Self-care: my favorite way to justify a mid morning nap, or a late flake on social plans, or my monthly Lyft bill (ok, I agree, that was pushing it). Sometimes it just sounds like a euphemism for masturbating.
Whether or not you use the term or concept, you may have noticed it trending on social, becoming increasingly corporatized, and looking most frequently (and profitably) like a thin white woman in a marble bathtub surrounded by flower petals, crystals and a cabinet full of luxury serums.
At Quim Rock, we’re here to say... fuck that. We believe that self-care is universal, not exclusive. It’s empowering, not threatening. And above all, it must be intersectional. Audre Lorde said, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” In a time when our political system is threatening our reproductive rights and physical safety, taking care of our physical health (yes, that includes our vaginas) is a form of activism and preservation—(one much mightier than millennial pink or rose gold.)
My personal story of self-care is the story of Quim Rock, which also happens to be my means of political warfare.
After becoming sexually active at seventeen (oh heyyy mom, if you’re reading this!), I got hit with my first UTI, and oof, it was a bad one. From there, I entered a cycle of UTI-Yeast Infection-UTI that continued for eight years. I tried over-the-counter meds and stopped using hormonal birth control and bought every single lube and vaginal health product at CVS. Nothing was working, or at least not working in a long-term sustainable way. I was lost and in pain and ashamed of it, and I had to do something. Even though it was uncomfortable at first, I began talking to friends about my issues. I realized that even though many people in my community were hip to other forms of proactive self-care: regular exercise, conscious eating, you know, sunscreen… they were just sort of putting up with vaginal health issues. Living at the whim of an unhappy quim.
So I researched, and researched more, and I then decided to go to the natural grocery store and create my own proactive vaginal health remedies. Nothing revolutionary, just ingredients that worked for me, made by me. The ultimate act of self-care was finding out what works for my body. I want everyone to get to this place with theirs.
Caring for your body is not inherently indulgent. Yes, it can cost money (if you want), but that’s not a necessity. Self-care can be as simple knowing that you sleep better when you don’t spend an hour scrolling on Instagram before bed, or that you feel your best when you start the day with a good sweat (could be a run, a shvitz, or a sunrise sex romp...) My journey towards self-care began out of physical necessity, but in caring for my body or “treating myself,” if you will, I began to work through the shame I’d been carrying for decades.
I started Quim Rock to share the formulas that have done wonders for my vagina, my health, and my sex life, but also to provide you with support and information on what can be a seriously awkward and embarrassing subject to talk about. It’s my mission to help foster sustainable practices of self-care and promote a shame-free dialogue around vaginal health and wellness.
Thanks for joining us. And know, there is always room for your voice in the conversation.
Cyo Ray Nystrom, CEO and cofounder of Quim Rock