On Thursday my colleague said “so do you still want my blood?” and I said yes totally and gave her a plastic test tube for her tampon. We had done a shout out for blood donations too and not a single person replied (except my group of totally supportive close menstruator friends, but that kind of doesn’t count). I was kind of surprised by that, actually. Then, cycling home, I pictured my colleague handing me the tube with her used tampon and I was so revolted. By the mere thought.
On Monday I picked up a donation and yesterday I did an experiment on it (follow close for more on that, will probably be posting tomorrow. I know you love it). Handling the jar of someone’s period is really, really repulsive even if it is securely stored in a container. I think that I’m probably more blasé about period blood than a lot of other people, so I’m still a bit surprised about my reaction and this is very interesting to me. My immediate, physical reaction to other menstruator’s abject fluids is deep felt, embodied disgust – even the imagined situation provokes me. Before this I mainly thought that people who were squeamish about periods were silly. I get it now.
This being said, I am also interested in the fact that there is such a substantial difference in relating to your own discharge and that of someone else. This is quite important when thinking about such things as menstrual sex. Also, it seems to me that there is a vast difference between blood deposited into another container, such as a tampon, which essentially functions as a blood bin, and blood that flows onto a sheet or another living body. Lots to consider.
So those of you reading this and thinking it’s the grossest thing ever, I do understand you. Just so you know.