Periods (Period).

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This and more menstrual accessories here.
‘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.

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Illustration by Layla May Ehsan
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?

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Illustration by Layla May Ehsan
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.

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Illustration by Layla May Ehsan
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? ❤

 

31 thoughts on “Periods (Period).

  1. I am not disgusted. I would get pads or tampons for my wife with no problem…just need to be coached in to what specific type and brand to get. “Aunt Flo” can be a problem when the mood is there but you know its biology and its a part of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha. This. Thanks for this. Good read. Here’s how I am currently “perioding” (love the word as a verb, btw): Right now, it’s hell week. I f-ing flat-out hate it, and I’m probably the only 40-something gal on the block who cannot wait until menopause, and this is so DONE. It’s bloaty, painful, messy, gassy-awful. I’ve a friend who swears by the IUD as it has virtually stopped her periods, but I’ve done the birth control method thing, and IUDs don’t agree with me. Frankly, I’m missing the hell out of the good ol’ days when my gyno prescribed Tylenol 3, and I could sleep through the worst of the crampy days. Alas, there’s such paranoia here about prescription painkillers that no doctor in her or his right mind dares prescribe it for cramps. Frankly, I think it’s another way women aren’t taken seriously about their ailments.

    Anyway, my grand week started two days ago, and there was a spot of joy yesterday — Apparently, it was National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, and I (and my thankful uterus) enjoyed the hell out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha I hear you on that one! I think the bloating and feeling like you’re being stabbed up is the worst. I heard the IUD could stop periods but you’re right they’re not for everyone. I think I might have heard one too many horror story, so I’m out thanks. The implant stops periods for some women, but alas that is not me!

      Good old Tylenol. I had no idea they’d cracked down so much on painkillers. I understand but it’s true isn’t it, women are still expected to pull it together and stop making a fuss. I don’t think men would put up with such regular pain, no way. You know I had a friend who used to pass out every month during her period because she lost so much blood and was anemic (I don’t know exactly what the condition was) and the doctors were so impatient with her.

      Anyway, I hope you’re taking lots of care of yourself and trying to enjoy the perks of having a period, AKA Ice Cream. I’ve been very nesty this week and I can’t see that ending for a few days. And thanks for reading and commenting! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Gorgeous, and I love this. So many people are uncomfortable talking about the red menace. (btw, that’s my favourite euphemism)
        I highly recommend the IUS rather than the IUD. I had 2 (they have to be replaced after 5 years) but had to have it removed so they could slice out some nasty uninvited cells in my cervix. The first couple of weeks after its been fitted is pretty painful, but once it settles down its bliss. It didn’t stop my periods altogether, I had a bit of spotting for a couple of days and it also helped calm the psycho bitch who visited during that time. A lot of people who have issues with the IUD can use the IUS without any problems. The one I had was called the Mirena, worth a look.
        And mjennings, since hitting 40 I too am counting down the days till menopause.

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      2. I think I might be looking forward to the menopause, Celeste. Not sure how I’ll handle the hot flushes as I already I feel I get those and they make me damned irritable but still! I feel like I’ll enjoy a new lease of life once that’s done.

        The old school coil sounds nasty so I’m glad you’ve found a better solution for yourself. Ha ha maybe I should look into it as my psycho bitch is as comfortable as ever. I probably should stop complaining about sporadic period now I’ve heard everybody else’s stories. They have been through far more than I have.

        Thanks for the recommendation! Love xoxo

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  3. This is so apt as I’ve literally just started my monthlies as I sat down to read this. The worst was when I got it day early while traveling and couldn’t find tampons in all of downtown Vienna and had to get VERY CREATIVE with the toilet roll. Next worst was when I could feel it literally while in line going through security at the airport. I couldn’t go any faster or turn around so I just had to let it bleed out. Nightmare.

    My cramps aren’t as bad as they used to be. I missed a lot of high school because of the ole jackhammer. Writhing and twisting in pain for a few hours and then, nothing. Calm waters. Smooth sailing. Thanks, biology.

    I agree we need to be able to talk about it. I can remember one day rummaging around my bag for a tampon in front of my male boss and he asked me what I was looking for. I considered lying but then thought, why should I? And told him. He told me I should have lied. It’s terribly pathetic how much we’re taught to pretend this mess doesn’t happen to us. The only time I’ve been encourage to talk about my period to a man is if we’re about to get frisky, so they know what they’re in for.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always find it a bit dismaying how much a man cares about how much of himself can go in it, but doesn’t want to hear the details of what NATURALLY comes out, whether he’s there or not (blood or baby, if that’s the case–seriously, that hole serves a friggin function).. It’s a scratch-your-head moment for me, because it’s one of the things I just can’t get about guys, especially the braggarts who can handle anything. They hear about a little blood and they freak…sheesh.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know, most of them pale when you even mention it, which is why I get such a kick out of referring to Shark Week so often! Let them be grossed out! But I agree, it is a little sad xo

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  4. Thank you for sharing that, our so-called horror stories should be shared and appreciated!

    Funny you should mention getting frisky, that’s one thing I didn’t go into, men who are so disgusted they won’t have sex with you while you’re bleeding. I mean fair it’s extra messy but so fucking what, sex in essence is. I hate that “Ew! No thanks!” mentality. I’ll find me someone else to help sooth my cramps then, I guess.

    Glad yours are better sugar, I had no idea you suffered so much during your school years. I have massive sympathy for those who do. Mine, apart from being sporadic, are text book. Every third one is B-R-U-T-A-L.

    We should never have to lie about anything ever and yet, there’s still always that split second “Should I?” moment. Should I pretend I don’t bleed/masturbate/defecate/not shave/feel offended etc. Dammit, no more. Let it all hang out I say!

    Love you xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember my ex boyfriend and his friends always said when a girl was grumpy that she was on her period, it even happened to me it bugged me. I hate having the work and getting cramps and having to go to the toilet a lot it sucks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh God I know, having to go every 15 minutes is an absolute nightmare! And not being in the comfort of your home is never good.

      The grumpy woman on her period stereotype is the worst, so I always try and play up to it. Being hormonal is never fun but sometimes I feel empowered as it makes me less worried about what everyone thinks (does that make sense?).

      Thanks for commenting! Happy perioding! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    2. If a guy said that to me again, I’d have to respond with, “You’re awful grumpy yourself. What, haven’t been laid in a while or something?” Seriously, we’re only grumpy because we’re surfing the crimson wave? Otherwise we’re shiny happy people meant to make you feel better by smiling and looking pretty? Bullshit.

      Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Maybe the awkwardness of such a forward question will help ’em knock it off.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I hate my period, I’ve only been getting it for 2 years but even though it got regular I still bleed through at least one clothing item every time, despite using super plus everything. Because as late night period research on my period has made me realize, I have how do you spell it menorrghia? It’s heavy bleeding and being an “adolescent” with hormone imbalances after starting my period expired 1 year ago, it seems I now have an actual medical problem. So yeah, that’s my side of the pond.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! God I have never heard of that condition, that does not sound fun at all. Can you get any help to ease it? It’s makes mine sound like a skip through a poppy field in comparison. Very good to keep talking about it and finding out more about conditions we’ve never heard of, so thank you for sharing! I love your Blog name too 😀 xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I have no idea, I’ve heard that taking some Tylenol or something of that sort can reduce bleeding. I haven’t tried yet. Only 2 days are really bad the rest are pretty easy. The way to tell if you have menorrghia is if you bleed longer than 8 continuous days or more than 80mL (this is the maximum normal amount) in one cycle and they mostly tell by how often you change your regular tampon, there is no way I am switching out my super plus for a regular just to see. So the other way is to approximate by what you use. Regular soaked pads and tampons are about 5mL and super or maxi pads and tampons are about 10mL (amount may vary by company) immediately I knew I went over 80mL because I soak 2maxi pads(for night) and 6 super plus tampons (and maybe a regular pad) on my heaviest 2 days. So I’m already at around 80mL and I have 4 more days of bleeding. I don’t get cramps so that’s nice, I’m also bleeding though fewer things because I know when to change things so as to not soak through them.

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      2. Shit that you have to think about it so much though, this is not the carefree period the tampon/sanitary towel advertisements promise us! That loss of blood must fuck with how faint you feel, I thought mine were heavy and on a bad one I feel awfully weak but that’s nothing compared to this. Sounds awful. You have my sympathies, but is sounds like you’re just dealing with things. Here’s hoping it’s not forever, I think periods do change over the course of our lifetimes xo

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hopefully! Actually I don’t feel super faint because I have nosebleeds so I’m used to losing blood. If 45 min-1hour is your usual nosebleed length you get used to it. I’ve only gotten lightheaded twice with a nosebleed. I never thought that I might feel lightheaded because of my period. And honestly stick in a super plus tampon, slap in a pad for protection and forget about it for 4 hours, I don’t do an incredible amount of thinking (unless 4 hours is a really short amount of time). Now car trips are a whole different story……

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  7. Gosh do I not miss my periods. My current contraceptive is one that stops them altogether. I asked for it, because they were horrible, used to give me D&V like symptoms most months and I’d just be useless. Go you for bringing it up though, I think it’s important for women to talk and be open about their periods. It really pisses me off when guys act like menstruation is the most disgusting thing ever. Like, pal, where do you think your ass came from?
    Also that dancing story is the best thing ever xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Literally have just done a piece about periods and so glad I found this post! Funny and down to earth, what a treat! I had an IUD for a while so didn’t have periods at all (now they’re sporadic at best) but like you periods were such a great reminder that I had avoided pregnancy for another month! Anyway, loved the post, keep it up and if you want please feel free to give my post a peek (I have have a few periodisms you may have missed haha) X

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      1. I still love Shark Week, there’s always room for a pun about chum… Shedding is a great term, so descriptive! I’m actually enjoying Shark Week as we speak so this is making me giggle. Let’s see what I can get! xo

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  9. A crime scene sums up my periods perfectly. Even after I was put on the pill aged 14/15 for the severe pain leading to me missing school, periods are still a nightmare! Heavy flow means ruining underwear and bedsheets are a regular occurrence. When I got with my current boyfriend I could only panic about what would happen when that dreaded time came about, but he deals with it better than me. He goes to the shop if I’m low on sanitary products, fetches me new underwear if the red monster destroys the ones I’m wearing and knows exactly how long to warm to heat bag up for, I’m so lucky! I’ve always been open about my period because of how obvious it was when I was on, I’d get flushed, clammy, bloated and tired, so everyone knew, but I’ve been put down so many times for not giving a damn if people knew; even my own mum tried to make me put my pill in a more discreet place (she’s given up trying now). I’m so glad you were open about it on your blog, it makes me feel as if I don’t have to hide it on mine in fear of people not following because of it 🙂

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  10. When I was 18, had the flu, and was too weak to go to the store to get more supplies, I had to ask my dad to lest I bleed all over. he looked like he was going to have a seizure right then and there! He got some, not quite right, but they did the job and I didn’t complain (he went after the most expensive brands, too, so I couldn’t say anything).

    The only good thing that emerged after his discomfort was when he’d complain about the amount I’d spent on my credit card that he had to pay for (I wasn’t working much at the time). When he’d ask about a couple of charges, I’d say “girl stuff”. He practically threw the money at me before I could itemize..

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