Listen & Learn:
Oh, my god. Welcome to the Crimson Wave, everybody.
I'm Natalie Norman.
I'm Jess Beaulieu. This is a podcast.
About periods, if you didn't already know.
That's right. It's Friday night.
And we're eating pie.
And We're feeling right.
That's right. Vegan pie. Second week in a row with the vegan treats.
Oh, my god. We have an amazing guest here today.
So talented. She writes for-
She Does The City-
And she's performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, multiple occasions.
She performs stand-up, sketch, improv ... Oh my god, I hate you!
You make ... I'm going to go hide in the corner [crosstalk 00:01:08].
She's very multi-talented-
Her name is Monica Heisey.
Did I say it wrong?
You did it.
Yeah we did it.
We did it!
How's it going Monica?
It's going great-
Guys. I'm very full of vegan pie.
Yeah, we just have so much fucking pie.
Just opened that, didn't even get a plate, just made it happen-
Yeah that's the way you want to eat it.
For myself. Yeah.
Just straight out of the box.
That's what the vegans would want.
They told me.
Okay, let's get started. We're going to talk-
To you about your period?
So we started early. Uh-oh. I got some information before the recording. So you don't get a period apparently.
I don't. Currently ... Well, actually what's crazy is, as if my body knew this was happening-
I had a bit of a period just today but-
The internet, because my mom's not horrified enough with my web presence, FYI to the world. I have an IUD, which is an Intrauterine Device, a type of birth control-
And about 30% of people who have this, it's like a little plastic [inaudible 00:02:17] thing with-
So you have the plastic one?
Hormones in it. And it goes into the entrance of your cervix, and it puts hormones there that stop you from being pregnant for five years. And in about 30% of people, it stops your period. For most people it makes it much lighter, and for some people it stops it completely. And for me it's been pretty much stopped for the past two years, year and a half.
And then once in a while I'll have one day of sort of light cramping and spotting-
Which, spoiler alert, is today.
Thank you, thank you.
So how does it fell, this light cramping. Obviously it's not like a full blown period-
Well, what's crazy about it is that I can't imagine having had periods once a month anymore. It's been a year and a half without them, and I have this , and it happens maybe once every three or four months. I have this weird sort of pseudo-period for a day, and I'm like, "How does anyone do this?" Like, "Why do you bother? This is so painful, it's kind of gross if you're leaky. This is disgusting, I'm bloated."
And I used to have a hard period.
We both just felt [inaudible 00:03:34]-
Tell us more about this hard period.
It was just ... I think it was just sort of standard. Standard, heavy, high-school period.
Coupled with the fact that I didn't want to have these tampons until later in life.
That's pretty early.
I got my period when I was 14, and so I went to Summer camp in between. All the girls at Summer camp obviously liked ... To do Summer camp you needed to be pretty on that period game ... So everyone was figuring out tampons in the communal bathroom together, and I was just like, "It's not happening for me guys, I can't do it."
So I just didn't until later, and it was just pretty heavy-duty, and lots of cramps, and very intense. And so now I'm not having anything is a true dream. And I-
I have to say anyone who's like, "Oh for me, birth control, I know that you don't need to have one, but, I just like to have one. It just feels better."
She's imitating you right now.
I'm like, "No it doesn't."
It feels worse-
And you've been tricked into thinking it's important to have, but you don't need it.
That's a direct Natalie Norman quote. Yeah.
I love having my period.
She loves it, yeah.
You're nuts. It sucks.
I'm neutral on the situation.
I think it's funny when I bleed everywhere.
Well, I don't think anyone else does.
Was going to say, "But you went and saw on their bag on their clothing."
Done it everywhere.
On their clothing? Other people's clothing?
Well don't lend me your clothing while I have my period.
Oh, I thought somehow you were bleeding so profusely that it was on others-
And it went through your pants.
You hugged someone, and it was like ...
I wouldn't be surprised if the happened one day.
I wouldn't be surprised either. If I ever see a spot on my pants, and I'm on my period, I'm going to so miss you.
It would be beautiful.
I have slew of questions to ask.
Okay, first let's start with Summer camp.
What did you do when you had to go swimming and you had your period?
Well, I went to all-girls camp, so I would just be like, "I had my period," and they would be like, "We understand," and it was fine. They would usually offer to have someone talk you through tampon use-
And I'd be like, "I'm a lost cause. Go on without me, save yourself." But, yeah they were-
You never attempted the pad-in-the-water thing?
I didn't even think ... No, because they're ... It's an absorbent, plastic thing. It's just going to fill with water.
What pad-in-the-water thing?
I'm not a very bright child.
I did it all the time.
[inaudible 00:06:08], you made this system up.
I would put a pad on my bathing suit and go in the water-
It would be-
On your bathing suit?
Okay, here's the situation-
Like in. Yeah.
You've got two things that work here. One is absorbent materials just soaking up the lake-
Into your crotch area. And two, what I imagine is a fairly prominent puff in your crotch region that looks exactly like a giant, spongy pad, full of water in your bathing suit area.
Well, I'd go in and then I'd ... I don't know, I remember doing it very often-
I don't understand, you'd put it on your ... You didn't put it in you, you put it on your bathing suit?
Did it work?
Yeah. In the water you can't feel it.
It's a little heavy.
You don't need to do the hole in the water.
I know, I realized that later in life.
Yeah. In the water you just wear ... What I would sometimes do, that if it was a light day, I would just wear a black bathing suit.
And if you're not in a pool, you're in a lake, literally who cares?
I realized that later. Later.
But then I'm not a very bright child.
They thought I was very special.
Well, when did you get your first period?
Okay, tell us.
So I have a twin sister-
No you don't.
Right? I forgot, and I always forget. Crazy.
And so she got her period when she was 10.
Oh. Oh my god.
And I got my period four years later.
That is so interesting.
Yes. So she was properly pubescent at 14, and I was like a chubby boy with a haircut inspired by Drew Barrymore in the Wedding Singer. Popular Adam Sandler vehicle.
That is amazing.
I like the great haircut, I feel like it's my haircut, so-
No she doesn't have bangs, she has a side-part-
She just has a triangle-
On her head, basically. I mean the movie is set in the 80s, and this is me in 1999 being like, "Perfect."
So I got it. I was very sort of developmentally delayed compared to my very beautiful, developed twin sister. And then I was 14, it was the morning of my SSATs-
Which is the standardized test you take to get into private school.
And I woke up, and was like, "What is the matter?" And I didn't think it was a period, because it was brown. You know what I mean?
It's kind of brown, and I presumed it would be red because it's blood. And also I think at that point I had just given up. I was like, "Well, it's never coming, so that's fine. I'll be a boy-girl forever. This is my life."
So [inaudible 00:08:36] really brown?
So did you think you pooed yourself or something?
Well I was also wearing a underwear with sort of yellow-
So I think it just looked ... My underwear ... the whole underwear was yellow-
It wasn't like there was a yellow stain as well.
It was like you pissed [crosstalk 00:08:46].
It was just that the underwear was yellow in color-
And had little flowers on it. And so I think with the blood it just looked kind of brownie, and I was like, "Mom, something weird happened. I think it's probably a period, because I'm 14 and I have been literally learning about this, and waiting for it for three or four years at this point."
And she was like, "Okay, well describe it." And I tried to describe it, and she was like, "Girl, I don't know, I think you have to show it to me. Like-"
Girl, I don't know.
"I don't want to gross you out out ... " I'm sure she didn't say that, because she was like, "If it's okay with you, can you show it to me." And truly one of the more humiliating moments of my life. It's just fetching my underwear, and being like ...
You showed it, yeah.
And showed it to her, and she's like, "Okay, congratulations." And gave me a pad, and I had to write a three hour standardized test sitting on a pad, which felt like it was titanic-sized-
For the first time. And then I went home and called my best friend who was a dude. His name was Miguel-
Yeah. He was this little Filipino boy, and we used to talk every day after school on the phone, and I called him, and he's like, "So what you do today?" And I was like, "It's weird." And he was like, "Oh, okay, what did you do?" And I was like, "I guess I kind of got my period." And Miguel, this 14 year old boy went, "Hey, cool. Good for you."
And I was like, "What?" And he was like, "I'm going to throw you a party, and we're going to wear all red, and I'm going to make you a red cake for your period." And I was like, "What?" And he was like, "Yeah, I'm going to make a period song, and I'm going to sing it to you-"
Why aren't you dating him now? God, did he follow through with the party?
We were just joking around. He did sing a song on the phone-
Which I can't remember, but-
Was it a good song?
Yeah, It was ... made me laugh, he made me feel better about a weird situation. Very mature for a 14 year old boy.
What did you say to your twin sister?
I don't even know. I feel like my mom literally told everyone while I was writing the test.
Because I was so late, I feel like maybe my little sister even had it already-
She's two years younger, she might have. She could've been 12 then got it.
How did you feel when your twin sister got it?
Well, I didn't know about it-
For a couple of years.
They were keeping it a secret.
How is that possible?
I think she was uncomfortable. Periods are a really hard-
Thing to talk about, I think. Especially if you're ... I mean I can't imagine being 10-
And getting my ... That's pretty early, and I think in a lot of ways, the same way that I was jealous of her when I found out she had it, she was jealous that I didn't have it.
For opposite reasons. I was like, "Cool, you're a woman and you're getting boobs, and everyone is into those boobs." My teen guy friends would call me and be like, "What's your sister up to?" I was like, "Shut up, one day it's going to happen for me."
And then she was sort of jealous, like, "Oh you don't have to disgustingly bl-" ... It's not disgusting, I feel like I'm ... sound really anti-period-
No, and that's okay.
But when you're just discovering periods, and it is very messy-
It can feel fairly disgusting at the start.
I remember one week when I had my period, when I was younger. I didn't know how to deal with it properly. I showered every morning, and every night. Before, when I would wake up [crosstalk 00:12:04] for my period-
Because I didn't know what to do.
But when you're not sexually active either, periods ... You really don't, I think, appreciate your period until you're sexually active. Then you're like, "We did it. I'm not pregnant, but I'm fertile, this is amazing-"
"I am so full of life, but not brimming with it physically." That's when I started appreciating my period, was when I was in university and started having sex.
It made more sense to me to have my period.
I feel like you wanted to say boning there for a second.
I mean, it could be described as boning. Could be described as making love Natalie.
No, nothing I didn't [crosstalk 00:12:41].
Where you more aroused on your period? Is this the connection? No?
I just think it's nice to know that your body is functioning normally-
When you're using it in an adult way.
Okay. Do you have period sex?
Yeah, I do. I've never had a problem with that as an idea.
Well you haven't if I guess you haven't had your period for a while but-
I haven't had my period for a while, but when I did it was fine.
Would you let a man go down on you with your period?
If they really wanted to, I wouldn't say no. But I feel like, you know what maybe ... I mean it would really depend on the day.
I may be ... This is a very intimate question-
Oh no sorry, if you're not-
I'm sorry, if it's too intimate, you do not-
No, no, I feel like-
[inaudible 00:13:28] to step off.
Immediately post-shower, on a chilled out day, yeah.
What's the weather like?
Yeah, and it's sunny, and you're tired because your boss is being a bit mean to you, but you know that they didn't mean it, they're just going through some stuff-
Cool, all right.
Hold on, I have more about this camp stuff.
I just ... you went to camp? Oh my god.
Well, I went to Summer camp-
And loved it.
You know what stuck with me was, "Show your mom your bloody underwear."
Because I feel I-
Stuck with me too man.
But I feel I do that all the time to my mom. I didn't show her my underwear, sorry. Let me back track-
I show my mom my underwear to this day. No, no, no-
But it was more if I leaked through my underwear when I was 12 years old, my mom freaked me like, "I'll wash it in the laundry." And it was just fucking bloody [crosstalk 00:14:19]-
Oh my parents definitely saw, because I definitely ... because didn't know how to use tampons I had a pretty intense-
Time. My parents, mom and dad, definitely both new about bloody underwear, but to have to present it is another-
Oh I absolutely-
[crosstalk 00:14:33], like, "Put it down the laundry chute-"
"Don't worry about it."
I really show my mom all the time. I'm like, "I bled so much, can you please clean that [inaudible 00:14:40] me."
Your mom still does your underwear laundry?
How old are you?
I'm way too old for her to be doing-
Your underwear laundry in particular. Not [crosstalk 00:14:49].
We having matching panties, so, you know.
You and your mom?
She went out and bought my same Joe Fresh panties as me.
Well, if you're shopping at Joe Fresh, you're going to match with your mom. That's the situation.
And, it's infuriating because this is the way she did to differentiate our pairs-
We're different sizes, but she first took a red marker and put dots on them, but by accident-
Put dots on both. So-
She marked it with a red marker?
Yeah. That's my moms logic thinking.
Oh my god.
Okay? But then she by accident marked both of our underwear with the same-
With the same marker?
So then there are some pairs that say her name on it.
That just say [Jullienne 00:15:28] really big.
To be honest, I had such a leakage problem that I just bought all black ... almost all my underwear is black.
Really bad leakage.
And to this day ... Well because I didn't ... I don't know if this is a problem with other people, but I didn't know how to use tampons, and it was a big problem.
So just pads, and you're on a road trip for a really long time, and you can't get to a bathroom. You literally have no choice but to sit there quietly leaking.
Yeah. I guess there probably is more leakage with pads than tampons.
Yeah, because it becomes this disgusting sponge you're just sitting in, and it's horrible.
Yeah, and eventually it over flows.
I wear pads exclusively.
Yeah, yeah. We talk about this in every episode. Because of my hymen-
Oh right, I know all about your hymen.
I know she does. Yeah, Monica's the first person ... Well she's read all about the hymen.
Yeah, I edited an essay about your hymen.
Oh my god
That was great.
Yeah. Sorry. Yeah. So-
Where's some places you've leaked?
Yeah, that's a-
Any tormenting leakage stories?
Since you have.
Okay yeah. So I went on a camping trip. A camp, this is for you.
At Summer camp-
I don't like camping trips.
So here's what happened right? I got my period the week before camp, and I was going to be at camp for three weeks. So I was like, "I did it, I beat the system, I'm going to have a mensies free three weeks at camp, it's going to be amazing." And then I sign up for this 10 day Algonquin Park trip-
And I'm like so ... Okay.
I am jazzed about that, because that sounds fun to me, and [inaudible 00:16:58] fun. But I ... So I get on the trip, and a bunch of girls were in the van driving out, and the bunch of girls were like, "Oh my god, I had to pack so many tampons because I'm just about to get my period." And I'm like, you bitches.
Sure enough, the entire trip syncs up, and we all get our periods in the middle of Algonquin Park.
Oh my god [crosstalk 00:17:22]-
How many of there were you?
There were eight girls, and two councilors. So 10 women menstruating in the middle of the woods. It's some fucking red tent shit.
I was going to say, was it a full moon?
And, so I didn't think I was going to do it.
I hope it was a full moon. Were you attacked by bears?
Well I woke up in the tent.
I just [inaudible 00:17:44] ... That would be actually me frying the [inaudible 00:17:46]-
It's too much blood.
[inaudible 00:17:50] the woods.
I'd be scared you have a shark attack. Sharks in the [inaudible 00:17:55] bag of the fucking ocean.
I woke up the second day of the trip. I woke up and I was ... It was really early, and I was like, "Something is wrong."
Something is wrong.
And then I get out of the tent to go to the bathroom, and my pajamas are soaked with blood.
Oh my god.
Soaked with blood in the crotch area. I had a really big, welcome-to-the-woods period attack in the night. And literally, I'm 14 years old, and it's just me crouched by the river in just a long shirt, washing my pajamas and underwear in the river, like a pioneer woman.
And my councilor comes out and she's like, "Are you okay?" And I was like, "Everything is fine." But I was the only one on the trip who couldn't use tampons. So I was using these ... And we had to keep the pads, for environmental reasons, and burn them in the fire.
Oh my god, that's right.
So everyone else was using tampons, these bio-degradable tampons that you could leave. And I was wrapping all of my used pads in aluminum foil and keeping them in a Ziploc bag, near me.
Oh no, it's so funny.
And then at one point it was ... So we were canoeing for ... I know. We were canoeing for four hours.
I'm sorry. Oh my gosh. The whole image is [inaudible 00:19:22] killing it.
Yeah. So we were canoeing for four hours, and there's no where to go. You're in the middle of the lake, and I was like, "Guys it's getting really intense." And they were like, "Okay, we'll just pull over at a noted place where there's a out-house."
But there was no out-house in this place and I guess they had gotten rid of it. So I was so ... This is ... I don't think I've ever told anyone this story before, including the girls on the camping trip.
I got out to pee, and I went, and there was just no out-house. There just wasn't one. So I ... and I'm like ... I had a very full, gross, swampy pad situation, so I just rip it off, and just throw it on the side of the path and I'm like, "Nature, this is your fault anyway. You can deal with this." And put a fresh one on and leave, and then two of the girls, when I get back to the canoes go, "You know what? We really have to pee." And I was like, "No, don't go back there. You shouldn't go there." And they go up to pee, and they're like, "Did you throw a used pad just down on the path?"
And I was like, "No."
Who else would it be?
"No, I didn't."
A fresh pad.
And then I'm like ... It was so fresh, and also so obvious, and I just said no, and everyone on the trip just sort of let me-
Say no. So that's probably my worst-
The most humiliating leakage story.
That is amazing.
In a way everyone else had it, so.
Yeah, but they were all just throwing their bio-degradable tampons into the wood to become fertilizer.
I would pay ... I just want to see-
They used to burn them in the camp fire.
I just want to see you burning them in the camp fire for some reason-
I want to see you wrapping them in tin foil.
Yeah man, you burn them all.
That to me is the funniest ... Like t's a sandwich, you're just wrapping it, for lunch later. It's so weird. It's so funny.
For some odd reason I just picture everyone dancing around the fire while you're burning the tampons.
Yeah, very tribal right?
Yeah. And howling at the moon. I don't know why.
Yeah, we made a lot of jokes about doing spells with the period blood smoke, and roasting weird, wicken marshmallows over it.
Did you roast your marshmallows over it?
No, we did not roast our marshmallows over the smoldering remains of my period blood.
It's just red smoke coming up.
These taste extra irony.
That's so funny. Did you sync up with your twin a lot? Or, you guys were-
I feel like she and I didn't have a ton of period-related communication.
Oh right, so you don't-
Maybe just because it started so disparately, I feel like she was probably more regular before I was. Had a more standardized cycle before I did. And we went to different high schools, so-
I'm sure our house was pretty synced up.
And we had ... because it was four women in our house and my one dad-
It was my little sister, my mum, me and Alice, my twin, we just had one cupboard that was a floor to ceiling feminine cupboard.
Did your sister use tampons?
Yeah. She sorted it out. I was not.
She had four years to sort it out.
She was one of the people who was like, "Oh did you just leave a full pad on the trail?" And I said, "Shut up Alice."
But then, bless her heart, she was just like, "Oh I guess it wasn't you, or anyone then. Never mind."
Or anyone then. [inaudible 00:23:06] was no-
She was just like, "Well, okay."
How did your ... What was your dad's reaction to all of this. These women menstruating?
My dad was really chill.
The only thing that he wouldn't do was call them tampons or pads, he would always call them supplies.
But he was very chill about like, "I'm going to the store, does anyone need any supplies?" Or checking in with you on long car trips, he's saying, "We need a bathroom trip. Please always feel free just to say if you need to use the bathroom or-"
Would he say, "We've got to go and use the supplies?"
I mean no, he wasn't like, "Get your supplies ready," but he was very much like, "Don't be embarrassed about this stuff." And my little sister was the least embarrassed I think because she grew up with two girls already pretty into it, and then our mom.
So she was always really like, "Dad, I'm on my period and I have cramps, so you need to be really nice to me." And he was like, "Okay."
Did you get bad cramps?
They weren't crazy?
It was yeah. The cramps were okay, it was just more flow-related.
There was a heavy flow, but not-
It was a heavy flow situation.
But not cramping.
Well what do you prefer.
The cramps weren't great. The times I've had bad cramps ... Well, what I would prefer is not having a period, which I have now-
I've done it.
What's the lesson to be-
Well no, I'm saying would you rather ... would you rather have cramps and a light period? Or a heavy period, and no cramps at all?
Cramps, because you can treat them with drugs.
See, there you go.
Interesting. I think I would take the opposite. As someone who had a heavy flow and cramps-
Experienced both. Hello. I would definitely take the flow.
Because it's just going to get soaked up. It's not painful. My cramps were fucking brutal.
That's true, to be fair, I speak as someone who has never had-
I know people who have had debilitating cramps where they-
But some days it's just impossible.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. When I was younger, I would find that they were way worse.
Yeah. For me too.
I used to have to take special medication from the doctor to relieve these pains.
Yeah. When I got the IUD, there's too options, there's the copper one-
and the hormonal one. And I love the idea of the copper one, because the idea of no hormones sounds really nice.
But they were like, "You know it can make cramps worse, it can make your flow heavier," and I was like, "Absolutely not, do either of the those? No thank you."
So this is my question with the IUD now that we're back to this.
When they insert it in you was it painful? Because I've heard that it takes a long time to get used to, depending on the [inaudible 00:25:44].
It is very painful. Yeah. Because they have to dilate your cervix. Not to the extent that they would have if you were giving birth, but it's like contractions-
Kind of thing. So it h- ... Yeah, just a nasal inhale there on the-
Yeah, a deep, nasal.
Just a ... Yeah, the ... Yeah-
Did you have any side effects from it?
There's weird bleeding afterwards. And actually that was very heavy cramping.
Instead of a period I would just have these couple of days of really knotted, heavy cramps. But because I'm a freak, and I look everything up on the internet all the time that I'm experiencing.
That's pretty normal, and it goes away. And it sounds like I had it for a bit longer than is normal, but it went away after six months, and now I'm pretty psyched.
So it wasn't the full six months with cramps?
No but it would be around the time that I would have a period, I would just instead have crazy, heavy cramps.
Okay. And how full-proof is the IUD. Do you know what the percentage is?
My doctor said ... I absolutely do-
My doctor said-
You're like, "?I don't know, I have no idea. 20%?"
No, I'm just really casual about this invasive birth control I had put in.
My doctor said if I took a pregnancy test and it says pregnant, it's more likely that the test is wrong than that I am pregnant with an IUD in.
It's 99.9% effective.
It's pretty good.
But you can ... I mean you can still get pregnant, people have been pregnant, but it's pretty good.
Right, right, right.
Which is nice.
Did you ever get PMS? Or do you believe in PMS.
I absolutely believe in PMS.
Yeah. I think I still have. Because I still have-
Hormones, I get the hormonal cycle. There are still some days were I'm like, "Oh I'm a more tender being, than I would normally be."
You know what I mean? I feel like everyone has experienced PMS.
And hormones are nothing to fuck with.
When I was on birth control pills, I was a little, crazy person.
And just take this opportunity to apologize to my first boyfriend-
Why? What did you do to him?
Hope you're listening. Yeah.
Just, he would cancel lunch plans, and I would cry to myself, or to him. Which isn't normal. And I was like, "Maybe he's the worst boyfriend in the world." And then we broke up, and my pills ran out. And so I was off birth control for a few years after.
They ran out forever.
And I chilled ... Well they ran out and I was like, "Well, never having sex again because my heart's so broken. So who cares." And then off the pills I mellowed right out, and was like, "Oh no, he wasn't that bad, I was kind of nuts."
But I do think PMS is real, and I think it's important to take gentle care of yourself-
On the days when you feel like you need that.
Yeah. I don't think I get PMS, but I know Natalie does, that's for sure.
Oh I get cra- ... Actually this month, instead of getting very upset, usually I get very, very depressed.
I've gotten very, very angry.
Well that's better.
Is it better?
Better to be [inaudible 00:28:50]. I think so.
Probably more productive to be angry than depressed.
[crosstalk 00:28:59] That's my opinion. I'm a fighter though.
Very angry and extra clumsy.
I went to go close the bathroom light, and somehow ... and I had my phone-
I close a bathroom light?
Close a bathroom light, and I had my phone and my keys in my hand, and I somehow threw the phone and keys while I was closing the ... It didn't make sense. Everything just went craziness.
Hey, you're always throwing keys everywhere.
I don't know why.
I should really start tracking my period, hormones though.
I hear that the app is really, really helpful.
No. Well, I have an app, but I don't know when ... When does PMS usually hit? When you start bleeding or before?
10 days before.
10 days before?
That's when you start ovulating.
Okay, all right.
So when you're ovulating, you're really chill. You're not upset when you're ovulating-
You're just like horny and-
I feel myself ovulating.
Excited and ready to be [inaudible 00:29:44].
Ready to mingle.
Ready to mingle. Yeah.
Single, ovulating, and ready to mingle.
Because you're someone who participates a lot in journalism-
You have an internet presence.
What's your favorite moments? What do you feel like with ... I don't even know what the question-
You're favorite moments? What are you? On the internet?
My favorite moments of the internet? I liked when cats started. We did great stuff with cats. I've been really enjoying videos on the internet as well.
Yeah, Natalie, what are you trying to say?
What do you mean?
In entertainment? Is that what you mean?
Yeah. With periods, do you find any moments in pop culture?
Favorite period moments in pop culture?
Or in ... Yeah, in television or film-
Literature. Have you read about anything interesting-
Anything interesting period-related?
Any interesting articles, recently? Have you? Yeah.
Because I feel like on She Does The City, you talk ... Do people talk about periods a lot on that [inaudible 00:30:42]?
We do talk about peri- ... I mean it's a women's website, so you're going to talk about it-
Yeah and everyone check it out.
A hot contrib?
Hot contrib. Natalie, hot possible future contrib? who can say?
We're going to write one together-
Yes, we want to write one together.
Well, there you go.
Yeah. See, so, very much on message here.
That's all we talk about.
I'm considering a piece about all of the different, weird, homeopathic vagina things that I've tried.
What? We're very interested. We're very interested.
So another fun fact about me that I'm interested to be revealing on this podcast, is that my doctor last month was like, "I'm going to recommend you to a yeast specialist."
Gentlemen at home.
A yeast specialist?
Uh-huh. I just think everyone's body has they're own balance, and mine is not particularly balanced. And so in an effort to create that balance I've just tried eating a million yogurts all the time, or I tried a yogurt tampon once-
Wow, what was that like?
I mean, very yogurty.
Yogurt tampon? Come on.
You just dip a tampon in yogurt, and then proceed as regular.
I just said yeah to that as if I didn't hear it. You were like, "I tried a yogurt tampon." I was like, "Oh yeah." I was like, "Wait, sorry what?"
I mean it is exactly what it sounds like.
It is exactly. So this is because of yeast infections, is that what we're talking about here?
So this so ... Have you ever spread garlic around there?
Oh yeah, that was recommended to me by five friends.
And I was like, "Are you sure?" And they were all like, "Trust us."
And how did you deal?
Like i was operating a internal pizza parlor? Just on a pizza. It was fine.
Like you were managing a pi- ... I mean-
It was a little stingy, and smelled like a pizza.
That's a nice smell.
Will you be int-
But it actually was helpful.
Yeah. I was going to say were you intimate with any man during your garlic days?
No, I crawled into bed and just told my boyfriend ... I was like, "I forgot [inaudible 00:32:55]." He was like, "Okay." You know when you just sleep.
Yeah, that's what modern romance is about.
Yeah, yeah. Crazy. Okay. So have you gone to see a yeast specialist?
But I do have a hot recommendation. Just burned a whole in my pocket-
Interesting. Any day now.
Any day now. Yeah.
How often do you get these yeast infections?
Well, I again, I think it's the balance thing, right?
So you're body just needs a routine-
But I was in long distance relationship for a very long time.
So, sex activity was spread out between-
Periods of sort of high intensity visits. And then kind of a longer time apart.
And so you're body is like, "I'm used to it, we're kind of celibate."
And then it's like, "Whoa."
And so the balance gets thrown off. So I actually don't know if this recommendation's going to be necessary because I've been ... I moved home now, so we have more of a regular rhythm.
Isn't it amazing how much your vagina hurts after you haven't had sex for a long time, and you start having sex again?
It is crazier, aren't we used to this? I'm 26 guys.
Yeah, that happens to me, because I go through long periods without having sex, and then I ... But when I have it, I want to have it all the time. So-
And then you really just get plowed.
Yeah. And after the first ... I get plowed, and after the first couple of times, it's not painful, but you feel it after. It's like when you've just worked out at the gym. You know-
Yeah. It is not the same as working out at the gym-
No it's not the same at all.
I have a fitness tracking app, and I am very lazy, and so I put it when I eat, and it's very hard if you're not exercising, to eat the amount of calories. They want you to 1500 calories a day.
Or to total out at 1500, so you can eat 1800 if you work off 300.
So I put in ... I'll be like, "I'll watch the corner." So I'll be like, "10 minutes light walking." And I'll put that in. And I really always want to put in sex because I'm like, "Excuse me, this is work that I'm doing for my body. Okay?"
But there's no sex options, so I just put in "20 minutes of general dancing."
You should tell them. You should write them a letter.
General dancing. It does okay.
How many colors does sex burn? I feel like I've looked it up.
I don't think it actually burns that much.
It depends what you're d- ... It depends where you are.
The way I do it, I would guess almost nothing.
Cool. Okay. So have you read anything else? Have you ... Do you ... I don't know, learned anything.
When we were talking about herbal women's bodies, we were talking about the tampons and the vodka.
Oh yeah, we were talking about that earlier.
What do we think of this phenomenon? Do you think it's actually happening a lot?
It wouldn't surprise me. I mean people were snorting powdered alcohol. Working at Vice you hear about a lot about the different alcohol based-
What is snorting-
Weird ways to get drunk.
Why can't you just get drunk?
Butt-chugging is an option for you as well.
It's doing a beer bong, but into your own butt.
Oh, okay. Okay.
Instead of into your mouth, you do it into your butt.
Sorry. I'm sorry I didn't know about this.
Wow. I don't know, I don't really know much about it.
I wouldn't be interested in a vodka tampon, but I understand the physics of how it work. I get it.
Wouldn't it burn though?
I feel like-
It would absolutely burn.
What if you have anal fissures? It's a disaster probably.
I have never considered that.
Are you talking about my anal fissures?
Do you have anal fissures?
I have anal fissures.
What happened to your anus?
I know, all the holes in my area. My crotch, my butt-
They're all fucked up. They're all tearing, or not tearing. It's a disaster. I actually didn't think about that until right now. That my vagina and my-
Oh no, it's fine. I have either really thick skin, or really thin skin I guess. No I just ... I have anal f- ...
I don't even know why I brought up anal fissures because you're putting it up your vagina.
No, we were talking about butt-chugging.
Butt-chugging. Butt-chugging is just drinking beer through it though. I don't think it would be particularly traumatic.
But I cannot ... I understand ... from what I understand, the reason people did vodka tampons was so their parents wouldn't smell them drinking.
That's the idea.
But here's the thing about that though, is when you do a garlic like that, your breath does smell like garlic.
Yes it does.
Yeah it does.
That's why I know that the vodka tampon thing would work. Because if you stick garlic in there, you're body gets garlicy.
Interesting. But then won't your breath smell like.
Well that's ... Yeah, I think it would.
So then it would be totally purposeless.
Well, the teens aren't notoriously good at thinking of ways to drink. They just like to think of different ways.
Hey, have you ever felt shamed about your period?
Done. Next question.
Okay. Next question. This is really fun. Okay-
She could have talked about it though.
Yeah, do you want to talk?
Well, I just grew up in a house with a lot of women and one cool, ready-to-buy-supplies dad-
And then my sisters went to all-girls school-
And my camp that I was at was all-girls camp.
A lot of women.
So a lot of women around, and it just wasn't something ... Again because maybe I got to it a little bit later, it was something I was pretty like, "Okay, read for this to happen." If I had been 10 or something when I got it, I might've been more uncomfortable about it.
But even my best dude friend-
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Was chill about it, so I never had a reason.
So you're a big feminist Monica.
No, I'm not, I love men, so-
Oh. I saw you tweet that the other day and I was like, "Favorite." Anyway, so I don't know, what do you feel about the shaming about women's periods, and their bodies in general by the patriarchy?
You know, let's chat about that.
Okay. I think it's really interesting-
Because I ... So I did a degree in Shakespearian Literature, a little while ago. And while I was studying it one of the professors whose work I was really interested in, did a lot of work on how renaissance literature is sort of terrified about the porousness of the female body.
How leaky and unruly the female body seems to be.
And it was crazy to me to be like, "Oh my god, that's still the case." People still ... they can't even ... you know what I mean? They're advertising feminine hygiene products, and they can't bring themselves to show red liquid-
Yeah that stupid blue shit.
For a fear of acknowledging the reality of what happens when someone menstruates. And it's ... That literally is a medieval fear.
You know? That's embarrassing.
What ... Sorry to interrupt.
No, go for it.
But I just ... what I find is interesting, I was talking about this last night, have you ever seen the movie Stage Beauty?
With Claire Danes and the-
Yes I have.
So that movie basically shows about ... A lot of men dressed up as the female characters back then-
And it was a very common thing. And for a woman to play a woman was ... She was not supposed to be in the theater world.
So it's in that sense, we've reverted back to this ... I feel we've reverted in to this weird sense where we still think it's a little taboo for a man dress like a woman, and then here in that sense, women were still not allowed to show their period.
I just think it's this weird paradox. What's going on basically?
Well, there was a lot of fear that women's clothes ... I mean there was a lot of fear about the body in general of that time-
As being very open to contamination. And I think that's why they were so worried about women's bodies expelling things, because you're body is basically supposed to be this big bag of blood, and different fluids like the humors, right? Which-
Governed your personality ... This is maybe not super interesting-
I love it. I love it.
This is powerful.
And so the fact that women were sort of leaking their essence, right? Blood is one of the humors, bile is one of the humors, and if you have an excess of one of these fluids you have a kind of personality. Anger is caused by too much bile, or whatever.
And so leaking that stuff is out is like you're leaking something of your essence. And there was this fear that men's bodies were equally porous, but not quite as leaky. And so if you wore women's clothes you would absorb femininity through their clothes into your body.
And there are all these stories about women cross-dressing and then exerting themselves too much, and just a penis popping out. They just become men.
Of course. Of course.
So there was this definitely a fear on that time that there were a lot of ways to feminize yourself. Which again is something that we still have today. Not quite to the same physiological extent-
where we're like, "Your dick's going to fall off because you're wearing a dress." But it is metaphorically they're like, "You have no dick, because you're wearing a dress." So you're kind of a ... You know, "You're a pussy." Right?
Which is sort of the same idea.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).
So, I mean that's obviously a bummer, and it's crazy to me how little we've progressed. And when people try and be like, "Well, it's 2014, I don't even think we need to talk about feminism anymore." I'm like, "Well then why are you talking like you're a medieval doctor?"
That's right. Big team hashtag was #yesallwomen. So we saw a lot of [crosstalk 00:42:47]-
Well yeah. Yeah a lot of women experiencing sexism, or sexual harassment, or being shamed, being forced into situations they-
Didn't choose to enter.
I think that ... I've read that ... Most interesting article I read was by a sexologist, I can't remember her name-
Yeah, I remember that too.
And it said, "You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't."
And it was about the idea of the girl who ... She had sex, she did a porno, she wanted the money-
Is this the Duke student?
No, the Duke ... That's a different story-
No, this is a different one. Yeah.
So this girl is 19, she did a porno, and then someone found out her name, ane everyone shamed her. And she killed herself with a shotgun.
Oh my god.
And then there was a bunch of comments. After we found out that she was killed ... she killed herself with a shotgun, people were like, "Good, she should've died. She should kill herself, but I enjoy masturbating to her video."
Yeah [inaudible 00:43:39]. A lot-
A ton of comments like that-
Chill thing to say.
Right? And then on the other side, you have the guy who was mad that no one would sleep with him so he killed a bunch of women.
So, just been an interesting week for us.
Yeah I was trying to write something about this for She Does The City, and I literally just ... I was just ... I have four different drafts on my computer, and I just feel exhausted-
By how, again how much of an old story this. The people are still insisting it's not a story. People are trying to think of any possible reason why these murders could have happened that's not large scale, internalized misogyny.
And it's ... I feel I don't even know what I can possibly say because it feels ... And I know this isn't the case, and I've been trying to just take a week and chill out about it, and come back to it-
Stronger in a week, but I don't know what I could possibly ... It just feels exhausting. What am I supposed to say to change all of these very misguided, but very intensely indoctrinated people?
Well I think that ... I think this week was so powerful. Someone tweeted this that I saw, they said, "This hashtag is so amazing because it's allowing all these women this opportunity to talk about these experiences that we're all supposed to ignore a lot of the time, and hide because of the repercussions of discussing them publicly."
Well that's the same thing with this podcast right?
I've had so much fun just ... Those period stories are also things that I've pretty much never talked about with anyone.
Because there never seems to be an appropriate social setting to talk about what is just an adolescence experience. It doesn't have to be a heavier duty story, but I feel like that's the kind of thing that it's a bit of a conversation stopper. Everyone's telling embarrassing stories-
Like, "I bled all over a canoe." And no one wants to talk about it anymore because it's specifically female, and the men can't relate, or it's supposed to be shameful or whatever-
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).
And it's like, "But it's not."
Well, like I said earlier, I've been told my multiple comedians, a lot of female ones, not to talk about my period because men can't relate to it, and why would you alienate your audience, and it's gross, and it's an old topic that's been done a lot.
And first of all, everything's been done a lot.
It's all about how you do it. And second of all-
Also period jokes have not been done a lot. Nobody tells period jokes.
Except you and I-
I've been called the queen of period jokes.
That's a fun one.
Did you name yourself that?
No. No, someone came up to me at Comedy Bar, and he goes, "You're the period girl." And then-
Oh fuck. Don't tell. Natalie.
He didn't know who I was and she looks-
No, that's a different person.
This is a different person.
Bit of a sore subject though, okay. [inaudible 00:46:24].
No, no. So funny. It's so funny because this guy walks up to us in a bar in Toronto, and he's like-
At Comedy Bar.
"Oh my god, I love the Crimson Wave-"
"Natalie you are so great."
"Natalie, you're so great." And then we ... And then I go, "Well, Jess is here, she's the co-host." And he goes, "I don't know who she is."
And walks away.
But just so upset, angry at me. I was ... He was like, "I don't know who she is."
"How dare you pretend?"
I know, and I was like, "Excuse me?"
But then again someone has come up to me ans said, "I thought that was Jess' podcast?" Two people, so.
There you go.
It's ... We're together, we work together.
It's a team effort.
It's a team effort. Yeah, we bleed together, we die together.
Are you guys in sync now? From the podcast?
We have been.
We have been many times.
You synced up?
No we're kind of out of sync now I feel.
But I feel like my whole ... It's me, I feel like my whole body has just been in a wacky situation.
Cool times. Well shall we wrap it up?
Do you guys want to improvise that song you were going to do?
Yeah. No we want you to improvise the song.
Go ahead. Rock it.
No the ... at the beginning when we were [inaudible 00:47:25].
I'm supposed to do it?
No. Shut up.
At the beginning, when she was like, the Crimson Wave. That was us improvising.
Oh, so that was the song.
That was the song, yeah.
Okay, well then I respectfully decline to further do it.
Because you guys have already done one.
We've already done it.
What's your twitter handle?
So follow Monica, @monicaheisey-
And look up her writing. Google her, there's a ton of amazing articles.
There's so much. There's so much guys.
And you want to read it all. And you want to leave positive comments [crosstalk 00:48:02].
And then share with all your friends, especially your grand parents. Right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Just leave comments, be like, "Dear Monica's mom, if you're reading this, Vice isn't that bad a magazine."
All righty, well thank you so much for listening once again.
Thank you to our guest.
Thank you to our guest Monica.
Thank you for having me.
You can follow us @thecrimsonwave on twitter, and find us on Facebook, The Crimson Wave, like us.
Subscribe, and give us a comment.
Rate. Take the time to rate okay?
It takes two seconds.
You can also follow me on twitter @msjessbeauliu.
And you can follow me for a lot of retweets, because that's just basically what I do, but @stalkingnatalie. Okay, great.
Well thank you so much again Monica for being here.
Guys, I had such a great time.
Oh, excellent. So-
On this week's episode of The Crimson Wave hosts Jess Beaulieu and Natalie Norman welcome comedian, writer, and just amazing human being Monica Heisy to the podcast.
In this episode we discuss #IUDs #birthcontrol #feminism #camp #canoetrips #stories #funny #periods #menstruation #boyfriends #media #vice #vodlka #tampons #pads #enviroment #yesallwoman twins and so much more
For more on Monica follow her on twitter @monicaheisy
For more on The Crimson Wave...
For more on Jess Beaulieu @msjessbeaulieu
For more on Natalie Norman @stalkingnatalie