Letting ourselves bleed

So You Think You Can Blog?

A SYTYCB entry

Us menstruators have come a long way from belted cloth diapers. We have different devices and different sizes and shapes and materials of those devices and they are relatively cheap and acessible. We have options–hell, we have access and education. Let’s take a second and appreciate that.

Now let’s move on. I wanna take another second, but this time to recognize that with options and access and education comes a heightened expectation of controlling our periods. Bleeding can now be taken care of with ease and leave no trace, no excuses.

But what if I wanna leave a trace?

Okay, so I love my DivaCup and the occasional cloth pad and appreciate books like Cycling: A Guide to Menstruation and websites like EcoMenses for educating me and keeping me comfortable during menstruation. But, I do feel expected of. Like I have to take care of my period so I can be a functional member of society.

So enter the idea of “free bleeding.” More of a mindset than it is an action, the idea is, as this blog title gives away, letting ourselves bleed. No judgement, no worries about messiness or cleanliness. Just letting it happen.

This might look different for different menstruators. We are always, technically, “letting” ourselves bleed. There are no menstrual plugs (thank god). But how often do we take a second, or a few, or a whole menstrual cycle, to mentally let our body do it’s thing. And appreciate it for what it does.

Here’s an assignment: Get comfortable, wear something you don’t mind bleeding in (heck, this might even include a tampon! remember, this is about you and what’s comfortable for you) or lay on your bed naked with sheets you don’t mind bleeding on, and focus your thoughts on letting yourself bleed.

And if you need some confidence, check out these photos by photographer Emma Arvida Bystrom.
Kudos to my grrrl Emily for showing me these pics.

Go forth and let your body be beautiful!

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2 Comments

  1. Posted August 31, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Get comfortable…

    Does this assignment then preclude folks who can’t get comfortable on their periods?

  2. Posted September 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    A few of my friends over the years have discussed embracing their menstrual cycles, taking a moment to appreciate their bodies, similar to the above ideas. I think that’s great. I must say though, I’ve been pretty stoked to not have periods at all most of my adult life since using depo and the mirena IUD for 10 years. I’ll probably choose to never have a menstrual cycle again. I guess that’s part of the author’s point, though, an alternative to complete suppression.

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