RAMONA WORKSHOPS: PERIOD WITCHES

Advice Forum: Talking Periods With Boys

Illustrations by Jane Herkenhoff

Hi!! I saw your advice forum shared on Instagram and started following you! I love your magazine. I have had this question rolling around in my head for awhile, here goes:

I am 16 and have had my period for two years now. I am fairly comfortable with it (though it does surprise me sometimes!) but I would like to be able to talk to guy friends about it and potential future boyfriends. Some boys seem fine with it but you can never predict when a boy will be “grossed out”. Even some really nice boys who you wouldn’t expect to be grossed out by it, are! I would just like to have the confidence to be able to say “Hey, I’ve got my period” without feeling really embarrassed. Do you have any tips?

Thank you heaps! I really like your advice on periods and body stuff and depression!
Love M

Dear M,

Firstly, we are so glad you like Tigress and find the body advice helpful! We are always trying to write and publish articles that are relevant to teenagers and issues that are important!

Your question regarding periods and talking to boys is a very common problem but it doesn’t make it any less of a tricky one, and it’s a question that we are sure every girl thinks about at least some point in their life. It’s a very good topic and one that is really important to talk about.

It is great to hear you are feeling comfortable with your period– that is definitely the first step in being able to openly talk about it. Periods can surprise you sometimes, but as you get more and more used to your cycle, you will start to be able to predict the changes more regularly.

So! Talking to boys about periods. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable talking about your period in any certain situation. While it is important to be able to be open, also know that you can just take your time when discussing your period. If you feel emotionally unsafe (for example, if you feel like the boy you are speaking with may be insensitive because he is “grossed” out and you don’t want to have to deal with that) then there is no pressure for you to be the one to educate him and make him realise it’s not a gross thing.

From my (Freya’s) experience of high school, I realised that some boys were grossed out, but the majority of boys were actually just curious. Boys know about periods already, and mostly they are fine with them, just a bit awkward themselves. Our advice to you is to test the waters, maybe mention PMS first– talk about cramps or see their reaction when periods come up in conversation. Then you can decide how to proceed. If you are happy to talk about it with a boy who might be a bit ignorant and immature in his reaction, that can be great, and you might just be the one to open his mind to other perspectives! But if you are feeling sensitive, know that it is not your responsibility to re-educate him.

In regards to future boyfriends, I suggest being as open as you can or want to be. It’s a good way to see if he is someone you want to be with. If you are someone who wants to be open about all aspects of who you are, then you may not suit someone who doesn’t want to know anything about your period.

Good luck! We hope you have a very positive experience talking to boys about your period!

Love

Freya & Sophie xx

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Jane Herkenhoff

Jane is a Brazilian artist from Rio de Janeiro currently based in Oporto, Portugal. She studied Visual Arts and Printmaking at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. After Jane graduated she moved to Barcelona, then moved to Oporto and then back to Rio de Janeiro, but now she is getting a masters degree in Digital Illustration and Animation in Oporto, where she lives with her husband and dwarf bunny. Jane’s work is inspired by magical daily life and thoughts, literature and pop culture.

Sophie Pellegrini

Sophie Pellegrini is the Co-Founder and Artistic & Creative Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a 25-year-old photographer and wilderness therapy field guide in Colorado. She loves crafting, playing acoustic guitar, 90s music, the smell of summer, making lists, a good nap, cuddly animals, and the cold side of the pillow. Follow Sophie on her website and on Instagram.

Freya Bennett

Freya Bennett is the Co-Founder and Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a writer and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia who has a passion for youth rights and mental health. To combat her own battle with anxiety and hypochondria, you can find Freya boxing, practicing yoga, taking sertraline and swimming in the ocean. She believes in opening up about her mental health struggles and shining a light on what is not spoken about. Freya welcomed her first daughter, Aurora into the world on the 21st of November, 2017 and spends her days building blocks, reading stories and completely exhausted. With a passion for grassroots activism and creative community, Freya began Ramona Magazine as an alternative to boring, image-obsessed teen media. The magazine is founded upon Freya’s core values of creative expression, equality and kindness. You can follow her on Instagram @freyasadventures.

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