The Bachelor alum Colton Underwood showed he could use some extra sex education classes in a recent interview on the E! talk show The LadyGang.
A lot of the interview is pretty cringeworthy — Underwood says women need to remove their pubic hair and asks why women say they want a “nice guy” when they're really into “bad boys” (ugh) — but the worst part comes when co-host Keltie Knight asks Underwood if he notices when a woman is wearing "period underwear" instead of "cute underwear."
“There’s a difference?” Underwood asks. When co-host Becca Tobin explains, “Girls have special underwear that’s designated for your time of the month,” Underwood is visibly disturbed.
“You keep them around?” he says. “Go buy new underwear! Throw them away.” When Tobin and Knight explain that periods happen every month, he says, “I, as a husband and boyfriend, will go buy you new underwear. That is so gross. So if you shit your pants, are you going to just wash them? No, you’re throwing them away.”
“It’s not shit, it’s flesh of my womb,” Knight says. Which, while a touch dramatic, is true — periods are your uterine lining (consisting of blood, as well as other fluid and tissue) leaving your body through your vagina. Poop is, well, poop. And, to put it mildly, poop is very different from period blood.
Let’s talk a bit about the cost of period underwear (and I’m not talking about underwear that absorbs your period blood, but simply any underwear that you wear during your period). According to the Mayo Clinic, most people with periods bleed for two to seven days, every 21 to 35 days. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say Underwood’s girlfriend is bleeding for five days every month. If she changes her underwear once a day during her period, that’s sixty pairs of underwear per year — which would cost hundreds of dollars, not to mention the amount of waste that goes in the landfill. If you simply wash your period underwear, it might have a bloodstain, but it’s perfectly safe to rewear. (And the same goes for poop-stained underwear, as Knight and Tobin point out.)
In conclusion, it’s perfectly fine, normal, healthy, and not gross to rewear underwear with period stains (though I, for one, wouldn’t turn down a gift of sixty pairs of cute underwear). And for Colton, and anyone else who’s feeling a bit clueless, here’s a Refinery29 guide answering cis men’s questions about periods.