Comments on some
anatomical and symbolic aspects of the
Article by Dr. Nelson
Soucasaux, Brazilian gynecologist
You can't see the Kotex! Three ads.
to fit you
Beautiful embossed box covers (with
Comfortube tampons (1967) and Wix tampons
New words for menstruation from
Australia - Off games
- and the U.S.A - Bad
Read more about those entries and a zillion
others at Words
and expressions about menstruation.
Would you stop
menstruating if you could?
Two opposite answers from women with genetic disorders:
1. "Frankly, I wish I would do this more
often. There was a time, however, that I
wished otherwise, and I would have embraced
and stood with each of the women for whom
their times were achingly, screamingly,
howlingly awful, and cried for redress of some
kind. To say that I was young and foolish once
is a little painful for me, but there was
indeed a time when I would
cheerfully have liked to have had done
with the biology of the thing altogether. [Continued here with
Vive le Tampax! 1938.
Tampax vs. diapers
"For one I want to say thank you
for this very informative site. I will never
look at Kellogg cereal the same way [more here].
About stopping my period and if I would. I
really don't know. I say all the time that if
I never had a period again I would love it.
Before that meant waiting for menopause
though. I am 31 years old and was the first
girl in my class to get it .BEFORE the
horrible videos they showed in school. I was
just barely 9 years old." [continued at Would you stop menstruating if you could? ]
Tampax gift: clever o.b.!
Imitations of Tampax
Lonely and Modess(t)
vs. Kotex, 1931
The earliest disposable
What was a tampon
before it was a - tampon?
Her grandmother, poor,
probably bled into her clothing
"Hello, Harry! First off, I'd
like to thank you for all of the research
you've put into MUM. It's very interesting and
enlightening to learn about all the aspects of
menstruation. Even at the age of 17, nearing
adulthood, I often find it hard to talk to my
close friends or even my mother about the
topic. Society has put many taboos on
menstruation, causing many girls and women to
feel shame about this natural process. I
really do appreciate all you've done; I simply
cannot imagine the time and effort you've put
"Second, I found MUM around two
years ago at a time when I was just starting
to like the fact that I had a period. I had
started researching other menstrual products
to use because (I feel so silly saying this,
but I'd like to be honest) I was too ashamed
to ask my mother to buy me pads. I loved the
freedom of MUM, and through it I was able to
find a sense of pride about having periods.
Through more research, I learned about making
my own washable pads, tampons, and even about
something called free-bleeding. I'm not sure
if you've addressed the topic of modern
free-bleeding on your website, but I have read
your theory about early
American settlers and European women. I
agree with you, most women probably bled into
their clothing, which leads me to the real
reason I decided to email you in the first
place. My grandmother was talking about living
in the rural South (in the U.S.) in the late
1960s and early 1970s, and mentioned to me
that she did not wear underwear at that time.
She also mentioned that it was easier to
urinate while working in the fields without
underwear. I also know that she had a very
large family at the time, and may not have
been able to afford to buy underwear,
especially during hard times. I have reason to
believe that she may have just bled freely
into her clothing. A lot of poor women and
girls in the area used rags during their
menstrual periods well into the 1970s and
maybe even 1980s. My mother mentioned once
that she used rags and threw them away after
using them. One of my aunts mentioned that
when her mother purchased a box of Kotex for
her and her sisters, they fought over the rare
but well-appreciated supplies. They were also
very poor, and usually used old scraps of
clothing. I thought this all might interest
you. I wonder if other poor women in the US
did the same thing during that particular
period of time?
"I'm sure I've rambled on long
enough, but the last thing I'd like to mention
is another site I also frequent, All
About My Vagina, which discusses, among
other menstrual-related topics, modern
free-bleeding. I thought other visitors to MUM
might enjoy another shame-free site that
discusses menstruation in detail."
"I'm a 22-year-old girl from
Portugal and sometimes I wish I could stop my
period. I get it monthly 'cause I'm taking the
Pill. Still, it lasts for a week, which is
very annoying. My biggest problem is not the
awkward kidney, belly and headaches the first
two days. It is the way that menstruating can
mess with my head. I get too much sensible,
and too much dumb. I mean in a way that you
can find me either crying like hell, or
laughing like the world's collapsing tomorrow,
and that's the only great thing to do. It
opens much more my mind, and suffocates me
with the way it puts my mind in to thinking
constantly (which I always do) when I'm tired
of it. I get paranoia. Sometimes I wish I
could have a button to turn off for a few
days. I want to have kids, but being menstrual
can irritate me pretty bad.
Read another new Would you stop menstruating if you could?
For the debutante and society woman: Kotex, 1925
Cousin Cramps, meet Uncle Red
"I noticed you have a few different versions
of 'Aunt Flo' but when we have family visit
they come with the whole family so for me it
is not just 'Aunt Flo' but also 'Uncle Red'
and 'Cousin Cramps'"
These additions to Words
and expressions about menstruation
join the America list.
And I'm still correcting MUM pages through
the weekend. This is a big site!
"Abortion drug could rapidly treat depression"
Read the story.
Words and phrases for
menstruation, new additions for U.S.A.:
Girl stuff, On the dot, (the following are for
How heavy is your flow?) Little Miss, Moon
Maid, Stuck pig (a Firesign Theater reference
-- they were making fun of radio commercials
with their Loosner's Drug Store ad for
"sanitary napkin rings") See more Words and expressions about menstruation.
Belt! Pins! Pads!
Kotex as the AntiTampax! Kotex belt ad, 1953.
Kotex ad, 1921, its
Tampax ad, 1938
Two teenagers: a Croatian
hates menstruating, an American accepts
Latest additions to Would
This weekend I'm working on the second
episode of A Visit to
the Museum of Menstruation, which I
hope to post here next week.
Libresse sanitary napkin
menstruating. I think the odor is
pleasant. It's comforting, somehow."
[Read more answers to Would you stop menstruating if you could?]
think so. I think of menstruation - and I
must say I don't like euphemisms; I say
menstruating, and when I have cramps I say
that my uterus is hurting - as not being a
big deal, really. I don't pass too much
blood, and I hardly ever have cramps,
however, so I would never tell a woman
with painful menstruation that it was
"natural." I mean, pain *is* natural; but
it's a natural sign that something is
wrong and should be changed! It's the same
way I feel about rhinoplasty. If your life
is going to be ruined by a few millimeters
of bone in your nose, shave it off. No
biggie. It is a strange thing to
experience, however. You really have to
have blood coming from your vagina to know
what it's like (of course, you [your MUM]
don't even have a vagina! I find that very
when I'm not cramping (as I was when I
began the period I'm having right now -
that was hell - it's like sour stomach and
intestinal cramps sometimes - like really
bad diarrhea - which I sometimes get when
I menstruate - and I'm not on any kind of
birth control or hormonal thing - why,
(why?!?), I enjoy menstruating. I think
the odor is pleasant. It's comforting,
somehow. And when the blood soaks up the
pad it's quite warm and cozy down there. I
also think I get hornier during my period,
and find that masturbation is easier then;
I'm always lubricated! I used to worry
about spoiling the sheet, but then I found
the solution, and bought dark red sheets.
Eureka! Wow, I'm like the second person to
bring up masturbation. In that case,
please do not use my name or email
the site, by the way - very funny.
college student, in the southern U.S.A.
more answers to Would you stop menstruating if you could?]
Menstrual cups aren't messy, she writes:
As a response to the woman
who suggested cups are impractical because
they're "messy," ("Cups are 'Totally
see also what menstrual
cups are.) I'd have to wonder if she's
ever used a cup or if she's just imagining
it'd be difficult to change in a public
I've used my DivaCup (like
the Keeper, only made of silicone instead of
natural latex) for several cycles, and have
had to empty it at work before. I don't have
a social hang-up about washing it in the
sink, but usually don't if someone else is
in the bathroom as it might bother them and
there's no point in causing a scene over it;
even so, if I can't wash it out I just wipe
it clean with toilet tissue (which is,
oddly, usually located right in the toilet
stall) and reinsert it, then wash the cup
the next time it's convenient to do so.
I should also mention that
part of my work uniform includes a bright
white shirt, AND I have long fingernails.
I've never made a mess on my
shirt (or in the public toilet stall for
that matter), and if blood did get under my
fingernails, I'm not going to leave it there
until it dries; it washes right off with
warm water and soap. All you've got to do is
tilt your your hand under the water stream
so it flushes under your nails a bit. - and
you ought to do that anyway just from a
Not difficult, messy or
impractical at all, plus it saves me the
hassle of having to carry a tampon around
and rush to change it every two hours during
my heaviest days.
Really, either the writer of
that particular letter doesn't "get it" or
she doesn't have much for manual dexterity.
"Men would use the two official words [for
menstruation], but only if they are at gun
Words for menstruation in Israel:
grandmother used to simply call the period
"Stalin." Very appropriate. My mom says
it's obviously because Stalin was red. I
think it's obviously because he was nasty.
expression used back in my mother's day
was "mehurbenet," which means "shitty," as
in "I'm shitty today." I have no idea why
this would be preferable to just saying
one of the two explicit words ("vest" or
"mahzor," which both mean "period," the
second one used for other periodical
events as well). Another very common
expression is just to say "kibalti," which
means "I got," short for "kibalti veset"
or "kibalti mahzor," without saying the
dreaded words directly.
expressions are from Israel. And they are
used by women (well, men would use the two
official words, but only if they are at
gun point :). [Read more Words
menstruation from around the world.]
How wonderful to find a
collection of menstrual art. I've begun a
cycle (nomen est omen) of serveral paintings
(actual number is 7) to this monthly returning
female experience. For me mostly a very
creative time to solve complicated problems.
Two of this paintings are shown
Hope you have 'fun' with them.
on MUM - this site.)
"So, Dracula walks
into a bar . . . ."
So, Dracula walks
into a bar and asks the bartender for a
glass of hot water. Dracula sits down and
pulls a dirty tampon from his cloak and
dips it into the glass of water. The
bartender says, "HEY PAL what the heck are
you doing?" Dracula replies, "Making tea."
[It's a variation of a joke found on the
"Delicate" emergency menstrual pad
and belt in a tube, probably 1940s,
"PEE! NOW!" screams
a nurse with PMS to a patient in a Dutch comic strip.
Midol and gay -
again, in 1948!
Tampax ad, 1989,
companion to "Are you
sure I'll still be a virgin?"
Are you in the know? Check with Kotex.
Poem and letter from a 13-year-old
Dear Mr Finley,
I want to thank you for the work
and effort you've put into your genuinely
wonderful and extensive museum. I'm so glad to
see that someone is finally breaking the taboo
that lies over the menstruation of women. And
since one of us wasn't prepared to do it, I am
equally happy to see a unbiased, dedicated man
rise to create something out of a rather
amazing aspect of womanhood that is so largely
left unmentioned. [Letter
continued with her poem here.]
Did Latvian peasant women bleed into their
There's a theory that I favor that says most
women in pre-1900 (or so) Europe and possibly
America menstruated into their clothing (read more about this here). A student at
an Australian university e-mails possible
evidence of this:
I found an interesting tidbit
in a Latvian book about how female peasant
shirts were constructed differently from
men's. This is from the English summary
though, so there might be more information
in the book's text that I just can't read.
The book is Aija Jansome
"Tautas Te-rpa Krekli Vidzeme-" (Riga:
Zinatne, 1999) ISBN: 5-7966-1105-4 (where
the e- is an e with a dash over the top.)
The oldest women's shirts were
usually in two halves. The top half was made
of finer flax and the bottom half, for
reasons of hygiene, was made of coarser flax
or more often of other fibrous material.
Hope this is helpful,
Later, she wrote:
I've reached the same conclusion - that
there is an implication that they bled into
their clothing. The type of shirt worn in
the 19th century was split up to the hip for
movement, and it wouldn't be impossible for
someone having a heavier day to pass the
fabric between their legs (not sure how it
would be kept in place though).
for tampons: no, not in America, of course, in
the Netherlands - of course.
"People take plenty of other medications
that alter their bodies without thinking
"I am a 43-year-old from the U.S. who has had
her periods now for 33 years! I'm writing this
from home due to missing yet another day from
work because of my periods." [Continued here with more of
your views at Would you
stop menstruating if you could?]
Chapter 2 of "A Visit to the Museum of
(Start with Chapter 1)
Tampax Satin Learner's Kit, 2001
to Words and
expressions about menstruation from Canada: Rag box, TD, The Drips and Blood bank.
"Hi, Have been enjoying your site, there is
too much information there to absorb (!) in
one go. I'm from Canada. The euphemism
section caught my eye. I was in an
all-girls' boarding school in high school,
and we were each assigned various chores,
which we called housework. If your housework
included cleaning the toilets and emptying
the small garbage cans in each toilet stall
(often over-full with soiled pads and
tampons because of the synchrony of girls
living together), you considered yourself
particularly unlucky to have to empty the 'rag box.' I find
this a great and descriptive name for that
particular kind of small garbage with a lid
can found in bathroom stalls.
"Also, in junior high school,
one particular friend and I called our
for 'The Drips'
(we were very into two-letter abbreviations
at the time). There is a bank in Canada
called TD Bank, so combining their name with
our code it was a 'blood
bank,' which we found oh-so-punny
at the time!" [more
words and expressions]
A woman friend writes, "Is it cruel to pull
the wings off a maxi-pad?" One reply would be,
"If someone's wearing it it is!" See more humor.
"Each [MUM] site page
peels off a thin layer of the thick
crimson-colored shame I've developed about
this issue." Read the e-mail a Hungarian woman
sent me after I posted her comments on
Rest in peace, Meds.
She belonged to the first litter of feral
cats I adopted from my back yard and helped
me with the pictures of a folding bidet (here).
named her after an early
She died today, Saturday, 10 June, sweet to
her last hour.
You meet the darndest people in
Like Huey Long, assassinated former
governor of Louisiana and its senator in the
1930s. The colorful crook even had a
colorful pre-political life: "For several
years he worked as a travelling salesman,
first for a company that made a lard
substitute called Cottolene, and later for a
company that sold a concoction for relieving
menstrual cramps known as the Wine of
Cardui." (The New Yorker magazine, 12 June
2006, in a review of a new biography of the
character.) See what that was here.
Another is Diane Arbus, genius creator of
eerie photographs of mostly odd people.
Before that final career she and her husband
were commercial photographers and shot some
of the classy "Modess . . . . because" ads
in a series that ran for decades. See some.
And of course you'll meet several famous
women in ads for menstrual hygiene products,
starting with beautiful Lee
Miller, later a famous photographer.
An even more famous photographer, Edward
Steichen, took her photograph and sold it to
Kotex, to her huge (but temporary)
embarrassment. See her
and more such (but
And speaking of nurses: at least this one
is smiling - but see the next one!
Compare the German Nurse Thekla, below the
The generous contributor of the scan of the
top sign writes that it's for American
sanitary napkins, probably from the early
1940s. The nurse meant to inspire
confidence, as did the cross - I wonder if
the name, M-D, sneaked in the idea of M.D.,
pitching the 1926 German disposable
menstrual pad, Camelia, stands above the
cross on the box, which almost looks as if
it bears a religious image - the Virgin
Mary? Professor Domenico Pecorari,
University of Verona, Italy, kindly sent
Nurse Thekla. Read
"Secret" tampon sample
added to the "Secret" page, U.S.A.,1930s-40s
They won't let the Pope see ads
for tampons and
contraception when he visits
"Zbigniew Badziak, the state-run TV
network's head of advertising, told the
Associated Press that 'there is always
the risk that the faithful may feel hurt
if programming devoted to the Pope's
visit is interrupted by frivolous ads.'
Not that they banned all advertising --
just frivolous ads for contraception and
feminine hygiene [and lingerie, booze
and certain desserts]. Still OK: useful,
important advertising like car
Read the whole story (if you're a member
of Salon premium).
Think about this, anti-artificial
"'Rhythm Method' May
Kill Off More Embryos Than Other Methods
"... the rhythm method may well be
responsible for massive embryonic death, and
the same logic that turned pro-lifers away
from morning after pills, IUDs, and pill
usage, should also make them nervous about
the rhythm method," writes a professor in
the Journal of Medical Ethics. Read a summary
Instruments for gynecology and obstetrics
(childbirth) in this museum:
The Sims vaginal
And read a little history of The Touch method
of gynecological examination.
Read an article about stopping
menstrual period. Another article
mentions approved or on-the-horizon menstrual
period suppression products Seasonale, Seasonique,
Lybrel, Implanon, and Yaz. Read what other
people think about stopping
The puzzled graduate is actually redesigned
from a Kotex menstrual
pad ad from the 1940s, which is here.
Kotex menstrual pad
ad, U.S.A., July 1942
Kotex menstrual pad ad,
tampon, U.S.A., 1930s-1940s
1923, U.S.A., Montgomery Ward catalog
Why DO women
Greeks felt it was a way to purify the
blood (a few writers to the stop menstruation page feel the same way),
some people in the European Middle Ages
thought that menstrual blood nourished the
fetus and was expelled when there was no
fetus, and today we - we really don't know
a purpose for it. C.A. Finn, in
"Why Do Women and Some Other Primates
Menstruate?" (Perspectives in Biology and
Medicine, 30, 4 - Summer 1987) concluded
that a few primates, a bat and a shrew
menstruate because the tissue that
hormones build in the uterus cannot revert
to a previous stage when the hormone
levels decline and so must die and be
discarded: menstruation. But we knew that.
Why these animals (including us) have
developed this is not known.
American menstrual tampon?
Comic strip: A
conservative American family visits the future
Museum of Menstruation (Chapter 1)!
Shows Rapid Return To Menstruation Once Oral
Contraception Stopped" (headline from
Women - 99 percent of them - returned to normal menstruation or
became pregnant with in 90 days after
stopping it long-term with drugs, finds a
This might be good news for women worried
about stopping their periods with hormones for
a long time but later wanting to have children
or resume menstruation. Read
story on ScienceDaily.com.
Meds & Modess menstruation ads, 1946
I just saw this email, thank
you for replying personally (and for featuring
my comment [read her comments],
By the way, I'm a 28-year-old Hungarian woman.
I feel that we have less information and less
options here than women in the U.S. What I
know about Mirena, the Depo Provera and the
menstrual cups, I know from the Web.
Your site has been a great
source of information and comfort for me! I
can't begin to tell you how thankful I feel.
For the first time in my "adult"
(=menstruating) life, I feel like I have a
right to voice my feelings and consider my
options. I feel like I can do so without being
judged, patronized and hushed. Instead of
suffering silently, I feel like I have
choices, even in this sensitive area.
While most men just enjoy their
biological luck and make cruel jokes about
womenís menstrual problems, you make every
effort to understand the female cycle and
share a wealth of information about it. Wow.
Thank you, not only for the information, but
for being objective and sympathetic.
page peels off a thin layer of the thick
crimson-colored shame I've developed about
The experience is like an
"intellectual menstruation" that I can welcome
and cherish. Forgive the parallel :)
In two little words: THANK YOU.
Do good mothers get PMS worse than the other ones?
The author of a recent book and study,
Professor Jane M. Ussher, presents her views
at the University of Leichester, United
Kingdom. Read about it from an article on
"Premenstrually, when many
women feel more vulnerable, and their
repressed frustration or anger comes to the
fore, their self-control is ruptured, and
they can lash out, or want to withdraw from
the caring role. Yet this is followed by
increased self-surveillance, leading to
guilt, shame, and blaming of the body.
"As women in lesbian relationships were found
to report less distress associated with
premenstrual changes, greater acceptance on
the part of their partner, and less
self-policing, Professor Ussher concludes that
the identification of self-policing is of
particular concern for heterosexual women."
Read the ScienceDaily article.
Mmm, Kellogg's Corn Flakes - right?
And have you ever had naughty
feelings "down there"? Yes, I think
you have. Well, Dr. Kellogg recommended pouring undiluted
carbolic acid on your clitoris to
stop them! I betcha it worked!
And avoid intense mental excitement
to sell Dainty Maid douches and menstrual
Yes, gather your friends and party on! "Dainty
once - does it still? - put women's kids
through college and bought them cars if they
sold enough douche bags. Read testimonials and see
what else they sold. No, no snapshots from the
Argentine and Nigerian poets send their
García and Isiaka
Abiodun Tiamiyu. Ms. Garcia has also
graciously translated several pages of this
site into Spanish (Anticoncepción
y religión, Breve
reseña - Olor - Religión
y menstruación - Seguridad
de productos para la menstruación).
German kids maturing
earlier - Fast food the reason?
The online edition of the German
newsmagazine Der Spiegel reports that German
girls and boys continue the trend of earlier
first menstruation (menarche) and first
Emeritus Professor Norbert Kluge
of the Universität Koblenz-Landau wrote in der
Internet publication "Beiträge zur
Sexualwissenschaft und Sexualpädagogik" that
girls in 1992 had their first menstrual period
on average at 12.2 years old and in 2010 will
have it around 10 or 11 years of age.
Researchers noted the trend 140
years ago. In 1860 the average menarche
happened at 16.6 years, in 1920 at 14.6, in
1950 at 13.1 and 1980, 12.5 years.
Kluge (by the way, klug means
smart in German) attributed the early
maturation mostly to obesity caused by
fast food. Lack of fat can also stop
menstruation, which is what happens with
Read the story
(in German). Read more about the age of first menstruation
A French woman writes that
government censors this site:
"I just wanted to mail you
some information I got from a friend of
mine who is also French and has spent two
years in Sudan in an archeological
"I sent her the address of
your site by email, since I thought she
might find it interesting. Here is
(translated into English) how she answered
'Can't! It's censored by
the Sudanese government. I find a
sentence which tells me it's haram
(sin), and a verse from the Koran which
promises me Hell if I go on this site.'
Later on she added, 'I talked about it
with a Sudanese friend who told me,
"They put that site with porn sites."
'Then I explained to her that I found
that kind of censure on almost every
medical site that I tried to go on and
she was very upset.'"
You are known by the
company you keep: along with Sudan at
least one American feminist group tells
its members not to visit MUM. My comic
strip in part plays with this.
Women call tell just by
looking at his picture if a man
likes children (in a fatherly way, not
sexually) and if he has a high testosterone
level. Read the summary of Proceedings
of the Royal Society B article at sciencedaily.com
(scroll to second item):
The men who had expressed an
interest in children were identified by the
women as those they thought would be
interested in children. Those men who had
shown high levels of testosterone were
identified by the women as physically
"The study provides the first direct evidence
that women's attractiveness judgements
specifically track both men's affinity for
children and men's hormone concentrations,"
the researchers concluded.
Pill to stop
menstruation indefinitely in Brazil
is not new at all,
writes Dr. Nelson Soucasaux, your MUM's
New contribution to expressions
for menstruation in England:
"My friends and I sometimes say 'The sock is here'
because when I first started, I once
complained that it felt like I had a sock
trapped in my underwear," writes an English
14-year-old. See many more expressions for
menstruation from around the world that
Are you a victim of those special weaknesses
to which womankind is so apt to fall?
I have something.
Would you stop menstruating if you could?
"Here is what I would like to
say in answer to your question.
"If I could have it my way, I
would never stop menstruating. I love
menstruating. I hate the thought that somedayI
will stop menstruating. I love having a
monthly cycle, and feeling how I change during
it. I love that I perceive and deal with
things differently during different stages of
my cycle. I do get pretty bad cramps and acne
and all of that, but I don't mind. There are
few things that give me such a deep, intense
sensation, even if it is uncomfortable. I also
love the way menstruating feels. It feels warm
and slippery and lovely. I also love my
menstrual fluid. Sometimes I sit in a bath and
watch it swirl around me. I hate the term
'bleeding' because it really is not like
bleeding at all. I think what I love the most
is that menstruation gives me a special, close
connection to my body. My cycle is sometimes
irregular, but I've come to enjoy that about
my period. I really would like to go on a form
of birth control, but I dread the idea of
losing my natural cycle." (More of your answers)
College student, age 19
Does dress length
have anything to do with menstrual pain?
woman thought so.
And women are not as
capable as men in science? A
100-year-old (almost) message to (outgoing)
President Summers of Harvard:
"If any one cares to claim that the brain of
woman is inferior to or in any essential
respect different from that of man he must
seek the evidence for his belief in his
personal experience or the archives of history
- certainly not among the sober records of
science. . . . [I]n the
matter of zeal for work and of intelligence
in grasping facts and principles [women]
have shown themselves, on the average, quite
as capable as the men students, while in one
respect, namely the ability to express what
they know in clear and logical English, I
have found them as a rule to be superior to
men." (Dr. William H. Howell,
professor of physiology at Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine, in the New York
Times, February 15, 1915.
Two men and four women led that Johns
Hopkins medical school class of 80 men and
10 women.) More.
Women like more masculine-looking men
- and their partners get jealous. But not
when The Pill stops her ovulation!
Darn it, life is so complicated.
Anyway, read this from the
University of Liverpool: "Images of male faces
that were either high or low in dominant
features, such as a strong jaw lines and
thinner lips, were shown to male participants
who provided ratings of dominance for each
image. A dominant person was defined as
someone who looked like they could 'get what they wanted'."
Wow! Hot stuff!
Now you want to read the whole
thing, don't you?! But please be gentle
with the guy(s). I've been through this.
The famous Marie Stopes showed
in the early 20th century that women's sexual
desire peaks about the time of ovulation - see
What did mothers
tell their daughters about
their first menstruation in 1932?
Are you kidding? They left it to
Dutch o.b. ad showing
Did menstruation knock
out kick boxers?
In the 1970s, a woman TV announcer
circled inside a ring in a boxing stadium in
Thailand. "That night, every fight ended in a
bloody T.K.O. [technical knock out] owing to
cuts. The female announcer was held
responsible, on the strength of a murky
associative link between women, menstrual
blood, and T.K.O.s, and women were banned from
entering a boxing ring." Even though women box
professionally today in
Thailand, they don't in THAT ring, according
to the "New Yorker" magazine article "Cool
Heart," 16 January 2006.
And guess what
"The Filth Pharmacy"
(Dreckapotheke in German) cured all diseases
"from head to feet" employing people's and
animals' excretions and secretions - use your
imagination! - including, of course, menstrual
blood, which drove away warts. (Try it.)
This pharmacy, actually a German book,
helpfully (for you) contained many recipes
from antiquity to 1693, when it
appeared in Frankfurt am Main. The disgusting
medicine drove away disease demons and
reactivated the living "Stoff" clinging to the
excrement - at least that was what Christian
Franz Paullini believed, who wrote it. History
rewarded him with the term Paullinism. The
Dictionary of German Folklore writes that not
only do some Germans still use the wart
treatment, they treat chilblains -
inflammation and sores on the feet and hands
caused by cold - with urine. The Dictionary
(actually "Wörterbuch der deutschen
Volkskunde," Stuttgart, 1981, from which I
translated the information here) lists
Paullini's book as "Neuvermehrte, heylsame
Dreckapotheke, wie nämlich mit Kot und Urin
fast alle, auch die schwerste, giftigste
Krankheiten u. bezauberte Schäden vom Haupte
bis zu den Füßen innerlich und äußerlich
glücklich curiert worden; Mit allerhand raren,
so wohl nutz- als ergötzlichen Historien" -
beneficial filth pharmacy, how in particular
one can successfully cure almost all, even
the most difficult, most poisonous diseases
and bewitched injuries from head to feet,
inside and out, with filth and urine; with
all sorts of rare as well as useful and
entertaining stories." Whew! Phew!
religión, Breve reseña, por Kathleen
(Spanish translation, by Maria Garcia, of
Kathleen O'Grady's "Contraception
and Religion" on this site.
By the way, I am
proud to have such an accomplished Spanish
translator of this site: visit Maria
Garcia's beautiful Web site www.maria-garcia.com.ar
The Art of
Menstruation: Kate Goldwater
What causes menstrual odor?
You're not going to like this.
Bacteria from the anus - oh,
I'll just say it: they're from feces, and are
the famous Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria
- eat the blood, cells and tissue running from
the uterus and vagina and produce the
characteristic smell of menstruation.
You say you don't have fecal
bacteria in your vagina? Oh, ho, ho, yes you
Your anus is about an inch
(2.54 centimeters) from the entrance to the
vagina and it's a snap for bacteria to creep
that teensy distance - or ride on a tampon,
cup, pad or inside panties (imagine how a
thong might do this) or get wiped there with a
swipe of toilet paper (a good reason to wipe
the anus toward the back, not toward the front
of the body, to minimize the number that do
make the trip).
Now, for most of the month the
acid in the vagina - yes, helpful bacteria
there make lactic acid - ties the hands and
feet of those little devils by hardly allowing
them to reproduce and grow. They and many
other disease-causing bacteria cannot thrive
in the acid.
But for a few days each month
the vagina, and outside, on the vulva, are the
perfect places to raise a family! You guessed
it: during menstruation! Blood, cells and
secretions from the uterus and vagina make the
vagina more alkaline and the bacteria feel
right at home. Oh, girl! And they gorge
gourmet whenever they want!
So what about female folks who
don't menstruate, like prepubescent girls and
postmenopausal women? Fecal bacteria can live
in their vaginas without producing that
characteristic smell because the bacterial and
hormonal setup is different from that of
O.K., if there are so many
bacteria in the vagina during menstruation is it safe to have sex?
If by sex you mean a penis
doing his job, and if both people have no
infectious diseases, for example HIV and
hepatitis, then it's generally safe.
But there is one huge
exception: women who get urinary tract
infections. The entrance to the bladder is
right above the opening of the vagina and the
penis can rub the swarming bacteria right into
the tube that leads to the bladder, which is
much shorter than a male's, one reason women
get UTIs much more often than men.
Douches and deodorants can also
change the environment of the vagina and allow
dangerous bacteria to grow there. (Read about
member Dr. Philip Tierno Jr.'s book "The
Secret Life of Germs" supplied most of the
information for my essay, although he wrote
with more restraint.