Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blood


Shannee at Green Rootsdown posted a story about menstrual sex. It started me thinking, and I thought I would do my thinking aloud, here. Ever since I began menstruating, That time of the month always did something to my libido. Shortly before, and definitely during my period, I become extremely lustful. Not that my libido seems to suffer at other times, but at that time I become obsessed with sex. Most of my life, I always harbored the thought of "Great, now that I can't have sex, I really want it more than ever." It never occurred to me that people actually do that during that time. There have been a few times, over the years, that I have had a partner that suggested it. My response has been...we can't! I never considered it and I never understood it.


Then a few years ago, a friend of mine was discussing, what she referred to as, crime scene sex. She talked about how great it was. She talked about her increased desire, not having to worry about getting pregnant, and generally how much better it was. I listened in disgust. Probably, because I find myself disgusting when I am on my period. I suppose I believe that a sex partner would find me just as disgusting. During that week, all of my senses are heightened (which may actually make sex better) or at least different. I feel a bit like I did in the early stages of pregnancy, when everything made me nauseous. Smells in particular make me gag, especially the smell of my own blood. Add in the cranky, cramping, bloated factor and it just squicks me even more. Of course, there's the whole Leviticus...unclean...thing, which would not have any influence on me, except given my own feelings, it just seems that unclean describes how I feel.


Over the past year, since I have been with J, I have worried a few times. Since our relationship is a long distance one, there have been times when a scheduled visit of His has sent me to the calender to count days. I have sometimes fretted that my cycle might be off, especially if the dates might fall close. He and I have never discussed this, it has never come up, and thankfully, has never been an issue. But it has not stopped me from counting days and checking calenders, I would never want to have to reschedule.


I don't really know how most men feel about menstrual sex. I think most women are grossed out by it. Though, Shannee's post was not the first one I have read about it. I have read other accounts on other blogs as well. The posts that I have read, have made it sound very sensual. The women writing them seemed to embrace their own sexuality, their own femaleness. Shannee's commenters seem to be fine with it as well. I have been intrigued, but repelled at the same time. Part of me says, "Wow, good for her," but another part says, "yuck."That brings me back to my own feelings. I sometimes assume that if I find something disturbing or distasteful that others would too. But perhaps this is more common and accepted than I know. Perhaps it is just one of those things that isn't discussed. Though I have never considered myself a prude, maybe in this case I am.

5 comments:

Greenwoman said...

Hello there...

I'm finally getting round to all my neglected blogs. Been packing and cleaning my home to move and when I'm online, I've been finding myself just watching streams of tv episodes instead of reading. It feels good to catch up though.

I hope you've been well. *smiles*

I think first of all that you need not find your way to liking having sex when you are bleeding. Its not a requirement. You are not somehow not free sexually just because you don't want to. Some women just don't like it.

But what does concern me is that you feel yourself dirty in some way when you bleed.

The moon time is the most holy of times for a woman. In many cultures, women who bleed are given time away from their family duties so that they can rest and take care of themselves. Women in small communities and families will bleed at the same time in cultures like these and they would go aside to have ceremony, talk and give each other affection in woman ways. In my spiritual practice, its a time to make a nest for ourselves in a circle and sit and talk about what's going on in our lives. We laugh and feast together and we do ceremony together. Its a powerful time. One of the most powerful moments of being a woman.

One of the very early things that people in cultures that honor moon women do is have young girls get out a mirror and look at themselves...and to do so also when they are bleeding. They are taught to make a spiritual offering of thier blood to the Spirits and to celebrate this facet of their ability to make life.

I think that to revile this part of our natural process is to revile an essential self that's within each woman. It is a part of our holy abilities as a woman to bleed without dying.

I hope that you'll claim it for yourself as holy, even if you never find yourself wanting to share this part of your nature with anyone in a sexual manner. ((hugs))

Alice said...

Thank you Shannee. I have not always felt this way, but changes in my body the past few years have brought this about. It is not so much an attitude, but a physical response that I feel. Though I am sure that deep down it begins in my mind.

I have never looked forward to bleeding though. I have always experienced severe cramps, migraines and other symptoms, just not an overall good time. Those thing have worsened lately.

I do recognize the power of my mind though. I also have often found wisdom in your words, you have helped me with acceptance and understanding in other areas. I appreciate your words, I will think on them and try to look at this with a different perspective. I have found much self-acceptance and love over the past year. Many people, including you have helped me with that. I always look forward to your words and carefully consider them. You do not know it, but you have encouraged me to open myself to many new ideas and experiences. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

Good luck with the move. I know it is difficult, but I feel this will be a new chapter for you. I am sending you my love and regard.

Alice

Greenwoman said...

Hi Alice,

*smiles* I am really honored that you find me an inspiration in any way. Thank you for telling me about it too. It is a good thing to hear when I'm challenged really hard like I am now. ((hugs))

I didn't realize how difficult your moon time is for you. I certainly do understand your feelings of dread regarding it. I began to have flooding in my late 20's Not every month, but some. Over my 30's it became more and more a monthly event and it got worse. I would bleed so bad that I was weak and dizzy and couldn't be trusted to operate machinery or use a knife because I might hurt myself.

It has grown difficult to recover my strength each month. Still...I embraced my moon time because its what I do. Gradually, my cycle has changed and I am not having such bad flooding now. And somehow, continuing to honor it despite what a pain in the ass it is, has made me realize something inside myself...that I am seriously hard on myself. I pick on myself about things. Not giving in to the impulse to hate this part of how my body works has been slowly healing that dislike of myself in some regards.

So...another gift my moon time is giving me. Perhaps this is why my moon time has been hard for so long...that dislike of myself. Now that its healing, so are my periods. That may just be a coincidence. Time is passing after all and its just natural that my body will deal with things differently as I get closer to menopause. But I like to think that its because of the changes that are coming to me about my self image and esteem.

((hugs)) I sure hope that you'll find ways to make your moon time a time of soft celebration of yourself. I wrote a post on my Little Seeds blog today. Maybe there's a link there that will help you figure out some ways to help your periods be more comfortable. Blessings Alice...*smiles*

arielmorgan said...

Hmm.. I don't know how "common and accepted" it is, Alice, but I do know that it doesn't particularly bother -me-. Some parts of me can be a little over sensitive enough to not want to be touched, but mostly I am most worried about bloody messes..

I am 24 now, and am not really used to having cramps at all or mood swings in relation to my period prior to a year or two ago. So perhaps it is more dependent on your own personal biology, as to how you're likely to feel about your cycle and sex during it.

Not being a man, I can not speak for ALL men... I do know however, that my soon-to-be-ex was always very "ew! ick! gross!" with regards to my bleeding, and rarely--if ever--wanted to touch me while I might be. (A blessing and a curse, I guess.) I have found that to be a pretty standard reaction amongst men my age (but then, a lot of men my age are still kids anyway, lol), though the severity lessens somewhat with greater relationship experience. I think that, it is so foreign an experience to them, that they do not know how to comprehend it, there's no real way for them to control it and it becomes mysterious and scary that way. And in a way, watching such a fantom power take hold of their loved ones and mutate them into howling, disgruntled she-beasts they barely recognise, reinforces a helplessness that most men prefer not to acknowledge. So, for most of the ones I've met, they prefer to block out it's existance from their minds entirely.

I have read a few studies (and proven through anecdotal personal experientation) that suggest that sex or masturbation can actually relieve some of the pain from cramps and certain kinds of headaches. Supposedly, the endorphins released during orgasm help relieve some of the pain, as well as helping the muscles of the uterus relax. I guess the theory is that inducing the muscle to work more will help it uncramp itself. Either way, I've found it to be moderately effective... However, one begs the question: when it hurts that much, who the hell is in the mood to get "poked and prodded" even MORE so right there??? lol..

Cheers,
-Ari

Alice said...

Ari,
Thanks so much for weighing in. Despite the discomfort, I have to admit that my sexual desire peaks during that time. I just have never acted on it. I do know that I don't know if I could stand to have my breasts squeezed or pinched, they are ultra sensitive that week.

Over the seasons of my life, my symptoms and responses to my period have changed quite a bit, but now it seems to have come full circle. Since my dialogue with Shannee and reading some of her recommendations, my last period was much better and less symptomatic. I am not sure if that was my mindset or a fluke.

On an unrelated note, I wanted to tell you that I am very impressed with your pottery. When my finances ease up a bit, I plan on purchasing a piece or two.

Alice