An article in Cardinal Points, the SUNY Plattsburgh student newspaper, confirms what we've always suspected: that dudes who won't have period sex kind of suck.
Here's the horror story that begins Jon Hochschartner's recent "Sex in the SUNY" column:
I woke up slowly, pushing the naked girl beside me for more covers. Eventually it was time to get up, so I reluctantly rubbed the sleep out of my eyes.
That's when I realized I was wet. I threw the sheets off myself and saw I was covered in blood - from my chest to my dick. I started looking for some kind of mortal wound but couldn't find anything.
So finally, I looked down at her and she was covered in it too. Then it dawned on me: menstrual blood.
I don't remember if we were drunk the night before, but clearly there was some serious miscommunication. I mean, damn, scarred for life.
Obviously we can't expect opinion columns in college newspapers to be models of enlightened views — if memory serves, my college paper once ran a screed on why no one should ever have to take English classes, and another on how gross it was to have to stand next to poor people at Wal-Mart. Still, Hochschartner does deserve a wake-up call: the "naked girl" taking up space in his bed was actually a living, breathing — and yes, bleeding — human being. I'll admit that stained sheets are an annoyance, but getting menstrual blood on oneself is a monthly occurrence for women, and yet we somehow manage to avoid PTSD. Understanding this, and accepting that the vagina is part of the female reproductive system and not just a sterile hole for your dick, is an important step toward becoming a man worthy of fucking. Hochschartner did talk to some women for his column — their recommendations include towels, shower sex, and, Dr. Ruth's favorite, diaphragms. I'd advocate that these ladyfriends involve him in regular discussions of menstruation, at least until he's desensitized. Because there's really no excuse for a guy to be afraid of a little blood.
Yesterday I recommended that women quit treating periods as a female-only topic, and I'd like to reiterate that recommendation now. Last year I had to teach a 25-year-old man — who had previously lived with a long-term girlfriend — that women do in fact need to use more than one tampon per period, and I think it's high time that guys started getting this information early. Comprehensive sex ed can help — while the girls in my fifth grade class were getting our first "changing bodies" lecture, the boys were watching The Mighty Ducks or something, and there's no reason boys shouldn't get the opportunity to hear the gym teacher say "uterine lining" too. But more than that, if boys and girls and men and women would all stop treating menstruation like some ultra-private phenomenon, the world — and the vagina — would be a happier place.
It's true that not every woman likes period sex (especially on heavy days, there can be cramping issues). And guys' tastes do deserve respect — if they really prefer to abstain until a woman is ritually pure, that's up to them. But I'd argue that learning to like period sex is worth some initial discomfort, both because it adds three to seven days per month when you can bone, and because it represents a level of comfort and familiarity with the actual female body, not the sanitized version pushed by "lad mags." And while I wouldn't advocate kicking a guy to the curb just because period sex isn't his favorite, I would wager that someone for whom menstrual blood triggers "post-trauma flashbacks" may not be a keeper.
If It's That Time Of The Month, Go On Vacation [Cardinal Points]