What is a 6.9? A good thing interrupted by a period. Har har.
This column is for those of you who think this joke is “funny ‘cuz it’s true.” That’s those of you who automatically eliminate 25 percent of your potential sexual encounters because things might get a little messy.
Before I’m accused of choosing this topic solely for the shock value, I’d just like to point out how ridiculous it is that even today, 40 years after the women’s liberation movement took off, we still consider menstruation a taboo subject. Seriously, it’s only a big deal if we make it a big deal. Oh, and just to clarify, this column mainly applies to long-term relationships, not one-night stands or hookups.
So let’s talk about some of issues you’ll encounter with sex while the girl is surfing the crimson tide.
First of all, it’s interesting that, given all the bodily fluids exchanged during sex, a little menstrual fluid has the potential to stop the whole operation. And I do mean a little. We’ve somehow developed this ridiculous mental image of a woman’s period involving gallons of blood gushing out of her all at once, a la any film by Quentin Tarantino. On average, a woman only loses 35 to 40 milliliters of menstrual fluid over the course of the week she’s on her period. Regardless of how much of a stud you are, I guarantee you won’t be having sex that whole time. So deal with it. Wear a condom, put a towel down over the sheets or have sex in the shower if the mess really worries you.
The smell and taste are a bit more of a personal issue, but this is again something you can expect to encounter with sex during the other three weeks each month. Some people don’t like it but many others simply get used to it and don’t let it prevent them from having a good time. I admit that I can see where this issue might be a legitimate reason to refrain from sex because I would never condone doing something you’re truly uncomfortable with. But there are still ways to deal with it. Wash up before having sex, and simply refrain from oral sex if you can’t stomach it.
The general ick factor associated with menstruation is actually pretty fascinating because it originates in religion. Many holy texts from major world religions teach that menstruation is unclean and a menstruating woman should not even be looked at — let alone ravished. Of course, we now know that these ideas are scientifically unfounded. Given that our society is already using safer sex methods, a menstruating woman is about as likely to make you sick and die as she is to curdle milk or prevent crops from growing by her proximity to them. Many religious teachings have been disproved (such as the Earth being flat), reinterpreted, modernized or unceremoniously drop-kicked out of the realm of plausibility. But somehow remnants of this one have survived, and girls grow up believing they should be ashamed of and hide any signs of their womanhood.
Furthermore, ladies, we now know that there are even advantages to having sex around this time of the month. First, the extra fluid can act as a form of lubrication. Second, increased hormone levels will make you inappropriately horny. And third, orgasms are the fastest and most effective cure for menstrual cramps by releasing tension from the muscles that tense up during your period.
So grow some cojones and do yourself a favor by continuing the lovin’ all month long.
Jenna Ray is an English senior and Mustang Daily sex columnist.