Communication is crucial in a healthy relationship, and that includes talking about your menstrual cycle.
Especially if FAM is your birth control method of choice.
So, how does one bridge this topic of conversation?
First off, I’d just like to say, in the case of most men I’ve met and talked to, they’re much more comfortable talking about menstrual cycle related things than we give them credit for.
Yes, you might meet the odd, older man who guffaws at the mention of a menstrual cycle, but for the most part, people are chill with periods. And even older men are like yeah my wife has a period, my two daughters just started getting theirs, I'm not phased anymore.
If you’re planning on using FAM as birth control you’re going to want to get nice and cozy with the idea of talking about the intricacies of your menstrual cycle, but a lot of what goes along with talking about charting has nothing to do with blood.
People like information and facts so you’re going to want to have those ready in your back pocket when starting a conversation about using FAM. Is it effective? How does it even work? But that’s what so-and-so who’s Catholic uses and they have 10 kids.
When I told Michael “Yeah, I chart and use the sympto-thermal method”, he responded with “Cool! How’s that work?” And he has gone on to become a very well informed partner.
So, you’re going to want to explain to your partner how charting works and why it works as birth control.
Then depending on what app or paper chart you use you might want to consider sharing that with them so they know where you are in your cycle.
There’s going to be those conversations in the heat of the moment of, "I’m in my fertile phase so we can’t have sex today." And I’m not sure why, but some people think not being able to have sex or having to say ‘no’ is the worse thing possible, but I always ask myself, don’t they know about all the other fun, satisfying sexual activities they can explore?
I’m going to let you in on something — you don’t always have to be available for sex. Gasp! This seems to be an argument in favor of hormonal birth control, “But, I can have sex whenever I want.” But this all depends on what your definition of “sex” is because like I said above there are so many things you can do in the realm of “sex” that doesn’t involve PIV sex.
Another cool thing about opening up the conversation about your cycle with your partner is that they unknowingly learn when your different phases are. And yes, while there’s much more that goes into charting then guessing when you’re fertile or not, you’d be surprised the number of times Michael has made a comment about “Yeah, it’s around the time you usually ovulate” or “Your period is going to start soon, right?"
Just having your partner in the know, makes things run so much smoother. There should be nothing taboo about talking about bodies, menstrual cycles, fertility and charting between two people having sex. You should be open and honest with each other, and if you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, well, you might want to reconsider some things.
While we were in Bali Michael and I sat down and filmed a video about FAM and your partner, which you can go watch if you’re curious about more.
But the biggest takeaway I want you to have from today is to be open in your conversations. You might be nervous with how they're going to react to talking about menstrual cycles since we always thought we had to hide our periods from boys in school because they would make fun of us. But like I said before, guys are pretty cool when it comes to talking about periods.
How did you start this conversation with your partner? How have partners reacted to this conversation? What have you found guys want to know when it comes to cycles?