Machine teaches men what it feels like to menstruate


And here you thought men would never know what it would feel like to get their periods. A new gadget featured at the Royal College of Art's summer grad show called the menstruation machine attaches at the hip and slowly drips blood from a reservoir. Coming soon: a gadget that will show men how to give birth to babies.

[via Wired UK via Gizmodo]


  1. Does it also stab them randomly in the lower abdomen or squeeze in a horrendous cramp-like manner? Then we can talk.

    1. Exactly. This seems pointless.
      It wouldn’t be MY blood/cells either. No physiological reaction, unrealistic experience.

      Plus, it’s not coming out of the wearer’s genitals, which adds a whole layer of learned social stigma.

      Does it make idiots shun you? Throw your emotional state into a different mode?

  2. Perfect, I look forward to putting this on, letting it drip a few times, and gaining the full understanding of what menstruation is. Women will never have any reason to complain about their periods again!

  3. How is this different from a simple I.V. drip?
    Because walking would increase the flow? Would it? Would that be unrealistic?

    This seems bulky and overcomplicated.

    Just eat ultra-spicy curry 3 meals a day for a week. At least that would seem to be in line with how I’ve had menstruation explained to me.

  4. Oh, and the gadget that would most likely show men what it’s like to give birth to babies can be purchased online, at a link that’s nsfw.

  5. Does it also stab them randomly in the lower abdomen or squeeze in a horrendous cramp-like manner? Then we can talk.

    What she said. Just add bloating and an insatiable desire for chocolate.

  6. The bleeding’s not the bad part, quite honestly. It’s the cramps, backache, and (when I was younger), the nausea that comes along with it.

    1. And the fatigue. I get so sleepy with mine I take naps after work for the whole duration. Along with the cramps, bloating, the sudden burst of hysteria/tears. God I need to lock myself away.

  7. Coming soon: a gadget that will show men how to give birth to babies.

    I’ve had enough of goatse for one lifetime, thank you.

  8. Where’s the prosthesis that shows women what it’s like to think about sex every 90 seconds and want to smash things?

      1. me, too. ;)

        As far as the machine goes…erm…can it also simulate my bouts of nearly uncontrollable rage, lethargy, depression, anxiety attacks, slight paranoia, nausea, headaches, dizzy spells, diarrhea, gas, bloating, breaking out EVERYWHERE – including my scalp – cramps that often leave me in a fetal position in tears, and general malaise that accompany my PMDD?? ’cause that would be STELLAR.

        Thank the gods (and the researchers) for hormonal birth control pills or I’d be a basket-case for 10 days every month.

        The only good thing that has ever come with my period (other than, y’know, knowing I’m NOT pregnant), is the week afterward when I’m horny as a cat in heat and have a slight manic period when I want to do everything and go everywhere and start a whole bunch of great new projects.

        garsh, hormones are fun. O_o

    1. Oh we can take testosterone shots for that.

      I say False Advertising, unless it really squeeze dries the innards.

      1. You do know that recent studies have shown that as long as a person isn’t told it’s testosterone they won’t become violent right? They’ve shown that the results are closer to the opposite, which I personally believe just shows how much power stereotypes can have over peple.

    2. yeah I already do that, and get cramps and crave chocolate – sometimes all at the same time – that pretty much makes you want to smash things up

  9. More accurate would be a device that actually makes their penis bleed. The horror / discomfort / anemia that follows from having one of your favourite bodily organs drip your own precious fluids cannot be replicated by some silly dripping bag they have to wear. Also — I would argue the mere fact that they have the choice to take it off at any time sort of ruins the experience.

  10. As well as the abdominal-stabbing attachment, it also needs some kind of syringe mechanism capable of delivering a precise dose of raw, unadulterated insanity at irregular intervals.

  11. There already is a condition that will allow men to experience the pain of childbirth…its called kidney stones.

    1. As a woman who has given birth, and passed four kidney stones (not at the same time, thank FSM), I agree with you completely. I’d rather birth another hundred babies than pass another kidney stone.

  12. Women of today don’t even themselves know how it feels like to have a vaginal birth. They all have c-sections of fear of pain, or have a body that can’t manage giving birth to today’s baby sizes, or are too old to give natural birth, or wants to keep their figure. The rest use massive spinal anesthesia. Some even give up children altogether to have a career or travel and have fun.

    1. “Women of today don’t even themselves know how it feels like to have a vaginal birth. … Some even give up children altogether to have a career or travel and have fun.”

      my maternal grandmother died in childbirth. now there was a REAL woman! my paternal grandmother? died of heart disease after raising 9 kids. bet she NEVER had any fun. damn, but those were the good old days!

    2. May I propose that Sork be disemvoweled for sheer douchebaggery? Or maybe disemboweled, since that’s an experience akin to my 12 hour, drug free labor.

    3. Women of today don’t even themselves know how it feels like to have a vaginal birth. They all have c-sections of fear of pain, or have a body that can’t manage giving birth to today’s baby sizes, or are too old to give natural birth, or wants to keep their figure. The rest use massive spinal anesthesia. Some even give up children altogether to have a career or travel and have fun.

      You’ve never actually spoken to an adult woman, have you?

      1. I’ve been through several miscarriages and I and my fiance are very much adult, thank you.

        My experience of BB was that the age group, general maturity and awareness was higher than the general blog comment world. Instead I’m met with the usual ad hominem. These are very well known statistics and trends, to anyone that have been interested in getting a baby this decade. I will most likely have my children through c-section, but because of medical necessity. That is why I am well read about the hazards of biology and late births. Statistically speaking of course since every birth is unique and most never happen as planned.

        WHO is alarmed by the “epidemic proportions” of c-sections.
        Age of women at first childbirth (most recent) by country
        Caesarean delivery on maternal request
        Tokophobia, fear of child birth
        Over 50% of women giving birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia.
        Dealing with Fears of Childbirth

        1. Oh, so you’re just bitter. Gotcha.

          No, I’m not actually making fun of your unfortunate personal history in trying to have a child, but there are many, many women who do not fall under any of the categories you so want to shove them into.

          Are there too many c-sections going on due to DOCTORS not wanting to deal with the time and energy THEY have to give to a vaginal, natural birth? Sure enough. But that has far less to do with women being somehow too “weak”, which is what your view seems to be, and much more to do with the medical community and their lack of personal care for their patients and far higher interest in the bottom line.

          Just because you’re having a difficult time with what is supposedly so “natural”, does not give you any right to blast women in general. Not even those of us who choose NOT to have children, for whatever reasons we personally have. I have just as much right to utilize the scientific advancements that allow me to make a choice to NOT have children, as any other woman does to choose to have her child in the safest and most realistic manner for her as an INDIVIDUAL.

          And those choices do not make any of us any less strong, valuable, and valiant women.

          So get over yourself.

          1. First off I have the right to express myself. Secondly I wrote about women of today, which I believe is a common phrase when you want to use a wide brush. Whenever you speak in general there are many people not fitting the description. That said, I wrote in response to the gadget that show men how to give birth. If indeed even half of women today have pain free and/or surgical births then it isn’t very much use of teaching men this experience is it? As so many women themselves don’t know the feeling or want to experience it. There isn’t much of a difference between men and women, and the difference could be even less in the coming decades. This wide brush generalization of “men don’t know how it is like to give birth” is becoming archaic.

          2. While I myself have never given birth, and so can only speak from hearsay, I would posit that even women who have medication during birth aren’t exactly “pain free” as you seem to think. At least that’s what my friends who HAVE given birth tell me. There is only “less pain” birth, not NO pain birth, unless, of course, you are completely unconscious from the start of labor pains on…possibly.

            While Hollywood does seem to set rather high standards that many women resent feeling pressured to adhere to, it is hardly the norm of how women deal with “keeping the figure” after childbirth. Most of the women I’ve personally known who have children are far more concerned with getting sleep after having a baby than giving a crap what their figure looks like. Maybe I just happen to have fairly well-balanced and practical friends, I don’t know.

            And again, you sound rather bitter. Perhaps you should stop directing your anger about not being able to have a child on your own at other women and start turning that energy to more positive use. Just a thought.

          3. As so many women themselves don’t know the feeling or want to experience it.

            Maybe it’s the women that you hang out with. My friend Ofelia was in labor for three days and pushed for 24 hours before they finally sectioned her. My friend Susie had torn labia. I got a face full of blood when my friend Barbara’s baby came out both shoulders simultaneously. Even with the transfusion, she was still in bed for two weeks. I have yet to meet the apocryphal woman who had a painless, easy birth.

          4. I don’t see the relevance of counter arguing general statements with personal experiences.
            It’s like saying I live in one of the richest cities in my country, but all friends I have aren’t that rich so the income statistics must be wrong.

            I’ve only argued out of my impressions of the general state of the world. Do you think I would feel different about what I read if my friends and relatives had all avoided anesthesia? Would I not believe that 46% of Chinese women had CS, which implies anesthesia? Or 26-30% in Canada. WHO recommends 15% at most.

            I’m only asking that anyone see my point in all this.

    4. A friend of mine was in labor for FIVE days trying to give her first baby a natural birth. When she was told she was getting close to endangering her own and her baby’s life, she gave in.

      She’s not alone in this effort!

      1. I never blame medically sound decisions. I blame doctors giving in to trends and patient will rather than keeping their professional dignity.

    5. Sork,

      You’re not watching your own words. Go back and *carefully* read what you wrote.

      When you say “As so many women themselves don’t know the feeling or want to experience it” — you’re jumping into others’ heads, so to speak. You’re saying that you know what these ‘so many’ women feel and think, and/or what they want. That’s not an objective generalization of facts — it’s a subjective statement you’re making about a lot of women. How do *you* know what those women want to feel/experience, or what they want? Have you personally asked all of them?

      You cannot make a statement like that (which says that you know what others feel and think) and then try to prove it with general statistics. Do you know if *all* the women to which you refer (like in China) made their decisions to have c-sections, as a preferential, ‘vanity choice’? It’s quite possible that those women in China (or elsewhere) have little choice in the matter, and I doubt that very many women outside the U.S. have the ‘choice’ to choose a c-section, especially for vanity’s sake. (And: What about the Chinese law that restricts women to 1 child, without harsh monetary penalties? If a woman has only one shot, why shouldn’t she choose how she gives birth?)

      More importantly, think about the words you’re using when you post. You started in your first post with some pretty global assertions: “All of them… most… the rest…” You left zero room for disagreement — which is like shouting “I’m right and everyone else is wrong!!” And sure enough, people piped up and disagreed with you, with their own, and friends’ experiences. After what you said, did you expect that they wouldn’t?

      Yes, you have the right to express yourself — and others have the right to argue back, especially if the words you choose convey an attitude of moral self-superiority, condescension and snobbishness. If you don’t want confrontation, don’t be confrontational. If you want people to see your concern about an increasing number of c-sections, then say so. If you think it may be because of vanity or fear of pain, you can say that — but don’t lump ‘all’ women into that category, or you are ‘asking’ to be argued with.

      I am sorry that you’ve lost pregnancies; I can imagine that each loss was very painful. But if you let that pain dictate *how* you speak — even in a posted comment — people are going to see it and argue with you. So please choose your words carefully, if you want to express ideas, and not just spout condescension and attitude.

      — sapphireloba

      1. My personal losses had nothing to do with the original post, and it’s annoying that they are now used to cotton wrap insults. I have never called any names, but I keep getting called names.

        Sometimes you have to raise the voice to get heard. Sometimes you raise that voice until the entire party stops and stares at you. Mostly I get no response at all to my comments, neither pro nor con. I thought my first post was slightly controversial, sticking my chin out. In hindsight I know I should add my point explicitly and not let people interpret me wrong.

        I’m not unaware my absence following a strong post could be perceived as a hit-and-run argument, but it was unintentional. Maybe if BB had a better follow up system I had gotten a further explanation right after the first responses. But I got interrupted by other things to do and forgot I bookmarked it for follow up.

        I got upset by the replies, one fueling another, which as you now know were unexpected by me, even calling for censoring me, and most of all when the moderator joined in the chant with a personal insult that was very uncalled for. I felt even the local authority failed to see beyond my words and joined the mob. I had to restrain myself from expressing this in my replies. I did not fully succeed.

        English is not my primary language. Even though I write in it every day I can’t express every nuance consistently. I only wanted to say that in context of today’s documented widespread painless deliveries and delay of getting the first child, a gadget that “show men how to give birth to babies” should also include the average woman, if indeed it is the old saying about “men don’t know the pain of delivery” that is implied and explicitly the pain of the moment of delivery. I gathered as many examples of this as I could. Why should women feel pain? I didn’t imply that, it was wrongly deduced from my inconclusive post. Why should men feel pain, and just men? That was the question. I failed to argue, probably even now, but I don’t care anymore. I’m going in circles.

        Thank you for your points.

        1. Obviously, I assumed from your comment that you were male and engaging in the low-level misogynist sniping that frequently shows up in posts about women’s issues. This perception was possibly fueled by the dozen or so comments that never saw the light of day about how women need to STFU about being in pain because they’re irritating the poor, long-suffering menfolk.

    6. Some women cannot have regular childbirth delivery so they have to do the C section because the baby is not positioned the way it should be in the wombk so hey have no choice but to do a C section or Caesarian.

  13. As others have said, I’ve never thought it was the bleeding that is the issue as much as the cramps, pain, swelling and all the other fun stuff. Some friends use more painkillers on a monthly basis than I do in a whole year.

    (before I get jumped on – I’m not saying the bleeding isn’t a f**ker…just secondary.)

  14. Hmm, everything I was going to say has been said by someone else, and with greater authority.

    What they all said.

    Sork, it’s just wonderful that you know exactly what’s wrong with women today. They just don’t understand their God-given duty to bring forth children in sorrow! Well, now we know.

  15. HAH! My wife already told me how to approximate childbirth: you just grab your upper lip with both hands and pull it over your head.

  16. Actually, my periods are never as bad as some commenters describe them. Usually it’s more of an annoying inconvenience than anything else. Now, what REALLY pisses me off is guys who pass off every criticism I have as being in a bad mood because of my period (usually when it’s totally NOT the case, which of course I can’t say because I’m too embarrassed).

    1. Well, how else can they totally discount your opinion? After all, you’re just a woman; what could you possibly know?


      You have my permission to hit them.

  17. If dripping blood is the only thing this machine is going to simulate, it better do so at the most inconvenient times possibly.

  18. I got this picture in my head of a bunch of supermarket security people wondering what to do about the guy with a clicking, whirring machine strapped to his waist staring in baffled wonder at a pastel-colored wall of feminine hygiene products.

  19. RTFA peeps – this thing is designed to be _implanted_. Appropriate cramping will most definitely ensue!

  20. Can someone please invent a machine which will convince women that it really is necessary to re-arrange your genitals while watching TV, and that the moments immediately afterwards are the times when we males are completely at one with the universe.

  21. I’ve invented a machine for women to wear to show them what it’s like being a man wearing a machine to see what it’s like being a woman.

    I’m hoping it will lead to improved understanding and clearer dialogue.

  22. Sounds more like a machine to teach men what it feels like to wear a machine that drips blood, which as I understand is very different to menstruation.

  23. This device offends my transhumanist sensibilities.

    We already have more than enough biological problems(the exact set differs by person; but we all have them), why bother emulating one more we we could be working to eradicate the ones we already have?

    Biological weakness and inconvenience are the enemy.

  24. Did you guys (gals?) actually read the description of the device? It has electrodes which apparently stimulate some of the pain.

    So to answer the question, no, it doesn’t *just* drip blood.

    1. Kind of weird.

      I guess it can simulate the pain, but I don’t think it can do some of the other symptoms, though — cravings, hormones, bloating…

      RE: # 14 Sork: I have to agree with most everyone else. And I don’t think Sork knows what is the what about childbirth. The comment is kind of insulting actually. Perhaps you should look into places without alot of modern medicine, where the death rate of mothers is kind of high and get back to us. Then maybe you’ll understand why people have c-sections. And generally, women birth babies that their bodies will allow them to.

  25. Menstruation Machine (Takashi’s Take) is a music video about a boy ‘Takashi’, who builds the machine in an attempt to dress up as a female, biologically as well as aesthetically, to fulfill his desire to understand what it might feel like to be a truely kawaii (cute) girl. He determinedly wears the machine to hang out with his kawaii friend in Tokyo, but…

    I think this machine is wholly conceptual, with a pretty shiny prop!

  26. Let me know when someone comes up with the machine that lets you experience multiple orgasms.

    1. Guys can have multiple orgasms. Most think they can’t, but tantric sex makes it possible, and there’s nothing about tantra that can’t be duplicated without the religious learning involved (in my opinion).

      /Speaking from experience.

  27. I have to agree with everyone who says the dripping wetness isn’t the main problem with menstruation – just take a shower, or change your undies. The REAL problem is the cramping, backache (I get bruises in my lower back each month), and swollen heavy tender breasts that make your UPPER back scream if you take off your bra, and your tender bits cry if you leave it on. Let’s not forget, however, the absolute JOY of the “oops I’m early and wearing white pants” and the even better “OMG I’m late!”

    Let a guy try and do a power meeting with all THAT going on.

  28. I fully consent to having one of these if women can have some way of peeing like a man.

    The build and ebb in pressure needs to be experienced before it can be critiqued. Don’t get mad about pee on the porcelain or floor, unless you somehow expect pressure to just come and go.

    This faux-penis should also uncontrollably get erect at very inconvenient times. It should have that bruise-like pain that always happens no matter how you try to rearrange your clothes or penis.

  29. @Jardine:

    They’ve had a machine to let you have multiple orgasims for years; I’ve seen it tested on rats and read about it tested in some variant of ape. All it requires is a wee little electrode implanted in your brain in appropriate area and have at it – the set up I saw had an electrode embedded into a rat’s brain hooked up to spin bar about the size of a toilet paper roll: 25 rotations and the rats got zapped. At first it was funny to see these animals go nuts spinning the bar; they were franctic about it, and would spin it until they had to stop gasping for breath from exhaustion. Then it became sad, realizing that there was a reason the investigators trained the rats to realize the stimulation only worked when the room lights were on: the poor little guys would never eat, never sleep otherwise.

    check out these youtube movies:

    Still want that implant?

  30. Did you guys read the article? It’s an ART PROJECT. The artist is making a statement… what that statement is exactly, I’m still trying to figure out :P

  31. People are having some real reading comprehension issues today. 1. It simulates cramping. 2. It is an art project, designed to make you think about gender as a construct.

  32. This device will be useful if we ever implement handicaps across the board Harrison Bergeron style.

  33. Sork:

    Having a C-section does not allow one to keep one’s figure. I know this myself, needing an emergency c-section for my first child, having gotten a severe case of pre-ecclampsia in the week the baby was due. Unfortunately, the baby hadn’t yet dropped and I was nowhere near labor (not dilated, not effaced, nothing.)
    We could have tried drugs to induce a “natural” labor, which probably wouldn’t have worked considering the baby hadn’t dropped. I would have then risked my baby’s life and health, and my own life and health anyway.
    Turns out I probably wouldn’t have been able to give birth naturally. My baby was a healthy, but reasonable 8 and a half pounds, and quite long, but not chubby. His head circumference was greater than normal, so I probably wouldn’t have been able to get him to pass between my pelvic bones. In the old days, one or both of us would have died from the effects of the pre-ecclampsia, and if not, we would have both died while I tried to birth him.

    And yeah, the c-section damaged my stomach muscles more than pregnancy already had. My figure is probably worse now (and more scarred) than if I’d been able to deliver naturally.

    Now my doctor recommends an elective c-section for my second child, as they are due less than two years since the birth of my first, and due to the trauma to the uterus caused by the necessity of the first c-section, I am at greater risk of a ruptured uterus.

    I believe these decisions are usually made on medical risk grounds, rather than a desire to maintain figure (wouldn’t work anyway) or fear of pain.

    And there’s nothing wrong with the use of pain relief or spinal anesthesia? Is there any moral benefit to having a root canal without pain relief? Why opt for unnecessary pain when there are reasonable alternatives? Every woman is different – and each birth is unique. Let people deal with their own circumstances and needs in their own way, without talking down to them, or making dismissive generalizations.

    1. Keeping the figure (fast recovery) is something that went into trend in the Hollywood celebrity world. I don’t remember who started it. I find it highly destructive in so many ways, mostly for the baby. Even though actresses aren’t average, with high income and stressful exposed jobs, they are role models and surely counts as women of today and trendsetter of women of tomorrow.

      I have said above that the point was that women of today in general know as little about birth pain as men do, for various reasons. A gadget that makes men of today feel what it is like to give birth? Just pop an epidural into our back.

  34. This item has almost nothing at all to do with actual menstruation. It has to do with women not feeling respected as fellow humans. In order to attempt to get many men to at least begin to respect women, some people will continue to go to extremes of trying to get men to FEEL what it’s like to be a woman.

    However, actually feeling what another person goes through in his/her life is totally unnecessary to have empathy and respect for him/her.

  35. The idea behind it is great but as it was pointed out, this is far from being able to replicate the menstrual cycle and more importantly, the “ups and downs” of being a menstruating female. Nevertheless, he should be applauded for the fact that it’s important for men to be knowledgeable about menstruation. Many men are completely ignorant about the topic of menstruation and while many of those so called “big men” think it is unnecessary to know about menstruation, they are living in a shelter of ignorance. While is true a man will not need to deal with menstruation DIRECTLY – it is important to understand. It’s funny that heterosexual/bi males love vagina’s so much but when it begins to bleed for a week, they run away. Furthermore, if you’re married to a menstruating female or have/plan on having a daughter, you better have some knowledge of menstruation. It is not a good excuse to just to say, “Well I’ll leave it for them to learn” or “My wife will do that” – either way, as a man and a father, you should be involved. Nevertheless, I’m going to be hard-pressed to sway these “men” that knowledge of menstruation is necessary, so I’ll just stop here. The bleeding and the pain is just but a small part of truly understanding menstruation.

Comments are closed.