Demetra Nyx is taking a unique approach to breaking down period taboos.
This past summer, the 26-year-old sex coach from Los Angeles began smearing her menstrual blood on her face every month. Nyx explained in a recent Medium article that she put her period blood on her face on a whim while creating a video about loving her body.
“Because of the reactions I received, I realized this was a radical thing,” she wrote, adding that the blood is actually great for her skin and makes an awesome face mask.
“If I take something many people find disgusting and I touch it and play with it and smear it all over my face,” Nyx said in her piece, ” then maybe some little girl, somewhere, will see the blood between her legs and think, ‘Well if Demetra puts it on her face, maybe this isn’t that gross after all.’”
Nyx, the creator and host of the podcast “Sex, Love, & Power with Demetra Nyx,” told HuffPost on Tuesday that reclaiming her menstrual blood has been a powerful and rewarding journey.
“When we claim something that has historically been seen as dirty and disgusting as clean and beautiful, we take back the power over our own bodies,” she said.
“We’ve been raised in a society that tells us our bodies are not acceptable exactly as they are ― which is even more the case for people of color,” Nyx continued. “Our blood in particular is shamed, taxed and hidden. By putting my blood on my face, I am saying that I adore my body in all of its expressions and in its natural form.”
Nyx admitted that she was surprised by how empowered she felt the first time she put the blood on her face. She added that she started doing this as a “fun and silly way” for her to connect with her body.
“It was solely because I wanted to do it, and I think we should all be allowed to do what we want with our own bodies,” she said.
When asked what she would tell someone going through their first period, Nyx responded thoughtfully.
“Bleeding is a beautiful and magical thing your body can do,” she said. “It is not dirty, like ads would have you believe. It is OK if your blood gets on your clothes or on your sheets. It happens to everyone.”
“Your body will tell you what it needs, and you’re allowed to listen to it above everyone else, always,” Nyx added.
Scroll below to see more photos of Nyx’s period activism, or head to her Instagram.