Learn to Love the Curse

Monday Magazine | August 24, 2004
Darlings, this week’s topic is not for those who can’t stand the sight of . . . blood.

Yes, blood. Because sometimes it comes up in the context of sex, darlings, whether we like it or not. (And if you don’t, read on, because I’m hoping you’ll just change your minds by the time you’ve finished this column).

Now, I mention it because a snuggle-friend of mine was reluctant to come and play last week, even though I’d just done some power toy shopping at Kiss and Tell and was all ready to try out a few new tricks.

“Ringo, I’m just not up for it this weekend,” she sighed. “I’m having a visit from Aunt Flo.”

“I thought your aunt was named Tillie,” I blurted, like the doofus I can be at times, until I remembered that old euphemism from way back whenever. D’oh. I assured her I wasn’t bothered by a little extra lubrication—if anything, it was even a bit of a bonus.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized. “It just makes me feel so gross.”

So there I lay, on the Ringolicious divan, all alone and pondering the unfairness of the world (admittedly while watching those buff Olympic gymnasts and fondling my new Gladiator dildo—yoo-hoo, boys, did you lose a part of yourselves?). Why is it that one half of the adult population has to be faced with the messiness of a monthly bleed? Yeah, yeah, reproduction and all that—I’m all for perpetuating the human race (as long as I don’t have to be the one personally responsible for doing it.) But it sure would be nice to be able to turn it on and off like a tap, you know?

However, that’s not possible unless you’re into hormonal therapy (and Ringo’s idea of hormonal therapy is a little different than that of the big pharmaceutical companies, if you know what I mean). And I’ve seen enough madness wrought by the artificial cycles of birth control pills, injections, patches (good god, patches, how demeaning is that?) and implants (make it stop, pleeeze! What’s next, hormone-charged IUDs? Yes, as a matter of fact, and that really scares me.). Too many of my gal pals have found themselves benefiting from birth control pills not because of their pill-induced temporary inability to get pregnant, but because of their pill-induced disinclination to have sex. Yuck.

So let’s face facts, like that cute nurse told us in grade five. Menstrual bleeding is a natural part of life, and nothing to be ashamed of. So why was my friend so squeamish about going with the flow? And how could I convince her to just bloody well get over it?

For a good, feminist answer, I turned first to one of my new favourite websites, www.myvag.net. I mentioned this one last week, remember darlings? It’s the site of one kick-ass local woman named Sarah who has a wonderfully positive attitude about vaginas, and all the mucky, bloody, gooey stuff that comes out of (and goes into) them. She’s an advocate of sex while bleeding (at least as far as her own sex life goes), and she suggests that there’s nothing better than a good orgasm for soothing monthly cramps and headaches. Well, that was all the inspiration I needed, darlings. I got back on the phone.

“Snuggles,” I said. “I’m coming over. You’re gonna be coming, too.”

“Ringo,” she replied, “you’re nuts.”

“Maybe. But I want to show you something.”

All eager to please, I rushed off to my fave bookstore (the one with the cute clerks, if you must know), and bought my gal-pal a copy of The Curse, by Karen Houppert (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1999), the definitive book about menstruation, and a copy of The Vagina Monologues, by Eve Ensler (Villard Books, 2001) because she managed to miss the dozen or so different productions of it that came through town last year. I wrapped them up in shiny red paper, and stopped by her place.

I won’t bore you with the gory details (a Ringo’s got to have some secrets, right?), but I will offer a few tips for bleeding-time sex that my sugar-bum and I came up with afterwards. You can just draw your own conclusions as to what happened to, er, get our creative juices flowing. And flowing. And flowing some more . . .

Mop it up

Have plenty of big bath towels on hand. Preferably black ones. Or red. Or, if you’re in the mood to make abstract art, go with whatever colour you like, the lighter the better. I’m sure I know at least one artist who’s got a piece like this in her past collection. In any case, you’ll need these to protect your satin sheets from whatever muckiness happens to occur.

Safety first

Blood, even innocent and pure-seeming menstrual blood, can carry HIV and other diseases. Play safe—which means if you’re not sure of each others’ sero-status, or haven’t been tested recently, use plenty of condoms, latex gloves, plastic wrap and other fluid-barrier-type devices. If either of you have any cuts or open sores, don’t go there.

Take it easy

While orgasms may make cramps feel better, other body parts can be sore or bloated-feeling when it’s that time of the month. Now is probably not the time to test out those clever rope bondage techniques you learned from Midori a few weeks ago. Got it?

Water sports

No, I’m not talking about those Olympic divers (don’t even get me started! Those beautifully sculpted pectorals! Those tight little bums!), but if you do want to do some diving of your own, try playing in the tub or shower. Not only does it make the mess less, er, messy, it makes for easy clean-up afterwards.

So bring on the blood, and in buckets, I say. Let’s learn to love it and celebrate it. Why not go down on Aunt Flo? It even gives me a new motto: Red wings for all!


Monday Magazine

Founded in 1975 to provide a critical voice in Victoria's political and cultural communities, Monday Magazine continues to shake British Columbia's conservative capital city with tell-it- like-it-is features and reviews. Targeting educated, active adults and Victoria's growing youth market, Monday...
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