'Period pain is not normal, and it's about damn time people start believing that our pain is real and that we are worthy and deserving of relief.'
A 29-year-old entrepreneur from Vancouver, Canada, is teaching men "a lesson about what tough really looks like" by hooking them up to a device that simulates some aspects of period pain. Lux Perry, the CEO of Somedays—a company selling period pain relief products—and her team stirred things up at a rodeo recently by challenging cowboys to experience what different pain levels of menstrual cramps feel like. Videos of the men struggling to maintain composure while their abdominal muscles are contracted versus women testing the device nonchalantly even at its highest level have since gone viral on social media.
In one particular video—which has been viewed more than 15.3 million times since being uploaded—one cowboy takes the period pain challenge all the way up to level 10 which, according to Lux, is similar to some of the pain they experience as someone living with endometriosis. Although he barely breaks a sweat through the first few levels, simply acknowledging that he can feel a slightly painful sensation at level two, his display of fortitude begins to crack by level four which Lux says is about the pain of "typical period cramps." Overcome by the pain, he notes that "this is not fun" and when asked if he'd want to go to work while experiencing such pain, he quickly replied: "No! I'm hungry."
@getsomedays Come visit us at the calgary stampede! Booth 212 in the maker market. #periodpain #periodtips #periodtiktok #endo #endometriosis #periods ♬ original sound - @somedays
At level seven, the cowboy—who is in visible pain at this point—asked Lux: "This is, like, constant?" As the device is amped up one more level, he exclaimed: "It's, like, in my legs! This is awful." Although he stands up at level 10 to give them a "yeehaw," he only manages to stand up straight for a few seconds due to the pain. In another video, the Somedays team tests the device on a couple simultaneously. While the woman appears to be completely unfazed by the pain, level five of the pain simulator forced the man to blurt out: "It's like a charlie horse!" At level seven, he asked his partner "How do you do things???" before ultimately tapping out at level eight.
@getsomedays Replying to @jessbargen you can literally see the empathy growing 🌱 #periodpain #periodtiktok #periods #endo #periodsimulator #periodtips #calgarystampede ♬ original sound - @somedays
"Our period simulator works by causing the muscles in the lower abdomen and thighs to contract in a similar way that menstrual cramps do," Lux told BuzzFeed. "When used at very low settings they can distract from pain, but on higher levels and when placed in the right area they can cause the muscles to cramp similar to a period cramp. Many TENS machines (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device) have different settings and different sensations, so we tested over 40 machines to find the one most similar to a period cramp."
@getsomedays The world needs this compilation 🤠🙌🏼😂 #periodpain #endo #yeehaw #cowboys #periodtiktok #periodproblems #periodtips ♬ original sound - @somedays
Lux revealed that although the online reaction to their now-viral demonstration has been overwhelmingly positive, people weren't quite as welcoming when they first arrived at the rodeo. "At first, we were getting a lot of side-eye. There is still so much stigma associated with periods and period pain, so a lot of people see the word 'period' and then instantly want to look away," they said. "Now we have hundreds of people lining up with their partners just so they can get a feel for what their partner with a period experiences each month. And the vast majority of participants have been so humbled by the experience that they end up thanking us afterward for the opportunity to learn more about period pain and usually end up purchasing some of our period pain relief for their partners. We've even cried a few times—the genuine empathy is just so moving to witness."
@getsomedays Can she make it to level 10 👀 #periodpain #periodtiktok #endo #periodproblems #periodsimulator ♬ original sound - @somedays
"As people with period pain who have been routinely dismissed our entire lives, it is truly moving to connect with others experiencing the same thing," Lux added. "It's such an honor to be able to educate more people about the absurd amount of suffering people with periods are expected to endure on a regular basis and an even bigger honor to be able to help people find relief from that pain with somedays. Period pain is not normal, and it's about damn time people start believing that our pain is real and that we are worthy and deserving of relief."