I wanted to take this opportunity to write in reply to one of my reader’s suggestion for feedback on a question he posed to me a while ago. I know I have been lacking on doing period posts and have done a lot of moping over bebe. Suffice to say, it’ll be a long 6 months for me and I wonder if she even thinks about me and has me in her heart at all while she’s away. She has yet to reply to me since she got home and has yet to talk to me over MSN (sad meh Poh Ching?). Nevertheless, enough thinking of that and I want to address a really fantastic topic brought up to me:
August 3, 2010 at 3:02 AM
– I would request you to write on how a typical women would react if asked about menstruation, bra and stuff, & if you have screwed up a female friend by asking such, how to make up for
it or the proper convenient way to ask so the other person does not feel offended or “exposed” & “embarrassed” as i was told once 😦
It took me a while to approach this subject because it really made me think. I’m going to try to methodically write this towards 3 different “types” of girls, relationship status wise, on how I have experienced female topics with them, 1) girls I don’t know well, 2) girls I know well, and 3) girlfriend/partner. Suffice to say, there are girls who might fall under category one, but who are open to talking about female topics even with a stranger, but girls who fall under category 2 where even after knowing them for years are still shy or reluctant to talk about it. There’s no “catch-all” to my experiences because as we all know, everyone is different.
Before I start typing the core of this response, I’d like to make note that things expressed herein are strictly my own experiences and opinions and may not be of general consensus or even truth, if you read it, it is your choice whether you wish to validate or deny my judgment.
To address the first part of this reader’s question, I think that a typical woman would find it inappropriate to discuss menstruation, bra, panties and stuff if you don’t know her well. Also, I believe that discussions on such topics are better left to more private areas. Obviously a woman would be more likely to oppose talking about her period at say, by the office cooler, rather than in the comfort of her own phone or a private place. I think this is a pretty usual reaction thinking even upon my own reactions to being asked a private question. Given how open-minded of a guy I am (or at least I think I am), I’ve had many girls ask me private questions before and naturally, I’d be more reluctant about answering them in a quiet mall where everyone can hear everything as opposed to if I was sitting at her house or something. I remember one time when my one of my god-sis asked me something super private in the middle of a mall food court and I was like, “There’s no way I’m answering that question until we get home.” I think we all have an expectation of privacy and certainly, I’m sure other people around wouldn’t want to hear the conversation anyways. Therefore out of respect for others and myself, I would say that we should respect the feelings and privacy of a woman when it comes to asking such questions, especially when it is not someone you know well. I would wager that when you ask a woman who you don’t know well about female topics, their thoughts would be, “Why do you need to know?” – and the likelihood is you probably don’t other than out of perversion or immense curiosity.
In a way, when it comes to women you know well, approaching such subjects come with greater danger because as said, it may end up damaging a relationship (whether romantic or just friends) that is already formed. I think that women can also be pretty understanding in that if you’re in at least “good standing” with them, that it won’t ruin a relationship unless you make the situation really awkward where they can no longer continue a friendship with you. I must say most of the girls I’m close with have all been very open about female topics with me and perhaps they find solace and comfort in confiding in me about personal topics that they can rarely talk to other guys about, even their own boyfriends. I guess naturally I’m also more inclined to make friends with those who are equally, if not more, open-minded so I suppose that may slightly skew the numbers and statistics. Nevertheless, I do believe that when I approach my girl-friends about such subjects, they’re pretty good about it. If they feel they don’t want to answer it, they’ll say so softly but without hard feelings. There are girls like Poh Ching who I’ve known for only months and even when we first started talking, we hit it off immediately and we talked about things as if we were “best friends” without barriers. I think we’ve exchanged more information with each other because of our openness, than we have with our own boyfriends and girlfriends before. There are girls like Sophia who won’t tell me anything as well 😛 LOL!
I think part of what made women this way were the way society has brought all of us up. Menstruation is a particularly taboo subject and even amongst women themselves are often discussed hush-hush. I’m glad to see that many of the girls of my generation are beginning to be more comfortable approaching such subjects because it’s becoming a more “acceptable” thing (not that it shouldn’t have been acceptable in the first place). As much as I’ve often asked girls about things like menstruation, oddly enough, I rarely approach my girls about subjects of their panties, bra size, weight and especially not their sizes. With as much experience as I had with my ex’s panties and bras, I’ve never noted her size or anything (did that make me a bad boyfriend? LOL), because it’s not something I’m just all that interested in. I think most guys love to gloat about their girlfriend’s breasts and stuff, but for as huge as my ex’s boobs were, I’ve never actually asked her for any of her sizes. So to answer the question, I don’t have much experience when it comes to asking girls about female articles of clothing. I shall put it quite frankly that I think most girls don’t find it acceptable for you to know about her sizes unless you are dating or married to her. If anything, most of my girls I do happen to know their sizes or weight only because they have told me without me inquiring. Also, it’s very natural for me to know about it because I shop with my girls a lot, so when they ask me to pick out certain sizes for them, it makes it pretty obvious as they try things on – I’m not blind you know 😀 But rest assured, I don’t really get all that hyped about that stuff. If a girl tells me her bra size, I wouldn’t be as excited as if she told me she was on her period or something, HAHAHA.
So the third type of women, one you are dating or married to then I think there needs to be mutual openness here. After all, if you’re dating and ESPECIALLY if you’re married, things like these should not need to remain a secret. Your girlfriend/wife (probably) menstruates, wears a bra, wears panties, etc. so it’s not like that is some worldwide secret or anything. If you’re in a relationship and you can’t even share simple matters like these, I don’t see any reason why the relationship should have progressed in the first place. With all my girlfriends, I have always “tested the waters” with their acceptance towards my interest/fetish by slowly introducing the topic in. You can tell whether they are open to talking about it or that they’re very shy. I know you guys listen to me bitch a lot, but honestly, bebe used to tell me a lot more about her period than she does now or within the past while. Like one of my readers said, it’s definitely a spiteful thing to do, especially she knows I enjoy knowing and what harm will it do to her? I can understand if I used her menstrual knowledge “against” her, like using it to time when she will PMS so I can mock and bother her, but no, I use that information with all the best intentions and so I can be around to be extra comforting for her. I cannot understand what logical girl would not love something like that, but hey, we’re all different. Sometimes trying to read into her makes my head explode, haha. When it comes to all the other girlfriends I’ve had, I could see they were open about sharing female topics and having even a relationship-building effect because it’s a special and meaningful way we can connect talking about female topics and I can get to know their bodies/feelings better! Topics like weight and sizes tend to be a pretty touchy subject for women, even beyond relationship and marriage, so really, it’s up to you whether you want to delve in such information. I think it’s pretty usual for a guy to know a girl’s sizes once they begin to share closet space anyways!
I only know of one girl who I’ve probably pushed away as a result of talking to her about periods. The odd thing was she was the one who approached me about the topic, which is really what pissed me off even more. I can see a girl being upset with me if I approached her about a sensitive topic, but if she was the one to begin the discussion, then that makes her retarded for playing “shy” after the fact. She began to talk about how great she thought using the Divacup was and permanently gave up using pads and tampons and then we had a very brief discussion on it. Heck, I didn’t even tell her anything about my “interest” – but just expressed I was glad she found something that she felt comfortable with and was being environmentally-conscious. She became all quiet about it and eventually stopped talking to me. I think I’d be unhappy if it was something “I did” to cause it, but she was the one who opened up to me about something as intimate as her use of menstrual cup, why the hell would you do that if you were going to be offended by it? Suffice to say, her and I are no longer friends and I have no want of “making up for it” because how can I be friends with someone who will open a topic for discussion and then become all sensitive about it when the other person begins to speak on that subject? The only other girl I can think of that I had to “make up” for it is bebe, because that is the whole reason why you are reading this blog – it is her inspiration and my way of expressing my commitment to her. When I told bebe about my interests, like most girls, she was like “wow” (in shocked way), but slowly accepted it within me. However, I needed to reassure her that knowledge of menstruation in a guy is nothing to be ashamed for her, doesn’t harm her in any way and in fact, helps her feel comfortable with communicating with me about anything, even personal bodily issues and female matters. This blog is dedicated to her because it was a way to ease her into the idea that men should know about menstruation and that it is an ADVANTAGE, not a disadvantage to have a boyfriend who appreciates it. Those are the only two scenarios where I’ve had happen to me where I felt I needed to “make up” for my actions.
I think the easiest way to approach women when it comes to these matters are through tact, exploration and to know your limits. Some women are insanely shy about it while others are open even to a total stranger. Some will only discuss it with their own gender while some will be more than happy to share their experiences with the opposite gender. I try to conjure up a conversation related to periods and see if she’ll continue in that direction. If she does, it’s likely she doesn’t feel too shy about it but if she steers away, it is likely she’s either 1) oblivious, or 2) doesn’t feel comfortable with the subject. A big factor besides knowing a person’s personality is also how close you are with the girl in question. Most of my girls I can be very blunt to, especially my god-sis’ I can just ask, “Hey, I forgot when your period is coming…” or “Do you have any pads/tampons left that I can have?” … while there are girls I would dare not be so blunt and I’d have to “work my way in” to a conversation like that. I could also say I know the girls around me well enough to know who you can approach female topics with and those who you can’t and it’s best to choose your targets correctly as it may result in dire consequences. Obviously asking a female coworker who you don’t know well about her bra size, period or weight is asking to get a lawsuit in your face. For women who are resistant to the subject, then the best thing to do is either CREATE that comfort-zone with them where they’re willing to share or simply don’t even bother. Women are entitled to their privacy, especially if you’re not in a particular relationship with them when it comes to their periods and other female topics. Choose your environment well, don’t pick places where a woman might feel exposed, embarrassed or offended where they feel at least they can be open with you about the subject-matter and try to avoid approaching the subject when she’s surrounded by others. After all, I may be comfortable sharing information with person X but not when person Y is present. Your tone and demeanour plays an important part, if you look like you want the information for perverted gains rather than for personal growth and knowledge, you are more likely to be declined an answer by the girl.
To sum it up, you simply have to know the person you are approaching about sensitive female matters. I understand no matter how well you know a girl, she may still reject or make a judgment mistake and end up damaging things, so it’s up to your discretion and choice whether you want to strike up such a conversation. Within a relationship, I believe learning about each others bodily experience helps connect partners and builds character and the relationship itself because after all, isn’t it a bond with each other that is a foundation of a good relationship? There is no right way of asking a question, only a way and how you do it will determine whether she smiles and answers your question or is a tick away from being slapped in the face 😆 There are then of course girls who I know won’t tell me but I bug them about it, but that is usually in jest and just to poke at them 😛
As people say, “Know your friends, know your enemies.”
On another note, I FINALLY got to use my coupon $5 off any 2 packs of Stayfree Pads, Carefree Liners or O.B. Tampons coupon at a nearby Rexall that they just built (great excuse to scout it out) which resulted in me saving $7.99 off regular prices! I know this deal isn’t as great as the 99-cent one, but hey, my house has been empty of supplies for 3 weeks now 😀 Just for shits-and-giggles, I timed myself.. from the moment I entered the store, look me 8 seconds to locate and get in the feminine hygiene aisle, 9 seconds to get a pack of Stayfree Super Maxi Pads with Wings and another pack of Stayfree Super Maxi Pads without Wings, 7 seconds to get to the cashier, 25 seconds for the cashier to register my purchase and 4 seconds to walk out the door. In total, I managed to make two CORRECT purchases in a total of 53 seconds. I can now proudly say it takes me less than a minute to locate the right aisle and make a product purchase 😛 Of course it’d be a hell of a lot faster if the lady didn’t spend 15 seconds just staring at my coupon to make sure it was “real” before she put it in – heck, I even had my own reusable bag so I put the packages in myself while she read every letter on that coupon! Some might argue I managed to get out so quick because I’m “afraid” or “ashamed” – lol, but hardly… I’m not afraid to be seen in the feminine hygiene aisle or buying the products, it was because it was about to rain and rained-on pads are disgusting as well I arrived only 15 minutes before closing time because I was too busy talking to Amy over Skype that I lost track of time (gee thanks, haha). All in all, a decent weekend – my back hurts today for some reason though. Again, another sweet-sweet dream about bebe and woke up with my pillow all wet because I probably spent most of the night kissing my pillow thinking it was her, haha. On the weekend after acupuncture, this was the first time I think “something went awry” because I had this massive nosebleed. Whatever meridians were poked must’ve triggered something because I haven’t had my nosebleed like this for a long time, even though I was prone to it back in my “less healthy” days. I have to tell her to be careful about where she’s poking those needles if I’m getting a heavy flow (lol) right afterward because who knows what kind of effect it had on my body!