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Featured Image Credit: Media Drum World
A sex coach who was once ashamed of periods, has taken to covering her face in menstrual blood to end the stigma that surrounds it.
Since removing her contraceptive coil at 21 - because it gave her extremely heavy periods, leaving her bed-ridden - the Californian native has been experimenting with her blood, which she believes has brought her closer to herself.
She said: "Our society teaches us that periods are dirty and inconvenient. Ads about menstrual products talk about smelling 'fresh' or making us cleaner, implying that our bodies' natural functions are gross.
"My work as a sex coach largely focuses on where we hold our stories in our bodies. What society taught us about ourselves, what we learned about being women, assaults we may have experienced, what we learned our bodies are capable of during sex.
"I am endlessly fascinated by my body and its patterns. Many people talk about the parts of the cycle being like the seasons, with the energy of ovulation being like summer, and the energy of menstruation being like winter. I think that's generally true, but I've also found it's very individual."
She added: "Sharing pictures of blood on my face and body was just an impulse - I was creating a series to help women connect with their menstrual cycle, and I thought it would be fun. We can also do things like paint with it or pour it into the earth. I believe it's a beautiful thing to get comfortable with touching your own blood."
Demetra says her social media posts have received a mixed reaction from people - even family - but the negative comments just spur her on.
"My blood to me has become fun, beautiful, and powerful, and playing with it brings me closer to myself," she explains.
"A really common comment I get is, 'oh, you should just wipe poop all over your face then, it's the same thing'. I also heard from friends and family that it was 'weird' and 'disgusting', and some people didn't talk to me because of it.
"That encourages me to keep posting them - if it wasn't having a necessary impact, people wouldn't be so bothered by it."
And though she understands not every woman will want to smear blood all over their face, Demetra wants them to reconnect with their bodies.
She added: "It can begin with just tracking your cycle or using a menstrual cup to collect your blood. No one has to put their blood on their face, though it's seemed pretty liberating for women who have."