Woman covers her face in period blood to show they’re ‘beautiful’ and ‘powerful’

Demetra Nyx spent years hiding her periods from boyfriends and being extremely embarrassed every time she came on.

But when a change in her contraception meant she had to start keeping a closer eye on her cycle, she started to see things very differently.

She grew to love her time of the month, saying it’s "beautiful and powerful", and wanted to share her new appreciation with woman around the world.

She started collecting her blood and one day had an "impulse" to smear it across her face and share photos online.

She said: "We hold so much shame in our bodies, and most of us do not realise it until we intentionally explore it. Our periods are an incredibly magical time of month that holds immense power, and our society keeps us away from that as much as possible.

"I am endlessly fascinated by my body and its patterns. Many people talk about the parts of the cycle being like the seasons, with the energy of ovulation being like summer, and the energy of menstruation being like winter. I think that’s generally true, but I’ve also found it’s very individual.

"Sharing pictures of blood on my face and body was just an impulse I was creating a series to help women connect with their menstrual cycle, and I thought it would be fun. We can also do things like paint with it or pour it into the earth. I believe it’s a beautiful thing to get comfortable with touching your own blood.

"There is a tremendous amount of power in learning that we can experience pleasure from the parts of our bodies we deem in society as ‘disgusting’. If we can love the unlovable, all of life opens up to us. We spend a lot of time learning to control our bodies; instead I believe in learning from our bodies.

"My blood to me has become fun, beautiful, and powerful, and playing with it brings me closer to myself."

Demetra, who lives in Los Angeles and works as a sex coach, had her first period when she was 12.

Throughout her teens she was embarrassed about them and viewed them as "disgusting".

She would hide then from boyfriends and was always paranoid the blood would leak through her clothes or onto her sheets.

After having the IUD fitted when she was 20, Demetra’s periods became extremely painful

It was hen she had it removed and went back to using condoms that she discovered her new love for her periods.

Demetra said: "My period was never painful before my IUD, so the pain didn’t bother me during my teenage years. I was simultaneously embarrassed and fascinated by my period. I felt apologetic about it a lot and tried to hide it from boyfriends.

"Our society teaches us that periods are dirty and inconvenient. Ads about menstrual products talk about smelling ‘fresh’ or making us cleaner, implying that our bodies’ natural functions are gross.

"Women who complain about cramps are seen as weak and pathetic, even sometimes by other women we’re expected to suck it up and basically pretend it doesn’t exist. In the US, we have a president who negatively described a woman as having ‘blood coming out of her whatever.’ It’s a belief that’s forced upon us.

"My work as a sex coach largely focuses on where we hold our stories in our bodies. What society taught us about ourselves, what we learned about being women, assaults we may have experienced, what we learned our bodies are capable of during sex."

For Demetra, her periods are still painful as she has some symptoms of endometriosis, but she says she finds a strength in loving her time of the month regardless of how it makes her feel.

Since sharing her images celebrating her period on Instagram , Demetra has received both positive and negative comments, with some people telling her she may as well be wiping poo on her face, something that only encourages her to keep posting honest pictures of her blood.

She said: "My energy levels vary by month, but usually I spend a lot of time resting and caring for my body and listening to what it needs, and sometimes I do rituals to honour my bleeding.

"Something I get a lot is women saying, ‘I was so triggered by your period posts at first, but eventually I became inspired, and now I love my cycle too’. I receive a lot of DMs on Instagram of women with their blood all over themselves. They just don’t feel as comfortable to share it publicly.

"A really common comment I get is, ‘oh, you should just wipe poop all over your face then, it’s the same thing’. I also heard from friends and family that it was ‘weird’ and ‘disgusting’, and some people didn’t talk to me because of it.

"That encourages me to keep posting them if it wasn’t having a necessary impact, people wouldn’t be so bothered by it.

"I receive way more positive comments than negative. I think women are at a point where we really want to be able to love our bodies and bring these taboo topics out into the light. It amazes me how uncomfortable we are with sharing our full selves with the world, and I want to be a messenger for that."

Demetra also have a few words of advice for other women.

"I think it begins by recognising that our disgust towards our bodies is not innate it is a learned societal behaviour.

"Our bodies want to protect us, and when we learn that having a certain view might get us rejected socially, we do everything we can to prevent that from happening. But since it’s learned, we can unlearn it.

"It can begin with just tracking your cycle or using a menstrual cup to collect your blood. No one has to put their blood on their face, though it’s seemed pretty liberating for women who have."

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