Menstruation

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One thing you will…not often but occasionally… witness at RL naturist beaches is a tell-tale string that informs us that the woman ‘wearing’ it is having her period. I confess that, were I to be, um, ‘stricken’ with my period during a holiday I would not be going nude on a beach while ‘wearing’ a tampon. The bikini briefs would go on for the time in which I was having my period. But that does not appear to be a bar to naturism for some women, who will readily sunbathe and swim (in the sea, I’ve never witnessed a woman having her period use a swimming pool while wearing that tell-tale string).

In SL tampons are available -see the photos above- but it’s not something that I’ve ever seen spoken of, in any circumstances.

It would appear that it’s something we don’t wish to even consider in real life…

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‘People are perfectly happy to see women as sex objects, but the actual biology of our bodies is apparently gross and unmentionable.’

I wonder if it’s something that we, SL’s women, should be speaking about more openly.

Let’s face it: all women of child-bearing age menstruate each month. I reckon there must be a good 25-30%, minimum, of all SL avatars then suffering each month. If we can have avatars that urinate or ejaculate, why not women who menstruate? After all, we want to enhance the reality of SL at every turn. Or do we? Is it taboo for SL and something left back in RL?

For many women, ‘the time of the month’ is very much a time of mood change, almost invariably negatively. Again, I’ll confess it’s not something that has particularly ever laid me low, in terms of pain or mood, but I’m one of the lucky ones. Other women do experience a negative frame of mind, feel awful, or are consigned, if not to bed, then to the sofa with a hot water bottle pressed against themselves.

The worst symptoms of menstruation, for me, are a kind of….how can I explain it…’hanginess’, a listlessness, a feeling of physical tiredness and mental exhaustion by day’s end, plus a ‘dullness’ I can’t explain. Sometimes that would affect my desire to play SL. Yep, sometimes I just don’t feel like it.

We’re very often very upfront and open in SL about, well, everything! I’ve been in (local chat) situations where avatars will readily open up about all manner of intimate issues. Sometimes, you know these will have never been discussed with their significant other in RL. But despite this, I’ve never once heard an SL avatar say ‘I’m logging out because it’s that time of the month and I’m not in the mood to make my avatar dance, or chat, in SL’. Maybe we should. Maybe it’s time for SL’s male avatars to realise that, for some, that time of the month does affect our mood to play, does affect our desire to even be in a virtual social situation. Sometimes, maybe it should be OK to log in, listen to the music feed and watch others dance without feeling a need to participate.

I note that there’s a group which can indicate that it is that time of the month….

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…but I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone wear that group tag.

It’s something becoming less visible in SL, as if it’s a taboo. In the past, on my travels, I’ve picked up this…

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…and this…

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…and occasionally a ‘rest room’ would have a dispensing machine that dispensed them (usually free). I’ve not done a definitive sweep of all of SL, obviously, but a quick hop around the grid demonstrated it’s now seemingly nigh on impossible to obtain sanitary products. I tried the Marketplace…

talking tampon

Not any more gross than a talking tummy for a pregnant avatar

…and did find the product above, as well as similar ones to that I’ve picked up in the past (and are photographed above). But in all of SL, there appear to be maybe half a dozen products that reference something that affects the women controlling SL’s female avatars.

It would be interesting if someone was to wear a tampon, as in the photographs at the top of the page, and see how long it took for a male avatar to pick up on, or how they would react to it. I’m guessing the reaction would be similar to that experienced by the Village Voice’s readership twenty tears ago, a recoil of horror. Male avatars happy to treat females as sex objects, but a little less keen to acknowledge biology.

Ella

4 thoughts on “Menstruation

  1. I’m so glad you posted this topic. It has been something that was on my mind in terms of RL and wondering how people manage in social situations. I haven’t been to many public things yet; actually only 1. But my latest period was my first time going the entire duration of it without underwear, completely clothes free except for when I had to be in meetings at work. It is something that I want to write about, amongst other things that have landed for me in my personal experience as a new woman in clothes free life. But anyway, back to the point that I am glad you’re writing about this and putting the topic out there. I don’t know how people respond in clothes free social settings, as the one time I have been to date I wasn’t on my period, but in the textile RL framework, it’s definitely more often still taboo than not where I live. And the same question arises: why are people happy to see women as sex objects but weirded and grossed out when menstruation lands on the table of reality? many thanks.

  2. Pingback: Menstruation | Nomad, Geek, Nudie

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