If you have a cycle that likes to miss the mark by a few days or even weeks, maybe you too have let dates or romantic weekend getaways be ruined by an unannounced visit from Aunt Flo. But sex doesn’t have to be off-limits during your period! Frankly, there are even good reasons to enjoy sex while bleeding.
Why you can feel horny on your period
Unlike feeling very sexual around the ovulation, the period horniness seems to make no sense at all – it’s not exactly the most fertile time of the cycle. Still, it’s common and completely normal. It can be caused by different things, including hormones. The estrogen level drops at the beginning of the period, but it starts to climb back again only a few days in, causing libido and desire to reappear. At the same time, progesterone is at its low and its absence can be another reason why you feel like having sex.
Finally, there can be some psychological aspects to it, such as the lower risk of pregnancy during one’s period (see more below), taking some anxiety away.
It can ease the pain
Period sex can help you relax, too – or, to quote Peaches: f*ck the pain away. The contractions caused by orgasms along the release of oxytocin and endorphins can alleviate not only period cramps, but also any bad mood you may be in during that time of the month. If you are in so much pain that you don’t feel like inserting anything into your vagina that’s not a necessary sanitary product, some oral or manual stimulation of the clitoris will also do the trick. The increased blood flow mentioned before can even help you have a more intense and/or longer orgasm. And if you cum so hard that it helps you fall asleep afterwards – all the better!
How to not wreck your bed
Now, you may be mentally prepared for the possible carnage that can come with period sex, but what about your bed? A mattress protector is a good idea – or just get a designated period towel in a dark colour (red is a classic) that you can throw on top of your bed sheets to keep most of the blood away. You can also plan the sexy times for the later days of your period, when the flow tends to be lighter and can’t inflict that much damage on textiles. If some stains happen anyway, just remember to wash them out with cold water first. And of course, there is always the possibility of shower sex.
If you don’t want to cause much mess at all, there are special sponge tampons available that you can keep in for a few hours, including during intercourse. You can get them online or from sex shops. Unlike a regular tampon, the sponge doesn’t have a string that you pull on to retrieve it, but a little cut that turns into a loop for your finger instead. The sponge is fairly soft, so the penetrating partner will hardly be able to feel it with their penis or fingers. You can always add some lube after inserting it to make it even less palpable. The only downside is that getting it out afterwards may involve a bit of acrobatics, but don’t worry: it can’t get lost inside you. Menstrual cups can be useful too, especially the ones that have a shorter stem. While you can’t have full-on penetration with a silicone cup inserted, some light fingering and oral sex is possible, with hardly any blood involved.
How safe is period sex?
There is this persistent myth that period sex makes it completely impossible to get pregnant. While the chances are quite low, it is not exactly 100% safe – especially if you have unprotected penetrative sex towards the end of your period, don’t have a predictable, textbook cycle (not many people do!) or are stressed, which could easily shift the time of your next ovulation. After all, sperm can stay alive inside the body for a few days.
In terms of STIs: unfortunately, blood is not a protection barrier against them and of course, it can be a carrier of infections itself, too. Unless both you and your partner(s) are recently tested, it’s best to put on a condom, use a dental dam for oral sex and disposable gloves for fingering and fisting.
It’s not dirty or disgusting!
Everyone is different, so if you feel physically uncomfortable on your period and thus not on top of your sexual game, it’s perfectly fine to use that time to just chill rather than Netflix and chill. Period sex can get a bit intense, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. The most important thing is that you don’t deprive yourself of pleasure – whether solo or partnered – for up to a week every month, solely because of shame. While blood is quite taboo even without sex being added into the mix and some folks may even have a proper phobia they can’t control, there is nothing inherently disgusting or shameful about menstruating. As long as everyone is on board with it, there is no real reason to avoid period sex. If you would like to try it, let your partner(s) know. Chances are they won’t mind too much – or maybe they’ll even be into it!