I’ve had an epiphany of sorts just recently. Nothing in my life is static.
This came about from reading Naturopathic doctor, Alisa Vitti’s book, WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source. The most important thing I learned from this book is that we do not live in a world that respects change and fluctuation. Not only are things always changing around us, but things are always changing within us. There’s a reason why Tuesday you might have a terrific day and then the very next day you’re welling up with sadness or anger for no reason.
Holding factors like stress, finals, and all that jazz steady, there’s a reason for all that change and fluctuation.
Everyone, no matter their sex, has hormonal cycles, and they’re made up of more than just testosterone for those assigned male at birth and estrogen for those assigned female. The big differences factor in the amount of each of those hormones and the timing of them.
For example, My Hormonology, formerly called Hormone Horoscope explains that the male/AMAB hormone cycle is daily, with testosterone highest in the morning (hello, morning wood) and dropping off as the day goes on. Of course, the hormonal cycle is also affected by things like playing video games, watching action movies, and drinking caffeine or alcohol; but, in general, the male hormone cycle tends to stay steadier because it’s fairly the same from day to day.
For AFAB people, we all know that (if we’re not on birth control) that we get kinda crazy once a month, but did you know that it even gets more specific than that? There’s a reason that on day 14 of your cycle, you may feel on top of the world, but that on the very next day you start having mini PMS type symptoms.
The truth is that I really didn’t quite understand how hormones fluctuate until I downloaded the Hormone Horoscope app as per a recommendation from a friend of mine. And for those with periods, I highly recommend this app. It has absolutely nothing to do with your sun sign and everything to do with your hormones and getting to know your cycle. Search for it in the App store (My Hormonology) and try it out. It’s pretty awesome.
Meanwhile, the truth gets clearer and clearer. We cannot keep living like we are expected to give the exact same result every single time because there are too many other factors. In fact, it’s not just Alissa Vitti telling us to slow down and celebrate our awesomeness as women. Other doctors and writers have started coming clean about everything from eating for your cycle to exercising for your cycle.
But what about sex? We all love having sex and we definitely don’t want our menstrual cycle to affect our very active, cherished sex lives. While it’s true that everything from your sex drive to your vaginal fluids change during your cycle, and that means that some weeks and days you’ll have an easier time getting revved up, I want you to know it is possible to have a super awesome sex life despite it all. So, without further ado, here is your sexy cross-training plan for your cycle, just to guarantee you have the best sex ever.
Week 1: The Menstrual Phase/Follicular Phase
Spotlight: Contrary to popular belief, day one of your cycle is marked by the first day of bleeding NOT the last day of bleeding. Most women bleed for about 3-7 days, with the average being about 5 days. Hormonally, you start out your cycle with your estrogen levels at their lowest, making you achy, tired, and emotional. But, good news! Almost as soon as you start bleeding, your estrogen levels slowly start rising, making you feel more like yourself and less like the angry, crying creature you were during PMS.
Sexy Cross Training: We have discussed that it is possible and pleasurable to have sex while you’re bleeding. We have also talked about how orgasms are super duper good for helping get over annoying period complaints like headaches and cramps. Most likely, you’re going to need a bit more foreplay above the belt this week to get the juices flowing and the hormones going. So, dive into those make-out sessions, make sure you have a towel on hand to lay on the bed and take things slow (because it might be painful before it feels good).
Sexy Activities To Try: Tantra, missionary position, slow, deep, soul-searching sex.
Week 2: The Follicular Phase/The Ovulatory Phase
Spotlight: Attention, all! This is baby-making phase and your urge to do the deed will go up the closer you get to ovulation. A lot of people don’t know when they ovulate, but if you’re wondering, here are some signs. I know because I often get those annoying mid-month cramps, affectionately called mittlelschmerz. So, if that happens to you, it’s normal and nothing to be worried about. Hormonally, both estrogen and testosterone rise until they peak, making you feel and look like a rockstar. This is the time you’re most likely feeling the most confident about yourself and your body, so rock those short skirts!
Sexy Cross Training: Remember I told you you’re more likely to look and feel like a rock star? Well, you’re even more of a rock star in bed this time of month. Because you tend to be more confident about your body this time of month, your sexual adventurousness skyrockets. This is the perfect time to try all those new things sexually you’ve been thinking about. Note: be extra careful about protection this time of the month, because even if YOU don’t want a baby, your ovaries definitely do.
Sexy Activities To Try: BDSM, roleplay, quickies, and anything super animalistic, rough and fast. This is the week to release the inner animal!
Week 3: The Luteal Phase
Spotlight: So, news flash… Estrogen drops not once, but twice during your cycle and this tends to happen right after your body ovulates. This means, that you’re likely to have mini-PMS symptoms (which can explain why you can go from having a great day to a crappy day around that time of the month very suddenly. Hormonally, estrogen drops at the beginning of this week making you slightly moody and teary. Progesterone also rises, which is why you tend to be pretty sleepy, quiet, and more likely to crave gooey food over any hot sex.
Sexy Cross Training: You might have to work a little bit harder to get into the mood this week of the month, so a lot of cuddling before sex and emotional closeness with your partner will help immensely. Foreplay is pretty crucial during this week as well. But, good news is, that once you get going, your sexy time is pretty much guaranteed to be enjoyable and awesome. It’ll just be getting there that’s the problem. Make sure you communicate this to your partner and let them know it’s not them to avoid any tiffs.
Week 4: The Luteal Phase/PMS
Spotlight: While the idea of PMS scares a lot of people, it’s really not as bad as you think. Even though estrogen and testosterone are dropping, meaning you tend to have more aches and pains, moodiness, fatigue and the blues, your libido comes back from its slumber during week 3. A lot people think this isn’t hormone related, but is actually related to your follicles being stimulated for menstruation. If you’re not into period sex, take advantage of this a few days before the bleeding starts so you’re both satiated while your body is shedding from the inside out. Also, important to note: I’m giving you permission this week to do your favorite things without any guilt. Go shopping, eat that ice cream sandwich, take a bubble bath! Science backs it up… These activities give your brain a much needed boost of the feel-good seratonin hormone being robbed from you by your plunging estrogen.
Sexy Cross Training: You’re most likely not as wet as you were during week 2, which is fine, but that means you’re probably going to need more foreplay. You also might be feeling some bodily sensitivity or breast tenderness, which is also totally normal. If you’re so sensitive you can’t enjoy it, focus on what you can do – like making out or giving a blow job or even convincing your partner that a back rub would be really nice.
Sexy Activities to Try: Lots of sexy foreplay, making out, any kind of moderately paced sex, naked cuddling.
Why practice Sexy Cross Training?
When you know how the hormonal cocktail in your body works, it makes a lot more sense that you wouldn’t have sex the same way every single time. Not only does that get incredibly boring, but it actually allows you to try out different sexually related activities that you might have never thought of before. Sexy cross training also makes you feel okay about the fact that you might not be craving the same type of sex every time, as well. Of course, everyone’s hormonal and menstrual cycle varies – some are more or less severe than others, but I hope that by offering your sexy cross training plan it helps you to have the best, most exciting sex life you can have, periods be damned!