‘Nice girls’ aren’t supposed to talk about periods.
It’s uncouth I suppose to discuss something so nasty. We’re cool to talk about sex to our heart’s content though and I’m starting to get a little tired of menstruation discrimination.
I’ve noticed a rise on my social media timelines of people I follow (and admire) being more candid about their bodies and bodily functions, and I’m here for that. So, this is my ode to periods.
Note: I do respect anybody’s decision not to read on. I’m not going to be unnecessarily graphic (maybe a bit) though I do love hilarious nicknames for menstruation.
To periods! Or, as my mother referred to it throughout my adolescence, ‘The Curse’. My preferred term is ‘Shark Week’ though sometimes I go with ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (for particularly bad ones) or ‘Surfing the Crimson Wave’ (which is delightfully VISUAL).
Other great euphemisms for Aunt Flow:
- Riding the cotton pony
- On the blob/rag
- Getting your red wings
- In the red tent
- Crime scene in my pants
I haven’t really thought this post through by the way, I’m just planning to go with the (heavy) flow (lol) and see where we end up. I have a couple of amusing period anecdotes that deserve to see the light of day. First of all though, I thought I’d share my personal period history.
I grew up with Judy Blume, in particular Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? in which the central characters were obsessed with finally getting their periods, so much so that one of them fakes it so she doesn’t feel left out.
I identified with these feelings of inadequacy all too much, spending so much of my adolescence fretting about my period, then boobs, then kissing, then virginity or my inability to even give it away. Silly, innit but comparison is the thief of joy and all we did back then was hold ourselves up against our friends and what they were doing.
I wasn’t even that late in finally ‘becoming a woman’. I was about 12/13 and on the day I discovered that first red spot, I also cracked my head open against a door. That’s right, in typical clumsy girl fashion I ended the day bleeding from both ends. It was cool though, Mum got us fish & chips for supper and all was good with the world again.
Periods ever since then have been more of a blessing than a curse as they marked another month of avoided pregnancy. That makes me sound far more sexually active than I was but I’m talking after the age of 18, when I got a bit of action. Now I’m heavily implanted and have the most sporadic periods, like three months off, three months continual, like clockwork or every fortnight. There’s no way to tell how it’ll go and it’s (bloody) annoying.
But that’s the way the tampon swings, eh?
By the way, don’t you just love how disgusted men still are by period talk? How, if you buy a packet of female products at the Co-op they get all shifty, no matter their age? Or how, all too often you get told to shut up if you dare mention you’ve got the painters in?
Dudes – literally every female in your life does or has bled on a regular basis since they came of age and you still find it gross? Try starting your period unexpectedly in a floaty dress with minimal knicker coverage and then we’ll talk. We bleed, it’s never pleasant but there’s little we can do I’m afraid. And the more you insist we should keep this kind of talk to ourselves, the more I think we should chat openly about it. Squirm, motherfuckers!
This isn’t about men though, it’s about celebrating the monthly visitor that annoys the fuck out of us most of the time but has definite plus points, such as period days (blankets, food, Netflix), chocolate as medicine, hot baths and being at one with your sisters. When your cycle syncs with your work mates it is the best, the tea and sympathy flow – and the men stay the fuck away.
Back to those anecdotes. When my best friend L and I were at college, and more interested in bad boys and wine than studying, we hung out with a group of ne’er-do-wells who later ended up in prison (another story). One day we were at their flat and they’d gone out.
L and I were doing our thing, drinking, dancing and snooping – and somehow a used sanitary towel ended up left on the mantelpiece by accident (it happens). L realised several hours later when she was back home and decided to call her man and tell him to throw it away without looking at it (it was wrapped in tissue paper, we weren’t heathens).
He obviously unwrapped it and went ballistic. It’s still one of the funniest stories ever, mainly because he was a big burly thug who couldn’t deal with a tiny amount of female blood.
I also heard the best ever period story through a friend of a friend who happened to be Russian (so the story told in her accent made it even better). She was at a house party slow-dancing with a man to Chris De Burgh‘s Lady in Red (you can’t make this up).
As they shimmied romantically, she felt her sanitary pad slip out (this may have been before the invention of ‘wings’). As it headed down her leg towards her ankle she was somehow able to perform a precision high kick, which sent the pad flying underneath a nearby wardrobe. The guy didn’t notice, nor did anybody else and I challenge any one of you to tell me a better story involving the same song.
So there ends period talk 101 with me, your host, A Voluptuous Mind. For the record, I am currently on the blob hence some of my aggression and I have felt almost too weak to do a lots of stuff this weekend and week so far. But it’s nothing a jumbo pack of Peanut M&Ms and a good book won’t cure.
No clue how to sign this off so I will just say: How do you period, girls? ❤