The Importance Of Being Able To Change Your Period Products In "Public"

Illustration for article titled The Importance Of Being Able To Change Your Period Products In "Public"

Sharing experiences of certain bodily functions are milestones in intimacy with significant others, like pooping while they're in the house, vomiting on them when you're sick, or farting in from of them. Once you can do that shit (literally), you know that you're comfortable in your relationship. But there's one final frontier of unpleasantness that means you're really close: changing your pads and tampons in front of your boyfriend. (I say "boyfriend," because I'm assuming this isn't as much of an issue in lesbian relationships.) Some guys are apparently squeamish about this sort of thing, probably the same ones who are weird about period sex. But can you really have a lasting relationship with someone if you have to hide bloody cotton from them?Of the dudes I polled for this post, most of them had the same answer: "If I'm into her, that stuff doesn't bother me." Which is the right attitude to have, although when asked if it was more intimate to insert a tampon or remove it, they all said they'd be less bothered by witnessing insertion. One guy actually said, "You know I'm a little crazy about blood and HIV and all that." HIV!!! On a tampon!!! So when in a relationship do you cross that barrier? For some of us, it's not really a choice. When I was 17, I changed my pad at my boyfriend's house and his dog found it and tore the shit out of it and got it all over the upstairs in his house. We were at the movies at the time, so his brother-in-law had to clean it up. I was mortified and actually, looking back on it, they were kind of asses for telling me about it, just to embarrass me. The silver-lining to that is that period stuff has never embarrassed me at all since then. Anyway, I've always thought it is bizarre and unacceptable when guys who like anal sex are weird about when girls talk about pooping. It's like, you know what? That hole was actually made for poop to come out, not for your dick to go in. And I think it's equally bizarre and unacceptable when guys are weird about their girlfriends changing their period products in front of them. I understand that the need for a level of mystique to keep things sexy, but it's almost impossible to sustain throughout the course of a relationship: it's exhausting. It's also damaging: trying to mask the reality of our bodily functions from men simply reinforces the idea of women as sex objects, not human beings. Earlier: How Do You Break The Poop Ice With A New Paramour?


Tracie Egan Morrissey

don't you guys think it's like changing a bandaid though? i'm being completely serious.