These are wonderful.
Shame, guilt and embarrassment are still things I too often associate when it comes to periods. As opposed to many other obstacles I have overcome in regards to my sexual self, there are little to no public displays of ‘okay periods’. In elementary school, a bloody pad had been left in the middle of the floor in the girls bathroom. Despite the possible hygienic issues that come to mind, there was much too much negative gossip occurring between girls, mostly “Ew”.
In Grade 7, I blatantly lied to all of my girlfriends when they asked the group if anyone had gotten their periods. For the first year, I had no clue how to deal with it, and failed miserably at hiding the damage (bloody sheets, underwear, towels…)
There is an episode of Degrassi Jr. High (a show I used to watch nearly religiously when I was 12) in which Emma gets her first period while she was wearing a white skirt (of course). She has no option but to switch into her gym shorts, and when her class makes fun of her fashion choice, she unblinkingly lectures them about how she has just gotten her period, and basically to fuck off. (Which you can watch here at 15:45… if you are curious). As a fellow 12-year-old lying to her friends about her menstrual cycle… I was mortified that Emma would do such a thing… And completely 100% in awe of her. Yeah, it’s a TV show, but Emma’s frank, go-screw-yourself ‘tude was something that would intrinsically alter my self-esteem.
Today, I read this by one of the women from Betty Dodson’s Bodysex Workshop, and again, was in awe.
Public talking about menses makes people squeamish, so I love doing it. Public images of bleeding just DON’T happen right? Except they do. Once I was bleeding and carrying two suitcases and a small child and my tampon leaked and ran down my legs whilst I was on a public bus. The driver and my fellow passengers looked truly agonised both for themselves and for me. So I flashed them a smile and a shrug and said… “what can you do? it happens”. I remember right up until it was pouring down my legs I was mortified and begging divine forces of the female persuasion to stop it from happening… afterwards I just thought…”fuck it”. Why was I so scared of it anyway? men urinate in public spaces without batting an eyelid. The trickles of blood down my legs also seemed strangely beautiful and cathartic. Acceptance is peaceful and eventually people stopped staring at me and went back to their business.
Personally I love a woman’s blood. I love fucking a woman when she is bleeding, not all women are horny at this time, or comfortable with their own blood, but when they are…phew…it’s intense. I love having the blood on my hands and on my sheets and I get off on the murder scene-esque visual of the sex. I have always wondered why men find it so very very abhorent. Is it a biblical legacy from judaism claiming that women are unclean and unholy whilst they bleed? Is it misogyny? Gynophobia? Can the fellas out there tell me what about it especially bothers you? It’s life giving just like sperm and we know the boys love cum shots… so what is it about this excretion that makes you say ew?
– Liandra Dahl, from DodsonAndRoss.com
And then there’s the issue of periods and sexy time. That fearful choking sensation I had when I had to tell my first boyfriend there was a string in the place he wanted to be fiddling around in. It’s still an uncomfortable conversation I try to avoid having… I often use phrases that completely remove me from the situation: Biology has struck! Mother nature has come beckoning! Physical hinderances have bore down on my vagina! Very rarely do I flat out say: I have my period.
(Oh hey Future Caitlin. Remember this? When you had hang ups about portions of your body you have absolutely no control over? Yeah. This is you in 2012. I hope you and your menses are tight like nuns now…Lawlz…)
Laci Green sums things up nicely here:
It is an ever exciting and uplifting experience the first time you meet a guy who doesn’t care about which portion of your cycle you are on and remains just as enthused to get up in there. Let’s be serious. Chick’s bodies are these incredible organic and natural baby making machines. SERIOUSLY. Think about it. It’s pretty fucking ridiculous and crazy. If our bodies need to shed our uterine lining in order for this to happen, then cool, so be it. With every drop of blood should come forth the thought: She can grow a life form in her womb. I am mesmerized.