(Also long, and probably not very interesting for those looking for kink. You want some funny kink? Try this. Or this.)
When I got older and broke away from the stifling, oppressive lifestyle I had grown up in, my views and habits went through some drastic changes. But some of the basic beliefs, I just could not rid myself of them, and the belief that my period made me dirty and disgraceful in the eyes of God and men was one of them.
For 23 days out of my cycle, I was flirty, alluring, teasing, and fun. I knew I was sexy because I felt sexy, and guys responded to that. But for the other five days, I would become a different person. I would turn shy around men. I dressed very blandly, and covered everything up. It was like I didn't want a man to find me attractive while I had my period, because that would be somehow leading him into sin.
I had a few boyfriends during this time, and when I got my period, I would not let them touch me. At all. They were not allowed to hug me, or give me a kiss hello. It was just one of those things; I think they chalked it up to a woman being in a bad mood during her period, and not wanting to be touched. They didn't realize my beliefs were based on some twisted theology that said if they touched me while I had my period, I would be tainting them with my uncleanliness. Looking back, it all seems so ridiculous; but back then, I felt like I was almost saving them from joining me in abomination. I was doing them a favor.
Then I met Husband.
From the beginning, I think we both knew what we had was something special. We weren't into the whole BDSM lifestyle then, we were both very young and ignorant about a great many things, but even so, the Dom in him and the sub in me were already a set part of our personalities, and we completed each other in ways we'd never found before.
But I still would not have sex with him during my period. At first, the issue didn't even come up. He was traveling a lot back then on business, and he always seemed to be flying off somewhere just when I had my period. In that sense, it was a relief for me not to have to explain to him why he could not fuck me. The topic simply never raised its ugly head.
Until the month he came home three days early from his trip, and I still had my period.
"Why am I home and you're not here?" He called and asked, slightly worried. It had become our ritual that he would tell me when he expected to be back at his apartment, and I was expected to be there, waiting for him. (Again, back then we weren't using words like Dom or sub, but even so, I was submitting to his wishes, obeying his orders to please him, and we both loved it.) He had called earlier to to tell me he was almost home, but I had not gone to his apartment to greet him.
"I can't come," I said. "I have...." I couldn't finish.
"What?" He asked. "A test? A project due? A place you need to be? What?"
"My period," I whispered. "I have my period."
He was quiet for a second. "So? Are you sick or something?"
"No, but...I have my period." I couldn't understand why we was being so obtuse about this. Wasn't it obvious why I couldn't come over?
"If you're not sick, and you don't have any other reason not to be here, then get over here. I haven't seen you in over a week, and I want to see you." His voice was an order, one I could not refuse.
When I got to his apartment, he immediately kissed me, hugged me, and began his gentle intimate touching of my body that he did after a long absence. It was almost like he had to re-claim my body as his own.
I pushed his hands away.
"Don't touch me," I said.
He stepped away, shocked. "Why?"
"Because I have my PERIOD," I said, getting exasperated.
"So what, I'm not allowed to touch you?" He asked.
"You can't," I said.
"Because I'm disgusting," I wailed.
"You look fine to me," he retorted. "You look beautiful. Look, is there something else going on here? Because I'd really love to kiss you, and if you're not going to let me, I'd like a real reason why."
Believe it or not, it was the first time a guy had ever argued with me after I'd refused his advances. Others had protested, some rather rudely, but no one had ever argued about it with me before, and insisted on an explanation for my strange attitude.
"I. Have. My. Period," I emphasized each word, like I was speaking to someone with a hearing disability.
"So what?" He repeated. "What the hell does that have to do with anything?"
And then this lightbulb went off in my head: he really didn't give a damn about my period. He was taking my refusal to give him access to my body personally.
"I'm gross," I said, ashamed, and slightly angry for having to humiliate myself by explaining this to him. "I'm dirty, and I smell weird...believe me, you don't want to touch me."
Now he got really pissed off. "Do not tell me when I do or do not want to touch you," he said, an edge to his voice. "I've been thinking about seeing you for over a week, and I finally get to have you in my arms again. You are not dirty, you are not gross, I don't know why you think you are but it's not true, so GET OVER HERE."
He pulled me into his arms, and this time, I let him. He didn't care about my period, not one bit. I was the one making him angry by my obstinate behavior. He had been looking forward to this moment all week, and I had was taking all the joy out of it by focusing on something he clearly didn't think was even an issue.
So I kissed him back. We made out for a while, there in the living room, and it felt like I had gone through some sort of epiphany.
I could touch a man during my period. Husband didn't mind; he didn't even care. He didn't see any unholy corruption and filth on me. I was the same me. I just happened to have my period, is all.
I realize this sounds like a big deal over nothing, but for me, given my upbringing, it was a drastic shift in beliefs, and it took me a while to accept it.
But then Husband started unbuttoning my shirt.
"What are you doing?" I screeched.
"What does it look like?" He peeled the shirt off my shoulders and admired the cleavage in my bra. "God, I've been waiting too long for this."
Next: A Jewish Woman and Her Period, the End