Why we love it:
The Crimson Wave podcast is genuinely one of our all-time favs. There's nothing better than humour to cut through deep conversations and make periods and female health accessible. What better way to learn about periods than to listen to expert comedians discuss things with incredible guests? We promise you'll laugh out loud so sit back and give it a listen... or read (hence the transcription below).
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Listen & Learn:
We have been... Oh. Clapping. Fancy. We have... I'm going to do the introduction this week.
Go ahead. Can you hear all of us?
Yes. We can hear all of us. I can see the bars.
So we were supposed to start recording about and hour and a half ago.
Well, really two hours ago.
Two hours ago.
Yeah. And we were pretty late.
We're pretty late, but we've been discussing stuff, and it's getting heated in here.
Physically, I'm hot.
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:00:42] take off you top.
There's a good chance I'll take off my shirt.
You already have.
Secondly... I have not, yet! Stop! Secondivly, once again there is three water signs.
Did you just say secondivly?
Yes. I'm making up-
You said "Secondivly, there is three water signs". Do you realize [crosstalk 00:01:00]?
There is three water signs, plus Danz. So, of course, I have my... The co-host, Jess, is here.
And we've got a special treat.
The host... I'm Jess Beaulieu [crosstalk 00:01:11].
And I'm Natalie Norman, and our guests this week, our lovely guests... We've got two of them this week.
This is our first time... we're double ending it-
Double your pleasure.
With a beautiful lesbian couple. Catherine McCormick and Danz...
Altvater. Like [crosstalk 00:01:29].
That's why I waited to say your name-
I was going to say Vader.
Catherine McCormick is the host of Queer as Fuck, host and producer, which is bimonthly-
Weekly. Held at The Steady in Toronto.
Yes. 1051 Bloor St. West.
There we go. It's a fantastic show. Queer positive. Welcomes all different types of comics, as long as you're queer positive.
There's always [inaudible 00:01:54] spots. A great-
There's a great atmosphere. Great room. She also hosts her own podcast, which is lovely, and I've been a guest on it. Jess has not been one yet. Woo!
That's because she keeps canceling on me.
Neither have I.
No, but you canceled on me once.
That's right. True.
And her podcast is called...
There we go. I almost called it Social Box.
Box Social. She has a Twitter, it's McCormCorp.
She has a Twitter.
She does the Twitterer thing. Danz is a fantastic stand-up as well, who also does improv. She is one of the lovely members of Disco Taxi. They have a Facebook group.
Yeah. We do.
They...[crosstalk 00:02:39]. I choked on my [inaudible 00:02:41].
I just want to say, this introduction is so thorough and great, and then you hacked up.
Well, it's cute [crosstalk 00:02:48].
Do you remember? We used to do that, and then you would... Wasn't it you who would be like "I'm really going to throw up".
Oh. Inside joke.
Nobody cares. Sorry. Continue on.
So we have this lovely lesbian couple.
Hot. Hot. We sound like a wholesome couple.
Hot and physically appealing, as well.
They're just beautiful.
All ins and outs.
In and out of the vagina.
In and out.
Inside the vagina, outside the vagina.
I've got a Brazilian.
Danz has a Brazilian. Catherine forgot that earlier.
Okay. So as you know, we like to ask questions about periods because that's what the podcast is about.
All right guys. Ladies.
Well? How old were you when you got your period?
Give it up for 10.
That's Catherine and Natalie clamping. Clapping. They're high-fiving. What is wrong with you?
Natalie. Were you 10 yourself?
I was 10.
Oh. I didn't know you guys were the same age.
And we have the same boobs.
We do not anymore, I guess.
We had the same cup size for a while.
Okay, so 10, 12... wait Jess, how old were you again?
I don't remember. I think I was in grade seven. So that would be 11 or 12.
Yeah. I was the summer between grade seven and eight. No, or six and seven.
I must have been 11. I think it was in October.
Mine was in May.
Mine was in the summer in between grade five and grade six, and I turned 11 in grade six. Turned 11 in... Like in the middle.
Okay. Mine was the summer between grade six and seven, I think. Yeah.
So where did it happen?
Where didn't it happen?
Oh. Bleeding around town! Hitting all the spots.
I'll tell you this story.
Okay. Go ahead.
So we had just moved to the US. My mom lived in New Hampshire. We moved in with her in March, and I had to start at a new school. It was my third school that I started at that year because I went to two different schools in Ottawa, then I moved to New Hampshire. So it was the summer right after school had ended, and I had only been at that school for a couple of months, and then it was summer break. And then my brother and I were just hanging out because all we had to do that summer, because my mom worked, was we would just hang out, go swimming in the lake, watch MTV. That's literally all we did. And then at some point, I was just-
In New Hampshire?
In New Hampshire.
That's how you say it. They gave us this talk at school with the pamphlet that said, "Kayleigh's story". And it was just a diary entry of a girl being like, "My breasts are getting larger, and I... Oh my God. I have a period now!" So they gave us those in school, and they gave us pads, I want to say. And then I was just like, "Cool", and then I got my period, and we were at home, and I was like...
You got your period that day?
No, no no! This is in the summer, but I still had the booklet. And I had vaguely looked at it, but didn't really care that much. And then I got my period, and I told my brother first because my mom... it was at night, and we were watching TV, and my mom was upstairs in bed... I think she had gone to bed early. And I was like, "Ryan. I got my period." And he's like, "Oh, no!". He couldn't believe it was happening, he was like, "What!? Oh, you got to tell mom!" And I was like, "I know, but I think she's asleep". And he's like, "You've got to wake her up!" So I ran upstairs, and I was like, "Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom!" And she's like, "What!? Why are you waking me up!?" And I was like... it's like 8:30 at night, and she's asleep, and I'm like, "I got my period! I started my period just now." And she's like, "I'm not ready for this".
Generally ready? Or that night?
I don't know. In general periods.
Yeah because you were 10.
Yeah. But I think she also... She was like "I don't have any stuff for you. I don't have any..."
Yeah. So that night she wasn't ready either.
Yeah. Both. I think she just wasn't mentally prepared.
Mentally prepared and she also was not-
So did you get a pad? What did you put a towel in?
No. And that's the thing. She didn't even-
She didn't even-
She didn't have any pads in the house, or if she did... She just went back to sleep. Maybe she had the flu or something. She literally went back to sleep, didn't say there's pads downstairs. Nothing. Or there wasn't.
So what did you do? You had to fend for yourself.
I had to fend for myself. And I used toilet paper.
So you just put a roll of toilet paper down there?
A whole role.
A whole role?
Yeah. I just thought [crosstalk 00:07:54].
It wasn't a whole role, but it was a lot-
You put two roles, back to back-
I did the thing where you wrap it around the crotch part of your underwear.
I still do that sometimes [crosstalk 00:08:01].
Oh. I've never thought to do that.
Like through the leg holes?
I've never thought to do that either.
Always. I always did that.
That's so smart because I've definitely put toilet paper down there, and then I'm like "Shit. If it falls down through my leg, that's going to be [inaudible 00:08:16]".
Do you? I just put it in and it stays, but I have some chub thighs, so.
I frequently do not have a tampon on me.
So what I like to do is... I call it the toilet paper tampon. And I just roll it up real right and put it right where it's coming out of.
You stick in your vagina?
I don't stick it in, but-
Like a tampon?
Kind of like a tampon.
Yeah it's like... Do you remember in the early 90s? They said "The wave of the future was mini pads".
No. What are they?
And mini pads were thick long pads that almost look like a tampon, but they actually nestled in between your labia.
Yeah. And they just weren't popular because people didn't trust them in the 90s.
What were they called? Mini pads?
In the labia?
It's like sticking a Twinkie down there.
In between your labia lips.
But when I put toilet paper down there, I just, kind of, put it up [crosstalk 00:09:01].
Yeah. Yeah. You got to stick it up there [crosstalk 00:09:03].
Not in the hole.
No you wrap it around.
You don't do that anymore?
No I just fold a few layers and...
Oh. Yeah, yeah. Sometimes [crosstalk 00:09:10].
You don't want to wrap it around your-
I only wrap it around when my pad is filling up, and I-
Over the top of the pad?
That's a lot of layers.
It's like a wrap.
It's like a wrap?
It's a lot.
So, Danz. What happened to you when you first got your period?
Okay. When I first got my period, it was a time when my mom and I moved into her boyfriends farm, which was 45 minutes from where I grew up. Okay, so it was the summer... we had just moved in with her boyfriend, who was a farmer, a trucker, and he had seven kids. So it went from being just me and my mom, literally I would sleep in my moms bed, to having all these siblings. And one of them was my age, so all of a sudden I had this older sister that was... It was kind of like having a twin sister who was... Or not a twin sister, but a sister who was the same age as you but seven months older.
Okay. An Irish twin, almost.
Yeah. Yeah. So we were-
What's an Irish twin?
And this was in Listowel, Ontario. I don't know if you know where that is.
Population 1,200. Which is the outskirts-
So basically the family was the population.
Yeah. Pretty much. So I was there... We had been there for the weekend, and then my mom went back to work on Monday. So I was staying up there alone with her, who I didn't even really know that well. Right? It was kind of awkward. And then literally right after my mom left, I got my period. And I'm like "Oh my God".
And you were there for the weekend?
Yeah. And then Emily... she'll probably never listen to this, because she already had her period, she was like "You can borrow my pads and stuff". But then that night I went to the Listowel fair because my moms boyfriend, [Herb 00:10:51], did tractor pulls. So I went to watch, and my mom had told him that I had my period, and I had to go to the bathroom in that outhouse at night time.
In the outhouse!?
Yeah. Well, not an outhouse, but a porta potty.
That's horrible. Back it up. Sorry. Why was there a porta potty?
They were at a fair [crosstalk 00:11:10].
Oh. Right. The fair. Sorry. Missed that one.
So I would watch him pull all these huge pipes and stuff with a tractor.
And then I remember coming out of the outhouse, and he was like "Everything okay?", and I'm like "Yeah".
So you used pads for the first time?
Yeah. Always, with wings.
Always with the... There we go. Brand recognition.
So when did you start using tampons? Is this a question?
Yeah. That's a question.
I feel like I used pads for-
Have you used tampons at all?
Yeah. Because some people don't use them.
Oh. Yeah. I love tampons.
Yeah. Me too.
[inaudible 00:11:53] tampon enthusiasts.
I can not- [crosstalk 00:11:54]
I'm literally an enthusiast of big tampons.
Why so big?
But not long ones, just wide.
Thick! Like super-plus.
You know that girl in Mean Girls who says, "I have a wide set vagina." That is me.
"And a heavy flow". That's me!
Me too. So the shorter wider ones are better if you have a short vaginal canal because they expand out instead of up. But the long ones that have an applicator, they expand this way.
So do you use an o.b.?
I use o.b.
But I used to do the cup.
The DivaCup? [crosstalk 00:12:33]
And I loved it, and then I lost it.
Why didn't you buy a new one?
Where did you lose your DivaCup?
Okay. Well, here's what happened. It kind of a funny story. My roommate at the time... Don't say his name. But my roommate at the time-
It was a male.
Was a man, and a boy, and at one point I left-
Oh! He wasn't no man!
I left it in the kitchen because I was boiling it, because that's how you clean it. And it was clean-
Yeah. You boil it. You don't have to boil it every time you use it, you just boil it after your period's over-
Oh. Crazy. I didn't know that [crosstalk 00:13:06].
just to keep it sterile because it's going up there, you don't want it to be unsterile.
I've never used it.
So I had it drying on a pile of paper towels, and then I couldn't find it. And then one day I found it in the drawer with the measuring spoons because it has measurement marks on it.
Oh my God! [crosstalk 00:13:22]
I think I've heard you say this. Have you told this before?
Yeah. At the period show.
At the period show. Yeah. That's so funny. That is so funny!
Do you think he used it to measure stuff?
I hope he didn't. I just hope he didn't use it. But then after that I took it back, but then I was like "Oh I have to boil it again before I use it." And then I can't remember where I put it, and then I never found it again.
So he for sure has it, and he's still using it to measure...
He was like "Shut up".
He thinks it's a measuring cup.
I think he thinks it's a shot glass because it has a one ounce marker on it, but it's rubber.
So let me ask you... you're the first person that we've had on who's used a DivaCup-
I've also used one.
Oh. There we go. Okay.
Was your experience like, Danz?
Would you still use one?
No, because I just had a hard time getting it out once, and I was just scarred.
That can be really scarring for people.
A lot of spillage. Right?
No. I was just like... I don't want to put my vagina through that again.
I just read an article about a woman who... It got suctioned up, not in the opening of her uterus, but up in the top. So she had to go to the hospital and have them take it out, and she was so embarrassed. But then she realized she wasn't going to be able to get it out, and it took doctors hours to get it out.
Did she have to go under?
But that's because she put it in wrong. When you put it in, you have to turn it all the way around so that it makes a seal around the opening of your uterus, and then it catches all the blood. None can come out because there's a seal, but she did it wrongs. So instead of turning it so that it went on... because your uterus is, kind of, shaped like pear, upside down. The cup, it's more like a cap, it fits over that opening, that what the stem of a pear would be. She just put it up so far that instead of turning it, she just, kind of, left it up there and it sealed up her uterus.
Not like... It didn't seal it shut. It just sealed on side of it.
Oh. I thought you meant sealed it shut.
No. It sealed on the side [crosstalk 00:15:18]. So if her uterus was a pear, it was on the bottom of the pear, instead of the top.
You know what... I don't know where I got this, but I got this... It was like a one time DivaCup type thing, where it was like-
Oh. Those were terrible. Instead.
Yeah. I bought those.
Yeah. So I don't know where I got them. I got one for free, like a sample. And I put it in and I just remember... I put it in correctly and I was freaked out because I heard from so many people that have used them that the first time you put it in, it's a little tricky. And it sealed up and I got freaked out, so I pulled it out right away. But it was really cool to see all the blood collected. But I think, you just throw it out-
Those Instead's I couldn't get to work because they hurt.
[crosstalk 00:15:59] material?
Because they were hard plastic with a ring with a baggy down the bottom-
Yeah. It was like a plastic bag at the bottom. It was so bizarre.
It was creepy, but the DivaCup was cool for that, seeing how much blood.
My old roommate, and my best friend would keep her blood to feed her plants.
Yeah. It's supposed to be really good [crosstalk 00:16:19].
So she would have a jar of it in the fridge, and she'd be like "Danz. Just so you know... Guys, just so you know. That's my period blood".
That's not cranberry juice.
That's not jam.
That's not tomato juice.
Did she freeze it?
To keep it fresh.
No. No, no, no.
So she must have been [inaudible 00:16:36].
Would you guys go back to using the DivaCup ever?
I think I'm going to buy a new one because the thing is, tampons are so expensive, and they're so bad for the environment.
And they're bad for you body.
And the DivaCup lasts for 10 years. And for me it's actually easier because you can wear it for 12 hours. There's no possibility of toxic shock with it because there's no absorbent fibers. It just collects it and you can do whatever you want. You can move around. You can go swimming. You can jump up and down. No blood comes out. Once you know how to use it properly... it takes a little while to get the hang of it. I think it took me probably two periods to really know how to use it, but then once I was using it, it's like you just forget you have you period. And I found... I don't usually get a lot of cramps, but I never had cramps when I had it. And I think-
Because I think that tampons leave small fibers in your vagina.
They do. They do.
I use pads mostly, though.
And then your body is struggling to push them out. But also pads... your period actually takes longer when you use pads.
Because with tampons-
It collects it faster.
It collects it. It [inaudible 00:17:41] it out, and with pads it just has to come out naturally.
Isn't that the best way to do it? Shouldn't it come out naturally?
You're getting mad.
I know. I'm so angry at [crosstalk 00:17:54]. I'm in an aggressive mood tonight. I'm very combative.
I have too heavy a flow to use pads.
And part of me wants to-
That's so funny because I feel the opposite. I have a heavy flow, but that's why I use tampons.
I have to use tampons and pads, or the cup. See this is the thing, a lot of people do that. They double up [crosstalk 00:18:09].
I have to.
You know what I did recently? And it was shocking. It was shocking.
It was shocking.
I went to go pull out a tampon-
Like out of your vagina?
You pulled out two?
I pulled out two tampons.
That's happened to be before!
And I lost my mind. I was like, "How did I leave a tampon in there?"
Thank God it came out.
Yes. They were side by side.
If you leave one in for too long-
They get stuck.
The string would fall out and stuff.
No. I've also some pretty grody...
Because there's this lady... I feel like it was on Jezebel, actually, which I hate Jezebel, but that's another [inaudible 00:18:45]. One of the girls from Jezebel wrote this article, a long time ago when they first started Jezebel, about how she left a tampon in herself for over a week because she had put in two at one point, and only pulled one out. And she thought she had an STI because she had a horrible smell, and then-
Yeah. Because it rots.
When I pulled out both of them, I was just like, "How can I be so irresponsible?"
No because, first of all-
It happens. I feel like I've probably done it.
That's the thing is, I've never used a super plus tampon, so it's shocking that I could even... Obviously we can all expend to-
I got to go super plus. I want to make sure nothing's-
Maybe it was two-
It was two regulars.
Oh. Okay. Yeah because that happened to me once too, but I was younger, and I was just like "What?"
Yeah. You're confused.
So I wasn't drinking or anything.
You just forgot to take it out when you put another one in?
You just think you didn't have one in there.
This is the thing though. How could you forget that you took it out? Because when you put one in, you've got to take one out.
Yeah, but you are just so-
But sometimes you have one in, but you have enough blood and things are... You just think you don't have a tampon in, so you just put in the second one.
Yeah. I'll just forget.
How could you forget though?
Well it happens [crosstalk 00:20:01].
When you're on your period, you must-
If you're tired.
But also for people who double up, sometimes you just give yourself a break and you don't wear a tampon for a few hours. So you might think that that's what you're in the middle of, and you're distracted you just put in a second one.
That's for sure what happens because I'll just stop wearing a tampon for no reason, so I probably didn't think I had one in, and I didn't feel anything because usually if it's heavy enough, they'll fall out. They'll fall. They'll slip right out if it's really heavy.
I don't wear them very often, so I don't know.
Well, it happens.
Can we talk about the app?
Let's talk about apps.
So all three of you have-
A period tracker app.
Natalie, why don't you have one?
Yeah. That's weird.
I'm too irresponsible. I know when I get my period [crosstalk 00:20:46].
Download it right now!
I know exactly the day I get my period. It happens every month.
That's so weird.
Is it the same date?
Date. Like physical date.
How is that possible though?
Well, it comes around... always around the 6th of the month. Two or three days before. So I just know.
So if it's a shorter month, it's later, and if it's a...
That's so reliable.
Even still I feel like time moves by so fast that I'm like... I feel like I was someone who never got a grip on when my period was coming, even as an adult because I have a weird cycle. It's long. It's a longer cycle, but then I have my period longer. So it's harder to track because it's not like I have it every 28 days.
I feel like I have mine consistently every 28 days. I can already tell today that I will be getting my period in around 15 to 20 days from now, and I already can feel my ovaries... I'm having ovary cramps.
Yeah. That's so weird to me.
I can feel when I ovulate.
But it's funny because with the app... Okay which app do you two have?
We both use Clue, which I like mostly because it's not pink and weird. A lot of the apps you find are really-
Really buy into gender conventions.
Yeah it has a purple bunny, and then-
What does bunnies have to do with your period? [crosstalk 00:22:07]
It's fertility. Eggs.
And what do bunnies have to do... Oh. Eggs. Okay. I was going to say with women, as well.
There you go. There you go.
[inaudible 00:22:15], Pagan, Fertility rituals.
Purity? A white rabbit gets bitten.
A white rabbit gets what?
A white... What's that? What does that mean? What do you mean?
Well, I just [crosstalk 00:22:25].
Blood on a rabbit.
Oh. Blood on a white rabbit.
Yeah. I don't know.
So rabbit is like your sheets?
Danz is the soul of [inaudible 00:22:32].
It really is.
Yeah. This is really deep [crosstalk 00:22:35].
So will you guys explain what a period app does? For those who don't have one.
It tracks your period.
So the one that we use, Clue, you literally just have to go into your calendar on the first day of your period and say "Period". You can also track pain, when you've had sex, your mood, your vaginal fluids because that's useful for tracking if you're fertile.
I have a lot of those.
And then you can also put in notes. So it's good because you can track other things than just period stuff.
Can you track when you're intimate?
Potentially if you're...
And you can track other things too because sometimes maybe you have pain outside of your actual period, or bleeding outside of your actual period. It's good to keep track of it anyway. But it's funny because, yeah... It just tells me two days before my period "You're going to get your period in two days." But I can feel a cramp sometimes mid-cycle and I'll open up-
Mid too, ey?
Yeah. But I'll open up my app, and it'll be literally right on the dot of the center of my fertile period.
That's literally when I'm ovulating.
And my science teacher in high school told us that his wife could feel when she was ovulating. I'm like "That's insane", and now I can feel [crosstalk 00:23:55]
I never thought about it.
Okay. So, wait. So where are you in your cycle, Danz?
I'm on day 14. So I'm in the fertile window.
And where are you?
I am on day 27, so I'm just about to start PMS tomorrow.
And Jess has a different app. What's your app?
It's called P Tracker. I don't know if it's very good.
It was the first one I saw.
Does it track when you go pee?
My pee. My piss tracker. I have a shit tracker, as well.
Today is really clear because I drank a lot of water.
I look at my pee all the time. Do we all look at our pee?
All the time.
My pee's always so yellow-
That's so bad!
And I'm like "I hope it's from vitamins, and not from being dehydrated."
It's probably not from drinking enough water.
You are so dehydrated.
But I also medications that take water out of my body, even if I drink gallons of water, so.
What about when you eat beets? That's always fun. Right? [crosstalk 00:24:47]
Wait. Or when you eat asparagus, or pineapple and your pee changes smell.
I love when I eat asparagus and my pee smells. I think it's funny. Okay. So Jess has a different app, and how does yours work?
It's the same.
It's the exact same?
Yeah. You just-
It just has a flower. Wait. Which one-
It has a tree, a flower, and a butterfly, and it's mostly pink. It's very beautiful.
So where are you in your cycle?
Well, I forgot to turn it off, but I think it knew. So I have 28 days left. Hold on. I got to figure out what that means.
It says 22 days [crosstalk 00:25:23].
Oh. Sorry. Why did I just lie? No. It says 22. I don't know why I said 28.
So you have 22 days before your period starts?
So I just finished it. Hold on. Let's see. What does this mean? Okay. I'm on 17. Oh, it stopped after four days. Oh, that's weird. That's not right.
Because maybe your period usually four days.
Okay. Fertile. Okay. So I'll be fertile on Monday-
Until the 26th.
So, Jess, if you want to have a baby next week.
And then I should get it again on the 8th. February 8th. It's marking it as four days long, which is weird.
I'm going to get mine on January 21st.
Oh. That's soon.
I should be getting mine on February 6th.
That's on Tuesday.
Oh. January 22nd.
Jan 4th. Wait, no. No. Wait. That was [crosstalk 00:26:07]
This is the most-
We're all going [inaudible 00:26:08].
I'm getting mine on the 17th.
I don't mean to get off topic, but on the topic of tampons-
That's on topic.
Remember that Ready or Not episode when Busy, or Amanda, puts in a tampon.
You don't remember that? Do you?
If anyone who's listening is not Canadian, Ready or Not is a classic coming of age show.
It was like a seminal-
It was the greatest show.
And I would watch it when I would visit [crosstalk 00:26:30]
I can't believe I...
Yeah. It's top five Canadian shows.
Yeah. But I think it was... It might have been Busy who was putting in the tampon, but it might have been Amanda. But either way, I think that was a big... After I saw that episode, I'm like "Okay. I can try using tampons now".
Because Busy did it.
Well, because they were in the bathroom... Remember that episode?
Did you see that episode of Curb where-
Yeah. Curb Your Enthusiasm. Where a girl guide come to Larry David's house, and is like-
Oh. Yeah. That's a great episode.
Yeah it's so funny.
And then he says he doesn't want to buy the cookies. Right?
Wait. What happens?
And then she gets her period. She's like, "Can I use your bathroom?"
Oh. She gets her period [crosstalk 00:27:08].
And then they think he's molesting her. Right?
And then he has to go get her a tampon. She's like "But I don't get it. How does it go in?". It just reminded me of that Ready or Not episode. Sorry, guys.
No. No. That's great.
This was a question. We said is there anything in television, or movies, or books that effected you when you heard about [crosstalk 00:27:25]
So that's what made you feel that you could start wearing tampons.
When I read a book... There's a book series called... It was about this girl named Alice. So they were all like... It was Honestly Alice, Reluctantly Alice. Literally they followed this girl from age 11 until end of college, and the woman who wrote them has been writing them... She's like 80, and she just died this year. And she wrote the last book which is about her in adulthood, and she wrote one a year. And it was like age 12, age 13, whatever. And it was to answer questions that, I think, her daughter had asked her.
Oh. That's nice.
And it was really nice because it had a lot of... It was not like soap-operay, but it just like this girl and her two friends. And I remember reading that, and that had stuff about periods. There was a few Judy Blume, kind of, books. Maybe not actually Judy Blume, but similar. Where they would be like "My friend started bleeding in her underpants." And I remember in the old Judy Blume books how they'd always talk about sanitary belts because back in the day you'd have to wear the belt, and then have the pad hooked in. And I never understood what that meant because when they gave us those pads in school, they were just adhesive. And I was like, "What's a sanitary belt? How do I get one?" And I didn't ask my mom, I just wondered. And then I think I finally might have looked it up at the library.
The library! You went all the way to the library to find out-
No. The library was next door to our school, so that's where we would hang out after school.
Fair enough. At the library? Nerd [crosstalk 00:29:02]. I feel like that's where all the smokers hung out, for some reason.
No. I was just in for grades five through, say, eight or nine.
In elementary school?
Before people are driving.
I never hung out at the library.
Yeah because it was so close.
The library was next to school. It was like a five minute walk. And across the street was a convenience store, so you would go to the library, hang out, then go to the store, get a candy, wait for your parents to come pick you up, or whatever. If you had an after school activity [crosstalk 00:29:30]-
So, wait. I want to ask a really important question because we have a couple on. Well, obviously we know the answers, you guys don't sync up.
Well, we're not right now, but we have.
When we first started dating last year, we did sync up, and it was traumatic for me because I ended up having a period that was over 10 days long.
While we were syncing up.
Why? Because of you?
Because I was syncing to her.
So you were longer because of her?
Are your periods longer?
No. I'm short periods [crosstalk 00:30:02].
Mine was earlier.
And yours wanted to end when yours ended?
And then this was over Christmas, and Catherine had a long one this Christmas too.
That's true. I had a long period again.
So this is a question... Maybe I'm getting too intimate. Do you guys fool around when you have your periods?
No. Not really.
I wouldn't say we play with our periods.
We make art with our periods.
You play on your periods.
You take a bath with your periods?
No. With our period blood.
I feel like when we have our periods-
You should. That would be a romantic bath. The two of you take baths and you're both on your period.
And then we use the blood to water our plants.
Oh. What a night. Date night.
But I think it's different too because when we're not synced... Syncing up is actually, I think, nature's gift to lesbians because your periods sync up, and then you have three weeks out of the month to have sex with no period.
Well that's amazing.
But if you're not synced up, you only have two.
Yeah! I never thought about that. That's so true.
So I think we do sometimes. Yeah.
Do you like fooling around on your period? [crosstalk 00:31:23]
So you're saying why would you though when you're both on your period. Oh. I see.
So it's like a weird double [crosstalk 00:31:40].
Yeah. I don't have anything against fooling around or having sex. Yeah. I'm not-
You're not disgusted by it?
No. It's not like we're like, "Here. Drop some blood into my hand, or..." You know what I mean. It's not like that. I'm still going to make out with her, and-
Yeah. We're still sexual.
We're still sexual [crosstalk 00:32:05].
She's right. We're not playing with each other's periods. We're not doing [crosstalk 00:32:11].
Did I go too far with that question?
No, no, no. But that's why I was like, "Really?" Because we're still sexual, we're just not... You know.
Well... I mean, I guess it depends what we're doing because the nature of lesbian sex is that-
Oh. That was so funny.
When you're doing anything with your hands, you usually... For us-
What is the nature of lesbian sex? Please tell me.
We'll wear gloves, or we'll have condoms on any toys, or anything that's going to penetrate any orifice.
You wear gloves?
Yeah because otherwise-
I'm so ignorant.
You end up... Say one of you has a yeast infection, or something else. And also just keeping clean. Right?
I used to work in a kitchen, so my hands were like... I had like beets ingrained into my-
Yeah. And you don't want to get that in someone else's crotch.
And I once got hot sauce on my vag and it really-
Holy fuck! That is my nightmare.
I've heard that before.
It really hurt.
That's my nightmare.
So now it's like... You know what. It's a lot easier. And also the other thing with that too is it's not that it's vaginas are naturally unclean, but it's like, are you really going to get up and wash your hands that many times in a given whatever? It's just easier to take off a pair of gloves and throw them away. Right?
So if we do stuff on our periods, I feel like everything is, kind of...
Kosher [crosstalk 00:33:39].
A rabbi is there. He blesses everything.
There's no pork. There's no pork. There is no pork in our kitchen.
I have really good period boobs.
She does. Yeah [crosstalk 00:33:56].
So you get rounder? Your boobs get rounder?
My one boob is already bigger. My left boob is almost a full cup size bigger, and when I have my period it goes out of control.
They don't match up?
Well, they still don't match up because they both get equally bigger, but one's already so much bigger, so I'm falling out.
Have you ever leaked anywhere funny?
So I slept over at a friends house-
Oh I know this story.
And she lent me a tampon, but she used those really tiny ones. You know those tampons-
They're like a pinky.
What is this for? A fucking miniature poodle?
It's so small.
So I put it in, and I was like, "This isn't going to work." And then at night, I was allergic to their dog. And my allergies were really bad, and I started sneezing uncontrollably. And then I realized that I'd sneezed my tampon out, and I had started leaking blood. I could feel it. And I was in bed, and I was so scared to stand up because that's when gravity was going to stain everything. So I just sat there clenched, being like, "Please God. Don't let me get blood on her bed." Because she was sleeping on the pull out bed, letting me sleep in her bed.
That's nice of her.
And then she's like, "Are you okay?" And I'm like, "I'm fine. I just have allergies." And then I, kind of, plank launched myself right out of the bed and ran to the bathroom. And it was a disaster.
I think I've been there. I've been there.
Oh. I know you have.
Well, I want to hear [crosstalk 00:35:31] Danz.
Okay. So recently... I've been working at my job for just about six months, and I have not called in sick yet.
Good for you.
And then over the holidays... I think, Catherine, were you still on your break?
Yeah. I was on a break.
Yeah. Catherine was still on her break. And it was a Sunday shift. It was an eight hour shift, and I had just got my period, and it was heavy flow, and I just can't go to work. I have my period, and I don't want to be walking around for eight hours talking to customers.
Yeah. Some days you can't just [crosstalk 00:36:04].
And this conversation went on for... We had this conversation where she was like, "I really don't feel good. I don't want to go to work." And I was like, "Babe. You don't have to go to work." But she was like, "But I should go to work." She couldn't make up her mind.
Because I wasn't really sick, but I can't call in and be like, "I have my period." And Catherine's like, "Yes you can."
Of course you can.
And I was like, "I can?" And then I'm like, what am I going to say? They're going to be like, "Don't you get your period every month?" Or whatever. And then Catherine's like let's role play the phone call.
So this is what we did. I was like this "Bring bring. Hello. Danz's workplace. How can I help you? We have a special on shelving."
You said a name!
"I have my period."
"What? Okay. Bye. Don't ever come back until you're happy. Goodbye."
So what happened what you called?
Well, Catherine was like, "Danz. You sound too sick." And then we did it again.
She did sound too sick.
She was like, " You don't sound sick enough." So I had to go into another room and do this. And I called them, and I was just like "Hey. Yeah. I'm just in pretty rough shape." And he was just like, "Okay. All right. Well. All right. See you next time." He didn't even-
He didn't ask any questions.
Yeah. And I was not going to give [crosstalk 00:37:31]-
It's so funny. I feel the same way.
Well, because what are they going to say? If you're not coming in, you're not coming in.
Yeah. I feel that every time I call in sick to work though, I give a detailed description of what is wrong with me, and no one ever cares.
No one's going to ask for a doctors note.
You just have to say, "I'm not feeling well. I'm not coming in." I give a detailed description, especially if I'm on my period. I discuss it with my boss [crosstalk 00:37:50].
I'm going to say this-
I will say, "I have violent cramps. They started this morning".
I'm going to say this. I'm going to say... I was working some place, and I said "I'm not coming in. I'm not feeling well." And they said, "Well, we don't have enough staff, so you have to come in, or you have to find a replacement right now yourself." So it's really nice if there's... Usually I feel like places will be supportive [crosstalk 00:38:13].
Especially with periods.
I'm not someone who calls in sick all the time, either [crosstalk 00:38:18].
You never have.
So I think they were just like "Oh. Okay."
You never had.
That was her first time. But then we were joking-
Is that what you're going to say?
Oh. I was just going to say it ended up good.
Yeah. Because the next week my boss was like, "Yeah. I heard that you weren't in last Sunday." And the manager was really like "Wow. Nothing gets done when Daniella's not here."
So that's good. Daniella?
Yeah. That's what they call me.
So they really need you. You showed them how you're an asset by not coming in.
Wow. Periods are powerful.
They advance your career.
I really wanted to be like, "I have my fucking period!"
That's what she said one time when we were role playing it, and I lost my mind. I was like, "Oh my God!"
Yeah. Yeah because she was like, "Oh, but don't you get that every month?" And I'm like "I have my fucking period!"
I don't think they would have handled that very well.
It was very scary.
No. They would have thought it was funny, but...
Guys. I want to say thank you.
Thank you so much, Catherine and Danz, for being here.
Thank you for having us.
For surfing the crimson wave with us.
No. Thanks. It was totally tubular.
It's totes rad. You can check all of us out on Facebook. We will post everything on our Tumblr, per usual.
We love you guys very much. Thank you so much.
On this episode of The Crimson Wave, co-hosts Jess Beaulieu and Natalie Norman chat with their very first lesbian couple! Gorgeous comedians Danz Altvater and Catherine McCormick discuss their cycles syncing up, the wonders of The Diva Cup, and how period tracker apps are just delightful.
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