Hey, guys! Look at that headline I wrote. Isn't it women's magazine-y? I love it.
This week, I heard a lot of talk about how websites like xoJane are too much "rape" this or "personal essay" that. I was like, "Well, OK." What else are women going to talk about but rape and themselves? OH RIGHT. Periods.
I have menstruating on the brain, friends! That sounds like a scary medical condition, but it's actually not so bad. I've been obsessed with mine recently because I am a female comedian and that is all we talk about. Additionally, my last period was a whole month late, which was very upsetting for many reasons.
One, because the last time I had sex it was with a guy who uses emoticons in text messages. I did not want to have that Rosemary's Baby inside of me. Two, because I love getting my period. It makes me feel in tune with the moon and the tides and lets me know my body is self-cleaning like a miraculous oven. Full of blood.
So when Emily sent me this video of dudes talking about periods*, I was excited. It was produced by Azadi Pads, which is an incredible organization that distributes pads to women in rural India. Perhaps you read this terrifying and extremely edifying article in the New York Times, and you know they're doing good work.
I don't know if Azadi Pads found the men for the video via Craigslist or whether they work there or something, but I sure love the idea of guys going to a paid focus group to talk about pads on camera. I know the kind of hombres who go to paid focus groups -- they are amazing. They tend to be unemployed and very high. One of the fellows in the video also seems to be blazed out of his gourd, and I just want a movie about his day.
After I watched the whole thing, though, I felt pretty good about the state of menstruation in this country.
Yes, these American gents were probably paid a handsome sawbuck to sit and get dishy about tampons. One of them kind of seems like he wanted to nervous-laugh, and the guy in the sweater makes a hilarious hand gesture indicating blood whooshing out of the body. But on the whole, they seemed enlightened and thoughtful and not at all grossed out.
I thought to myself that we ladies rarely talk about our cycles in a positive capacity. So, let's change that. To start, I'm going to give you eight reasons why I get fucking pumped every month when it's time to power-shed some uterine lining.
1. Because I Am A Glutton
One time I read an article where a doctor was like, "You lose iron when you menstruate, so go ahead and have that rare cheeseburger for dinner." So now, every time I get my period, I have eight rare cheeseburgers for dinner.
OK, not really. But I do use it as an excuse to eat whatever the heck I want, because studies have shown that your metabolism is slightly raised during the days leading up to your period. I believe it, because in that time, I am hongray. This, for me, is the checkered flag to really go to town on some vitamin-rich cheese danish.
My friend and I actually invented a perfect period dinner, which is a steak (for iron), creamed spinach (for iron) and potatoes (for potassium), all smothered in a rich layer of dark chocolate. One time, a (MALE, OBVIOUSLY MALE) scientist friend told me that he thinks women exaggerate PMS so they can eat more and be mean to their boyfriends. I was menstruating at the time and as such, punched him directly in the penis.
2. Because It Means I Am Not Pregnant With That Guy's Baby
Or any guy's baby! Any month I am not pregnant is a good month. Even if I've gone a month without having sex (it happens even to me, an Internet celebrity), I am relieved every single time. But especially after having sex with that guy. Thank motherfucking God. I was looking at his Instagram today and he takes pictures of his food.
3. Because I Have A Period App On My Phone That I Think Is Fucking Hilarious
I use Period Tracker, and it is my favorite thing in the whole world. Its background is a big pink flower, which I would find a little trite if I didn't pretend that it's a sly nod to Georgia O'Keefe. The app icon displays as "P-Tracker" in case anybody steals your phone and is like, "Oh gross!" I pretend it stands for "poonani-nani-na."
Period Tracker and other apps of its ilk alert you when you're fertile and when you're in the throes of PMS. I like this one, because it has an amazing "notes" section for you to talk about your feelings and chart your mucous. YOUR MUCOUS, LADIES: Are you charting it?
Last summer when I went to Europe, I hooked up with this dude the night before my flight and left my iPhone in his apartment. I was gone for three weeks. My friends were like, "Oh, no, he's going to see all the gross sexts you send to musicians," but this guy was very nice and I knew he would not go digging around in my phone. All I worried about was that he was getting push notifications about my fertility.
They really make it seem like P-Tracker cares about you, though. Besides, it's nice to get a little heads up that it's time to buy Playtex Sport**. Usually PMDD is its own nasty reminder, but sometimes I totally forget and I'm like, "Why do I wish I were dead today?" Then my phone is like, BING! BING! 3 DAYS UNTIL PERIOD START. Thanks, Period Tracker.
4. Because I Like to Pretend I Am An Old-Timey Witch
I wasn't kidding when I said I was 30 days late. You may be saying to yourself, "Wow, Julieanne. Two months is a long time for a person to not have a period." And I would agree with you! I thought I was pregnant but thankfully I was not, because I bought and took the bajillionth frightening pregnancy test I have taken in my life as a person with an irregular cycle.
I am all wonked up inside, friends! I probably have cysts or something up there but at my last gynecological visit I was briefly palpated and told not to worry about it. I love when doctors say that because we always go, "OK, I won't!" and forget about it forever.
I'll have months-long stretches where I'm like a Swiss clock and then my period will just disappear with no warning, like Robert Redford in "Out of Africa." Thankfully, when this happens, I now have a fun cure that makes me feel like Stevie Nicks.
I make teas out of fresh parsley and dried black cohosh. I know! I am crunchy as fuck. The parsley tea is actually really good, like drinking a lawn on a summer's day, and while the cohosh tastes like dirt and foot, it is effective as hell. I use the stuff from Celebration Herbals, and brew a pot of it and drink it cold over a day. I just did this and got my period the next morning after nada for a month, so I'd give it a whirl if your uterus is also a flake.
Historically, these are abortifacients, although I would not take them if I were up the pole, and they did not get their own Nirvana songs. When I went to my health food store to buy my supplies last week, the churchy lady behind the counter (who tells me that she routinely feels the presence of St. John, fyi) started pointedly talking to me about Mary Magdalene. Lady, if I want an abortion, I'm not going to buy it at the same place that sells Kashi Good Friends. Relax.
5. Because It Gives Me An Inflated Sense Of Physical Power
Despite coming and going as it chooses, my cycle is super strong. Any time I have lived with women (or worked with them) I suck them into it like an F5 tornado. You will recall from the movie "Twister" that this is the strongest tornado of them all, and that is exactly what my period is. If you come near me and are of childbearing age, my uterus will ruin your uterus's fucking vacation.
People joke about women syncing up, but it actually reminds me of how insane it is that the female body can sense the presence of another woman, like a matrix of lasers in a movie about a diamond heist. I already admitted to you that I am basically a walking organic scented candle shop of a human being, so I don't mind admitting to you that I find this magical as fuck.
Once, I spent a few days with a friend who NEVER gets hers because she's on that weird birth control, and she asked me if I had any tampons. That's right: she had spontaneously started menstruating in the presence of my mighty flow. I handed her one, then beat my chest like a silverback gorilla.
6. Because I Now Know You Can Bone Through It
When I was young, I had this crazy notion that you could not have sex during your period. I think I may have gotten that idea from a scene in "Sixteen Candles." That, and a guy in my seventh grade class who introduced the concept of "hummer week" to me, which is when a girl has to give you blowjobs because her vagina is gushing blood. Retrospectively, I'm sure that guy was fighting off blowjob-giving women with a stick at the time.
Then I actually started having sex, and realized that it does not matter. I mean, some people are squigged out by it but most of them would still do you if you had centipedes coming out of there. Besides, many women I know get extra horny around their moon times, which makes sense, given that you are coursing with hormones and your breasts are all sensitive-like.
I had a human sexuality teacher in high school who said that you can have sex on your period if you do it in the shower, but fuck that guy. I say do it anywhere. One time I slept with a dude who still lived at home (What? We are in a recession!) and I didn't know I was getting my period, so I got blood all over his sheets. At first I was mortified and then he was like, "Oh, my God, what if the cleaning lady tells my mom?" Then I laughed and laughed and laughed, because, how was that a real person?
My ex-boyfriend and I actually made up a bunch of funny slang terms for period sex, because "surfing the crimson tide" is tired and I don't like to be reminded of Gene Hackman when I'm taking the fuzz boat to boner town. (I mean, I'm sure that Gene Hackman is a beautiful and sexual person, but I have very grandaughterly feelings towards him.)
- Driving the Blood Mobile to Schenectady
- Doing the Last Scene of Hamlet, With Genitals
- Salsa Dancing at the Y
- Reenacting the Battle of Gettysburg -- In My Pants
- Al Gore
- Pussy UFC
- Making Manicotti Marinara (the worst)
I draw the line at getting oral sex during this time, because I am worried that once someone has a taste for my blood they will be able to hunt me, and I don't do second dates. Also, I think it's kind of icky, but I was talking to my gay friend about it once and she was like, "If nobody went down on each other every time SOMEBODY was getting her period, there would be no vaginas being licked on at all." Have I mentioned lately that I love frank and kind of gross sex talk from lesbians? If I could invent a show to watch immediately, it would be called "Frank and Kind of Gross Sex Talk from Lesbians."
7. Because People Are Getting Less Squeamish About Periods And That Is Great
One time I was at a wedding and a guy was there who I was so, so, super in love with. We were sitting at a table with another couple, when the woman began to complain of cramps.
"Oh, tell Julieanne about your hippie tampon," said her boyfriend.
"It's a diva cup," she said. "Do you have one?"
"I do not," I said, digging into my dinner salad. The type of dressing now eludes me. "What do you do with the blood?"
"You dump it," she explained, "into the toilet. Then you rinse it or pee on it to clean it. I pee on mine."
"Interesting," I said. "I will buy one. I will try this device that you fill with blood and then pee upon. I shall put it into mine vagina."
That night, I had tons of sex with that dude I liked. True story.
8. Because I Love Being A Woman, As It Is Fucking Amazing
All right. Those are my reasons. Pretty compelling, right? I encourage you to share yours with me in the comments, or over a really really long brunch.
Now go forth, and bleed on things.
*That is mostly what we do at women's websites. Email each other videos about periods, back and forth. Back and forth forever.
**Can I tell you how much I love that there are SPORT TAMPONS? As if the regular ones are for the flabby vagina of the non-exerciser, or just go flying out when you're doing yoga, hitting the sexy man behind you in the head.