In which sarah.of.a.lesser.god and I discuss our special womantime and sharing it–or not–with our significant others. Sex and the menstruating woman! A “hell yes!” Or a “hell no!” ? Or just a big “meh?” We’ve got opinions–and experiences–and we’re oversharing! Join us, won’t you?
BeckySharper: I think a dude’s response to my period is a good litmus test. I’ve found that about 95% of them are totally cool with it. They don’t freak out at the sight of the tampon string, they’re still willing to have sex (maybe not go down, but that’s okay) and generally don’t fuss. The ones who are like “Meh, let’s wait till next week” kind of irritate me, but I’ll give them a grudging pass. The ones who are like “ZOMG gross!” get kicked to the curb immediately
sarah.of.a.lesser.god: I’ll be honest and say I have slept with only one man, but from that and from discussions with friends, it seems to be that there is a lot of the “ZOMG gross” going on. As the resident bisexual harpy, I can testify that with the women, it seems to be one of those things where it’s not a huge deal. Probably because they are more familiar with the bodily issues involved and know that you don’t need penetration to have a wonderful time in bed.
BeckySharper: Heh–even some guys realize that around period-time. My not-boyfriend, in fact, gets sort of excited about periods because his college girlfriend wouldn’t have sex with him during her period, and would blow him instead, so he always associates periods with “Yay! Blowjob!” (even though he’s perfectly willing to have sex while I’m having mine).
So did you and your lady loves get it on while one or the other of you were having your periods? Because with two menstrual cycles, that’s 14 total days per month!
sarah.of.a.lesser.god: My exes and I did get it on, and things would be particularly breast-centric during those times. The women I’ve been with have never been as squeamish as men seem to be.
What kind of cracks me up about some guys is that they are all macho and get so freaked out by a little blood coming out of the vagina. The thing that drives me nuts is when they bitch about the smell. As if their ejaculate smells like fucking roses.
BeckySharper: Oh puh-lease. If I have to put up with that clorox-y eau de cum, they can live with a little blood. Besides, so long as you wash during your period, there’s no bad smell–just maybe a little fresh blood. They can think of it as a rare steak or whatever.
sarah.of.a.lesser.god: They can think of it as a rare steak. Just as long as there are no sushi jokes.
I’m curious to know if other cultures are so squeamish about this. There is so much stuff in the Old Testament about a woman being “unclean” and “defiling” during their periods and that no men can touch them, they contaminate food, etc. That unjustified pall has hung over menstruation for centuries. Whereas very few men seem concerned with the fact that there will be blood when they break women’s hymens. Because that is pure, virgin blood. Nothing unclean about that!
BeckySharper: No shit. The Babylonian Talmud has the most ridiculous set of rules you’ve ever seen about menstruation. There’s even a whole section where the rabbis discuss how women should swab their vaginas with a special cloth just to make sure there’s no lingering blood before they resume sexual relations. It contains this immortal line: “Since she is in a hurry to resume relations she does not insert the testing-rag into depressions and folds.” ZOMG, the menz need you to check the depressions and folds!
sarah.of.a.lesser.god: Depressions and folds! That makes me think of vagina origami! (If there is no such thing, then there should be. My vagina is able to fold itself into a crane.)
What I also wanted to say was that when I date again, if my partner is a man I will have no patience for menstrual squicks. If he is freaked out by it, then he can have his hand for company. I hope you’re right about guys in their 30s and 40s being generally better about this. I also wonder if having kids helps give perspective, as seeing all those other things (like childbirth) might make a man realize that menstruation is not such a big deal.
BeckySharper: I think it’s also maturing and moving past that “ooh, girls are icky” crap that carries over from the teenager years. Once they’ve been around women’s bodies on a regular basis–especially if they’ve co-habited–they realize how normal menstruation is and get over the squicks.
According to my stepmom, my step-grandpa, a career Army man, had an official motto on this issue: “it’s a sad soldier who can’t cross a bloody battlefield.” I concur. Man up, gentlemen! It’s the same vagina it always was!
What do you think? Does your partner prefer to take a time out? Do you care? Tell all in the comments…