed that even a "super-plus" tampon could absorb only 1.5 ounces of vodka, with a half ounce of that having to be wrung from it prior to insertion. The amount therefore available to provide a buzz to thrill-seeking teens would be akin to that found in one typical mixed drink, a tipple hardly worth going to the trouble of soaking a tampon for even if the procedure were pain-free and could be showed to work.
Stephen Colbert poked fun at this supposed epidemic sweeping the nation (3).
The oldest version of this Internet Rumor that I could find seems to be this piece from 1999:
Those Who May Care Newsletter, Thrill-Seeking Teens Dunk Tampons In Vodka
HELSINKI - Some teenage Finnish girls are experimenting with tampons dipped in vodka as a way of getting tipsy without parents detecting boozy breath, according to a Finnish anti-drinking group. The group's director said he had received reports of individual cases of girls in eastern Finland using alcohol-soaked tampons, hoping the alcohol would then enter their bloodstreams.
So if you hear someone telling you that he knows a girl that got drunk on vodka tampons, be assured he's stringing you along.
Tiny Cat Pants, 11 Nov 2011, In Which I Debunk the Vodka-Soaked Tampon Myth
The trick to putting anything in your vagina or rectum when you are not aroused is that it must be small enough to slide in and stiff enough to get past any resistance, so the first part of my experiment assumes that kids would be using the applicators. So into the whiskey the tampons go, applicators and all.
And we encounter the first problem. The alcohol in the whiskey causes the glue in the cardboard to give way. So, that’s not going inside anyone that way. This happened after the tampon was in the whiskey for just a couple of minutes. I feel certain that, if I’d left it in there for a while, the cardboard applicator would have come apart completely. Tampon users, if you’ve had the unfortunate experience of dropping one of these bad boys in the toilet when trying to insert it, I don’t have to tell you, the cardboard applicator became useless when wet. It was all bendy and would not eject the tampon. I had to pull it out of the applicator with my hand.
I put them both back in the whiskey to simulate what would happen if you used an applicator-less tampon or removed either of these from their applicator before soaking them in spirits.
They did absorb quite a bit of whiskey. However they also did what tampons do when wet–got soggy and limp.
...the idea that kids are, in great number, just popping vodka-soaked tampons up inside themselves and going off to party with none the wiser that they’d been imbibing? Not happening. That’s just not how tampons work.
HuffPost Canada, 21 Nov 2011, Danielle Crittenden: Bartender, a Dirty Martini With a Tampon!
My experiment showed me that the soppy, unfurled tampon was the only way to go.
First I had to wring the damn thing out a little. I didn't want to lose too much of the vodka so I kind of shook it above the glass and gently squeezed it. I would estimate that about a half-ounce was lost. Then I looked at it a little despairingly. Well, friend, how were we going to do this?
I repaired to the bathroom and -- without too much information here -- managed to wad the thing up and push it in where it was supposed to go. (Did it help that I've had three kids? Possibly.) Girls, don't do this in your best party dresses: I think I lost another half-ounce in the process as it splattered on to my clothes and the floor. No need to say "Bottoms up!"
Oh sweet mother of Jeez----
Absolut... firewater!!!!!!! Holy sheeeeeeeee...
It felt like someone had thrown a lit match in there. I began hopping around and breathing in the rapid, short puffs I'd learned in birth classes, so long ago, before I realized I didn't need to breathe like that if I took the epidural.
I could really use a frikkin epidural right now.
The burning didn't let up. How long was I supposed to leave it there?!
I waited. And waited. If this was supposed to get me in the mood, it wasn't working. It did get me lying down though, because both standing and sitting proved to be excruciating.
Gradually I felt... what? A small buzz? Certainly a definite, if slight, lightheadedness. Maybe it was the onset of toxic shock syndrome. Or intoxicated shock syndrome...?
I gave it a full 10 minutes before I raced back to the bathroom and dispensed with the test unit. Immediately I felt better. Part of me did anyway.
The Colbert Report, 14 Nov 2011, Vodka Tampons