Menstruation is a normal and natural part of life, but it remains a taboo subject in many communities, especially when talking about it with people who don’t menstruate. This stigma can lead to shame and isolation for people with periods, making it even more difficult for us to seek the support we need.
At De Lune, our team is lucky to have supportive partners who understand the importance of menstruation and the impact it can have on overall health and well-being. In this article, we will share insights from Kai, Alex, and Connor on how to be a supportive period ally. By going beyond the taboo and supporting menstruating individuals in your own life, you can help break down the stigma surrounding periods. Read on to learn more about how Kai, Alex, and Connor approach being a period ally.
Partner to Mimi, CEO
Signature ally move: De Lune’s resident tech guru and comfort food cooker
Partner to Sara, CMO
Signature ally move: Fetchin’ french fries and takin names
Partner to Claire, Head of Community
Signature ally move: An absolute cuddle bug
How do you define a period ally?
“Experiencing a menstrual cycle often presents significant challenges — many people go through uncomfortable and often painful symptoms like bloating, muscle aches, joint pain, headaches, acne, mood swings, and abdominal cramps. So for me, a period ally is someone who, although not personally subject to these experiences, acknowledges and offers support to those who face them. The way period allies support can vary from person to person, but at the end of the day, it's all about normalizing these conversations and being an advocate and a go-to resource for those who experience periods.” -Kai
“I’ve come to better understand the challenges that certain parts of the cycle represent. I strive to be as supportive, aware and conscious as I can. I remain interested to learn more and better understand how I can be a better partner with this core part of her being.” -Alex
“Someone who doesn’t have a period but does everything they can to support those that do.” -Connor
What did you learn about periods as a kid and how has that changed now that you're dating someone who has a menstrual cycle?
“Honestly, I didn’t think much of them when I was growing up. I knew it was something that happened, but it didn’t happen to me. So now that I’m dating someone who is very vocal about her period, I know a lot more about periods, what happens, and what a lot of the struggles are with them.” -Connor
“As someone who grew up as an only child, I didn’t really know about periods or the experience of having a period until much later in life — it wasn’t until I met Mimi that I learned how painful the experience can be. In the past, my understanding was that it wasn’t something that we talked about much because it was a minor inconvenience (similar to having to use the bathroom) but the surreptitious nature of the topic now feels odd given its effect on half our population!” -Kai
“I remember not being taught almost anything - except that it was something for solely the realm of women. I knew my mom would blame things on her PMS. I knew PMS could have a wide range of emotions and some women had more of a pronounced experience than others. Now that I’m dating someone that’s brought more loving awareness, self love and compassion to it, I have a deep lament to how little half the planet knows.” -Alex
What is a tried-and-true way to support your partner when she's on her period?
“Tell her that I honor her cycle and am here for her.” -Alex
“It is usually food related, so I would say offering to go get us acai bowls or heating up her heat pack… but she doesn't always need that. I usually just ask what she needs and then she blatantly tells me, and then I do it. Snuggles aren’t even an every-time thing, because sometimes she doesn't want to be touched. It’s really just trying different things and seeing which one sticks this time.” -Connor
“Well, perhaps it starts with things not to do: ask a bunch of questions to how I can be helpful. It’s important just to execute — make comfort food (ravioli, mac & cheese, amy’s pizza pockets, etc.), get good snacks, rub her back, put on a fav TV show, and lots of body doubling (where I am near her but not bothering her or paying attention to something else).” -Kai
What is a period snack of your partners that has now become a favorite for you too?
“French fries, they tend to just appear at the door” -Alex
“Taco Bell. Once a month Claire gets her “period Taco Bell” and I used to not get anything, but now I have joined in on the fun because every time it looks so good.” -Connor
“I think Hu Kitchen’s chocolate gems (or really, any baking chocolate) has become an important snack that we just keep in the house at all times now. But of course chocolate pudding like Petit Pot is also essential (and I now also love as a snack). -Kai
What is your favorite thing about your partner when she's in her menstrual phase?
“I would say for a few days she always says that she wishes we were attached at the hip and so it makes me feel like I have a built in snuggle machine.” -Connor
“I like that on her period, she likes to spend extra time with me and loves a good cuddle.” -Kai
“During PMS sometimes she’s often in bracing posture so once her period arrives she flows and embraces the release.” -Alex
If you could change one thing about the cultural conversation around periods, what would it be?
“I've helped booth the De Lune table for conferences and events quite a few times, and I've noticed that there's often some hesitation when people talk about their periods with me, a man. It's pretty common for folks to apologize when they share details about their menstrual experiences as well. I'd really love to make this topic so normal that it wouldn't be weird to talk about it with anyone.” -Kai
“I grew up in an all-boy household (not really, sorry mom), and I didn’t really learn anything there. It took me dating and living with someone who is vocal about it to learn about it, but it should be something that everyone learns about no matter where you live and who you surround yourself with. Everyone’s story is different, but there’s so much misconception that still surprises me at this point.” -Connor
“It’s such an important space to have an honoring coming-of-age ritual to present it in an accessible and honoring way and explaining what’s happening to both girls and for boys. For boys, to avoid it as black box topic and to present it in a reverent way that this is a process that allows for life.” -Alex
Being a period ally means supporting those who experience menstruation with respect and compassion. There is no one right way to be a period ally, but by being open to learning, listening, and providing support, you can make a positive difference in the lives of those around you. Whether it's lending an ear, offering resources, or simply acknowledging the challenges that come with menstruation, your support can be invaluable. Supporting people with periods with empathy and action helps break the taboo surrounding menstruation and promotes menstrual equity for all.
We’ll be sharing actionable tips about period allyship throughout the month of April on the De Lune Instagram account. Follow along at @delunecare.