My Boyfriend Is More Comfortable Talking About My Period Than I Am

In the almost 10 years since I got my first period, I’ve stopped hiding the box of tampons in my grocery cart under beauty magazines and have started taking the pill. I no longer fear white shorts in summer and rarely suffer from debilitating cramps. My monthly visit from Aunt Flo is now predictable, manageable, and as habitual as breathing. But my boyfriend is still more comfortable talking about my period than I am.

  1.  We’re candid about birth control. As every sexually active couple should be. I appreciate his candor as far as the pill and condoms are concerned—it’s nice to know I can trust him to take the proper precautions, but when it comes to that time of the month, I’d rather not have a conversation beyond suspending his all-access pass for a few days. Maybe he needs to know that these precautions pay off each month and that neither of us will be surprised by a late or missed period.
  2. I don’t like period sex. Frankly, it’s just too damn messy and I’m kind of a neat freak. Props to a guy who’s willing to dive into the Red Sea, but I’m not about to stick anything but a tampon between my legs until the floods subside. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting my kicks, but I have enough self-control to wait a week. Sure, my hormones may be raging, but that’s nothing a little Ben & Jerry’s can’t fix.
  3. My boyfriend has offered to buy me tampons. I know I shouldn’t complain about this one. I mean, offering to buy a girl tampons (and give her her own shelf in the bathroom—ugh, swoon) is a pretty damn sweet gesture, isn’t it? But unlike birth control, my period doesn’t fall under his list of responsibilities. As long as he remains stocked on condoms, I’m content.
  4. I don’t want to be high maintenance. Yeah, periods kind of suck, but if I complained and acted like a total bitch each time it came around, I don’t imagine my boyfriend would be too keen on sticking out this relationship—I sure wouldn’t. I don’t want him to have to feel like he needs to take care of me when my period arrives. I’m not dying; I’m just a woman with a healthy vagina.
  5. Some things are better kept a mystery. I don’t mean to sound prudish, but I think there is such a thing as becoming too comfortable in a relationship. I won’t perpetuate the rumor that women are unnatural beings who never so much as sneeze (bodily excretions? Gross!) but personally, I’d rather keep my period private, especially in the early stages of a relationship.
  6. Maybe my boyfriend is just more mature than I am. Granted, he’s a few years older than me and might just be more mature about bodily functions than I am. I gotta admit I was a late bloomer in the period department, and it took me a while to even be comfortable talking about menstruation with my sisters. Perhaps in another couple of years, I won’t give it a second thought with a partner. I’m just not there yet.
  7. Or maybe he’s curious? I know I’m not the only girl to have gotten period questions from dudes. More times than not, guys aren’t creeped out by female biology but are genuinely curious how things operate down there. While I feel pretty damn qualified to field said questions, there’s nothing wrong with a quick Google search, guys.
  8.  I’d rather discuss my period with someone who can relate to it. Like my girlfriends. Menstrual cramps and the annoyances of being a woman are best discussed with, well, women. We can commiserate, offer each other advice, and share a somewhat irritating female bond. Nothing brings women together like asking one another for tampons in public bathrooms. Guys just don’t get that.
  9. I can deal with my period by myself. The day I got my first period, my mom wasted no time in teaching me how to use a tampon. Since then, I’ve taken care of it all by myself. It’s not that I have to be discreet or private about it; I simply want to. I appreciate the sympathy, but I’ve got it covered. That being said, I won’t say no to free chocolate.
  10. When all is said and done, it’s brought us closer. My boyfriend is more comfortable discussing my period than I am, but knowing he’s open to talking about the less glamorous aspects of relationships has increased my trust in him and the future of “us.” At the end of the day, my period is my business and I don’t know anyone an explanation. It’s nice to know, however, that when I do become comfortable talking about the joys (ha!) of menstruation, I’ve got someone who’s willing to listen.
Julia is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia where she majored in English and French language and literature. She's engaged in an on-again-off-again French love affair (with the country itself) and has been crushing on French pop star Jean-Baptiste Maunier for about 8 years. When she's not writing you can find her rereading The Wizard of Oz or trying to run away with the circus.