‘My Body Was Hoarding Tampons Like The Greedy Bitch She Is’: Joanne McNally Shares A Very Gross Story

It's Jo's world and we're just living in it. Comedian Joanne McNally (@jomcnally) has, shall we say, a *unique* take on things...

I’m going to tell you a story. It’s not pretty, so be warned, but I feel compelled to tell it because there’s a lesson in it.

Picture the scene, not too vividly though as I am, of course, naked. It’s Saturday morning and I’m ‘being physical’ with a man I’m seeing. There I am, oohing and aahing and wriggling around on top of him like a horny caterpillar when I notice an aroma in the room, that of leaking battery acid or a seagull that had been decapitated and left in the sun for a week. My eyes are going one direction and my nostrils are going another, searching for the source, I’m trying to keep my head in the game but it’s impossible. It was coming in waves and as we moved around each other, it became stronger in some places and weaker in others. What the hell was this lad hoarding in here? Was it coming out of him? I started watching him like a hawk while still giving it the odd ‘oh yeaaah’ but really I was wondering if he’d a corpse in his radiator.

Eventually I called a halt to the whole thing by pretending I heard something, hoping he’d think it was his mom until I realised we were both adults and no-one still lived with their mom, except me.

As I reached for my undergarments I realised, they too smelt like the remnants of a burnt out Mitsubishi. OH MY GOD IT’S ME! I was the source of whatever toxic nightmare was unfolding. I left his house and rang my mate Louise.
“You’ve got an STI”
“But I’m always so careful”
“But I’m sometimes so careful”
“There you go then”
But what STD makes your piñata smell like a melted battery? Louise? LOUISE?
‘Hold on’ she said, “this actually happened to my sister before, her whole room stank to high heaven, turns out she’d a tampon stuck inside her for like, a month’

My body was hoarding tampons like the greedy bitch that she is

I stopped dead on the street. That was it. My body was hoarding tampons like the greedy bitch that she is. A quick DIY extraction and I was brand new. I don’t know how I didn’t get Toxic Shock Syndrome, something that can actually kill you and that I’ve feared since reading about it in Take A Break.

But now I was left in the atrocious position of not knowing if he knew something wasn’t right, and I began looking for any small signs of repulsion or sexual rebuffs.

The next weekend we arranged to go to our local for pints. I watched his every move, he seemed polite but he didn’t appear to be demented with lust for me. We were two drinks in when I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to know and there was only one way to find out. I downed my Prosecco like a boss and said
“Let’s go back to yours?”
“Ah really? I’d rather stay for another drink.”

He’d smelt it. I immediately accused him of no longer finding me attractive and he accused me of being bat shit crazy and left. Now the ‘relationship’ was in jeopardy and I still couldn’t explain my behavior without using the words, ‘smell’ ‘tampon’ ‘vagina’.

We were in the very early stages of an unidentified thing, we had not reached that cozy place where all our bodily functions are cute and hilarious, I was still pretending I had no bowel and no hair from the eyebrows down. This was not a situation we could investigate together and then he buys me a pair of novelty knickers with a radiation sign on the crotch. Instead, he stopped contacting me.

So I texted him, I told him the whole story, and in a bid to confuse his man brain I told him the tampon had been ‘impacted’ inside me, so he’d think it was a serious issue that required emergency medical attention, like a gallstone.

I told him I’d been mortified and my tantrum in the pub was a result of that. I hoped he’d understand and that I wasn’t always insane. I watched the whole ‘…is typing’ play out. It was all going to be OK, we’d laugh about this at our humanist wedding ceremony. His response?


The lesson here is, if a man can’t love you when your vagina has swallowed a tampon, he doesn’t deserve you when it hasn’t.

This article first appeared in STELLAR’s October issue. Our November issue is on shelves now!