Mine came the summer after 7th grade on the second morning of sailing lessons at the local country club. (Shut up, I’m a WASP.) One the first day of obnoxiously preppy sailing class, the students had to tread water in the pool for a few minutes to prove that we wouldn’t drown if the boats capsized. But my Blair Waldorf-ian self woke up the morning of the second class with blood in my underwear! Because I’m my mom’s baby, she majorly teared-up over me getting my period—so embarrassing! So I just snatched the pads from her and hissed that I didn’t want to talk about it. Mom had no chance to teach me about tampons and I didn’t ask!
But I spent the next several days of sailing class terrified we’d have to go in the pool again, or my boat would capsize and I’d get wet, and everybody would know I was wearing a big, soggy pad. To this day, that’s pretty much all I remember about sailing lessons! I didn’t use a tampon for the first time until I was 16 (during a performance of “The Vagina Monologues” of all places). Alas, by then, my sailing days were over.
I’m not the only Frisk-ette with a slightly tragic first period story. Our tales of tampons and trauma, after the jump.
“I got my first period perhaps a week before the “menstruation” segment of our Health and the Human Body class in middle school. It wasn’t dramatic—I got it at home and went to my mom who explained to me what was going on and did the whole hippie sit-you-down-with-a-mirror-and-get-you-to-explore-your-downtown-area thing. She also explained pads and tampons. Then a few days later in class, we watched a filmstrip on the subject that was so from the ’70s. It showed how to secure a pad to a metal belt, which is evidently what they did before pads had adhesive. Every girl in class was flipping out! I remember feeling so ‘advanced’ and knowledgeable when I explained that nowadays pads had adhesive and you didn’t really have to wear a belt.”
“I was visiting family in New York and going through every tourist site possible. At the end of the day, I went home and found the mess. Good thing I was at my grandma’s! My father raised me, so Grandma was the only other female!”
“On the evening I first got my period, I had a swim meet. So, I had to be quick about learning how to put in a tampon—no pads for me. My mom was, like, ‘Just think, Janet Evans [an Olympic swimmer] probably competes when she has her period.’”
“I got my period pretty early, but it felt like it took forever cause a few of my friends got theirs first and I felt like I wasn’t in their cool period club. I found out about periods initially, though, because my mom was pretty open with me about that stuff and one time I walked in on her in the bathroom and she had a pad in her undies with blood on it and I’m sure I was, like, ‘Wah, why is my mommy bleeding from her vagina?!’ For some reason my mom was super pro-pad, anti-tampon. She was kind of earthy so I think she thought your period blood wants to flow OUT of you so why put a stopper in your vag? Or something. So I didn’t use tampons until late high school, which seems like such a gross tragedy looking back. No wonder I didn’t have boyfriends.”
What is your first period story? Share with us in the comments section below!