Why Do Periods Start When You Least Want Them To?

It was supposed to have been the trip of my lifetime. A week in a five-star hotel in the Caribbean. The sea views were supposed to be amazing. One whole week of premium chilling out, only to be interrupted by great sex-sessions with my amazing boyfriend at that time. As I crossed-off the dates on my calendar, I became more and more excited about it. What could possibly go wrong?

When we arrived at the hotel, my enthusiasm only grew. I’ve always adored having sex in hotels. There is something so exciting about finding an impeccable bedroom and then messing it up to make it your own as soon as you enter it. When I saw our hotel suite for the first time, I was already imagining how I would exploit the erotic potential of all the awkward corners, and expensive furniture, for our relentless vacational sex. I was primed for messing up the bed, knowing that I would have clean sheets each and every day. With this in mind, we blessed the bed immediately. We were intoxicated on a cocktail of jet lag and adrenaline which was so potent that it made us sleep for 10 hours, non-stop, after the blessing. When we woke up finally, we knew that the real fun was about to begin.

Once our heads cleared, we had intense morning sex and everything seemed perfect. When he withdrew, however, I looked down and, to my horror, I discovered that I was on my period. This was totally unexpected as it was not due until the following week. I couldn’t believe how vindictive Mother Nature was being to me at that moment. Suddenly, those impeccable white sheets had lost all of their charm.

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Of course, it wasn’t the first time that we had sex when my period had made its presence felt. But, the fact that it had happened when we were on holiday really bothered me. I had wanted to be free of worries. Now, I was concerned about staining the sheets and ruining the white towels. We were terribly restricted in the choice of sexual positions that we could enjoy and spontaneity would have to be curtailed. Fortunately, we had a big shower with hydro-massage which was a huge advantage in the circumstances.

Although I do not usually feel very sexual at that time of the month, I should acknowledge that having an orgasm is one of the best providers of menstrual-pain relief that I know of. When I am alone, I depend upon regular masturbation to relieve this discomfort. There are people who need paracetamol to take the edge off but I find that, with an extensive collection of sex toys, I have more than enough medication to see me through the worst.

Not all of my boyfriend’s have been considerate enough when it comes to this topic. I remember one in particular who was so squeamish that if he saw a hint of red during sex, everything stopped. I never insisted because I was afraid he would faint. But, strangely enough, when I had to announce it was his least favourite few days of the month, he cheerfully declared it was blow-job week instead. It seemed amusing to me at the time but, looking back, I wonder why I did not have the benefit of an exclusively cunnilingus-based week when I was off my period.

Fortunately, during the fifth day of our Caribbean holiday, my period finished. I could not have been happier. We spent the final day making up for lost time. The only good thing about having my period at the beginning of the holiday was that it meant we enjoyed going out for more excursions than we had anticipated.

Although there were some corners of our hotel suite that remained unexplored, we had, nevertheless, made the most of the bathroom. And the bed, if only with the assistance of a generous heap of towels. There was also an attractive writing desk that had not received our full attention…


Translation of ‘La regla, el sexo, mi novio y yo’, published in El Pais.

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