When I was a little kid, my teenage sister explained to me that she had become a woman. This meant that for one week out of the month, I had better do exactly what she tells me. I would never know exactly when that week would be, so for my sake, she lovingly suggested I play it safe and stay out of her way. Because during that week, she would be going through a natural change that happens to all grown adult women and she wouldn’t be able to control her rage.
So, largely, I did what my older sister told me, because it was obvious that she was a werewolf.
Men don’t really think about menstruation, because we don’t have to think about menstruation. We don’t have uteruses. Male genitals are embarrassingly simple. Our junk is a Speak N’ Spell. A woman’s private parts are more like an iPad. Once, in this column, I wondered what it would be like to have a ladyflower for a day. If only to get some answers.
It is difficult to empathize with biological functions that are radically different to your own.
You’d try to be understanding as best you could, but you wouldn’t really understand. But I bet you’d respect our space and our strange lizard wangs. Men don’t think about menstruation. But we know the best way how to deal with it: with a healthy amount of respect.
That respect is, partly, born of awe. I am in awe of your baby space pod. Maybe I have womb envy? I’m serious when I write that my sperm bells are low-tech compared to your belly ducts. But then again, I am genuinely baffled and amazed by the human body in general. I mean, even the simplest bodily functions. What’s the deal with tears? I call them face rain. Bellybuttons are crumb pockets. Fingernails? Mega-hair.
I am sure there are men out there who are grossed out by their woman’s period, which, in many ways, is nature’s way of saying “pulling out worked … this time!” These men think menstruation is dirty, and that by extension, women are dirty. As if women were cursed by God for the crimes of Eve, who just wanted to know what was up. When, in fact, I’m fairly sure that the Almighty was so pleased with the creation of the female of the species, an upgrade on the beta test male, that the Almighty might have invented menstruation as a minor handicap in order to prevent the inevitable conquest of men by a few hundred thousand years.
Are there really men who wrinkle their noses in disgust about the most natural thing in the world? Who are these men? Salem witch trial judges? I just can’t believe they exist. Men who are physically repulsed by a woman’s monthly cycle are not having sex. It’s part of the deal. If the man you’re dating is insensitive about your period I’m willing to bet he’s insensitive about a lot of things. Don’t judge him because he acts like a spoiled brat when your body does that thing that allows the human race to survive. Judge him because, and I think I’m guessing correctly here, he’s a fully rounded jerk.
Let me dispel some rumors about men and your bloody visitor. First of all, men are total cowards when it comes to blood. Think about how many times you’ve seen your own blood. Once a month since adolescence, barring a pregnancy or some medical condition? I’ve been hit in the back of the head by a surfboard. That’s one. I sliced my hand open once cutting tomatoes. That’s two. A couple of cocaine nose bleeds. Three and four. I’ve seen my own blood five or so times and each time I got a case of the vapors. I squeal like a little pink piggy wearing a little blue bonnet. We’re squeamish. You are woman. You are strong and mighty. Spotted panties, stained sheets and bloody tampons don’t freak me out, but once upon a time, yes, sexytime blood splatter totally did.
Then there was one of my first girlfriends who insisted we have sex during her crimson tide. Insisted, pleaded and even tried to bully me. I really didn’t want to, but it was an extremely important political statement that she felt I had to make. Sex is messy. Messy and stinky, that’s how Big Dog likes it. Messy sex is proof you’re doing it right. But it was messy. “Saw V” messy. I learned then that some women are super horny during their period. This is cool. Dry humping is highly underrated. I was happy I learned that lesson, but to this day, I think I was just a prop to this girlfriend in her own one woman gender identity show.
A little more truth. First, the obvious — most men greet menstruation with relief as it is proof that their sexual partner is not swollen with lust spawn. Another thing you should know is that we’re generally proud to go out in torrential downpours to buy you tampons. Why would any man be embarrassed by that? Every dude should know exactly what brand his woman uses. It’s the closest any of us will ever get to being sent on a Navy SEAL mission. Proof that your caveman can go out and come back with whatever tampon or pad you need.
Here’s another myth I’d like to dispel: women talk more about “PMS” than men. Most of the time, I’m unaware that a girlfriend is experiencing “PMS” unless she tells me. That is your hang up, not ours. I’ll be honest, too. It’s not like men aren’t moody. I’m pretty sure I man-struate four weeks out of the month. I am one emotionally bouncy bloke. The idea that men are uniformly stoic and women are basket cases is hilariously wrong. Being nutters isn’t a man/woman thing.
Oh, and if you show us where to place our manly fingers, and then openly communicate about pressure and speed, then we’re more than happy to massage your cramps. This is another mission we’re eager to accomplish.
So hear me women! Moon goddesses! Holy vessels of life! I enthusiastically greet your noble, bloody flow! I bow before your mysterious loins! I honor your cycle, and duly offer up this pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby in tribute. I respect the peeling of your endometrial wall and so do most men. The human body is an amazing thing, isn’t it?
We respect your period and will deal with it like men. Men do not allow their ignorance to outweigh their love.
Except when it comes to werewolves.
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