For a variety of totally valid reasons — cramps, bloating, stained underwear, fear of attracting sharks — periods have a pretty bad reputation. Ladies, I hear your exasperated signs upon pulling down your pants to pee and realizing your new pair of sexy panties must be thrown away; I know how it feels to have a field trip to Disneyland totally ruined because your lower abdomen feels like it’s being stabbed with a hot knife; and I, too, have calculated just how many pairs of shoes could have been purchased with the amount of money spent on tampons in my life thus far. But! Periods are not all bad. In fact, there are nine just as valid reasons to rejoice in your moon cycle. Here’s why I’m psyched to still be surfing the crimson wave…
1. I have an excuse for seeming bitchy. Generally speaking, I think I have a pretty positive attitude. But I have been known to act a tad emotional both prior to and during my period. It’s one thing when that crazy side is kept within the confines of my own empty apartment, but when it’s directed at someone else? Like, say, a guy I like who didn’t really say the wrong thing, it just sounded wrong to my extra hormonal ears and so I kind of wigged out on him? Luckily, it’s all water under the bridge once I apologize, gesture to my lower abdomen and whisper sheepishly, “It’s that time of the month…”
2. They’re funny. I love that as women have become more open about their periods, menstruation has become a breeding ground for some truly innovative crude comedy. I mean, I will maybe never ever laugh as hard as I did the time an ex-boyfriend of mine dubbed tampons “girl corks.”
3. Hooray, I’m not pregnant! Even though I really, really want a baby right now, I don’t actually want a baby with any ol’ fool right now. Even though I’m either on the Pill or using a condom with my sexual partners, you know there’s always just a littttttle voice in the back of my head whispering, “Psst! What if it didn’t work? What if you are with child right now?!” When my period arrives on schedule, my mind is put at ease that there is no bun in my oven.
4. But chances are someday there will be. As I was saying, I really, really want a baby now, i.e. in the next three years. I have a plan in mind for how that’s going to go and ideally it will happen fairly easily, despite advancing into my mid-30s. I’ve always had a very regular period, which my gynecologist assures me means my reproductive organs are in tip-top shape.
5. It means I’m going to live forever. Okay, not forever, but in general, women live longer than men in part because of the iron we expel during our periods. Not that I’m tapdancing about outliving any of the men I love, but I’ll take as many healthy years on Earth as I can get.
6. Speaking of which, woot! Guess who’s healthy? Having a regular period is your body’s way of telling you that your weight is in the healthy range (i.e. not too heavy or too thin). Also, having a period means I’m lucky not to be suffering from endometriosis, ovarian cysts or another major gynecological issue. I’m grateful for that every time my period arrives.
7. I can skip the gym and eat a burrito instead. Okay, like I got to the gym that often anyway, but I don’t bother feeling guilty about staying home and carb-o-loading when I’m on my period. Life is short, Aunt Flow is in town, and “The Notebook” is on Oxygen, so yoga can wait. That’s my mantra. Namaste!
8. It makes sex better. Stay with me here. First of all, studies have shown that many, many women have more active libidos in advance of their periods. And while, yes, being pre-menstrual also means being a little more bloated and moodier than usual, many women report feeling better about themselves and their bodies during their periods. So, we’re hornier than usual in the days leading up to our periods, feel sexier during them, and, if you’re game for it, sex during menstruation is especially great because the extra blood flow to the vagina means you’re more sensitive. Just sayin’…
9. I can handle pain. I got my period when I was 12 and for a number of my teenage years had some pretty gnarly cramps. I am sure that experiencing pain on a monthly basis has made women much less wimpy about physical pain than men. I’m a firm believer that’s why we’re less high maintenance about the common cold or flu.
That’s all I’ve got … now tell me why you love your period in the comments!