sex negative

The Tale of the Rogue Tampon

Illustration: Sarah Maxwell

Sex Negative is the Cut’s series on the messy, clumsy, unromantic reality of boning.

Sleeping with a member of one of your favorite bands from high school is a pretty common fantasy, but not many people get to live it out.

A couple of years ago, I had the chance. At Warped Tour, I ran into the former bassist of one of my favorite high-school bands, and we kept in touch. A few months later, when he was on his way through New York on tour with his new band, he hit me up to hang out.

After I got off work, I met up with some friends at a scuzzy Bushwick bar and drank until the bassist came through. We hung out for a little while, took some molly, and headed to an after-hours spot. Then I took him back to my place. We started hooking up, and I remembered I hadn’t taken out my tampon. It had basically been there all day.

I had a decision to make and I needed to make it pretty quickly: When was the moment to run to the bathroom?

We were undressing rapidly and my time was running out. My bathroom is on the other end of the apartment and two of my roommates were still awake in the living room. This wasn’t just a matter of slipping into the bathroom half-naked and then popping back into my bedroom —I would have had to put clothes back on, at the very least, and explain what I was up to (none of which seemed plausible in my semi-drunk, semi-high state). What did seem like an option was discreetly yanking out my tampon with one hand and flinging it behind my bed while he was occupied sucking on a nipple.

So I did. I reached down, grabbed the string and pulled. I had it in my hand and quickly tossed it behind me toward the space between my bed and the wall. But I missed. The full, freshly liberated tampon landed at the top of the mattress. I immediately stuck a pillow over it before he noticed, and thought I was in the clear. Then he got on top of me, and while we were having sex, he put his hand under the pillow and knocked the tampon out into the open. A bolt of fear flew through my body, but he hadn’t noticed it yet, so I slammed my hand down over it. I had a bloody tampon in my hand and no endgame in mind, while also fucking a person I’d had a crush on since I was in high school. Great.

I didn’t want him to notice I was distracted and stop to find out why, so I did my best to stay engaged with him while trying to push my tampon toward the edge of the bed. Throwing it would have required too much movement, so I was just rolling this period blood-soaked wad of cotton around my sheets, undoubtedly creating a serious of red-brown skid marks that would be fully brown by morning. Would he think I shit the bed? Would he think I was an inveterate bed-shitter who had done it previously and not bothered changing the sheets? Would he realize what I had actually done, which was not a whole lot better?

These questions were racing through my mind until he finished, at which point I flung my body onto the part of the bed where the big stain was and hoped he wouldn’t want to switch spots and that I wouldn’t need to get up to pee. I laid in my own period blood all night, and when we got up in the morning, I was able to cover it with my blanket before he saw it. I’m not sure if he ever realized I had been on my period at all, and if he had, he didn’t mention it. And you know what, I’d fling a tampon again. I regret nothing.

Worst Sex Ever: The Tale of the Rogue Tampon