Welcome to the final installment of March Madness, Clean Person-style, a monthlong project we've been calling Let's All Make ... Our Beds. It's just what it sounds like: we all made our beds for the entire month of March. The fun carried over to Twitter, where I tweeted regularly about all things bed-related and we used the hashtag #LAMOB to spread the joy far and wide!
Whoa wow whoa, we sure had some fun this month didn't we??? How's everyone feeling about things? Pretty good, I'm guessing, based on what my Twitter @ replies have looked like! And I'm feeling super great too because this has been a whole heap of fun. You guys are pretty much the best ever.
But enough of me telling you how great you are, how's about I show you how great you are? And then we'll recap, and then I'll answer a few last questions and then after that's done let's all collapse into our (PERFECTLY MADE) beds and curl up with a good book.
To start, let's highlight some of the more informative and/or absolutely hilarious comments you all made in response to our posing a most indelicate question *clutches pearls*
General Tips for Making Period Sex Less Period-y and More Sex-y
And Now For Some Specifics
From commentress nina:
Three things – (1) Hotels: I did this once but felt sooo guilty that a stranger would have to clean up my blood and I had no products on hand to make it less messy! (2) Period cunnilingus – I was deeply impressed the first time this happened to me. Older guys FTW. (3) A friend who is a sex worker swears by some kind of sea sponge that they all use. Customers can't even tell they're on the rag.
Here's one of those sea sponges, btw.
From commentress dham:
Incredible overshare answer: If my period is too heavy, I'll bring a dildo/vibrator into the shower with me before sex, and just kind of go to town. This gets a surprising amount of blood out. I try to do this as near to likely sex as possible.
From commentress S. Elizabeth:
Those absorptive sheets that are marketed for housebreaking puppies, incontinent old people, and hospitals. You can buy them at CVS and they also work SUPER well if you are a lady who happens to be super messy in bed in general. Sexy? No. Awesome? YES.
On the subject of sheeting, from commentress queenofbithynia:
I originally got red sheets so I could drink wine in bed but they are multi-purpose.
From comentress spoondisaster, on why you shouldn't buy black sheets:
Because other sex stains tend to turn up as white and it's like they just sit on top of black sheets like neon "SOMEONE FUCKED HERE" signs.
A cool attitude from commentress alex hart:
period sex is totally a 'to-each-his/her-own' kinda thing, but my m.o. is like, "shit, I'm a moon goddess, ravish me."
On the other hand, it seems that a number of you have instituted a blowjobs and backrubs policy during what one of you hilariously referred to as "When the Communists invade my funbox." Hurrah for alternative methods of intimate time!
Commentress hamster baby shares this story of just being generally awesome:
related, but not really at all: a million years ago, when i was just a kitten, i was having first time sexytimes with my brand new long-distance boyfriend. he was going all the way downtown on me, when all of a sudden he popped up from between my legs and his face was a bloody mess. i thought my period had started. i almost died of embarrassment. as it turned out, i had given him a bloody nose with my intense pelvic thrusting. i died of embarrassment.
And finally, from commenter Tulletilsynet, on the fact that the menfolk would like to be heard:
I'm sure everybody will work out this interesting set of challenges to her own satisfaction but PLEASE NO MEAT TENDERIZER JOKES EVER.
Now back to me: I want to take a moment to remove my Clean Person's cap and don A Lady's chapeaux to address the subject of libido. I noticed a number of women bemoaning the fact that they have lower sex drives than what some of the TLoTHs and commentariette described. This is not a thing you should worry about or feel sad about! It's how your body chemistry is made up, and I would be upset to think that it's something you'd feel ashamed over, just in the same way I don't want ladies with a raging libido to feel like they're some kind of outlying sex monster. It's a funny thing we're doing to ourselves, comparing our sex drives and allowing ourselves to feel inadequate because we fall on one or the other end of the sex-beast spectrum. So let's maybe just stop that and be cool with the fact that we're all different and that's a fantastic thing. Team effort: we're gonna focus on working with what we've got, rather than wasting our lives whinging about what we lack, okay?
The same applies to wetness. Some women have vaginal dryness issues, some of us — you, some of you! — are constantly dripping all over the God damned place. I saw someone in the comments getting all, "HOW do you not use lube at all GOD!" and why in Gaia's name are you getting judgey about whether or not someone does or doesn't use lube? For crying out loud, knock that off.
With that sort of uncharacteristic scolding out of the way ("What happened to the Clean Person? She's usually so nice." "I dunno, I guess she just feels really strongly about vaginal dryness?"), how about we review what we've learned about our beds:
- Sleeping masks can and should be cleaned!
- So should silk pillowcases!
- Your Clean Person co-sleeps with her laptop. And discusses how to make tidy beds under unusual circumstances.
- Shit happens. Here's how to clean it up.
- And also sometimes people wet the bed. Good news! The stains will come out of your mattress.
- So will smells.
- Also smells in your comforters! We can fix those too!
- Folding fitted sheets can be done and Jill Cooper's gonna get her ass kicked.
- Remember bluing?
- Hospital corners, hut two three four!
- A rousing discussion of proper arrangement and thwaping of pillowcases.
- Ammonia or Pine Sol or, heck, even Shout will take those grease stains your overnight cream leaves behind out of sheets.
- Sometimes our sleepover guests leave behind stains! OxiClean will take them out, whether they're semen stains or mascara stains.
- Beat your futons! Beeeeat themmmmm!!
- And finally: Edith is into some kinky shit, eh?
But hey, I'm not really ready for the fun to end just yet, so let's tackle a few final stragglers. I'll give shorter answers than usual because when I'm done here I can take to my bed and God help the person who comes between me and my process of taking to my bed.
I found what I suspect is a lube stain on my lovely cotton sheets! If it is lube, it's water-based, so I feel like the stain should just come out in the laundry? Or do I need to pretreat it? I love this sheet — please help me save it! Also, I live in Israel, which like the first-and-a-half world, so I don't have access to all the same cleaning supplies — like liquid detergent.
If you're using a water-based lube then yes, it should come out in the wash without needing much more than detergent, though of course you can't really go wrong with applying a spot treatment. Given that you don't have access to a ton of cleaning supplies, you can create a spot treatment with liquid dishsoap, or by mixing a little bit of powdered detergent with water to make a paste. However, I've heard that some people have had problems with Astroglide, which is a water-based lube, staining sheets so there's no guarantee that a water-based lube won't cause staining.
Out of curiosity (because I am obviously just looking for trouble), I nosed around on the internet for solutions to cleaning up silicone-based lubes as well and I'm not going to link to the place where I read this because I am nothing if not merciful, but apparently STP Carburetor Treatment works as a spot treatment for those sorts of stains. Yeah I don't know either, guys.
What to do about pillows? I use cases and clean them, obviously, but the actual pillows have these strange brown stains all over them. Some of said pillows have zip off cases that I am going to clean this weekend with OxiClean and regular detergent, but what to do about the pillows that do not have zip-off ... liners, shall we call them? They are really gross and your "month of clean beds" has inspired me to do something about these strange brown stains.
You can totally spot treat and launder the pillows without zip-off liners, and you totally should! Use your favorite stain treatment (maybe even something like Resolve for older, more stubborn and weird pillow stains?) Since we're doing quicktime Clean Personing I'm maaaajorly outsourcing this one, but here are the basics:
(1) Check the labels on the pillows and follow the washing care instructions.
(2) Foam-filled pillers should be handwashed in a large sink or the tub and then air-dried. Remember the tennis balls and tiny sneakers and dryer balls of yore? Those are, once again, your pals here.
(3) Poly-filled pillers can be machine washed on the gentle cycle — just make sure to wash more than one pillow at a time to balance the load and/or throw some towels in there too. They can be machine dried on a low-heat or tumble dry setting.
(4) Pillows can be dry cleaned if all of this feels like too much and you want to throw money at the problem. *makes it rain*
While I do admit I haven't been making my bed all month, I've been trying. I recently went away for the weekend and make it before I left, and upon returning and walking into my room to see my bed made, I felt like I had entered some sort of heaven/nirvana/happy-place. So I've been making it more regularly since then.
Anyway, at the foot of my bed in the cold months is a large homemade fleece blanket a friend gave to me. It's thick and heavy and made by cutting the edges into fringe and tying them together. This blanket has come and gone many places with me, but I'm not quite sure how to properly clean it — I guess I'm afraid it will shrink in odd ways. Also there is a small gray housepaint stain on the corner that has been there for years. The most annoying bit is that it picks up hair like crazy, and I admit to having quite a bit of hair. I've tried using a lint brush, but that only sort of works, and is temporary. Are there any magical ways to keep it cleaner? And even barring that how can I clean it?
So thrilled I am by your note that I've decided to have business cards made up for myself that say JOLIE KERR, CLEAN PERSON & SPIRITUAL GUIDE.
But yes fleece: a topic near and dear to my New England preppy-girl heart! Go on and launder your fleece blanket on a cold water setting. You can either tumble dry it on no- or very low-heat, or let it air dry. In terms of getting hair off it, there are lint rollers that are designed for large surfaces that you can check out, or you could use my patented (lolllll not at all patented) FedEx pouch lint remover method. Another item that's great for picking up gunk and also repelling further gunk are dryer sheets. Run one over the surface of your dry blankie, let it pick up what it will and then let the coating it leaves behind work its repellent magic.
Previously: You Are Still Making Your Beds!
Jolie Kerr is not paid to endorse any of the products mentioned in this column, but she sure would be very happy to accept any free samples the manufacturers care to send her way! Are you curious to know if she's answered a question you have? Do check out the archives, listed by topic. More importantly: is anything you own dirty?