There is still a cultural taboo against menstruation.
Most men find it uncomfortable to even talk about. Despite the presence of “bloodhounds,” many men feel that lovemaking during this time is gross, disgusting, or dirty—and won’t do that.
I felt the same for so many years of my life, until my first Tantra workshop revolutionized everything. Now, after many years of practicing sexual Tantra, not only do I not mind making love during my partner’s moon cycle, but I find myself disheartened at the way that men—and women—view this miracle of the female body.
Yes, a miracle.
Menstruation is the proof of a woman’s ability to create life. This lifeblood is not only her vital life force, but the symbol of the creatrix, of the feminine capacity to bring forth something where nothing was before.
The way that men, and women, are taught to view menstruation is part of the subtly perpetuated violence of the patriarchal system. Now let me be clear; When I say the violence of patriarchy I do not believe that women should be exalted and men demonized.
It seems to me that patriarchy is just as wounding to men as it is to women. In fact, there is a resurgence of the Divine Feminine in the world, with the women’s rights movement, with the power of the Feminist parties, with the resurgence of Tantra and Neo-Tantra in the world.
While empowered, Sacred Masculine is still almost entirely woefully absent in our time. There are some beautiful examples of empowered masculine in the world, but they are few and far between. Patriarchy then is an expression of the wounded masculine, the immature masculine. And if you’ve heard the profound and simple statement that “hurt people hurt people,” then it’s clear in this aspect as well; the wounded masculine seeks to wound the feminine.
In Tantra, the name of the Divine Feminine is Shakti, which literally means “power.” It is recognized that the feminine is the source of power. Tantra also teaches us that all humans have both masculine and feminine aspects to them. Sometimes this is easier to understand in other terms, like yin and yang, or active and receptive.
But there is a reason that using masculine and feminine is appropriate, and that is that women generally have more resonance and connection with Shakti, the Divine Feminine than men, and men generally have more resonance with Shiva, the Divine Masculine than women. So from the Tantric viewpoint, women generally are more connected to their power than men.
This scares the wounded masculine. The wounded masculine (who was wounded, most often, let us not forget, by the feminine, by his mother) is jealous of her power, afraid of that power. He wants that power for himself. Which partially explains why women have been so badly abused under the patriarchal system.
In order to heal, individually, culturally, planetarily—we need to recognize the wounds and stop perpetuating the violence.
Back to menstruation. This is a symbol of a woman’s ability to create life, a symbol of a woman’s power. It is no surprise that the wounded masculine has targeted this and made women feel ashamed, disgusting, dirty, by this natural phenomenon.
In the Tantric viewpoint, it is completely acknowledged that a woman is filled with power during her cycle. There is an amazing amount of energy pulsing through her being. This energy is localized in Svadisthana Chakra, the sacral or sexual chakra.
This chakra is considered “low” to many spiritual traditions because it is the chakra connected with desire, and an overabundance of energy at this level can lead to many disharmonious expressions such as depression, jealousy, anxiety, irritability, confusion, lack of self-control, and more.
Do any of these sound familiar? These fit into the “symptoms” of PMS precisely because of this flooding of energy into this chakra during the cycle, and this energy builds up and is released in negative ways.
Tantric women are taught methods to move, or sublimate, this energy—methods on how to utilize this extra energy to charge their higher chakras, such as the Heart Chakra or the Third Eye, which also lessens mood swings, and cramps.
A simple way to begin is to lay on the ground, placing your feet high up on the wall, and raise your bum off the ground just a bit.
As men, we can help to heal the wound between the masculine and the feminine by moving through the taboo. By inquiring as to why it makes us feel the way we do—why do we feel uncomfortable, or disgusted?
Then, we can honor our women in this time. Make love to her. Not only will it reinforce to her that you are not rejecting her for three to five days every month, but orgasms can help her move this powerful but heavy energy.
Make a ritual of it, as a way of acknowledging the creative powers of Divine Feminine, the power of Shakti.
Author: Amitayus Riha
Image: Sarah Swinton/Unsplash
Editor: Sara Kärpänen