Finally, a tribute to my irregular purification period.

I'm working on updates now that I have semi-regular Internet access again.  I've had many nice letters from women, but about 5 times more letters from men.  I expected hate mail from males.  Instead, I've unwittingly stumbled upon a little-known fetish.  Guys are jacking off to my site and then telling me all about it.  Ugh.

In the mean time, please check out the web site for "A Friend Comes to Visit,"
a documentary about menstruation


I created this page while bleeding -- imagine that!  I
can type, create, think and even compose rational,
declarative sentences while thumb-sized chunks of
uterine lining go plook, right out of my vagina and
squish out everywhere.
Most straight men can't even walk and gawk at women
at the same time, so stereotypes about how disabling a bleedfest is to the mental faculties and physicalprowess of women are unwelcome herein.  I don't give a clot who, male or female, is spreading that tripe -- I'll have none of it here.
 In fact,I am completely sick of the stereotypes and PMS propaganda my brain is assaulted with on a daily basis.  If I'm angry with a man, his first response is almost always menstrual-related  -- "Must be PMS"
or "Get off the rag, bitch."  Well, at least they recognize me as a Bitch, but I'll be damned -- they are almost without exception too stupid to realize they're assholes and that bleeding or no, the  problem is them and their attitude.
My male friends certainly don't leap to that illogical conclusion when I am angry with them or if I merely have the audacity to *gasp* disagree with them.  Likewise, I pay them the basic respect of not citing an inability to get laid as the reason they are angry, upset or disagree with me.
This page is a tribute to all things menstrual -- links, comments and other intelligent additions to this page are greatly appreciated.

Bleed Features:
Journal   Links    Comments

My personal thoughts, experiences, reflections and conclusions
[plook] and [squish] indicate I just passed a clot, while writing.  [squirt] and [gush] are strictly liquid.
It may seem disgusting, deal with it.  It's a natural process and I feel (by the way I don't separate thinking from feeling -- my intellect and my gut have a symbiotic relationship that I cannot cleave) that open discussion of this subject is very important.  I have spent the better part of the 80s and the 90s hoping no one would ever know I was on my period.  Why on earth should I ever feel ashamed of something so natural and commonplace?  I am starting this journal in the hope that it will open the dialogue on this aspect of women's lives.  I also want to demystify menstruation (I hate that word -- it's a mouthful) by showing that women can be and are perfectly intelligent, rational and productive members of society -- whether they are bleeding or not.  Personally, I'm incredulous that such an explanation on my part is necessary, as we approach the third millenium.
March 4, 1998

Day 2

graphic descriptions

This is a bad one.  I have these bend-me-over-until-I- see-red- swirls- and- then- pass-out cramps.  No really big chunks yet -- Jade calls 'em "strawberries" -- which is unusual for my first few days.  Every five years or so, my period goes through a big change and all patterns go out the window, only to make way for new patterns.  As I've been bleeding for almost 15 years now, it looks like it's time for that shift into a new pattern. 

I'm really tired this time around.  It feels like my pelvis has a cold and there's no nose to blow to ease the pressure.  I feel sorry for women who load up on salt just before and during their bleedfest -- they must be truly miserable.  But stupid is as stupid does. 

I can still remember my menarche (first period).  I was too embarrassed to tell my mother.  She found out when the toilet backed up six months or so later and my dad had to tell her.  Yikes!  But the real first time, it was so light I used mere panty liners the whole time and I thought it would always be that way.  I remember going to my basketball banquet and don't ya know, our team wore very tight, white short-shorts?  Looking back, I'm much more embarrassed about the gigantic Jherri curl I had than the Lightdays panty liner I was sporting. 

After a few months I became regular [plook, squish] and discovered these new things called Maxi-Thins -- there were ads for them in Sassy, a magazine I was too young to appreciate at the time.  I miss 'em (both Maxi-Thins and Sassy).  I'm glad I didn't grow [squirt] up in the days of the Super-Dooper-Maxi pad -- Stayfree, my chapped thighs!  More like walking with a surfboard tightly clinched betwixt my legs.  Sometimes, though, I wonder what the belted variety, like Margaret Simon used, would be like.  At the very least, there would be more ritual and self-participation -- something we seem to avoid in this modern, disposable convenience culture.  There's the rub, blood is inconvenient

When I have an especially trying period (one of those with every symptom known to woman), here's how I get through it:  I think ahead to how wonderful I feel after my period.  While I usually feel strong and creative and really, really into ME during my period -- when it's bad, this turns to seclusion and lots of bed rest.  After all the extra iron (I'm a red meat fiend during my period and spinach is great, too), the equivalent of one or two extra days sleep and all the extra attention I pay to myself -- I feel like Wonder Grrrl the week after my period.  If I can work full time, go to school, have multiple orgasms and write intensely while passing a lot of bodily waste for a week (or two, or three during a really taxing one), then I can do any-fucking-thing! 

My neck aches and I'm famished, so it's time for me to go trolling for some red, red meat -- my apologies to Oprah  ; )  but to each her own.  I'll have spinach for dinner, I'm sure -- but right now, I really need to rip into some juicy, bleeding flesh.  Somewhere, out there -- there's a burger with my name on it.  : ) 

Note:  I'm having one hell of a time getting the bloodline below to center align while the above paragraph right aligns and it's really pissing me it blood-related?  Nope, just my finicky vision of the World of Design According to Erica.  I got it to work with all the bars yesterday, but suddenly, today, no go.  Arrrrggggh!  *Crossing fingers* 

March 5, 1998 

Note:  This particular entry isn't nearly as graphic as yesterday's... lightdays, don'tcha know?
What it lacks in the clot factor, however, it makes up in links.

Day 3, evening.

I'm feeling much better today.  That's what I don't get about all the menstrual propaganda I encounter.  It doesn't seem to account for the variations in symptoms between women or between different periods of any given woman, much less the differences from one day to another during the same period.  I suspect it has something to do with the limited capacity of the male-dominated media to fathom anything so complex and varied.  The illogic seems to be, "It's better to just stick all women in one [ill-fitting] box than to admit they are unique individuals." 

One unfortunate result of all this misinformation is almost all women I've met have bought into it as if it is the gospel truth.  I know this to be true by the very animated resistance with which my statement of fact that I personally do not suffer from PMS is met.  I don't, though the over-aggressive panhandler I had to kick in the balls on Saturday might just beg to differ.  Sorry, to blow your bubble of stereotypes.  It may be because I am fat and thus have higher levels of female hormones -- if they can make fat women three times more orgasmic, I wouldn't put anything past 'em, though I'm not a big hormonalist.  It may be my diet, it may be because I just don't buy into the PMS paradigm (mind over matter), hell -- it might just be me. All I know is that I can't attribute my mood swings to my menstrual cycle.  (I don't say "monthly cycle" because that misnomer doesn't apply to me, nor to most women.  Very few women I know have that textbook 28-day cycle.) 

All I know is that if I'm gonna get pissed off, I do.  It's something I allow myself because I reached my capacity for other people's bullshit in my early twenties.  My capacity for anger, and even for lovey-doveyness, doesn't seem to have any correlation to the part of my cycle I'm currently in.  In fact, I have a seemingly limitless capacity to identify b.s. before, during and after my period.  I think of it it as a gift, but I'm sure I'm not the only one to possess it.  I mean, honestly, if the human potential for experiencing simultaneous, different, complex and even contradictory physical, intellectual and emotional feelings were that limited, then men wouldn't be capable of sustaining both an erection and a fantasy at the same time.  Surely I don't have to draw you a picture for that example. 

I wonder about blood every once in a while...does our association of it with horror stem from jealousy or fear men thousands of years ago felt for women or vice versa?  Is there no relation at all?  I am reminded of an unattributed quote I see often, "Never trust anyone who bleeds for five days [a month] and doesn't die." 
As for myself, I like blood.  In fact, I love my own blood.  When I cut my finger, I instinctively put it in my mouth, methodically suckling every last drop, rather than wiping it away with something sterile as if it is a foreign, despised waste material.  I'm not keen on sucking anyone else's blood -- let me make that clear, having had one vampire lover too many -- but the salty, coppery taste of my own is somehow something for which I harbor an unswerving curiosity. 

I also find the sight of my own blood comforting.  It reminds me that I am, in fact, human and real --I'm ALIVE!!!  Maybe it's cultural programming -- consider common expressions to indicate normality, like "like any red-blooded American male, Jimbo Jones likes women."  I could go on about the implications that red-blood and heterosexuality are somehow uniquely American, but I'll resist.  Well, just a little...I wonder then, following that expression to it's illogical conclusion  what color blood do gay men have?  Pink?  Then I suppose the Irish have green.  I confess, I think it would be pretty cool to cut people and see different Technicolors of blood flow from their fingers.  The only problem, I fear, is that some idiot would create a blood hierarchy and people would live in constant fear they might cut their fingers at work and be discovered a blood impostor.  Once a looney Christian celibate guy who was one of my worst reporters said to me, "If we were all blind, the big-nosed people would be persecuted."  Heck, everyone's got to be right about one thing.  Good goddess, I digress. 

At any rate, I really dig my own blood, from the faint orange-redthat flowers delicately and slowly in the water or on a tissue to the regal crimson clots that make themselves known much more dramatically. 

Another reason I have that finger-sucking tendency is that I'm a bleeder, in general, not just in a menstrual way.  I'm a borderline anemic and if I cut myself, watch out, there's blood all over the place.  It seems to freak people out, but I'm used to it.  A flimsy Kleenex is never enough and I don't like getting the particles in a wound, either. 

I think my blood fascination started when my menarche approached (my friends and I had that whole Are You There God?  It's Me Margaret first bleeder competition) and really intensified in my ninth grade biology course.  One day my biology teacher, Mr. Weber, rumored to be a former JC Penny (or was it Sears?) underwear model, had us perform an experiment in which we tested our own blood to find out our blood type and Rh-factor.  Having come of age in the early days of AIDS, I am amazed that the idea of a roomful of high school students with lancets and blood-covered slides, sans rubber gloves no less, didn't strike fear into the hearts of every Alvord Unified School District board member.  But, in 1986, people didn't seem to believe that AIDS could happen in piddly towns like Riverside, California. 

That afternoon, I confirmed a bizarre mind-over-matter fact about myself:  I cannot cut my Self.  No matter how hard I pressed, poked and jabbed myself with the lancet, the only results were several severe dents in my middle finger.  Finally, I had to go to Mr. Weber's counter in the front of the classroom and have him do it for me.  No sooner than he quickly lifted and dropped the lancet with half the force I had, I was bleeding like a slashed non-virgin in a bad horror flick.  "Quick! Put three drops on the slide," Mr. Weber instructed.  He need not worry, I was not in danger of the flow stopping before I could get enough for a sample. 

To Mr. Weber's horror, I all but flooded the slide.  While those around me savagely squeezed their fingers with all their might to get out each little drop, my problem was getting three distinct drops for the different tests we were performing.  I had to move my finger quickly in order for the tests not to mix together and turn into a messy, meaningless blob.  Luckily, Mr. Weber's sure and steady hand dropped the chemicals in each of my megadrops quickly.  The results were clear just as the barely-separate pools started to morph into one large lake of my blood.  With great anticipation, I discovered I am O-, the universal blood donor.  The only rub is that my blood is too thin, so I usually cannot donate. 

There is one thing that just completely pisses me off these days and it definately is blood-related.  It's everything related to modern "feminine protection."  (femprot: that entire phrase is about ripe for a rant, it sounds like an elite all-X-chromosome police force or one to protect the world from unruly gangs of overly gender-identified thugs.) 

But, again, I digress.  I'm a reasonable person.  As an adult living in a market-oriented society, I recognize that prices go up -- that's an unwritten law of capitalism.  Unfortunately, in this germophobic, don't- get- intimate- with- your- own- body warped culture I live in, most women I know, myself included, are completely addicted to store-bought, mass-marketed, supposedly sterile products that will, Madison Advenue assures us, will keep us feeling "fresh, confident, secure."  Actually, that's a deodorant slogan, but the hate- your- natural- body theme is the same. 

We really need to get over this false sense of security, just as the country as a whole needs to kick its crude (as in oil) habit.  The closeness to the word crud can't be accidental.  First of all, these products are terribly wasteful -- the wrappers, applicators, boxes, innerwrap and the cotton surfboards and plugs themselves must add up.  Just do the math:  hundreds of millions of women using 3-10 products a day, for 2-9 days, every 2-8 weeks.  It doesn't take a genius to figure out that a lot of trees are dying for our bloody convenience. 

Further, am I the only woman who remembers the whole unnecessary Rely tragedy?  Yes, you can wear that white bathing suit, just use our gigantic tampon!  It even absorbs the worry, they said.  Do you think tampon manufacturers give a flying fuck about women's health?  For pity's sake, the tobacco companies don't think twice about harming children and men -- groups that both tend to be more highly valued than women, in this country, at least. 

But hey, I know that, denial being more than a mighty river running through a fertile valley in Egypt, (I sincerely hope you get that imagery) you don't care yet.  Toxic shock won't happen to me.  Staph germs are for the unclean, right?  The environment?  Not my problem.  But I've got your number -- ye olde pocketbook. 

Now that I have your attention, just do yourself some simple math.  Remember that old box of 40 tampons for $4?  Now, it's 32 for $6.  I guess enough people complained, because they brought back the box of 40 for $6-8.  It goes without saying that tampons with plastic and even "smooth" or "comfort" or "rounded" cardboard applicators are a dollar or two more.  I used to buy the little boxes of 10 for $0.89 at 7-11 of all over-priced places and now the price is $2-$2.50 for even that teensy box.  Oddly enough, o.b. used to be the most expensive, at about $5 for 28 or around there (I don't know what freak decides on these numbers anyway)...I found some on sale the other day at the under-construction Fellini Safeway (San Franciscans, you know I can only be talking about the one on Church and Market Streets) at an almost reasonable 2 boxes of 24 each for just five clams.  Don't worry, they have applicators now, which seems to defeat the whole o.b. appeal.  I remember saying to Kari, a girl in my 10th grade English class, "What's o.b.?  A kind of gum?"  Which was in one of their commercials at the time, emphasizing the small size of the tampon sans applicator.  Kari was totally mortified...after all, there were XYs around!  *gasp*  They might find out we bleed!

Now I know I've got you where you live, baby...I know you secretly resent this robbery.  It's one thing when make-up or other products targeted at women go up.  I don't see the connection between having a vagina and putting goop on my face, so I don't have to buy that junk.  However, I can't very well walk down the street with blood running down my thighs -- something must be done.  Viva la Revolucion

With our current mass hesitation to use alternative blood-collection methods, those big boys manufacturing internal and external "protection" have a guaranteed cash cow.  So long as we allow ourselves to remain a captive audience, the ever-rising cost of bleeding will only continue it's upward trajectory.  Why any bleeding woman believes in the propriety of capitalism is beyond me. 

I am by no means suggesting we return to the days of menstrual huts.  I actually tried cloth diapers once and they were surprisingly comfortable and absorbant.  But, it's clear to me why our aunt-cestors had to wear big, multi-layered skirts -- rags are friggin' bulky.  Stinky, too. 

I tried that Instead thing, but I'll be damned if I can get that piece of crap in place.  It's all over the first time I have to pee.  I've heard good things about cervical cups and similar devices -- there are two commonly available now -- the Keeper and the aforementioned, more commerical Instead.  FYI, the Museum of Mentruation, an invaluable resource, does a very graphic and thorough comparison of these two products.  There are also reusable menstrual sponges available. 

Could we all get over our hang-ups about touching ourselves down there and at least try these alternatives?  In honor of the 15th anniversary of my first period, Friday, March 13 (it was Friday the 13th then too...this probably explains a whole clot about me)...let's try it.  Stay free of Kimberly-Clarke!!!  Don't forget to tell me about your new freedom.  I know it won't be an entirely carefree experience, but it's definately one you will alwaysremember.  Remember, Kotex has no right to your blood toss out your Tampax, put your Glad Rags on and join me, hon. 

Whew!  Based on the pattern of my 20s, this would be the midway point for me.  But, lest I put away all my dark undies for the month, I'd best remember that the periods they are a'changin' and I have no idea what to expect.  As in the early days, my bleeding is an unpredictable frontier once again...just part of my perpetual metamorphasis. 
March 6, 1998 
Day 3 


Erica gets 
a break

Not much to report today.  I am not as tired and have no more aches or pains.  This was my stop-and-restart day.  Not a drop for six hours or so, then a return to full-gush around 1 pm.  I didn't believe that the first time it happend, I felt like I was being dared to leave the house without "protection."  My girl's gotta breathe sometime, yeesh! 

Actually, the gush was followed by a full strawberry patch.  I wonder sometimes if my body is testing me to see what my gross-out point is.  So far, I'm always able to adapt. 

When the first strawberry came my way, I was a tad freaked.  Not one health teacher, instructional video or Tampax preteen promo pack ever mentioned such a thing.  I was still a virgin, so it could not be a miscarriage.  I assumed I had endometreosis until a year or two ago when it got worse than I could stand (constant, huge clots for five days).  The nurse practicioner, who was too squeemish than anyone working in ob/gyn should be, dismissed my concerns as "perfectly within the normal range." 

Incredulous, I related the experience to my best friend on the telephone that evening.  She is even more of a hypochondriac than I am and knows far more than an average person should about any and all freaky medical and psychological phenomena.  (She's the person who told me what a 5150 is.)  She said she read in a medical book that unless clots are "bigger than a lemon," there is nothing to worry about.  Now, I don't care what the doctors say, if anything as big as even a plum comes out of me -- I'm naming it! 

March 11, 


P.M. =
Post Menses

It's all over folks.

Obviously, most of this journal will be written while I'm bleeding, but I will add entries whenever anything mentrual-related comes to mind. 

Though I like to think I'm as bold as the next bitch, it was with great trepidation that I started this pair of pages.  The other night, I was nervously prefacing my page to a casual acquaintance (Cool Bus Guy)...I hardly know him and well, I respect his opinion because he seems to have a good mind. 

Who am I kidding?  I don't want him to know I'm a lunachickTM  because I, er, uh, have a terrible schoolgirl crush on him.  It's a lame remnant from my teens, I know.  Also among the dregs of my pubescent angst I've yet to eradicate is this embarassment I harbor about anyone knowing when or if I'm on my period.  Again, I wonder, why the shame?  It's silly, really. 

This teenage drama duo gave me pause.  As I hemmed and hawed about what he'd see upon his visit to my pages in general and to BleedTMin particular, he finally cut to the chase. "Sometimes, you've just got to say 'fuck it' and do what you want," he said.  Amazing how the truest wisdom comes in the most simple form.  I stopped my mealy-mouthed justifications of BleedTM, gave him the URL and thought, "fuck it."  Self-liberation comes in simple acts as well. 
That's all she wrote...I guess it's time to work on thatVag page now. 

March 13, 

Happy Anniversary to Meeee!

What an excellent day!  First, the BleedTM topic gets good response on the Bitchboard...then I get my first submission for this page and then my friend Phyllis sends me a Happy Menarche Anniversary electronic card. 

Well, my loyal bleeders...I was in need of this positive feedback.  I put the page up, then worried.  I'm like the LAPD that way...I tend to shoot first, ask questions later. 

The sorry truth is that I'm not nearly as bold as Solvei seems to think.  If this were face- to- face, I would feel all that hot blood going to my head, not my pants.  But, dammit, that's why I had to make this page.  I was overcome with the strong feeling that somebody's got to do it.  So, it starts with me...but it won't end there. 

I'm thrilled about the  enthusiasm in response to this page.  I feared the worst:  that this page would be ignored.  The second outcome I anticipated was negative because I crossed the line.  I debated about the graphic descriptions (clots, gush, etc.), but left them in because the whole point of BleedTM is breaking the silence.  I never found anything about clots and that ludicrous, watery, blue mystery fluid (surely I'm not the only one who resents the similarity between diaper and femprot adverts) on the commercials was no preparation for what my body would produce.  To paraphrase Ed Emberly:  for the girl I was, the web page I could not find.

March 16,  

Response to BleedTM

The feedback continues to be amazingly positive.  I love reading what everyone has to say.  Each woman's experience is unique, yet common threads emerge:  the horniness, the sense of strength and power, creativity, fullness of self.  I am so glad I created this page. 

The other day, a friend who has been reading BleedTMrather faithfully said she was about to start her period.  We were right in the middle of what seemed at that moment a very crowded  subway station.  I felt the blood rush to my face; my ears were red hot.  I have come a long way, but am far from finished.  I'm glad to finally be on the road...

April 3, 

A new beginning?

Never say never.  I guess I didn't say I don't get physical PMS, just not the emotional kind.  Still, I'm having symptoms I never noticed before.  Psychosomatic?  Sympathy for my Blood  Buddies

My tits were so sore last night, I could hardly stand it.  I almost had to sleep on my back.  Now I feel kinda crampy in my lower back.  Could it be?  I'll let ya know.

April 9,


Call it a sophomore slump...I haven't had a whole lot of extra energy to put into BleedTM this week.  I may just be disproving my own case here.  I am just getting over a viral infection in my throat (sounds so much more dramatic than a cold, doesn't it?), so I am completely wiped out.  If you've ever had back - to - back colds or flus, you know exactly how I feel.

Part of the reason I started this page was to keep track of and pay attention to my own cycle.  I was amazed last week about the breast tenderness...I'd never noticed that, nor did I notice it lasting for so long and being an indicator of my impending BleedTM week. 

I also had a terrible migraine on Monday, the day the clots came...but I cannot be sure if it is related.  I was still tired and not eating much from the virus and did not have enough water or sleep...either of which can give me a migraine.  Again, life is so complex -- it's hard to isolate causes, to make certain connections.  Right now, my life is a cornucopia of achiness.  I won't call it pain, I don't have cancer or anying, I'm just a bit run down, in general.

I was thinking the other day about bleeding and holidays.  I think Elthia brought it up.  It's a funny thing, but I too, seem to bleed every holiday, final exam week, first day of school, field trip, oral presentation/speech.  If it's a special occasion, I'm bleeding.  It's weird.

I tried to control this tendency when I was vacationing in NY last April (has it already been a year?  Yikes!) by taking the Pill.  Bad idea.  The Pill makes my blood pressure, usually well-within healthy range, skyrocket.    My eyes are the worst -- I feel like some cartoon wolf, with them bulging out of their sockets.  I have half a mind they'll squeeze so hard that they will pop and squirt out, like pus-filled sacs.  Delightful imagery.

Anyway, all the blood pressure increase was for naught.  I stepped onto Liberty Island and, much more in awe of Lady Liberty than I had ever expected, promptly started gushing -- and I don't mean tears.  Talk about a powerful moment.

May 15, 1998

Wherefore Art Thou, Aunt Flo?

See, this is one reason I started force myself to keep track.  If I have a deadline hanging over my head or people bugging me to update my home page, I'll do it.  But it rarely dawns on me to record my period on a calendar.  Many a gynecologist has given me the old head shake for this.  Normally, I have nothing to worry about and it's not like my period is some major event I don't want to forget.  It's irregular, but regular enough so I know I'm still there, menstrually speaking. 

Oddly enough, one of the Heartless Bitches made a nasty remark about me on the board.  Apparently, she found the entire concept of Bleed childish.  She also described menstruation as my "favorite topic."  Ummmmmm, has she seen the rest of my site?  There are a lot of words on here and the vast majority don't involve bleeding (unless you count me making someone else bleed).  That was quite the surprise.  It resulted in all sorts of camps on the board, I'm glad it's passed.  I'd much rather see my bitchies inflicted on the world outside our cohort.


Blood Ties...Menstrual Links
More Menstrual-Related Links

Blood Buddies...other people talk about all things menstrual
From readers -- Women and Men
Tell me what you think of this page and anything intelligent you have to add -- I want a discussion here, not just a monologue.

The first submission!

March 13,

Hey there, bleedin' bitch sister! 

This is absolutely amazing. It's so nice to talk about this and not get that annoying, panicked look some people get when I start going off about body functions, the look that reminds me of a deer caught in car headlights. 

Anyway, I should be starting mine in about two days--it's so much more regular now that I'm on the pill. The cramps come first, followed by several hours of walking around with a precautionary maxi in, wondering if it has started yet (it's really hard to tell!) and finally satisfaction when the first dark blood shows up, bittersweet organic smell and clots and everything. I dig smelling in general. I wish people weren't so obsessive about hygiene. I want to smell *them*, not their Old Spice. Anyway, I love it when I'm bleeding so thinkly that I can sit and open my legs and smell it. It makes me feel powerful for some reason that I haven't figured out yet. 

And tampons. Now that I know how to work them, they're great, but I remember how humiliated and frustrated I felt when, around the age of 16, I couldn't figure out where to put them or how to put them so that they didn't fall out. My vagina seemed like such a mystery to me. All those folds and hollows and on earth was I supposed to manoeuvre this thing into a hidden whole somewhere I couldn't even see? (The mirror thing hadn't occurred to me at that point.) To make a long story short, after hours spent on the bathroom floor, yelling to my little brother that no, he couldn't come in, and would he please leave me alone, dammit, I figured it out. I was rather surprised at how deep I was. This led directly to my initiation into the joy of masturbation...but that's a story for another time. 

[E note:  Right Solvei, that's what the sister page, Vagina, is for.] 

Being a woman is fun. 


March 16,

Erica, thanks for providing a healthy forum.  Your "Bleed" site is great!  Go, girl!  I only wish I knew how to make these comments red!  (No, I don't have HTML yet.) [I'll take care of that, hee hee - E]  I'll e-mail you a copy in case you'd like to include them.  [This first appeared as a post to the Bitchboard.] 

I guess I was lucky, because I've never been ashamed to bleed.  Any sense of "delicacy" I had, I got over at an early age.  Now I carry my tampons around in a clear plastic bag, say "I'm bleeding" rather than use some pathetic euphemism, and at home the box of tampons sits on top of the toilet in full view. 

I attribute this partly to my own general Bitchiness (hey, might as well take credit where credit is due) and partly to my mother's sensible attitude about this and all other bodily functions.  She answered my ten-year-old self's random question about "sex" with a full ten-year-old-level education about sexual intercourse, babies and menstruation.  (At the time, of course, I thought it was *so gross* what people do to get babies, but I soon changed my mind...) 

When my first period finally came, I went and told my mother and my aunt, and they just smiled and said "Welcome to the club!"  Then my mother showed me what I needed to know about pads and belts (OK, so I'm dating myself here) and left me to my own devices (so to speak).  I didn't try tampons until years later, but since then I've never looked back -- I just use a thin supplementary pad on the heaviest days. 

I've also been lucky about PMS -- no real horror stories to tell there; at most I get a little constipated and a lot horny.  (Once, though, I had really bad cramps, so I do know what it's like.) 

Lucky, or smart, in my choice of partners too -- none of them has been particularly squeamish about blood on the sheets or about having sex at "that time of the month".  (There's a euphemism for you -- but one of the less offensive ones, IMO.) 

But none of that is to say that my menstrual life has been at all 
normal. I had irregular periods from the start, and it just got worse 
until, at 22 or so, I was bleeding for two or three weeks running, about every three months.  Naturally, medical science did not have an answer for me.  I didn't want to go on the pill (doses were much higher and more dangerous in those days), so I fell into the hands of two endocrinologists at my HMO who used me as a guinea pig in their hormone-treatment experiments. 

They had a theory that, since my blood tests showed high androgen levels (tsk, tsk!  Not ladylike at all!  I *was* ashamed of that), that what I needed was *more* androgens taken artificially to suppress my body's natural production of them (not that they used the word "natural" there...)  Their pills did nothing at all for me, and oddly enough, the docs themselves didn't seem that interested. 

It was a year and a half later when I made an appointment to see them and fill them in on the failure of their experiment.  They said, "oh no, you don't have to keep taking those".  (Well, OK, I was young and ignorant at the time, and actually believed in the solemn sacredness of a doctor's prescription.) 

After that, I just suffered with it for another eight years, and finally did go on birth-control pills (by then they'd become much safer).  With the pills, I bleed regularly and moderately, but I sometimes think of getting off them just to see what would happen next. 

BTW, what's with the "strawberries"?  Mine come out in long, rubbery tubes, reminiscent of dark-red calamari, if anything.  I love the color of them, and the slippery feel of them between my fingers. 


March 16,

A couple of days before THE BIG DAY I am often up all night, sick to my stomach, sometimes throwing up. On that "special" night, I have odd thoughts. It's like I'm completely somebody else. The weird thing is, I often feel better when my period starts. I'm often a volcano waiting to erupt the week before, MT. Terri just looking for a target of my PMS BITCHINESS! I hate everyone and everything. It's like I'm so FUCKING SUPERIOR (maybe I'm having one of those moments :-))  AND I WANT TO BLOW UP THE WHOLE STUPID WORLD WITH ONE FLICK OF A SWITCH. 

But then I start my period and I'm my own normal sweet self. Heh heh heh heh.. 

I bleed extremely heavily for about the first three days, and then it tapers off. During that time, most of my thoughts are consumed by sex. Yes, I get EXTREMELY *erg* horny. At first I was completely freaked by that, being it was my messiest time...but I came to know that it doesn't matter.  Be horny - whatever time of the month!!!!! 

This might seem strange, but in the past couple of years I've felt the most sexy during my period. It's like an affirmation. Yes, I am a woman. I can bleed for five days (or more) and still live. It's a powerful feeling. I've heard men that have distrusted women just because they're the only animal breathing that can bleed for five days straight and still live. To me, it's come to be a sign of strength.


A meaty
smelling bitch

March 12, 1998

Originally posted on the Heartless Bitches International Bitch Board.  Reprinted by permission of HBI and Elthia. 

I'm looking at your page right now. It's really interesting. I really like the bleed page. (one suggestion: on the journal page, I was having a bit of trouble reading it due to the light text on a light background problem. Might want to change that to make it easier.)  [Done, thanks for the tip -E

About bleeding... 

I get heavy heavy periods. As in, plug me with cotton, I'm gonna explode! 

I have always been anemic, but I don't bleed the way you do. In fact, I have marginally low blood pressure, so I don't bleed that much at all.  I'm constantly amazed at how much blood comes out of other people when they get cut.  I cut my finger once, deeply, down to the bone, on the knuckle. I still cringe when I think about looking down and seeing what seemed to me to be blood vessels in my finger, crosscut. *shiver*  But the bleeding was stopped very quickly, and we were able to bandage me up and I never had a problem with it.  Except that terror I have.... I have a severe phobia of being broken, cut in any way. I've passed out when doctors brought needles near me. I've screamed and run away - literally.  And I'm shaking now, just typing (and using the delete key too much to fix typos due to it), so I think I'll stop with that. 

My periods never bothered me at all, though. Not in that sense. I never felt like there was something wrong with me because of them.  I was a strange one - I had been to the other end of the spectrum. My mother institutionalized it for me. It was all doctor's terms and ideas, no emotion involved (she was like that a lot with all four of us). I wasn't living at home when I got my first period at twelve. I called her to tell her about it, and she told me (or maybe it was my sister) that my sister had had hers for months now. My younger sister. I don't know why I was so devastated by that, but I was. I guess I thought that this was my passage into womanhood, and I wanted it to be mine, just for a little while.  Mom bringing Judith into that was like saying "no, it isn't yours, everyone has it and it's nothing special at all".  I agree with nothing to be ashamed of, but nothing special hurts. 

Personally, I think it's a big thing.  Despite the pain I get with it (I get horrible cramps, and I do get PMS - there is no other explanation for my predictably angry behavior even to those who have done nothing every month), I think it is a special part of me.  I am Woman. I am Alive.  I am Strong enough to bleed for seven days, and not only survive, but feel _better_ afterwards.  I can Endure pain that men don't usually ever get. 

     I felt much the same way about childbirth. I have heard some people say that when a man passes a gallstone, it is the closest he will ever come to childbirth. If so, they will never get anywhere close. The leadup, the sore back and swollen ankles that happen during the pregnancy, the unexplainable cravings for certain minerals or vitamins or foods... all of these things are as inherent in childbirth as the labor itself.  And I dont' think any man has had thirty-six hours of labor to pass a gallstone. Sorry boys. Like the Blood, Labor is something you will never understand. 

     After having gone through that, and my Blood, I always have something to keep me from being afraid of pain. I went in to have a root canal recently, Bleeding!  I was terrified that it would hurt a lot, and constantly, for days.  Throughout it all, I kept thinking to myself, "I went through childbirth, I spent 36 hours grunting and straining and screaming in pain, I can get through this." I did. It didn't even hurt. I suspect that there was _some_ element of mind over matter in that, as I didn't get my usual menstrual cramps during that hour and a half either.  Although it was twice as bad once we left the office. *groan* I walked out the door just fine, and in the hallway, near the elevator, I was suddenly writhing on the floor in pain. *sigh* So much for that day. *laugh* 

     I have been very very regular, almost since day one.  I have a 31-day cycle (although after childbirth, it was an every-holiday cycle -- I got it at every holiday for months before it evened out to 31 days again).  I can predict myself to within a few hours, even sometimes to within half an hour. I get a half-day  of pink blood, and then a day or two of red red red soft splooshy blood.  Then I get a few days of brown clotty stuff that almost looks like... hrm... if you have ever had a piece of wet toilet paper that came apart, you have seen the strings it rolls into.  Well, that's what the brown clots that come out of me look like. Dried up brown boogers or something. The smell, which starts as a very meaty, raw steak sort of smell, turns to a slightly-rotten meat smell while I clot, and then changes back to my normal, varying, impossible-to-describe-entirely  smell. 

     I also itch a lot at that time, for some unknown reason. I take a shower (we don't currently have a bathtub) twice a day or so - the hot water helps me. Heat seems to help immeasurably with dealing with the cramps. 

Hrm... I don't know what else to add, really. *shrug* So I guess that's all for now. Bye bye. *grin* 

The Evil Temptress 
aka Elthia 


In response 
to the Bleed
thread on HBI

March 12, 1998

Jade's comments also originally appeared as a post on the HBI Bitch Board.  Reprinted here by permission of HBI and Jade. 
I love this topic. (As you all well know). I also groove on eating, drinking. I like all my body functions (because I sometimes envision life WITHOUT 'em...pretty scary. 

Although I wouldn't recommend tasting ALL of the fluids that come out of our bodies, I understand  the sentiment behind tasting menstrual fluid. Most of us DO suck our wounds, why not the WISE one? Overcome that mental taboo (I think that if you are even willing to consider it, then consider the taboo broken) and just explore yourself. 

[One bitch mentioned that PMS is a great time to stop suffering idiots and assholes-E

See, this is partially what I have always maintained about PMS. My theory being that bleeding doesn't tolerate bullshit and you are less likely to eat shit politely with a knife and fork during this time.. I also believe that once you break this mental "PMS" barrier of sorts, the intense pains, cramping and anger lessen. I believe that the anger we feel at this time is carried over from the rest of the month, it builds up and we lash out, we snarl. Once we stop tolerating inequities with a smile loaded with the venom we dare not speak (for whatever reason), it lessens because it's not backed up.  Many women disagree with me.  I still secretly believe I'm right, and they are in denial. I'm arrogant like that. 

I get really aroused during this time as well. Towels and showers accomodate the mess, for me. 

[previous poster mentioned how she dealt with menstural-related pain

Does exercise work for you?  It did for me. One of the hardest things for me to do, however, is convince myself to move, but once I do, the bleeding flows and the cramping stops. My cramps always coincide with passing strawberries though. I like that feeling too. 

Erica, I call 'em strawberries for many reasons, one of which is the gag factor in listening males (and squeemish females).  [That Jade, she's such a bitch!] 

You know, my periods were so bad when I was younger that I was bed- ridden (and hot bath-ridden) for the second day.  Getting on the pill was a measure of freedom for me.  I recently got off the pill, and the difference was that I bled very heavily, and was too frequent and irregular. That was enough for me. I'm back on the pill and happy. 

Elthia said: 
couple of days of the brown stuff (clotty) that comes out after that. Almost not worth a pad. The smell changes, too. For the first couple of days, I smell very much like blood or raw fresh meat. But the next few I spend smelling like rotten meat... 

     I notice a meaty smell too. It's kinda cool in a really sick way. 

[another poster brought up the issue of attaching a value, good or bad, to menstruation-E

I say it's good because it's good for me. My dreams are very vivid at this time, I wake up (if I sleep) with loads of creative energy, and I can barely concentrate to jot down all the ideas and inspirations. I feel high, and I like it. I like the feeling of bleeding too. It's warm, moist and comforting.  Not to mention all the magickal connotations... 

[A previous poster complained that douching made her feel less healthy and seemed an unnatrual idea-E

You know, one of my friends had the same problem.  She hated that vinegar thing. I don't mind it, but I do it infrequently.  She used baking soda in her bath water, and that used to irritate the shit out of me. Perhaps our Phs are different? Who's the science grrl? 

Love...oh, Blood and Bitches 


She encourages
vampirism in
her house plants

March 12, 1998

Another post from the HBI Bitchboard.  Used by permission of HBI and Julie. 

Hi Erica, 

...thank you for putting up "Bleed" and initiating such a frank discussion about menstruation in the process. I love it! 

Jade said: 
I love this topic. (As you all well know). I also groove on eating, drinking. I like all my body functions (because I sometimes envision life WITHOUT 'em...pretty scary. 

So do I. I haven't had much time to comment on it, but I visited the Bleed section of Erica's site and I love it! Trust a bitch to talk about what's really goin' on!  [What's a bitch to do? - E

I took an anatomy class in college, and I remember feeling such a great sense of wonder at how the body functions.  It's positively marvelous. So complex, so well made. It really puts concerns such as appearance in a proper perspective. I was a smoker at the time, and learning how my lungs functioned made me ashamed to be causing them so much harm.  I later 
quit. [grin] 

Jade advised: 
Although I wouldn't recommend tasting ALL of the fluids that come out of our bodies, I understand the sentiment behind tasting menstrual fluid. Most of us DO suck our wounds, why not the WISE one? Overcome that mental taboo (I think that if you are even willing to consider it, then consider the taboo broken) and just explore yourself. 

I occasionally taste my vaginal fluids because I'm curious to know how I taste to a lover, but I've never thought of tasting my menstrual blood. Now I think I will!  If I can manage to with a dick in my mouth, that is! ;-)  [Bitchboard in-joke - E

I water my plants with my menstrual blood. It makes me feel positively carnivorous. I wear cloth pads instead of plastic, so when they are soaked I dunk them in water and use the resulting blood solution to water my plants. I was really grossed out the first time someone told me about this, and I gross out a lot of people when I tell them this, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of a sense. A common fertilizer is bone meal, which is ground-up bones and blood and such. Blood is filled with all kinds of nutrients. My plants love the stuff, the little vampires! 

Using cloth pads makes me feel good about my bleeding. There's a more direct contact involved. Down here ("down where? in the f*** basement?" "In Montreal, Whoopi.") a group called the Blood Systers sell marvelous cloth pads. I have one that's red and leopard-skin print on the outside. The removable cloth that goes on the inside has a picture of a cartoon cat that says "Pussy Power"! I love it! I'd much rather have that rubbing softly next to my cunt than a piece of plastic! Can you say, it feels like I'm wearing diapers?  I know you could. 

I also find that cloth pads are more absorbent. They are cheaper and they feel better. They aren't bleached with all kinds of toxic crap.  They are also pretty easy to sew yourself if you have even a marginal skill for sewing. And you won't find any insult-to-your-intelligence commercials for cloth pads that treat you like you are some kind of menstruating smurf.  [Several Bitches were irritated and insulted by the blue liquid used in "feminine protection" commericals - E

Jade again: 
See, this is partially what I have always maintained about PMS. My theory being that bleeding doesn't tolerate bullshit and you are less likely to eat shit politely with a knife and fork during this time.. I also believe that once you break this mental "PMS" barrier of sorts, the intense pains, cramping and anger lessen.  

I believe that the anger we feel at this time is carried over from the rest of the month, it builds up and we lash out, we snarl.  Once we stop tolerating inequities with a smile loaded with the venom we dare not speak (for whatever reason), it lessens because it's not backed up. 

Many women disagree with me.  I still secretly believe I'm right, and they are in denial.  I'm arrogant like that. 

I like that in a person. 

That horny Jade: 
I get really aroused during this time as well. Towels and showers 
accomodate the mess, for me.  

I had a boyfriend who really wasn't grossed out by having sex when I was 
bleeding.  I would get this primeval "I have claimed this one as mine" feeling when I would see his thighs and hands all covered in my blood. 

My favorite remedy for menstrual cramps is orgasm. So when I'm in a lot of pain, I hop into the bathtub, my fave DIY sex spot anyways, and masturbate. The combination of hot water and orgasm usually helps quite a bit.  I also have one of those magic bags you heat up in the microwave. Crawling under the covers with my magic bag on my tummy helps too. 

[I'm starting to wonder if all bitches have (straw)berries - E

My friend Jeff, who is enlightened in most respects but sometimes acts like a stereotypical 17-year old nerd, was trying to gross me out one day.  He started telling me stories about throwing up, in gory detail, and I asked him to stop.  He didn't, so I started relating menstrual stories, which usually shuts up most guys.  Stories like: "I sit in the bathtub and these clumbs pop out and float around in the water.  Sometimes they get caught in my pubic hair."  To no avail. So I brought out my tales of working in stables and cleaning out horses' genitals. When I was done, he was begging me to 
stop. ;-)  (Moral of the story: don't try to outgross people who have worked with large farm animals.) 

It's usually bad for the first day or two, I get cramps and pain in my lower back, and then it's pretty good for the rest of my bleeding. 

I seem to smell like fish. 

In my better moments, I feel powerful when I'm bleeding. Tied to the earth. 
Fertile. Strong. I try to do something to celebrate myself.  I lie in bed eating frozen rasberries.  I wear flashy red underwear. 

[Julie responds to previous posts regarding douching.] 

I can't stand all that crap. "Let's sanitize female bodies. Let's pretend they don't exist." 

I grew up with so much shame around my body. I dreaded telling my mother that I had started bleeding.  The whole thing was shrouded in silence and shame.  I remember my mother giving me this extra-large tampon that seemed huge at the time.  I was young and a virgin then, so the idea of inserting such a big thing into my vagina scared me.  She said "what's the matter? You just stick it in your hole and push!"  Note the use of hole.  My whole teenage years where like this, all the important passages towards womanhood corrupted instead of celebrated.  My mother did not want me to become a woman.  When I started developing breasts, she bought me this ugly beige training bra.  Just the thing to make a young girl feel beautiful, isn't it?  To this day, she is terrified of my sexuality. 

Funny story: she came to visit me when I had injured my foot.  I couldn't walk very well and my house was a mess. My mother cleaned up my apartment while I was away at school.  For about a month, I couldn't find my vibrator and was wondering about it's whereabouts.  I found it in the 
filling cabinet, and I didn't put it there.  Sheesh.  (That's
why all my files were smilling at me. ;) 

In my adult years, I've become positively fierce in claiming my sexuality for myself. I persevere, despite past abuse and bad experiences, in seeking joy thru my body. 

I go thru days where I feel fat or ugly, but overall, I love my body.  It's mine.  I can appreciate it for all the marvelous things that it can do, not how closely it ressembles Kate Moss' anorexic shape. 

bleeding and shameless, 


May 17, 1998

Bleed gets some unexpected fan mail

This is clearly not the first thing one expects to find in her inbox Sunday morning:

First let me say I am a guy and no I am not gay, maybe just a little Kinky or something :)

Excellent the way he utilizes foreshadowing here.  What does gay have to do with bleeding?  I know a lot of [gay, male] cross-dressers and none of them wants to bleed.

I find your page very interesting. I came across your page via 

Ah, the good old Museum of Menstruation.  Started by a man -- maybe I *have* stumbled onto an as-yet undocumented fetish.

Which I found via Lycos or something. I usually go to the page and explore the links and see what is happening. 

What's new in the world of Menstruation!!!

In fact the whole thing turns me on. 

I was wondering when he'd get around to that.

When I read it I get quite hard and get very turned on. So when I read your 

Well, now...THAT is why I started Bleed.  My work is done here.  I can now retire from the web business, happy, fullfilled and lest we forget -- oh-so turned on.  I can see it now:  Erica has left the Bleedpage...

page it was very interesting. I try to find people on the net who are willing to talk to me about the whole thing but usually they get pretty 

to what "whole thing" is he referrring?

turned off. Judging from your page you don't seen to be this type? If you 

I shudder to think what "type" I seem to be.

are willing to talk to a guy about this 

about WHAT?

please reply to my email if not I can understand if you just through it away and forget it. I hope not because I am looking for someone to talk with about this. It is easier to 

Again, about WHAT?

talk with a person over the net than in person, because I get nervous.

So much so that he can't even SAY what it is he wants to talk about. Knitting perhaps?

Thanks Please reply


A psychic told me once that my soul mate's name was Jeff.  She said something also about a large body of water...perhaps it's a murkier fluid?

Shall I write and tell him I'm bleeding RIGHT NOW!!!  ; )  I am, actually, ut I think I'd be tempted to say so, either way.  I've been wondering how I could make money on the's so obvious!  S-E-X.  I just have to advertise Bleed as a fetish page and I'll be all set.  I could charge membership fees, like Jennicam  does.

See, my problem is that I GIVE it away.  Gotta make a buck, baby.



P.S.  In all fairness, this is not the first fan mail I've received from a man.  I had a very nice, albeit not the reaction I expected based on what I'm saying, email from another man last week.  I asked for permission to use it, but he never replied.  Screw it, if you send it, I'm posting it.  I will have the kindness, however, to remove your last name and email address.  Maybe.

Mariweb shares a menstrual urban legend

May 18, 1998

 I have a friend we'll call Mimi who is a Plastic Surgery Triumph (as vs. the Dead Kennedy's Disaster).  She went from being an average-looking gal to a dead ringer for Madonna in her Gaultier-bra wearing phase.  She's also got a great voice. 

One day she got sick of exhibiting these talents only at the strip clubs she made a fortune at, and decided to really compete.  She entered a drag show - a real one, none of these pancake-makeup barely covering five o'clock shadow and chesthair as cleavage jobs.  No, I am talking about a show where the participants push  their testicles back into their bodies (I couldn't make this up - it's called "tucking") [has she forgotten I live in SF?  --E] and tape their nipples together for versilimitude.

So Mimi wanted to see how she'd be received here.  Far from the usual fawning, she was politlely told her look was too cliche to be "real." She entered the competition anyway, got up on stage, and started to sing.  The audience, mostly gay men, was completely won over. 

Until ... she happily reached between her legs, took out her bloody tampon and threw it to the crowd! Then, she ran out of there before she was either killed or canonized.

I have no proof to my tale; it happened in Philadelphia around 1994.  I don't know if you want to use it and I won't be offended if you don't (hope I didn't offend you!) 

[Not at all, Mariweb, I laughed so hard, I nearly lost my tampon.-E.]


FINALLY!!! Updated August 28, 1998...but not a lot. : (
I can't believe it took me a year to come back to Bleed!
-EJ, August 3, 1999

Blood is scary -- get me the hell away from this bleeding bitch!

I'mErica Online home  | Email me with links or your own bleeding banter.