I somewhat relate to the beautiful ladies in this myth busting video about periods.
When I first started menstruating, we didn’t have YouTube or Google to help us with our embarrassing questions. You had no choice but to trust what your mother told you or what you heard from the kids in the playground at school. It was difficult to separate myth from fact and in my naïve younger days, I took these answers as gospel.
Thankfully, as a school-aged child I had really open and honest family members to speak with and the paperback version of Where Did I Come From? and What’s Happening to Me? to help with the facts of life.
“We were afraid of them [tampons].” “You would lose them… in your vagina!”
“There are bears up there [in the mountains] and if they smell your blood from your period, they are liable to attack you!”
“Sharks would attack you and anyone with you, because they smelled the blood. You were terrified!”
Although we don’t have bears here along the east coast of Australia, I totally and utterly believed the myth about the sharks. Who am I to dare swim with my period and invite Great Whites to the shore where hundreds of non-menstruating beach-goers are enjoying the sun, the sand and the waves? No thanks! I’ll wait till I’ve finished surfing my crimson wave!
Of course I now know none of these myths to be true. Tampons have nowhere to go but down and you are more likely to be taken by a shark if you’re wearing a black wetsuit, and looking like a plump juicy seal, than if you are having your period.
I’m guessing this all stems from the sharks-can-smell-a-drop-of-blood-a-mile-away theory? But after reading over some scientific data and research, it seems that sharks are uninterested in menstrual fluids (which is chemically very different from systemic blood). Phew, we can all safely go back in the water now!
Balancing out other myths from fact came about during my time as a Brazilian waxer.
I had only ever seen a few other vaginas in my lifetime and they all looked very similar to mine. So naturally, I thought that’s what they all looked like. You can image the education I got from working in a waxing salon looking at vaginas day in, day out. No two are alike and they come in many shapes and sizes. It has nothing to do with how much sex you’ve had or how many children you’ve borne naturally. It’s simply the way we are built. Vaginas are as unique as our faces and fingerprints and as individual as snowflakes. Vaginas are so special, they even have their own doctor!
“Am I normal?” and, “Sorry about the smell,” were the two most common statements from my clients.
And yes, it’s normal for healthy women to have a unique odor to their vaginas. Vaginas don’t smell (or taste) the same, but they do all smell. Contrary to what people believe, it’s not like working in a fisheries co-op, it’s a very mild odor and will never send you running from the beauty room gasping for fresh air.
And if you think men are offended by our feminine odor, this interesting story might help dispel the whole smelly fish myth.
During a drunken conversation with my father-in-law one evening, he was reminiscing about his glory days in the 60s as a young lad growing up in Northern England, courting the local women at the Mecca Dance Hall. It was the usual dance-scene scenario, single lads and single ladies out for a night “on the pull.”
According to paternal-one, it was common knowledge that women seeking men used to put their fingers into their vaginas and place their vagina essence delicately behind their ears. Complicated dating signals were obsolete at the Mecca, just a sniff of the “Canal No.1” (as it was affectionately known) and it sent the hormone-infused geezers mad, and they loved it!
So forget the pure floral perfume of Chanel No.5 and the romantic fragrance of Diorissimo. It was vagina juice women were dabbing behind their ears back in the free-loving decade of the 60s.
The safest way to stay fresh? Toss your feminine hygiene products and leave your amazing self-cleaning vagina to take care of itself.