Red Light Special

“Dude, I’m so horny but I’m on my period.”

“So?”

“What do you mean so?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Eeew. You mean..? No. Eeew.”

 

What? No really, what is it?

See I could understand being iffy about having sex with another person while on your cycle. It’s not everyone who’s willing to run the red light, so to speak, but what of masturbation? Is it also taboo during that time of the month?

period-power-neon

We’re led to believe menstruation is filthy, and well, it isn’t the most glamorous time really.  I can often be found moaning about how it looks like a Spartan battle field down there when it’s particularly bad. However, I no longer feel the shame and emotional discomfort associated with my menstrual cycle.

The Bible tells us a woman on her cycle is “unclean” and to be avoided.

Our mothers treat it as a secret. A cross we must silently carry in our wombs.

Our partners more often than not are grossed out by it. It’s  foreign territory to them that they don’t need to explore, nor acknowledge.

And we take all of this in and internalize it.

We keep the shame, the silence and start to feel that way our own selves.

Is the fact that it’s blood what truly offends people?

Something so normal for any woman, something we will have to  experience for approximately 40 years after reaching puberty, is still considered “disgusting” yet we don’t feel the same of urinating.

Why does your menstrual cycle have to bring about despair and torture?

I mean, you feel bloated, hot flashes, you’re hungry and irritable and you deny yourself the simplest little pleasure you can give yourself too? An orgasm?

The fact is, it is your vagina, your blood, your pleasure.

To love yourself, your vagina and your pleasure, means to be with it through all it’s transformations.

What is the real shame behind pleasuring yourself  whenever you want to?

Is it the blood? Because there are tampons for that.  A shower, tampon applicator and clit rub away lies momentary relief from the vile feeling of discomfort.

Orgasms actually relieve menstrual cramps, and I personally look at them as.. making love to yourself.

So why not make love to yourself when you need it the most?

When you’re feeling disgusting and undesirable?

Wouldn’t that be the best time for said.. comforting?

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 12.17.10 PM

Grown women are taught to repress their postpubescent body or hide it. When you start puberty and you start growing hair you’re taught to shave it, because no one’s supposed to see it. With your period, it’s something that you conceal—no one’s supposed to know. It’s almost pedophilic—and I don’t want to throw that word around. But this feminine ideology we have, of the woman being a prepubescent girl, is how we’re taught to change our bodies. – Petra Collins*

*Petra recently designed the above line drawing for American Apparel. An image that caused quite an uproar and has been described as “vile”, “disgusting” and “obscene”.

In an interview with Vice she said “That we’re so shocked and appalled at something that’s such a natural state—and it’s funny that out of all the images everywhere, all of the sexually violent images, or disgustingly derogatory images, this is something that’s so, so shocking apparently. ” It makes one realize, as a society, we’re almost always focused on the wrong thing, huh?

 

3 comments

  1. Such a necessary article. Too too many women have internalised the “EEWW” of periods that they don’t even have sex (let alone masturbate). Funny enough plenty of the dudes I know are all for it, more than the women.

  2. I knew exactly where this was going before I even saw Petra’s design. While I do agree there’s nothing wrong with a little pleasure (even that time of the month) I still find myself saying ew at the though of blood running down my legs. The actual design still disgusts me… As much as seeing someone defecating or urinating would.

    I’m just not that open-minded for a little mess in my sheets or on my shirt.

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