Some have a stigma that period sex is gross, weird, or unsanitary, but in reality, the lived experience is often much less intimidating than it seems (especially depending on where you are in your cycle) and there’s nothing nasty or unhygienic about it. It can actually feel surprisingly liberating, and has some PMS and symptom-relieving effects that can support a better mood and alleviate discomfort. Plus, there’s built-in lubrication depending on where you are in your cycle and your period product of choice.
Breaking the Taboo
For many people, period sex may not feel like an option, especially if you’ve had partners that have shamed or felt grossed out about it before. Like any sexual activity, it’s important that we don’t pressure our partners to do anything that they’re uncomfortable with. That said, you shouldn’t be shamed for your body’s natural rhythms, either. If you’re open to period sex, it’s worth having a conversation with your partner to explore their comfort level, and which activities feel accessible and approachable to you both, which are firm no’s, and which might be maybe’s under the right circumstances.
Also, when you’re on your period, you shouldn’t be expected to give other types of sexual experiences just because pussy may be off the menu to you or your partner. Your sexual choices are yours, regardless of where you are in your cycle – and no one should ever pressure you to explore beyond your comfort zone. That said, you may decide that certain types of play are still on the menu, or that you want to take a break until you’re feeling better.
Communicate with your partner about their sexual desires, and express yours. Is your sex drive higher or lower during your period? Do you want to explore other kinds of play, like clit stimulation and vibrators? There are plenty of sexual experiences that don’t involve vaginal penetration, and both of you can express your desires without feeling pressure to perform outside your comfort zone. If one or both of you has decided traditional sex is off the table, you can explore other options, or accept that you’re just not going to have sex for a few days. That’s totally fine, too.
Curious About It?
If you’re on the fence about the whole period sex thing, here are some upsides to consider…
- Orgasms release all kinds of feel-good hormones and endorphins that can reduce uncomfortable period symptoms, at least for a little while.
- During your period, there’s increased blood flow and circulation, which can result in even more intense and longer orgasms.
- Say goodbye to cramps! Orgasms also help loosen up those muscles.
- While it hasn’t been proven, there is research that sex can shorten the length of your period: during sex, the uterus contracts, pushing out your uterline lining faster than usual.
It’s also important to remember that you can still get pregnant during your period. Although the risk goes way down (like close to nil), there is still a risk of pregnancy if you’re not on birth control, and especially if you’ve recently stopped taking birth control or your ovulation cycle is irregular. Sperm can live in the vagina for up to seven days, so there’s also a chance you could still get pregnant after your period, depending on your ovulation cycle.
Ready to play? Here’s some tips to make your experience as smooth as possible…
Being in running water is the least messy way to explore penetration while bleeding. You can easily wash away blood as you play and have little to no cleanup after. Any blood that does come out just goes right down the drain. If you opt for a bath, water pressure temporarily counters the pressure of the blood being released, meaning no/very little bleeding while submerged.
On the other hand, water can increase the likelihood that a condom may slip or break. Water can also wash away natural lubrication and blood, so you’re also going to need a good lubricant. Go for a silicone lube, as water-based lube washes away much quicker in the shower.
Protect Your Sheets
If you’re worried about the sheets, grab your cheapest (and darkest) towel (or a blanket designed for intimate activity) for extra coverage. Depending on where you are in your cycle or the intensity of the sex you’re looking to have, you may wany to take the blankets off your bed entirely and lay down many towels.
We’d recommend against the bleeding partner being on top, which could cause more mess with the help of gravity. Sex lying down may feel more comfortable all around, and also help you reduce mess and worries about said mess.
How much you’re bleeding will also determine how much (if any) lubricant you need. If you’re using a tampon, factor in that you’ll likely have some more dryness depending on when you take your tampon out. If you take your tampon out sooner, you’ll have less dryness than if you take it out right before penetration. So, you may want to keep lube handy just in case. If you have a heavy flow or are using other types of period products, you’ll also have more lubrication.