Article: No Sex, Period? (Menstruation & Sex)

You and your partner/s love sex. Adore it even. If you’re playing Cards Against Humanity and someone make a sex reference when you’re the Tzar then they’re pretty much guaranteed to win that black card from you.

But, here’s the kicker: Once a week every month sex seems like it might be off limits, because you (and potentially your partner/s) are on your period.

Blood = A No-Go?

For many of us, it seems like a natural conclusion that if someone is on their period then sex might not be the best option, and there is an inherent logic in this.

“Will I ever be able to have thine booty again?”

For most of our lives we’ve been taught that if an area is bleeding then you should probably let it recover and stay away from it as much as is physically possible outside of treatment, of course. It’s like the fundamentals of caring for one’s self and others.

This is important to remember if someone says they don’t have sex with people on their periods because there’s often a knee-jerk reaction to just assume that they find it ‘disgusting’ or have some negative opinion whereas, really, they might just be worried about hurting their partner.

That is another fair conclusion too: Periods often come with cramps, which means pain and tenderness anyway, so some people might want to avoid causing or experiencing further pain during an already painful time. Certainly if you’re the type of person who find periods leave you bed ridden and craving nothing more that a Netflix boxset then this might be the case…but it doesn’t have to be.

Believe It Or Not, Period Sex Is Possible

Let’s break down the period for a moment – which, as it happens, is literally a break down of the lining of the womb.

Periods mark the end of a person’s current menstruation cycle, where the body is basically like ‘Whelp, I guess you’re still not on board with the whole baby thing, time to get rid of all the preparations I put in place’ and begins to shed the additional womb lining it had put in to place during the rest of the cycle. The result is the blood/tissue/discharge that comes out of the vagina and cramping experienced, as the womb spasms to shed that lining.

Hormonal changes also occur, but they’re a beast unto themselves. What matters for this article is what a period is, and why blood and other tissue is occuring.

Because this blood isn’t coming from a wound, but from a natural bodily process, it doesn’t need to be treated with the same sort of injury prevention and care that comes from any other form of bodily bleeding. And, although their may be tenderness from the cramping, doctors and medical professionals are generally in agreement that sex shouldn’t irritate this cramping or cause any additional pain.

This makes sex completely accessible during periods, should you all wish it to be.

Huzzah!

Are There Any Things To Consider?

Having said that, you may want to take a few additional precautions when engaging in period sex.

There is some evidence that sex during menstruation can increase the risk of STI transmission, including HIV, which means that condom use is essential. From an experiential standpoint, condoms will probably also create a smoother experience, which may help individuals who want to have sex but find their vaginal wall can only tolerate smoother sensations during their period.

Those who want to engage in oral sex might consider using an oral dam if they don’t want to come in to contact with that person’s period fluids, and this might be a wiser precaution in terms of general safety and the avoidance of disease or infection transmission .

Although the period generally represents the end of a fertile period, it’s also important to note that you can get pregnant during your period. The chances are slimmer but it does happen, so don’t neglect any safer sex practices that you have in place to try and avoid pregnancy.

Are There Any Benefits?

I’m so glad that you asked.

When having sex the body releases a lot of chemicals as it goes through the process. Two of these chemicals are oxytocin and dopamine, both of which can actually help reduce the pain caused by period cramping. So, by having period sex, you might be making the entire menstruation madness just slightly more bearable.

Some studies have also shown that sex during one’s period can actually shorten the duration of the period itself, which is another clear bonus.

From a relationship standpoint, finding out whether or not you can have sex during a time when you’re typically told by society to cave away and remain hush-hush about the whole thing can also be very empowering. It’s like inviting your partner in to a more private and isolated aspect of your life, which can boost your levels of intimacy, communication, and trust.

Besides, period sex can be incredibly arousing for some people, so you might find that you discover a newly-found kink through your experimentation.

And, as a last bonus, that sensitivity that some people feel during their period can translate to some very tender and pleasurable sensations during penetrative sex.

Okay, I’m Good To Go! Anything Else?

Yes, just a few practical things:

  • You might want to put down some form of sex sheet, towel, or washable cloth during period sex. Mess might be minimal but it’s good to be cautious.
  • Lubricant might not be as necessary during period sex, but it might still be enjoyed as a preference, so always ask/don’t be afraid to experiment together.
  • If you find that sensitivity is especially high for you during your/their period then consider using sexual aids to help. A squishy dual-density dildo, a smooth toy, or a gentler vibrator might all be useful, either for a warm-up or as the main event.
  • Respect each other’s boundaries during period sex and don’t feel offended if anyone asks to stop or have a break throughout, especially if it’s the first time trying it.
  • Expect blood on the condoms, oral dam, gloves. This can be shocking at first but science suggests that our desire to have sex can override this pretty easily in time.

And That’s All For Now!

For anyone who was avoiding period sex – understand that you may experience a bit of a mental apprehension at first, and that’s normal, but you have nothing to worry about. Science has got your back, period sex (when done right) is totally safe, and it might even help you out.

Just remember, as with any relationship interaction, to talk it through with your partner/s and see how everyone feels. If there’s no apprehension then there’s no reason to stop enjoying yourself. And, let’s face it, during your period you kind of deserve the good stuff.