As a young man, I distinctly remember the first time that a woman described her period to me. I was sitting on the couch with my shirt off next to her, having her explain to me why we couldn’t have sex as if I was upset about it. “It feels….like being kicked in the vagina with steel-toe boots.”
I remember shivering at her comments. Not because I was upset about not being able to have sex with her, but because that honestly sounded like the most painful thing anyone could ever experience. Since then, I’ve approached the topic of periods with caution. Of course I will never know what it is like to have my uterine walls shed itself every month, and of course I will never know the hormonal and physical changes a woman’s body goes through every month. However, as someone who is always curious about the human experience, I couldn’t help but wonder how other women describe their periods to men. In the on-going quest for gender-equality, I wanted to know just how women explain their time of month to other men. These 12 responses are both hilarious and illuminating.
1. The Scoop
“I usually describe it as getting my insides scooped out with a razor-covered ice cream scoop.” -Mary, 23.
2. The Ball Buster
“The only way I can convey just how painful it can be to guys I know, I tell them that it feels like someone is repeatedly kicking you in the balls. Usually, they grab their package and say, ‘I’m so sorry.'” -Jamie, 28.
3. The Chest Burster
“I describe it like that one scene in Alien where the alien bursts out of a man’s chest and runs across the table.” -Carolina, 29.
4. The Angry Neighbors
“I usually tell them it is like having a bunch of small people living in your pelvis that are punching the shit out of you from the inside.” -Kylie, 31.
5. The Were-Woman
“I usually tell men it is like the full moon, and that for a few days I will just act like not myself, because I’m trying to keep myself from ripping their face off.” -Morgan, 27.
6. The Gas Blaster
“I describe as such: ‘Think of the most gassy and uncomfortable you’ve ever felt in your entire life, now imagine if you had to feel that for days every month.'” -Elizabeth, 25.
7. The Bloated Cramper
“The physical crampiness of it is kind of like, like you drank way too much coffee and ate way too much spicy food but there’s literally nothing you can do to alleviate it except suffer.” -Paula, 26.
8. The Bee Eater
“It is like you just swallowed a bunch of bees, and they’ve all made a home in your lower stomach.” -Gillian, 25.
9. The Emotional Wreck
“For the introverts of the world, the mood aspect of it is like you haven’t had a minute to yourself in two months to recharge after non stop human interaction and you want to fight everyone, but you know it’s ridiculous and that you obviously shouldn’t, but knowing that doesn’t fix anything.” -Nicole, 24.
10. The Mind Melter
“It feels like you’re losing your mind because it is very difficult to focus on anything and you feel like if you don’t get it together someone else is going to point out that you’re losing your mind. Overall, just very, very disorienting.” -Olivia, 26.
11. The Gut Gulper
“It feels like your guts were replaced by a bowl of nachos supreme that’s trying to eat itself.” -Beth, 27.
12. The Drag
“It feels like your lower half died but it is still attached to your body, so you just drag it around.” -Ira, 26.