Jul 132012
Kiki Wilson · Science, Gross · July 12th, 2012


Mensation cover

Mensation: The Science of Womanly Bleedy-Time
Vera Milian. 2011. Concord Press.

I was quite skeptical a few months back when Bitchy Amiee gave me this title as a must-read. I had health class same as everyone else; what more could there really be to learn about Aunt Flo? How wrong I was. Milian offers a truly penetrating, scientific glare at the reproductive-sludge-purging time of the month, and it’s a hoot to read as well! How many times did I slough my uterine lining, without ever really thinking about it? It’s a shame really.

Mensation (a combination of the words menstruation and sensation, for the drooling morons out there) covers a lot of ground rather succinctly, from an evolutionary history of bleeding for fun and profit to Menopause: breaking the drip-o-cycle to Lip-syncing: how women synchronize their bleeding (chapters 1, 3, and 5 respectively). To help make the material digestible, Milian punctuates points with fun anecdotes about menses:

Much later, after I had already grounded Billy, I realized the “crime scene” on the couch was actually my own doing, and not the murder of his guinea pig as we had supposed. Boy was my face red!

Mensation is hysterical. Get it? The cover promises science and delivers in spades. Here are just a few of the fun facts about routine uterine puking that I learned:

  •  The average menstrual release is enough fluid to drown a Labrador
  • Many mammals menstruate, but only humans have fun menstrual accessories like Ibuprofen and maxi-pads (mine are Hello Kitty!)
  • In many pre-modern cultures, a menstruating individual is afforded greater respect, spending those days locked in the “honor hut,” so as not to be disturbed by anyone. (We could learn something about respect for women from these people!)
  • It’s recommended not to swim in the ocean while menstruating because that’s pretty gross, really. Other people are trying to swim and don’t need bits of uterus in their snorkel, thanks.

I highly recommend this book to readers interested in the disgustingly feminine, even if you don’t have a uterus yourself.

  7 Responses to “Book Review: Mensation: The Science of Womanly Bleedy-Time”

  1. This is THE BEST book about Menstruation in literally MONTHS.

  2. This is totally why I come here. To grow as a person in the sense of knowing stuff about bleedy vaginas.

  3. Science. Girl Stuff. Education. Mucus membranes. It’s like all my favorite things combined into one spectacular tome.

  4. You forgot to say, the forward is by Pat Jackman, inventor of the winged maxi!

  5. If you have bought this book you might be interested to know that Bitchy Amiee has a new pendant to her Bitchyramics range. It’s in the form of a ceramic winged maxi-pad (used, of course) with the slogan, in subtle reference to Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice: “I don’t need a prick to bleed”. No, I don’t get it either, but they look amazing. Blood stains also available in blue.

  6. There’s another strange-but-true fact. You should never, EVER go to get closer looks at people’s t-shirts when you’re in that jump-up-and-down-in-a-bucket time of the month. EVER. Just trust me on this. It is a BAD idea. Just go home and knit some tampons out of old carpet offcuts or something and jones the curiosity out sister. Entirely NOT worth it. EVER.

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