Aunt Flo, The Curse, Your Friend...Period Talk 101Feb 08, 2023
While waiting at the car dealer for service and using the facilities, I noticed a feminine napkin bag sitting on the back of the toilet. I hadn’t seen one since I was a young girl. It was on the back of the toilet, just sitting there. I was like, “Wow.” You usually wrap your tampon or Kotex in toilet paper and place it in the container on the floor. But here was a nice bag with pretty flowers on it with the saying, “Sanitary Napkin, for your convenience…Fresh Scent Disposal Bag.”
I must say I was pretty impressed. I found it convenient and thoughtful, making it easier for a woman to care for herself. Sometimes the little things in life bring about the most pleasure.
Then it had me reminiscing about when I got my first period. It was frightening, to tell the truth. I didn’t really know what was happening. I believe it was sixth grade, and it had been three days before I told my mother. I remember sitting on the toilet, and she handed me a sanitary pad, said, “Now you’re a lady,” and walked away. I wasn’t even sure how to use it.
It was very mysterious how it was introduced to me in the fifth grade. The teacher gave me a permission slip for my parent to sign. The boy next to me, Rudy, asked what it was all about. I said, “Probably to teach us about cars.” But, Geez, was I clueless?
In my day, your period was referred to as the curse, your friend, that time of the month. This is because there can be so much shame around having your period when it’s a secret from one generation to another. It can make you feel dirty, uncleansed and do other women have these thoughts? It’s inconvenient and painful at times. Can you have sex on your period? Does your partner embrace and take care of you, scorn or even make fun of you for having it? It all makes a difference in how we feel about ourselves as young women.
I believe if we introduce the period to a young woman as something special and to be celebrated, it would be honored for the sacred time it is. A woman’s menstrual cycle is life-changing. Her body is now ready for the next stage. She will leave childhood and enter adulthood in phases, leading to lovemaking and pregnancy if or when chosen.
After many years of having my period, I began to think about it differently. Don’t get me wrong; there were times it was painful and inconvenient, but in general, I was happy to cleanse every month because my body naturally felt better afterward. Of course, a woman’s intuition is heightened during her cycle too. I believe if we positively discussed it and educated people from a young age, the shame and stigma might end.
So tell me about your story about your first menstrual cycle. Did mine resonate with you at all? How was it introduced to you? What did you think about your period? Did it affect your sex life? If so, how so?
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