How to have great Period Sex?
Periods. They are a monthly reality for millions of people. Average menstruators go through around 450 (!) of them in a lifetime - and yet, having sex during it still brings about a lot of questions and shame.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about period sex - if it is safe, what to expect, and how to have the most fun with it!
Why is period sex a taboo?
The stigma around period sex is centuries old - and this is precisely the reason why it’s so hard to break it. The history accounts for women being isolated from their communities, at times even ostracised while menstruating. Biblical and mediaeval descriptions of menstruation were borderline dehumanising, which contributed for this pervasive misunderstanding of periods as something dirty and dangerous.
Through time, women often internalised these misogynistic ideas. Period is still a taboo - as we see on tampon commercials which refuse to even have red-colored liquids to advertise their products. It has left a lot of menstruators with the damaging idea that while on their period they are somewhat dirty.
However, one common theme we can identify in this taboo is the fact that a lot of this has spread because many people do not know enough about periods - this mystery and misinformation has led to a lot of twisted ideas about it.
So let’s clear that up: The menstruation is simply the uterus shedding the endometrium - a kind of “cushion” made of blood vessels that serves to accommodate and nest an egg when there is a pregnancy. When the pregnancy doesn’t occur, this lining is peeled out - a process that can last from three to eight days on average and can be painful to various degrees depending on the person.
We also know now that menstruation is not something that happens only to women - as a lot of trans* men as well as non-binary folks experience periods on varying levels of regularity.
Period sex can be great for you
Now that we’ve established that periods are not dirty we can say that having period sex is not only safe - it can also be huge fun. Of course - this might not apply to everyone. Folks who suffer with endometriosis, vulvodynia, and other conditions might experience extreme pain while menstruating, which might make sex the last thing on their minds.
Whatever is your experience, just know that you should always do what feels best for you. Our point here is that if you want to, being on your period should never be the thing stopping you from getting it on.
What are the benefits of period sex?
Cramp reduction: This might seem counterintuitive, but cramps happen while the muscles in your uterus contract to help the endometrium be released. After an orgasm, these same muscles relax, which can relieve the pain of cramps. Furthermore, sex has the power of releasing a lot of feel-good hormones into our brains, which can help relief the symptoms of menstruation.
Shorter period: The same way, the contracting of muscles during an orgasm might help the blood being pushed away faster, which can result in a period ending earlier.
Higher libido: For some people, hormones associated with menstruation can lead to a spike in sex drive. Of course, higher libido can lead to better sex, so you should absolutely go for it if that is your case!
How to have safe period sex
Okay, say you are convinced. What are the steps that need to be taken to have period sex safely? Overall, period sex is safe to have - as much as sex outside your period - but there are a few things to need to keep in mind.
Is it possible to get pregnant from period sex?
Yes! There is an ongoing myth that you cannot get pregnant if you’re on your period and therefore can skip contraception for period sex. This is all that it is; a myth. While chances are smaller than say, when you’re ovulating, it’s still very possible to get pregnant while on your period, so please, continue to use contraception normally.
This of course does not apply for those taking hormonal contraception (birth control pills, shots or patches). In this case, you’re just as protected from unwanted pregnancies during your period as you are when you’re not on it.
What is the danger of STIs in period sex?
The same way, there is also a lot of misinformation going around when it comes to the relation between sex and sexually transmitted infections and diseases. So let’s try to make things clear; period blood is like any other blood coming from any other part of the body. It’s not dirty, nor contaminated by nature.
It can, however, be a vehicle to transmit certain infections if the person is carrying them. A lot of bodily fluids such as saliva, lubrication, and/or semen are also responsible for the transmission of STIs, but blood can contain not only a higher viral/bacterial count as some infections - such as Hepatitis B and C, for instance - are more likely to be transmitted by blood than other bodily fluids.
So what does that mean? That you should use protection as usual. Using condoms, dental dams and finger protection is enough to ensure you have a safe dive into period sex - especially with new partners.
Some other things to consider about period sex
How can I make it a clean affair?
A little mess is bound to happen, and you should think that this is nothing to be ashamed of. However, you also do not need to stain your favourite sheets forever just because of a night of messy fun! Consider having a designated towel to cover surface areas in days of bloody sex - bonus points if it’s a dark color so stains won’t make such a difference.
Having a warm cloth to clean up afterwards (or even a nice shower) can also make the experience more comfortable for everyone involved.
Penetration is always optional
This is always true, but especially so when it comes to period sex. For a lot of folks penetration can be uncomfortable during this time of the month but it doesn’t mean sex needs to be skipped altogether. Fingering, oral sex, and other types of play should always be options.
If you’re not sure you want to deal with the bloody side of things, remember that the vulva can be still stimulated with masturbation and/or oral sex when you’re using a tampon or a menstruation cup/disc.
Incorporate toys/dirty talk/other forms of stimulus
Having period sex is an opportunity to discover a lot of things about your body, and open new possibilities of pleasure. The body is raging with hormones and usually very sensitive during menstruation, so it might be a great time to experiment and bring extras to bed.
Sex toys are a great ally - and they also can make the thing cleaner if you’re not ready to have a bloody experience. Focusing on other parts of the body rather than genitals can also be a great way to discover new erogenous zones.
The important thing here is to stay open-minded and creative - and think of period sex as a way to find more possibilities to give and receive pleasure!
What are some of your experiences with period sex? We know some people absolutely vouch for it so we would love to hear your stories. We’re happy to hear your thoughts via email!