Make Your Own Menstrual Cup
back2back w/︎︎︎Marie Kochsiek facilitating and organising a DIY injection moulding workshop to make One’s Own Menstrual Cup.


Ever tabooed the „time of the month“, also known as Menstruation, has never been an easy topic to talk about for many folks. After long being neglected by decision making powers, industry is smelling blood (!) and invests heavily into „female hygiene products“. In this session participants will come together to discuss about and set against a mindless acceptance and logics of the market and create one’s own menstrual cup. Injection Moulding is the manufacturing process that shapes most of industrial fabrication. It is performed to produce metal goods, glasses, most (thermo-)plastic- and also silicone products. We‘ll playfully appropriate this heavy duty mass production technique with low-tech DIY tools.

Being able to do it yourself almost inevitably holds the promise of personalization. Participants would gather to comb the internet for images that could be put into the personalized menstrual cup. Here I will not get too deep into analyzing each of the image ideas. It was a vast mix resulting a kind of uncontrolled association game ranging from anything related to blood (vampires), pop-culture (musicians), internet-culture (memes, baby animals) to recollections of childhood memories (science fiction icons) and all merged together with a wink. To name just one example: a portrait of David Hasselhoff in association with his song “Looking for freedom” in context of emancipatory endeavors and an object that is inserted and worn vaginally and moreover glows in the dark.
Using a DIY Injection moulding workshop as method to investigate questions on sexual health literacy, stimulated a discourse in a particular way. It connects and materializes the contexts in which the discourse takes place. There is the engaging and working with tools like 3D-printers and going a step further, prototyping other prototyping tools (e.g. a 3D-printed mould for injection moulding) which is a way of becoming part of that machine, of the object and therefore even to take back a proficiency that was taken-over by the machine. Seen from this angle technologies like the 3D printer have great potential for feminist endeavors.

In the material, the glittering, glowing in the dark silicone, the whole discourse is encoded: the production, the tracing back, questioning the paradigm of efficiency, childhood memories that have nothing to do with sexual health at all… The practice and the material are a method towards a topic that is possibly afflicted with a sense of shame and an approach to own it.