Friday, September 14, 2007

The Miracle of Menstruation

“There is another kind of death that is pregnant with more viable meditations- if you’re a woman. It typically occurs once in every orbit of the moon around the Earth. When you menstruate, a specialized cell in your body, the only type of cell capable of spawning a new creature, begins a quest for a larger life- only to fail in its mission and disintegrate. This is a death that is more shocking to the body than digestion and oxidation, and therefore more palpable to your imagination. It even generates a symptom that in any other situation is a dramatic sign of rapidly ebbing vitality: loss of blood"
-The Televisionary Oracle, Rob Brezsny

Readers, today I got my period.

I feel buoyant, optimistic, and ready to take on the world. Really, I do! Every month I look forward to menstruating with the renewed excitement of a little girl on the first day of school. And, it’s not because I’ve been having unprotected anonymous sex with strange men, contrary to popular belief. I just enjoy reveling in womanhood, contemplating the strange efficiency with which our bodies operate, and yes, feeling about five pounds lighter after the fact.

For me, menstruation represents the connection to my innate femininity and trust in it. As women, we are often told by doctors, nutritionists, fertility specialists, gynecologists, and yes, society, how our bodies should look and what we should feed them. Yet, there is a simple truth vibrating in each one of us and that is our body’s own natural rhythm.

Over the years, I began notice the subtle patterns and fluctuations during my cycle. I usually follow a regular 27-28 day schedule, so on the twelfth day I start to feel the beginning stages of ovulation as my body prepares itself. My dreams intensify and my appetite increases. I also experience quite a few of the physical signs of ovulation. For instance, my body temperature rises a few degrees, which is usually accompanied by a hot flash or two. However, the most obvious sign of ovulation, and when the likelihood of a pregnancy is highest, is when vaginal mucous secretions resemble snot- sticky, rubbery, stretchy, and goopy. If you’ve ever pulled a long string of it out of your vagina during ovulation and let it slide between your fingers, you know what I’m talking about. This is the moment when fertility is at its peak. Cervical Mucous Monitoring is actually a pretty good way to keep track of the fertility “window of opportunity” if one is diligent.

Finally, about fourteen days after ovulation, my period arrives with fanfare, drums, and celebration. The few days right before my period are always interesting. Typically, I have dreams which are psychologically taxing but necessary. I’ve entered the shaman’s territory here. The dreams are vividly clear, lucid, in fact, and they hold the key to a problem or question I’ve been stuck on. Subconsciously, during dreamtime I receive, in abundance, the wisdom and direction I’m seeking. It’s at this time; I know I’ll shed the first few drops of blood soon.

One of the most beautiful experiences with a female lover I’ve ever had has been the times when cycles synch up. Our bodies have truly touched one another’s. Our chemistry has been altered and now our bodies move in unison. Ladies, even if you've never slept with a woman, you know how it goes. If you live with a group of women long enough cycles have a tendency to mirror each other. With my last lover we experienced this phenomenon, although we didn’t live together- we fucked- a lot. Juices mixed and mingled often, so it was no surprise when I got my period two weeks early on the same day she did. This is the magic chemistry of our bodies in action.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not all howling at the moon and tasting menstrual blood fun. Many women have indicated if given the choice they would gladly stop menstruating if it was medically possible. Now, I realize not every woman is in love with their body’s natural functions. In high school, I had a friend with a severe case of endometriosis. For her, menstruating was a “curse” and not a beautiful reflection of womanhood.

I’ve also had some not so nice experiences during my period as well. For example, when I accidentally inserted a second tampon in my vagina, forcing the first one so far up I had to claw it out with my free hand while I held my leg back with the other. It didn’t help I was only fourteen years old at the time. I had slept with both tampons in overnight and was positive I had toxic shock syndrome the next morning. You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson, but when I was sixteen, I had sex with tampon in. It’s not that I forgot I had my period or was drunk, I have no excuse. I was sober and can only claim that I was horny. I spent the next hour in the bathroom fishing for the string under a fluorescent light. Needless to say, I finally learned my lesson, take it out first.

Hey, Happy Friday.

Cheers! (raising a metaphorical glass of menstrual blood to my lips)

~Sally S.


Anonymous said...

even before I was trans, I new I was freaky...

talk of menstruation makes me horny.
Everything is so much more intense...
The women I've been with always seeme d ashamed or dirty when they were on their period, even though it's what both of us wanted.

Anonymous said...

I believe Kate Bornstein said that!

Anonymous said...

lol :) Kate's a fantastic person.

But I believe I just said it.

Is there an echo in here?

SallySunshine said...

"I believe Kate Bornstein said that!"

Yes, she may have. I remember seeing cheesy videos about "the miracle of menstruation" during my school days in sex ed. Most of the girls in the room cringed, but I thought is sounded delightful, except for the pregnancy part, which frankly, isn't for me.

"talk of menstruation makes me horny"

Me too!

Anonymous said...

hey sally --
i got my period on friday sept. 14, too! yeah, i know -- so did lots of women. but sometime in college (11 years ago) i came to feel a certain "peace" with my period. what had been an icky pain in the ass somehow became a really cool affirmation that my body was healthy and doing exactly what it's supposed to be. and i have to admit, for a long time i've loved playing with the ovulatory goop -- it reminds me of rubber cement. unfortunately my last serious boyfriend wasn't nearly as fascinated by it as i was. oh well. but something really wild happened after we broke up a little over a year ago: after a lifetime of irregular (30 - 34 days) cycles, my periods have been completely regular this whole year. now, i think a lot of it has to do with some serious energy work i've done this last year to work through a decade's worth of sexual dysfunction and having a couple of lovers who seemed custom-ordered to be partners to my newfound sexuality (including the last one who was happy to have sex during my period). but the curious tie-in to having sex work again seems to be my that body's waving giant semafore flags to make it easy to know when to procreate. bizarre.
oh, and i always seem to get extra horny the couple days or so before my period despite also being extra tired in the mornings. it's like i just can't get enough.
anyway, keep writing -- i love it!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sally
You know, one of the first things to come up when i started this journey with mirror masturbation (love u eric...!) was the need to be completely shaved. i didn't understand it but since i couldn't forget about it i gradually switched to the beautiful smooth look. i never knew women are doing this. i searched the web for tips on shaving, only to discover it was the hotest trend ever.
Anyway, while grooming my vulva and gradually revealing it i began having a real acquaintance with my "secret, hidden" place and it was exactly what i needed and was unconscientiously
looking for.
So, after about a couple of months i had the next big urge. i needed to feel and see my vulva comletely silky, and then touch myself while i was menstruating and, well, you get the picture.
So i went at it. i got horny only thinking about it and preparing for it. and when the time (my period) came i can't tell you enough how healing this experience was. and liberating, and finally so self accepting and loving...
watching it all in the mirror, loving my body, loving me being a female and loving my blood and loving my being here on planet earth.
Sally, thanks for your blog, i come here daily to read some new and older stuff. u rock!

SallySunshine said...

"and i have to admit, for a long time i've loved playing with the ovulatory goop -- it reminds me of rubber cement"

Right on! It is pretty amazing, isn't it?

"and having a couple of lovers who seemed custom-ordered to be partners to my newfound sexuality"

We should all be so lucky! Excellent! ~ SS

SallySunshine said...

Hey SM!

"i gradually switched to the beautiful smooth look."

Me too, waxing and shaving does the trick.

"i started this journey with mirror masturbation (love u eric...!)"

I used to masturbate with mirrors in high school- but it was always a secret naughty thing back then.

"Sally, thanks for your blog, i come here daily to read some new and older stuff. u rock!"

Thanks for reading, SM- and for the feedback.

Yours, SS

Anonymous said...

I used to be happy to get my period too, it felt right and healthy - things were working the way they should, then I got talked into taking Depo Provera because the pill made me sick, and I didn't know about the "computers" you can use now for natural birth control which indicate your ovulation - now I hardly ever have a period, and may be in early menopause according to my new woman naturopath, so beware women who want easy birth control - don't ever do the depo thang, it sucks, I am one of many who have had a bad experience... still healthy but missing my monthly visitor

SallySunshine said...

"so beware women who want easy birth control - don't ever do the depo thang, it sucks"

oh boy, do I ever hear you on this! I'm planning an upcoming post on this soon.

belledame222 said...

augh, "lost" tampons. also hate it when they shred and...well, anyway.

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