As anyone who menstruates already knows—period pain is no laughing matter. But when you watch a bunch of non-menstruating men volunteer to try out a period pain simulator at an exhibition in these viral videos, well, don’t feel bad if you chuckle a little bit.
Somedays, a Canadian company aiming to take the stigma out of discussing period pain, operated a booth at the recent Calgary Stampede exhibition. The company is causing quite the buzz with their period pain simulator, and many of the videos from the event have been going wildly viral on TikTok.
Namely because a lot of men who have never experienced anything even remotely related to menstrual agony decided to volunteer to give the period pain simulator a whirl. And it went about exactly how you’d predict it would.
These videos have it all: Men in cowboy hats wincing in pain, men on their knees after being buckled over in pain, grimaces, wide-eyed shock, and yes…even some tears. As the Somedays employee gradually builds the pain from one to 10, you can even see the precise moment things get REAL for these guys.
“A lot of people with periods experience extreme amounts of pain and are invalidated in aspects of their life by their teachers, their coaches, their friends and doctors. So we bring the period simulator to give people an idea of what they have to endure,” Somedays CEO Lux Perry tells Global News Canada.
Since menstruation often begins in childhood, it’s worth noting that actual children are expected to endure this kind of pain in elementary school when grown, adult men are in agony experiencing simulated pain.
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the pain associated with menstruation is called dysmenorrhea. More than half of those who menstruate have some pain for 1 to 2 days each month. Usually, the pain is mild, but for some, the pain is so severe that it keeps them from doing their normal activities for several days a month.
Certain pain relievers target prostaglandins—a group of lipids made at sites of tissue damage or infection that are involved in dealing with injury and illness. These medications, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can reduce the prostaglandins made by the body and therefore lessen their effects. NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen can make menstrual cramps less severe and are available over the counter.
Though for people who have never experienced this kind of pain—and therefore haven’t built up a tolerance to it—all the Aleve in the world may not help this cowboy.