Talking dirty in bed is easier than you might think!
I have menstruated almost 1,680 days in my life. That is four years, seven months, and one week.
I was newly twelve years old when I experienced menarche (the beginning of menstruation). I had already been experiencing the throes of puberty in other ways: I had been unable to sleep on my stomach for almost two years due to the painful budding of breasts on my chest, my bony and childish hips were softening into an hourglass, I was growing taller, and I had finally started shaving under my arms, where I had needed to apply deodorant for at least a year.
I had devoured the booklets we were given in health class, the way that bookworms often do, and I had expected a flood of bright red liquid. I remember being confused at the thick reddish brown stains in my underwear, changing them quickly, and approaching my mom with ashamed tears threatening to spill. She hugged me close and explained that I was experiencing my first period. I was provided with menstrual pads that reminded me of my little brother’s diapers. I was acutely aware of the crinkle of plastic in my pants as I walked through the halls of my new middle school.
I learned to palm the pads from my purse to my pocket as though I’d studied legerdemain, always terrified that a boy would see the plastic packaging and suddenly know that I was on my period. It was a secret to be guarded at all costs, and I felt a vague sense of shame about such a natural bodily function.
It wasn’t until a year or so later that I first started experiencing menstrual cramps. These pangs would radiate from my pelvis around to my lower back and shoot down my legs. I learned that if I took ibuprofen as soon as I saw the telltale blood, I could stave off the worst of the pain. Once I entered high school, I no longer felt shame around menstruation, and it became an annoyance. I had a textbook 28 day cycle, and my periods would generally last for seven days. Sometimes they were longer, sometimes shorter, but the average was seven days.
Once I became sexually active, each month’s menstruation was greeted with jubilation. I was very lucky during this time that I never became pregnant, especially as we were relying solely on condoms at the time. A few months before I married my ex husband, I bought my first and only set of pregnancy tests. I had been using hormonal birth control, in addition to condoms, but for the first time in my life, my period did not visit like clockwork.
My sweaty hands fumbled with the plastic wrappers in the public bathroom of the store in which we had purchased them, and I tried to cry quietly as I turned the purple stick face down on the tile floor while I waited the two minutes for the results. The tests were negative. One week later, my period visited again, though this time it seemed heavier and more painful than previously. I rejoiced through the pain.
At this point in time, I was adamant that I never wanted to have children, and I convinced my gynecologist to give me an IUD. The insertion was painful, and I had perpetual cramps for three consecutive months, but I never wanted to sob alone in a bathroom stall ever again.
Throughout my early to mid-twenties, my period was again a mild annoyance. A fact of life to be endured, and nothing more. I stopped keeping track of the dates I expected to menstruate, knowing that my chosen method of birth control was practically as good as getting a hysterectomy.
Somewhere around age twenty-six, my attitude towards being a mother shifted. It no longer seemed like such a terrifying prospect. By the age of twenty-seven, my criteria for long-term dating partners had changed significantly: I was looking for someone that was interested in marriage and children. I still have my IUD, and have no intention of changing that until I and my boyfriend are fully ready: mentally, emotionally, and financially.
My social media is filled with friends who are pregnant, friends who have infants, and friends who have gorgeous and precocious toddlers and preschoolers. Each photo, each ultrasound, each announcement fills me with joy for my friends’ happiness, and I feel ashamed of my brief twinges of envy.
I am no longer ambivalent or annoyed about my menstruation. I worry each month that I am losing something precious, a finite resource within me. I am scared that when I and my boyfriend are finally ready, I will have bled too often, I will have lost my chance. I have a tiny moment of mourning, a tiny moment of terror, a tiny moment of wondering what might have been, each month.
I am almost thirty-two now.
I have been menstruating for nearly twenty years.
I started my period today.
I’ve gotten a few concerned messages from followers of Nice Girls, worried that something had happened to me because my last post was back in January. Well, something did. I finally feel like I can write about it in a way that has at least a small sense of perspective, and isn’t just coming from a place of pain.
Fiancé is no longer my fiancé. We chose to end our engagement a couple of months ago, and we’re still trying to figure out how and where and whether or not we will fit in one another’s future.
Breakups are messy and painful. Ours was not an exception.
It started slowly. The dissolution of his startup had left him depressed and listless. Over the course of six months, he pulled away emotionally, mentally, and physically. We had opened up our relationship, and right at the same time as his startup dissolved, he had found a new partner who he invested the lions share of his energy towards. I had come to depend on him for love, intellectual stimulation, and support, but with his new relationship, I was shunted aside.
I was hurt and angry. I felt abandoned. I actually was abandoned, for days on end, with minimal contact from him. When he would finally decide to spend time with me, I would lash out and demand he listen to my anger and hurt. He responded by retreating further, wrapping himself in the new relationship like a warm blanket, rather than deal with the sobbing, snarling, wreck of a person I had become. Boundaries were trampled, agreements were broken, and our respective ideas of the future were no longer in sync. Lies, deceit, and avoidance grew where love, acceptance, and honesty were supposed to flourish. I went through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
I could no longer trust him to be honest with me. He could no longer trust me to be kind. We made the mutual decision that, despite the fact that we still cared for one another, we would be better apart than we were together. There was no big announcement, no huge public blowup. I’ve been fielding questions from friends, as they realize we are no longer “in a relationship” on Facebook.
I am in an unenviable position right now. Because we were living together (and, consequently, living with his girlfriend too. I forgot to mention that.), I am now essentially homeless. I won’t be sleeping on the streets, because I have wonderful friends here (shout out to you guys, you know who you are, and you are AWESOME), but I am adrift yet again. The vast majority of my personal possessions are still in our once-shared room, or in the storage unit we shared. I am living out of a suitcase.
That isn’t the worst part of this whole situation though. When you spend more than three years with someone, your lives are intertwined. We have countless mutual friends. His parents’ house felt more like a home than anywhere else I had been in years. His extended family embraced me wholeheartedly. It is impossible to fully extricate yourself from this sort of relationship. Little things, like pictures from family gatherings on Facebook, that bring me joy to see from others, now feel like a tiny stab in the heart when they come from his family. I had to request no contact for an indefinite period of time, so that I could fully heal, because his late-night “I miss you” texts were simultaneously making me angry and breaking my heart all over again.
I’ve never had to do this sort of adult breakup before. I used to cut all ties when a relationship ended, but that simply isn’t possible, and furthermore, I don’t want to do that. Forcing friends to choose sides simply isn’t in my nature, and if it were, the inevitable result would be disastrous and even more painful. I have no internal road map for this.
I have no idea where my life will take me from here. I’m working a part-time job and looking for full-time employment, but I’m hesitant to lean on my network too much at the moment. Having a roof over my head is a more immediate worry than a full-time job. My current job gives me enough income to eat and to pay my meager bills, but there isn’t much left over afterwards. I’m trying to increase my skill set by learning some programming through Code Academy. I’m dating a lovely new guy who I adore, and he’s been a wonderful respite from my daily worries.
I am okay. I’ll be more than okay. I am going to thrive and grow, both personally and professionally. Thank you for being patient with me, my dear readers. I am not going to make any promises to you right now about a posting schedule. My posts will likely be sporadic, but I hope that they will increase in frequency again.
Okay, so I had planned on doing a video today, but then I realized that pretty much all of my clothing that isn’t black is currently in the laundry, and I don’t have an alternate backdrop for the studio I film in. If I were to film in my comfy black sweater, you’d see nothing but a floating head and a lot of hair. This lead to the realization that if I waited until it was done, then it would be really late, and no one would see the video. So you get another blog post, yay! And I put on a ton of makeup (before said realization) for no reason at all, yay!
Someone sent me an anonymous request (via my Survey Monkey!) to do a video or blog post about the debate that rages regarding pubic hair.
I’ve been doing some variation of hair removal for over a decade now. When I was a teenager, and I was still using pads, I would often trim my pubic hair while sitting on the toilet, with a pair of scissors. When I had my period, I would often pass clots of blood and tissue, and they would sometimes get tangled in my pubic hair. I reasoned that it would be easier to clean up during my period if the hair wasn’t quite so long.
Then I read an article in a teen magazine. A girl had written in, saying that she was nervous about wearing a bathing suit in front of boys because her pubic hair would peek out the sides of her swimsuit bottoms. She was actually given really good advice. She was told not to worry about it, and that any boys who made fun of her for it were just immature. But she was also told that if it really made her nervous and she wanted to, she could use the same razor that she used on her legs to clean up the sides of her pubic hair.
I was about to start doing swim lessons in high school, and it was a co-ed class. Suddenly, I was nervous about my pubic hair showing on the sides of my bathing suit. So I started shaving the sides of my pubic hair. I kept doing this for years: trimming the long stuff near my labia, and shaving the sides when I knew I was going to be in a swimsuit.
I am pretty sure that my initial decision to actually go ahead and shave all of my pubic hair was out of curiosity. I had read about it in ladies magazines (yes, again, my beauty and hygiene regimen was influenced by someone else having issues about their body), I had heard friends talk about it, and I was curious what it would feel like. So I took an extra long shower and decided to shave it all off. My (now ex) husband really liked it, and asked me to keep doing it.
It felt weird, but it didn’t feel more weird than the sensation after shaving my legs. I was really aware of the fact that my entire vaginal area felt different for a couple of days afterwards. And then the hair started to grow back. It itched. It was prickly. Some of the hair had trouble breaking back through the skin, so I had ingrown hairs, and not only did those itch too, but I had to take a pair of tweezers to my skin to get them out. Even weirder though, was that the hair that grew back in was different. Before I shaved my pubic hair, it had been curly and kind of rough. Now, much like the hair on my head, it was straight and smooth. I let it grow out a little more, but now that it was growing differently, it became hard to have sex without the hair being pulled (and sometimes, even pulled out).
So I continued shaving and letting it grow out and repeating the process. I’ve also waxed the hair, and I find I actually prefer to do that over shaving it. I would prefer to just let it be, but unfortunately, I can’t, unless I want to have pain during sex.
Now let’s talk about the pros and cons of removing your pubic hair. This list goes for anyone who is considering removing it, whether you identify as male, female, or any other gender.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Hair in your pubic area isn’t gross, or unhygienic. It has a purpose. It’s also okay to remove it, but you have to take extra precautions with preventing infections. Above all, don’t do it if you’re just worried about someone telling you that you should remove it. It is your body. Do with it what you want.
Whew. It’s been quite a month, hasn’t it? As much as I enjoy this season, I’m feeling relieved that the holidays are almost over.
I got this wonderful question in my Survey Monkey, and it’s an important one.
I read your blog about vaginal discharge and stuff. it helped me too cus I was having the same problem. here is my question: everyone was talking in school about whether they are virgins or not. they asked me and I just skipped the question. I am a virgin. should I lose my virginity just so people wont make fun of me for it. I think I am ready, but I don’t know if I should
I’m glad you enjoyed my previous post, my dear! I love hearing that I’ve helped someone.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that people generally don’t find out about until much later in life: Virginity, meaning whether or not someone has had sexual intercourse, doesn’t matter at all. Really. No one is going to think differently of you when you’re an adult if you’ve never had sex. They aren’t going to think of you differently if you have had sex. It flat out doesn’t matter when you’re an adult. I can think of two people that I am friends with (one male, one female) who have never had sex. Both of them are in their mid-twenties. No big deal. Now, I know that doesn’t help you out right now, but it is something to think about.
The answer to your question is no, you should not lose your virginity just so people don’t make fun of you for it. You should only have sex when you actually want to do it. That previous sentence will be true for the rest of your life, not just about your first time, so let me say it again: You should only have sex when you actually want to have sex. If you feel pressure to have sex because you think your friends are all doing it, and that sounds like the case here, then you should wait. If your friends make fun of you for the fact that you haven’t had sex yet, then they aren’t very good friends. It’s okay to say that you aren’t interested in having sex, or that you want to be in a good relationship first, or even just that you don’t think you’re ready yet. All of those are valid reasons for waiting.
I know that in middle school or high school, it can seem like everyone else is “doing it”, but that isn’t actually the case. Some people have, some people are lying because they want to look cool or they think that other people will judge them for not having sex yet. In a study that was done a few years ago, they found that the average age that someone has sex for the first time (male or female) is 17.
There’s another thing to consider. You said that your friends were making fun of you for not having sex yet. Unfortunately, that doesn’t generally go away even if you do have sex. You’re at an age where everyone gossips about everyone else. People will probably talk about you and your sex life (or no sex life), if you and/or your partner are talking to other people about it, no matter what you do. Teenagers and adolescents can be mean. Try to not let the opinions of other people, even your friends, make you decide to do something if you aren’t comfortable with it.
If you and your partner want to have sex, then go for it. Have fun, and be sure to use barrier contraception. You can go to that link to find my blog post about barrier methods for heterosexual (male and female) couples and learn about condoms. You should always use a condom, especially for your first time. You can go to this link to learn about how to have safer sex with another female (and these safer sex practices also apply to heterosexual sex too! Especially using a dental dam!). You should make sure that your partner respects you, likes you (maybe even loves you), and isn’t pressuring you to have sex before you’re ready.
Sex of any kind will pretty much always be awkward the first time. And yes, I mean every kind of sex. Oral sex (giving a blowjob, more properly called fellatio; or “going down” on a girl, more properly called cunnilingus) is still sex, giving someone a “handjob” or “fingering” is still sex, and anal sex is still sex too. It is so important to know that it’ll be weird: your bodies will make strange noises, there are new smells, putting on a condom is generally awkward (please stock up, and read the instructions!), and if you still have your hymen then it might be a little painful too. Having a partner who you care about and who cares about you will make it more fun than awkward.
I’m not saying this to scare you, or to try and make you not want to have sex, but to give you as much information as I possibly can in a short blog post. Get some books and read about sex. I can recommend S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College. It is a great book with a LOT of information (and if you buy it through that link, then you help me make some money!). If you feel comfortable, talking to the school nurse might help too.
I can’t tell you when to have sex. Only you know when you’re ready. But I can tell you that you shouldn’t do it if you are looking to avoid being teased, or to make your friends happy, or even to make your partner happy. You should only have sex when you want to do it. I really hope this post has helped you.
Do you have a question about sex or relationships? You can go here to ask me anything, completely anonymously!
Wow, I completely dropped off of the face of the earth for awhile there, didn’t I? I could sit here at my computer and start making excuses, but we would all know that they’re excuses. My life has taken some crazy twists and turns, but I hope you all know how much I appreciate that you read the words I throw out into this gigantic void we call the internet. I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. I hope we’re still friends.
I logged into my SurveyMonkey, and found a few really awesome questions that had been languishing there, and one that made me raise my eyebrows a little.
To the young man who sent me the same question in at least three different forums (YouTube comment, Google+ post, and through the SurveyMonkey) about his penis size: if your penis is actually the dimensions you are stating, you might have a real shot at candidacy for the Guinness Book of World Records. You would certainly have a lucrative career as a star in pornographic films, if you chose to pursue that as an option. Quite frankly, I think you were exaggerating and you decided to send me a fantasy of yours. I can assure you, there are almost certainly other people on the internet who would love to read about it. If you enjoy writing fantasy of this nature, you may want to look for erotic literature sites that allow users to upload their own stories. I have a particular fondness for Literotica, myself.
Now on to the real questions!
Hi Suzanne! I am a 15 year old girl and my older sister recommended your blog since I am starting to get curious about my body and the changes I have already started going through. I usually have vaginal discharge throughout the month (I have a regular menstrual cycle and started getting my period at 13) and am not sure if I should be worried about it or not. Is discharge normal? p.s. I usually get discharge more often about a week or two before my period. The odor is also more potent during that time. The odor is kinda salty I guess? Not sure how to explain it. Thanks!
Hello my dear!
Let me start off by reassuring you that vaginal discharge is totally normal, and nothing to be worried about. In fact, when you start learning the reasons behind vaginal discharge, you might think it is actually pretty cool. I know I do, but it’s my job to think these things are really cool.
Take a look at that image above. Vaginal discharge is actually a mucus that is secreted by glands in the cervix. Normal colors of this mucus are clear, white, and off-white. It has several different functions, but it is primarily there to make sure that your vagina stays clean. The discharge cleans out the dead bacteria, and keeps the vaginal canal moist and comfortable. If you were to do a pH test, you’d find that the vaginal discharge is mildly acidic. This helps prevent infections, and also helps keep the normally occurring bacteria at healthy levels. The acidity also means that the mucus may discolor your underwear, especially black underwear. I didn’t know that this was totally normal for the longest time, and I actually started wondering if there was something wrong with my vaginal discharge.
You’ve already noticed that there is a difference in your vaginal discharge throughout your menstrual cycle, and again, that is totally normal! The mucus changes in consistency when a woman is ovulating, because the cervix is making sure that the vagina is as clean and healthy as possible when an egg is released. As soon as you hit puberty and start menstruating (yes, even at 13!), your reproductive system works together to try and make sure that you always have the best of conditions to get pregnant if sperm is introduced into the vagina during this time. I have always thought it was really interesting and, again, super cool, that our reproductive systems actually clean themselves.
There are a few things you can do to help make sure that your vagina stays healthy. Wearing cotton underwear as your everyday underwear is probably the most helpful. The fabric allows air to flow freely, and helps prevent a buildup of sweat and keep harmful bacteria from being introduced to your vagina. There is evidence that eating yogurt with active cultures also helps keep the bacteria in your vaginal canal healthy and in balance. Some women, especially those of older generations, will douche after their menstrual cycle. Douching is forcing water and a cleanser into your vagina, and it is really really unhealthy. Please don’t ever do this! It can kill those naturally occurring bacteria, and will make you more susceptible to an infection.
If you feel self-conscious of the vaginal discharge, you might find that wearing a pantyliner on a regular basis will help you to feel more confident, but you should avoid the ones that are scented. This goes for everything that goes anywhere near your vagina! Using pantyliners, pads, or tampons that are perfumed can actually irritate the sensitive skin on your labia. You said you have noticed a difference in the smell of your vaginal discharge depending on the time of your menstrual cycle. I promise, no one else has any idea that the smell is different.
If you find that your vaginal discharge changes in color or smell in a way that is unfamiliar, especially if you are sexually active, you should make an appointment to go see your doctor or gynecologist. This can indicate an infection, and it should be treated as soon as possible. Not treating an infection for an extended period of time can actually lead to serious complications, including making it impossible for you to ever get pregnant or have a baby. I know you’re probably not thinking about getting pregnant right now, but making sure that things are always healthy will help you in the future!
Lastly, thank you so much for your question. I hope my answer helped!
Do you have a question for me? You can go here to ask me anything about sex and relationships, completely anonymously!
Talking dirty in bed is easier than you might think!
Tips for acting out a slightly taboo fantasy! Watch the whole video and comment below for a chance to win a copy of The Posh Girl’s Guide to Play by Alexis Lass.
First advice requests! Do you have a burning question? You can ask me anything, completely anonymously, through this link.
Hello Nice Girl,
I am a young woman in my late twenties. I am friends with this couple, and I always enjoy spending time with them. I particularly enjoy spending time with the woman. I think she’s pretty awesome. They are in an open relationship.
The man in the couple is pretty flirty with me, and it makes me uncomfortable. I’ve never said anything to him or his girlfriend about it. I asked a mutual friend to help me handle it, and he said he didn’t know what to do so that friend asked another mutual friend. I’m not sure what else happened, because I haven’t talked to anyone else since then.
I know from your blog that you’re in an open relationship. Did I do the right thing?
Well, letter-writer, the short answer is no, I don’t think you did the right thing. I think you did the cowardly thing. You state in your letter that you haven’t said anything to either person in that couple, and that you brought other friends into the situation. That is really immature, and you might have ruined your friendship with that couple.
Everyone deals with rejection. Everyone. But you didn’t give this guy the ability to handle that rejection by talking to him, or even by talking to his girlfriend about the fact that you are uncomfortable. Instead, you chose to talk about him, behind his back, to a friend and that person has decided to talk to yet another friend. This is how reputation-damaging rumors start, even among adults.
I would suggest that the next time you are in a situation where you are not interested in someone and they are being flirty, you take some initiative, be assertive, and tell him or her that you are not interested. It isn’t easy, I know, but learning to deal with an uncomfortable situation is part of being an adult.
I’d be willing to bet that, had you talked to either person in that couple, they would have thanked you for your honesty and the flirting would have stopped immediately.
I’ve never had an orgasm during sex, I only have them via clit stimulation (generally oral). I’ve never found my g-spot. After reading ’50 Shades of Grey’, it struck me how misled we are about it. We’re taught that, when we’re in the right moment, penetrative orgasms (generally multiples) happen naturally, and if they don’t, then there must be something wrong.
I have never had a penetrative orgasm (not for lack of trying), but find that I am still susceptible to the idea that there must be something wrong with me (when, logically, I know there’s not).
I was reading about the a-spot and my guy and I went on a hunt for it. I think he found it, but it just felt like I REALLY had to pee. I’ve heard that’s normal, but I found it more uncomfortable than pleasurable. Ideas? Suggestions?
For starters, letter-writer, and I want to stress this as much as possible, YOU ARE TOTALLY NORMAL. Only 11% of women ever experience a penetrative orgasm. Ever. The pervasive myth that women should immediately be multi-orgasmic just sets everyone up for disappointment and a sense of failure.
The vast majority of women only experience an orgasm through clitoral stimulation.
If orgasming during intercourse is something that is important to you and your partner (and if it is important to you, then it should also be important to your partner), then I would recommend he either stimulate your clitoris with his hands, or you can incorporate a vibrator during sex. I personally recommend trying something like a bullet vibrator, where you can vary the speed of the vibration if things get too intense or you need more stimulation. (By the way, if you purchase anything through that link, you’re helping to support Nice Girls! I’m now an affiliate with Good Vibrations. Go me!)
Of course, it is always harder for a woman to reach orgasm if she is stressed, so make sure that you’re not putting too much pressure on yourself. Anxiety is a major block for sexual pleasure.
As for the a-spot (and the g-spot), it is generally accepted that they are the internal extensions of the clitoris. It is also totally normal that you felt like you needed to pee, as your partner was probably also putting pressure on your bladder. The next time that you go hunting for pleasure centers inside your vagina, it is always a good idea to make sure that you have gone to the bathroom beforehand.
What do you think of my advice? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section!
Video #4 and the finale of the series!
This is a quick guide on how easy it can be to approach someone at a convention and ask them out.