Addicted to novelty since 2001

Tracking Menstrual Cycles For Men

A while ago, I had an idea for a website. It would be a kind of calendar site and tracker for men to keep tabs on their wives and girlfriends’ menstrual cycles. There are lots of these sites for women, but I couldn’t find any targeted at men.

In my very ad hoc survey, I found that most men had little or no idea about their partner’s cycles. The site wouldn’t specifically be aimed at getting notified about their partner’s PMS, but was more designed as a holistic heads-up. Men could use it as they saw fit. Presumably users would get email alerts or sync the information to their own digital calendars. I would take pains to make it as lighthearted as possible. I even had a good name: HerAuntFlo.com.

It wasn’t a very good idea, though, as I got a negative reaction from most people I talked to about it. No matter how I positioned it in conversation, it sounded kind of sexist to a number of women. So, like 90% of my ideas, I dropped it.

Today, Gillian sent me a link to PMSBuddy. It’s pretty much exactly what I describe, though it’s specifically targeted at the PMS-wary (or weary, I suppose) among us. The site’s slogan is “saving relationships, one month at a time”.

I’m kind of on two minds on the execution. On the one hand, I do think there’s a little value in the service. After all, it could theoretically help men behave more sensitively. On the other hand, is it fundamentally sexist?

Maybe the sexism lies in the male user’s reasons for signing up?

UPDATE: Tim (who has some entertainingly bad photos from MLS) sent me a link over Twitter to a coincidental TechCrunch profile of another site concerned with women’s cycles, Go28Days. Their spiel: “maximize your chance of conception or avoid pregnancy naturally”.

18 Responses to “Tracking Menstrual Cycles For Men”

  1. Wandering Coyote

    Well, also, let’s not minimize the actual communication side of this. If you’re married/partnered to a women still menstruating, and you can’t figure out if it’s that time of the month (duh!) then bloody well ask! She’ll let you know – trust me! There’s something secretive about going to a web site to track your wife’s cycle. The whole thing sounds iffy to me.

    Justin Reply:

    You’re damn idiot. It’s so the guy knows when to expect it, incase she’s pregnant or not. Plus it prepares us for when she’s pre-menstruating, ie. PMS and she might be crabby. Ya fuckin tard.

  2. alexis

    Wandering Coyote has a very good point. This plays into the whole taboo that menstrual cycles are something that we shouldn’t talk about. When I’m in a relationship, I generally let my partner know how I’m feeling and what part of the cycle I’m at. And if someone I worked with, etc, was tracking my cycle, I would think that was kind of creepy.

  3. alexis

    Also, what would be the reasons for signing up for such a service.

    This are the reasons I came up with-
    1. Babymaking/safe days
    2. Knowing your partner’s mood
    3. Not wanting to initiate sex on menstrual days? ( a concern for some people, not for others)

    Are there other reasons?

  4. Sarah

    I agree with Wandering Coyote wholeheartedly. I also wanted to point out, though, that unless a woman is on the pill (and perhaps they assume that all women are?) cycles don’t tend to be THAT perfect. As in, just because my partner entered the date of my last period accurately, and indicated that my usual cycle was 29 days (or whatever)… doesn’t mean that over time their timer wouldn’t get out of sync. It certainly would for me. And then I’d be *super* annoyed, to have someone assuming I was pre-menstrual when I actually wasn’t…

    Just ASK me how I’m feeling and where I’m at in my cycle! If we’re sleeping together you ought to understand it anyway. :)

  5. darren

    Alexis and Sarah: The ‘just ask’ advice sounds good, but I can assure you many a man is reading that suggestion and rolling his eyes. ‘Just ask’ can be a minefield requiring a subtlety and nuance that many a man lacks.

  6. Gregg Scott

    The menstrual cycle and particuarly the sometimes drastic behavioural change that some Women display is designed for a biological purpose like everything else about humans. It’s not a character flaw.

    I’ve charted partner cycles in at least two relationships so I would have some advance warning or verification that the timely resultant amplification of otherwise non-issues was not due to anything other than hormones.

    Here’s another web app I coincidentally just Twittered about yesterday coded by the exceptionally talented themer Heather Rivers: http://beta.mon.thly.info/

    As it designed for a woman to chart her own menstruation, it doesn’t allow a man to track more than one female cycle at a time.

  7. darren

    Alexis: True, true. That’s good advice for both genders: women, speak your minds. Men, wait to be told.

  8. gilliebean

    My husband notices my mood swings before I do, so he’s usually the one who tells me that I’m being PMS-y. And frankly, that usually helps me “deal” better. But that’s us…

  9. Anonymous

    I would tend to agree with Alexis and Sarah on this one. The onus is on both partners to properly communicate, it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep track and be open an honest if both partners are willing to listen and talk openly. A website of this nature seems more like something a sugar daddy may need, so he is able to schedule his golf/business trips accordingly… I could see the initial attraction, but an open honest relationship likely would not require this service.

  10. JV

    I was looking for site which allows a man to keep ‘his’ cycle!!

  11. ms

    It is needed to help remind us men. Nothing more nothing less. We have to learn how to cope with our partners during this brief window in time. If not it’s like hell on earth.

  12. Vincent

    This seems silly to me. Maybe useful for a player, when you are busy and have an open time slot and are looking to fill it with one of your intimate female friends, knowing which are ovulating would be useful but hardly necessary.

    To Darren i dont think it takes much subtlety at all. Short of asking “are you PMS’ing right now?” asking about her cycle should be fine if you are having sex already. The more you try to not be awkward, the more awkward you will be. Its just a normal conversation after all. Never met a girl that was embarrassed or ashamed to bring the topic up. Tons of guys who were tho.

Comments are closed.