It wasn’t until a couple of months in that I realized, instead of the instant and crippling anxiety I felt in anticipation of the pain that always followed the beginning of my period – I was thinking about sex. About pleasure. About loving my body. About being loved. That’s when everything changed.
When I was a teenager and first started experiencing menstrual pain, it was explained to me as an unavoidable part of “womanhood”. As I got older, I distanced myself both from the idea of womanhood and it’s unexplainable suffering that seemed to be carelessly attached to the sentiment.