Menstrual Fetish or Simply Education?
So as I often wander and drift through the internet, I find myself reading forums and Q&A from sites. Having grown up as a forum-hopper as a teenager, I ran into many puberty-related resources, allowing open discussion between males and females, both questioners and moderators/professionals who provide information or intervene to make an expert opinion/diagnosis. With that said, many of these “specific” forums tend to be more positive towards questions and they’re answered with decency – or at least posts that are negative/insulting are removed/moderated. The internet is essentially “society” – just like when we’re offline and many of the same stigmas exist. Let me elaborate.
I was reading on a Q&A site and bumped into several different threads/sites which had males asking legitimate questions about menstruation. Furthermore, they did so tastefully so it was not a matter of, “Oh my god, please let me have your old pads!” – but rather, “I want to know what girls experience during their period” or “Do girls exercise during their period?” These questions appeared genuine and plus, some people might have called them “stupid questions” – but for males who never experience menstruation – how should they know any better? If they dare to post a question up of that sensitivity, surely they deserve an appropriate response. If the person reading/answering feels that they don’t want to answer, why must they feel the need to post a nasty response. Why is a male a PERVERT, a SICKO, a WEIRDO for wanting to learn about menstruation?
This situation is unfortunate, because women complain about men being ignorant or immature when it comes to menstruation. Yes, we have textbooks and we have school, but that is hardly “sufficient information about menstruation” – that is unless you happen to be in a medical field. For the general guy, simply skimming through our 1-page in the textbook during SexEd class or from the hearsay we get from guy friends (usually non-factual) harbour a very poor perception of menstruation in our minds. We’re criticized by women for being un-knowledgeable about menstruation but at the same time, we’re ALSO criticized when we want to genuinely learn about it. So what is it that women want or rather, do women just assume the information we absorb “from around us” is enough for us to have positive view of menstruation? We need brave and mature women who are willing to provide anecdotal support about their own menstrual experiences and educate men in these matters. We should not be degraded or berated for our willingness to learn – WHETHER this is a fetish or simply an interest.
As I was passing through Yahoo! Answers, it was so sad to see girls flocking down on this poor guy who made an honest question about periods. With a solid page of “answers” – most of them were either unhelpful or downright insulting towards this guy. Rather than taking the time to provide a useful answer, these girls told him off, called him names and made personal attacks – when these girls likely don’t even know this individual personally. Only a few “answers” that were posted addressed his question. What is it that women want? …Us to know about periods or us to remain immature about it and then blame us afterwards? I can understand that women might pounce on a guy who asks a question that is “highly inappropriate” – but these were all reasonable questions. Furthermore, if these women didn’t feel comfortable replying, why even post to yell at this poor guy who is trying to LEARN?
fetish fet·ish (fět’ĭsh, fē’tĭsh)
- Something, such as an object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.
- An abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment.
Fetishes are usually not-harmful by nature. For instance, I love menstruation, but I don’t think I’ve ever “hurt” anyone as a result of my interests. At the same time, am I a fetishist or am I a learner? Menstruation IS related to a “sexual part of the body” (opposed to the definition of a fetish being a “non-sexual” part) – closely associated to the vagina, but is not a “part” itself. Likewise, it “may become necessary for sexual gratification” – and luckily for me, I haven’t hit that point where I feel menstruation is so deeply rooted in me where I can’t become sexually aroused without periods/feminine hygiene on my mind. Easy example is that I can easily become sexually excited just thinking about bebe – absence of her period or any products related to it. If someone DID label me as having a menstrual fetish, I also wouldn’t deny it, as I do have that border of “interest” and “excitement” – but nor would I agree 100% since it is the initial desire to learn more about menstruation where it later developed into a sexual-interest.
What though, separate fetishes over menstruation as it does to other ones – ones that people deem more “common” or even “acceptable”? In the world of men, I’m sure many of us wouldn’t deny that a good bra and panty would excite us. It seems like when guys talk about panties, it is pretty acceptable we think about it – but panties are a “non-sexual item” by nature and therefore, would be considered a fetish. Why is it “ok” for a man to have a fetish for an inanimate object, such as female underwear – but NOT ok when it comes to feminine hygiene products or a woman’s period? My ex used to always tease me by leaving some of her bras and panties on her bed so that I’d see them or she’s ask me to pick out for her what to wear underneath. However, my excitement was not necessarily the object itself, but the association. When I think about panties, I don’t get particularly excited. When I think about bebe’s panties or bras, they’re exciting because they’re HERS and the association is with her beauty and body. The other day, I was graced by seeing bebe’s panties/bra while I helped her pack and I was excited – only because she wears them and not so much the “item itself” and therefore the association with it being SEXY is based on her connection with them. So now, do I have a fetish for her panties or do I have a fetish for her? (The answer is obvious, LOL)
I have to say, there’s only been a handful of times I’ve ever felt bad about my interest in menstruation. I’ve received much praise and kudos for my dedication and commitment to being a positive male role model for menstruation. I’m sure many of my readers know my passion is probably have driven by fetish and half by knowledge – but still, does it really matter? I see so many of these poor guys who should have their curiosity fostered and to be able to engage in professional dialogue with a woman who is willing to answer their inquiries. If they pose a question and they’re hoarded by women berating him, what kind of attitude does that suggest? It suggests that men “do not need to know” or in fact “should NOT know” about menstruation and thus, we become negative towards menstruation through our experiences of being ridiculed. These poor male children, tweens or teens (and possibly even adult men) who make a genuine attempt at learning about menstruation will never ask a question about it again if they’re shot-down, what will they say to future generation of guys? Luckily for me, I have the support of many of my girls and even more proud of my girlfriend who is slowly opening up to me about her period and is willing to answer my questions to her. You have no idea how much that has changed my attitude towards her and how blessed/appreciative I feel over her openness in menstruation to me, especially because she’s not easy to pry information from, especially those of such sensitivity. Although it seems weird to take pride in your girlfriend’s period – I certainly do!
For all the men reading this, please find a woman whom you are comfortable with, trust and is willing to share her menstrual knowledge with you. For the women who read this, please extend your hand/knowledge of menstruation to willing-men around you… for this society has much to learn and crush the taboo of menstruation! If you suspect the guy is learning about menstruation because he as a fetish for it… why does it matter to you anyways? If you’re able to change the way another person views menstruation positively, educationally or otherwise, you’ve done a great job! And also… don’t assume anything about the guy when he’s asking a question – not all of us are cross-dressers, transsexuals or the-like :P
Posted on April 28, 2011, in Periodtastic, Thumbs Up Reads, TMI Corner and tagged Blog, Education, Educational, Feminine Hygiene, Fetish, Girlfriend, Girls, Health, Interests, Men, Menstruation, Musings, My Life, Panties, People, Periods, Sex, Sexy, Taboo, Thoughts, Women, Women's Health. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.