On My Period aims to promote healthy menstrual practices that are in tune with ourselves, the environment, and our human heritage. Topics include herbal and nutrition support during the menstrual cycle, menstrual products reviews, relatable stories from ancient folklore to present-day reflections, and moon blood rituals that connect us to our divinity.
Hello, my name is May Ling Su. I’m a Filipina-American immigrant living in a New England farmhouse built in 1850 on two acres of indigenous herbs and flowers, a cliff of rocks, tall trees — maples, pines, birches. Aside from my human family, I take care of an old dog, a fat cat, a hive of bees, hummingbirds, crows, and other wildlife pollinators and foragers.
On My Period was born in 2002 as a cyclical devotion to that time of the month when I bleed. It was the way I explored my connection to the moon as my body ebbed and flowed like the tides. When I began this project, I used tampons. The cotton string that dangled out of my vagina reminded me of a tail, giving birth to Devil Girl, the first of menstrual archetypes that emerged on my period.
Raised in a Catholic environment, I was made well aware of “the devil” that lurked waiting to consume my innocence. The beginning of my menstrual flow marked my awareness of sex, questioning religious and societal norms, and the formation of my own identity. An external force when I was a child, “the devil” grew inside me as I bled monthly.
Devil Girl is fierce and full of PMS rage. I began wearing two red chopsticks through buns on either side of my head to complement my “tail.” Devil Girl opened me up to the many times women have been demonized throughout history and helped me recognize images portraying horns as a metaphor for the crescent moon (such as depictions of the Moon Goddess, Artemis/Diana, goddess of the hunt).
When I learned about the dangers of dioxin in cotton tampons, I switched to wearing the sea sponge on my period, from which arose a new menstrual archetype, The Mermaid. She smells of the ocean, but is seductive to sailors. Dwelling in life-giving waters, The Mermaid reminds me to care for the environment. Wearing the reusable sea sponge added more washing to my monthly rituals, but instead of tossing disposables in the trash, the bloody wash became a nutritious treat for my house plants.
My blood soaked sponge also inspired a new ritual, body painting. The designs are different from month to month, connecting me to prehistoric matriarchs whose blood offerings were their monthly feminine flow, unlike patriarchal counterparts whose offerings to the gods were products of violence.
It was only a matter of time before my flow paint reached my face. Sometimes I wore PMS war paint boldly. Other times I wore my flow as rouge on my cheeks and lips, reminding me of the roots of make-up in the ancient art of seduction.
In 2003, my photograph titled, The Moon and I (NSFW), was on exhibit at Art @ Large Gallery in New York City. Attending the art opening was my first flesh and blood public appearance alongside my work.
In 2010, On My Period was nominated for the Feminist Porn Award for Best Website.
Metropolis TV in the Netherlands opened their 2010 season with “That Time of the Month” (NSFW), in which I was featured painting my body with menstrual blood on a beach on the Pacific Ocean.
As I approach my last years of menstruation, I have been using a menstrual cup, exploring a new kind of menstrual archetype, that of a fully realized woman raising her cup to the menstrual flow — its monthly presence, its temporary absence during pregnancy, and its eventual end at menopause — as a life-affirming and cosmic phenomenon. Cheers!