Wouldn’t it be easier if we were all more open about the perfectly normal bodily function we experience each month? We think so. Each week, we’ll be speaking to one woman about her menstrual cycle, from cravings and coping with PMS to period confidence. Read, comment, share your own. Every story is welcome here.
This week’s period talk is from Ellen, a journalist for the Metro who speaks openly about periods – and her enthusiasm for sex during it...
Tell us about your first period…
"I went to the toilet and found blood in my knickers and I was actually really excited because I started quite late. Most of my friends had already started and it was very much a thing where if you were a cool, sexy person you would have had your period already. To not have it was kind of like, you're still a child, you're not cool. But that same day I was going swimming with one my friends and didn't know what to do. I didn't want to talk to anyone about it so I just sat in my room and desperately tried to figure out how to use a tampon, but because I was so tense and stressed they just weren't going in. I remember just sitting on the floor, crying, surrounded by empty applicators all over the floor. I didn't manage to figure it out and had to cancel swimming, so that was my first period. It was great!"
How does your period affect you?
"I do find that my sex drive really increases! I also think periods are kind of a bonding thing. A lot of women in the office, when they say 'oh do you have a tampon?', I actually do and we can share them and talk about how weirdly emotional we are. I'm also a lot nicer on my period rather than more irritable because I am more emotional and sympathetic. Like, I'll cry at puppies and other ridiculous things. I think I'm nicer to be around on my period – I'm not as harsh and cold and unfeeling." *lols Ellen*
What’s your period craving?
"My cravings are specifically tortilla chips, but I also get sweet cravings so a lot of the time I'll have a tortilla chip and then a square of chocolate, and then just go in between them and then I'm not sure where to stop. I have a lot of nachos as well. That doesn't help with the bloating side of things at all, but if your body wants nachos you have to give it nachos."
Do you suffer from hormonal skin?
"100% I get hormonal skin! I have acne and blackheads regardless but especially around my period I'll get spots around my jawline, which is why I'll always do a clarifying face mask. I have a massive box of so many face masks it's embarrassing. I am a massive a face mask addict. I have all the sprays that you put on before the face masks, the mini peels, just all skincare related stuff because I just love it so much! Excessive amounts of skincare and I'm pretty happy."
Has your period ever had an impact on your career or job?
"I think a few times I've gotten in to arguments or discussions and I've been more likely to feel the tears coming a bit, but I've actually made a promise to myself where if that happens I can just explain, 'Look, I'm on my period, I'm going to be slightly more hormonal. That doesn't mean you shouldn't listen to what I'm saying, it just means that I might cry a bit while we're talking. People have been really nice about that, it's never been an issue, I don't think it's ever held me back. The thing that holds you back isn't the period itself, it's your own fear and awkwardness around it. I think once you start being comfortable with your own body and comfortable talking about it everyone else is comfortable about it as well."
Period sex, yes or no?
"I am pro having sex on your period. I think you absolutely should! I think a lot of people don't because they have this idea that period blood is dirty or gross and it's not. It's just something that comes out the vagina. I think period sex can be really great; it reduces cramps, it can get rid of your headaches, it actually makes your period shorter sometimes because it makes the lining come out more quickly. I get why there's fear around it, but I think any fear about sex with someone on their period is just fear of periods themselves and once you get past that you realise that you're just missing out on really enjoyable, great sex."
What’s your period saviour?
"I definitely try to eat healthier things because I'm conscious of the fact that if I eat crap I will feel rubbish for the whole period of time, so I will try and eat oily fish and almonds. In terms of pampering myself, I already pamper myself quite a lot! I like to have scheduled relaxation time once a week – face mask on, cup of green tea, snuggled up in multiple blankets watching TV and giving myself permission to just do nothing."
Loved Ellen's interview? Head our YouTube channel for the *full* Pink Parcel period talk!
If you haven’t signed up to Pink Parcel yet, it’s time to start enjoying your period! Subscribe here and you’ll have everything you need (and want) sent directly to your door.