20 Things Every Woman Understands But Doesn’t Want To Talk About

Period.

1. Running a “quick errand” is totally normal.

Flickr: thomashawk / Creative Commons

“My main thing is running to Duane Reade/CVS to buy underwear because I’ve forgotten my period is coming and weird stains.” —Anonymous

2. Accidents happen, and they’re totally OK.

Flickr: mikeygottawa / Creative Commons

“Getting my period unexpectedly during sexy time and finding out by way of my bf’s khaki pants. I got the stain out of them but… I was way more mortified than I should’ve been, considering we had been dating a couple years by then, he didn’t care, and you know, it’s not like I could control it.” —Anonymous

3. Who expects you to buy new sheets on an almost regular basis?

Flickr: 3ammo / Creative Commons

“My sheets have permanent blood stains on them and I’m embarrassed literally every time I get them washed but I’m also not going to BUY NEW SHEETS because I’m not made of money and also I’ll probably just stain them again. Maybe that’s gross though? I don’t know.” —Arianna

4. Sex on your period is fine with a little pre-business preparation.

Flickr: bigtallguy / Creative Commons

“I’ve had the good fortune of mostly dating people who don’t care at all re: period sex (although of course there are certain extra steps, like putting a towel down on especially heavy days, that just make everyone’s life easier in terms of cleanup).

This means that the few times I have encountered someone for whom it’s a problem, it’s particularly jarring. I’ve never been with an out-and-out ‘EW NO WAY,’ but the more subtle and insidious kind of ‘Oh, well, I guess that means we can’t do anything/guess we’ll just have to focus on *me*.’ Naturally nobody should EVER have to do anything they’re not comfortable with sexually, but this kind of aversion can make a pretty solid litmus test in terms of maturity/compatibility.

TL;DR, period sex rules and you should never be ashamed of wanting/asking for/having it.” —Anonymous

5. Always trust your warning cramps.

Flickr: emerycophoto / Creative Commons

“I usually get warning shot cramps before I get my period, so I start wearing my period underwear at least two days before it starts, and some of them obviously look like I’ve used them in the past to bandage wounds, like, not pretty, but I’m still not even on my period and I’m just wearing these sad, sad underwear.” —Ariane

6. GOD FORBID you make eye contact with a store clerk, or literally anyone else, while buying tampons.

Flickr: pennuja / Creative Commons

“Even though I’m an adult, I still feel mildly self-conscious buying tampons. There’s still a tiny voice that says, ‘No one’s paying attention. No one cares.’ But still, why is that voice even talking?” —Anonymous

7. How do you warn someone that your, y’know, tide is high?

Flickr: shavar / Creative Commons

“That thing when you’re single and you finally get into a ‘situation’ with a guy you like but it’s period time and you have to figure out how to tell them or MAYBE you DON’T tell them and you just avoid your bits in creative ways that set up unrealistic expectations for them in your future sex life?” —Summer

8. Who even knows how large your personal smell cloud reaches?

Flickr: pedrosimoes7 / Creative Commons

“That thing where you get pee on your tampon string and then you notice like, OMG YOU REEK OF PEE? Especially bad if you’re wearing tights, I’ve noticed. Tights are like pee smell enhancers.” —Anonymous

9. Starting your period is probably the most emotionally scarring part of puberty because it is terrifying.

Flickr: charamelody / Creative Commons

“I cried when I first got my period and hoped something was physically, very wrong with me instead of you know, the completely normal natural thing.” —Chelsea

10. No one should have to wear a whistle in the bedroom (unless they want to?).

Flickr: gi / Creative Commons

“It has been a relief in the past to be on my period because then I can avoid, like, bad oral sex that for one reason or another I don’t want to coach the person on.

(Omg I’m all about open communication but it is hard sometimes and and also sometimes it doesn’t take and you have to keep saying the same thing in different words… ugh sex sucks anyway that’s all).” —Anonymous

11. Those words you have to say are hella embarrassing.

Flickr: pitvanmeeffe / Creative Commons

“I refused to say the words ‘period’ or ‘bra’ until I graduated high school, basically.” —Sami

12. There is zero way to do anything discreetly in a public bathroom at all.

Flickr: darwinbell / Creative Commons

“Ripping open a tampon in a public restroom and thinking, EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT I’M DOING!” —Anonymous

13. Sometimes you have to turn into the swerve.

Flickr: aallymahbobii / Creative Commons

“So I have super irregular and sometimes very long periods and sometimes by like the eighth day I’m just TIRED of having my period/tampons, and it’s super light anyway so I just like, fuck up my shitty underwear on purpose?” —Summer

14. Airing out dirty laundry should be fine among loved ones.

Flickr: 30928442@N08 / Christian Senger / Creative Commons

“I got my period unexpectedly at my boyfriend’s apartment the other week and failed to surreptitiously get another pair of underwear out of my overnight bag, so he looked at me inquisitively and I was like, ‘I got my period,’ and he was like, ‘Oh, OK.’

And then, when I came back with my soaking wet, just-washed-in-the-sink period underwear and looked like a manic puppy trying to figure out what to do with it, he was like, ‘Just hang it the handle of my armoire.’ STARING US DOWN, OUT IN THE OPEN, TO DRY… AND HE DIDN’T EVEN CARE.

It was a defining moment in our relationship. And it made me realize that, at least in my case, my embarrassment is TOTALLY self-inflicted (I also have two male roommates and they aren’t phased a bit when my other roommate and I get our period.)” —Anonymous

15. There’s nothing wrong with the “feminine napkin” of your choosing.

Flickr: jenny-pics / Creative Commons

“I find tampons unbearable so I wear pads on heavy days, which sucks because it means that in order to avoid the chaffing from diaper-style panties I end up sort of waddling around with my butt in the air like a duck.” —Diana

16. Sometimes you have to scar younger siblings. You just have to.

Flickr: stofiska / Creative Commons

“I grew up with two brothers and once forgot to flush a tampon and my bro, then 10, screamed that there was a dead mouse in the toilet.” —Anonymous

17. No one is a superhero when it comes to staying spotlessly clean, OK?

Flickr: 83794824@N07 / Intrinsic-Image / Creative Commons

“When you get blood on your hands while changing a tampon/diva cup and then you clean it up with toilet paper but there’s still some blood kind of in your cuticles and you feel like you’re covering up a murder.” —Anonymous

18. Screw fancy trash cans for real.

Flickr: cryner / Creative Commons

“This is probably me being way too self conscious, but you’re at someone’s house and they have a nice, fancy trash can that doesn’t have a lid in their bathroom and there’s no other trash in it and you have to dispose of a tampon. And of course your wrap it up, etc., but it’s just like, well here’s this, in the middle of their fancy trash and available for everyone to see. And they’ll know it was you.” —Anonymous

19. Pavlov didn’t expect this response to periods and certain snacks, I’m assuming, but yet here we are.

Flickr: walker_ep / Creative Commons

“I can no longer enjoy a strawberry milkshake from McDonald’s because when I very first started my period, I would get one as a treat every month and now I associate that snack with my period, and therefore it makes it unenjoyable forever.” —Sami

20. Being on your period can honestly turn you right into MacGyver.

Flickr: joestpierre / Creative Commons

“When you forget a tampon so you make a pad out of a bunch of toilet paper and then you’re walking around with bloody toilet paper suction-cupped to your doohickey.” —Erin

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