Lillian Ahenkan/Flex Mami is somewhat of a unicorn. She’s a DJ, presenter, podcaster and modern day thinker, who entertains and implores us all to hypothesise with her on anything from periods, sex, equality, philosophy, feminism and whatever else she wants. Our interview with Flex went just how we hoped it would – a sweet concoction of intellect, ideas and brutal honesty. From explosive diarrhoea, naming your period shade and the importance of finding a way to move that won’t ruin your life. Flex tells all and we’re all ears…
I was 11 and I remember the day vividly because I had eaten a sausage roll and pineapple squares out of a can at school. And I was like “UGH my stomach hurts!” - I’ve never felt this kind of pain before. Then I projectile vomited in my kitchen and then that night I was like “OMG mum!”... and there it was, the fruit of my loins - my period.
She’s cute. I’m terrible at tracking my cycle but we’re in 28 day loops so that’s working for me.
I get explosive diarrhoea for like five days, my lower back hurts, I want to eat everything and I’m extremely irritable.
I eat everything and I masturbate.
I think everybody needs to have period chat more often. I hate this weird hush hush around it. Just say it, you’re grown! Considering that most adults have had their period half of their life, at this point, it’s clear enough that it happens, tell your friends, tell your family, check in. Normalise the discussion! “Do you get diarrhoea when you have your period?" "I do". “Do you get sore titties?” Great! I want us to talk about periods like we talk about bad dates.
I would say I feel my best on the last day of my period. It’s this weird limbo feeling of like “Oh my goodness I got through it, and now I’m here - a stronger person. Tomorrow my life will change, I’m not bleeding anymore, what will I do? Wake up without cramps. How exciting!” It’s like period purgatory. Like the day before and the day of.
I use a combination of a liner, menstrual cup and period underwear. Liner on the last day, menstrual cup on day one to five and then period underwear for the second last day. It’s complex. You need a system. I have the privilege of freelancing, so I have the freedom to let her flow.
Overindulge. Eat all of the things. Masturbate all of the time. Go online shopping, consumerism will keep you happy. And have so many snacks on deck. There’s a difference between eating a lot and having a lot of snacks nearby. Because snacks can be closer to you and eating out requires leaving the house, which you might not want to do.
Move. Find a way to move that doesn’t ruin your life. I like to ride my bike, yours might be boxing. But you have to move.
So excited for you! Enjoy it. Start heaps of chat about it. It’s like a very elite club that not everyone gets to be a part of. What a privilege it is to bleed. Be excited, don’t be scared. If you feel like something is wrong, tell a friend to tell a friend. Not all periods are made the same, so check in. “Do you have cramps that are ruining your life?” Could be more than just cramps.
I should be big into it. My friend Hannah is always telling me “You’ll understand why you feel the way you feel if you track your lunar cycle”. But no, I just know.
I feel like there are a ton of things you should be embarrassed about but your period is not one of them. It’s the most basic bodily function, it’s not even exciting. Share how mundane it is to bleed from yourself monthly. It’s so chill, it’s like breathing but for half of the population
That I’m not pregnant. There’s a nice regularity to having your period. At least you know your life could be in complete turmoil but your period is the one thing that you can guarantee will be there for you.
I hate that it hurts. I also hate that I’ve had it for 15 years and it still hurts so much. I’m still not used to the pain. At this point, I’ve had it for so many hours I should be a master of it, but I’m not. Isn’t that crazy? The pain feels brand new every time. That’s how you know we haven’t fully mastered how to control our brains. Because if we could control our brain receptors, that’s what the extra percentage of brain capacity would do for us.
Mine is like sriracha red at the beginning then it becomes a nice deep cranberry with hints of mahogany. Do you know what yours is?
A guide to working out around your menstrual cycle
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