Period Sex & The 5 Reasons To Try It!
When your monthly visitor, aunt flo, shark week or crimson tide rolls into town, do you still enjoy sex or do you hide under the covers until it’s over?
Today we explore the ins and outs (pun intended) of period sex.
The average menstruating person will have approximately 450 periods, which equals roughly 6 entire years.
Do you want to miss out on six whole years of sex? I don’t!
Granted, you’d be sleeping some of that time, but still.
A Note About Language: This article aims to be as inclusive as possible, so I have aimed to be mindful of using gender-neutral terms. I write this with full acknowledgment that not all people who menstruate identify as women, and that not all women menstruate. I hope this is a helpful blog for anyone who menstruates, has a partner who does, or whomever just finds sex and bodies interesting.
Now let’s get into it!
The Period Sex Facts
The main question my period-sex-curious clients always ask me is “is period sex safe?”. To which I respond a resounding “yes!”. The great news is, it’s not only safe and sanitary, but it’s also so much fun. However, these are the two key health considerations when you’re getting ready to surf the red sea:
Period blood doesn’t provide you any protection from STI’s. If the menstruating person has an STI that can be transmitted through blood, you’ve ideally already had an STI conversation with your partner, and are using the right protection methods for you. If you haven’t had recent STI testing, don’t put it off. There are fantastic new companies like Same Day STD Testing, which make getting tested so quick and easy. They are a unique service, that allows you to call and set up an immediate appointment at a lab for STD testing, with no insurance or paperwork, so it remains confidential.
While the chance of conceiving while menstruating is low, it can happen. The risk is higher for people with irregular cycles, but anyone can randomly ovulate very early or very late, even if you’re cycles are usually like clockwork. If this isn’t a risk that both partners are comfortable with, make sure you’re still using safe contraception methods even when it’s shark week.
Why Try Period Sex?
Okay so now you’re a period sex pro when it comes to the safety stats of period sex, let’s get into the fun stuff. Whether solo or with a lover, period sex can be very sexy. Not to mention it’s a powerhouse of health benefits. Here’s why I think you should try period sex during your next bleed:
1- Period Sex Feels Amazing
I can’t resist starting my list here. The number one reason to try period sex in my books is that it feels soooo gosh darn good. Some people find their libido is highest around ovulation, and for others, it’s right around their menstrual time. This is due to hormonal fluctuations that affect arousal, which can increase the usual sensations of sex to dizzying heights.
If you don’t feel aroused during your period, that’s totally fine too. Don’t put any pressure on yourself. I would recommend reflecting on your own narrative around your blood, and see if there are any internalized period-shaming ideas that you’ve absorbed from our predominant social-cultural narrative. One that usually perpetuates the idea that menstruation= bad/shame/gross. Periods are badass and it’s long overdue time to reclaim them.
2- Natural Lubrication
You know we love lube at Sex With Emily, we want everyone to always use lube. It’s because lube heightens the physical sensations of sex. One of the many cool things about period sex is that blood acts as a natural lubricant. You might not need any lube at all, or you might just need less. Explore what works best for you.
3- The Healthiest Pain Relief Ever
I am very prone to headaches, and they are really bad right around my period. Lucky me! But I’m not alone, a lot of people experience pain during their period. Whether it’s cramping, backaches, headaches, or even migraines, period sex may be able to help.
When a person with a uterus has an orgasm, the uterine muscles contract and then release. This eases the muscle tension during menstruation and can really help relieve cramping. Plus, there is great news for my fellow headache and migraine sufferers. A 2013 study found that 70% of migraine patients who engaged in sexual activities during an attack reported moderate to complete relief. That’s my kinda science.
Not to mention, the feel-good hormones produced during sex (and particularly during orgasm) can help take your mind off physical discomforts. Which brings me to….
4- Mood Booster
The mood-boosting effects of sex! Due to the cocktail of hormones that fluctuate during the month, menstruating people can often feel moody and emotional. Particularly during our bleed.
Luckily, during sex, but most powerfully during orgasm, your brain is flooded with hormones like dopamine and oxytocin that help improve your mood. While we can appreciate these benefits at any time of the month, it can be particularly great during menstruation.
5- Potentially Shorter Periods
Now, remember when we learned about the muscle contractions of the uterus during orgasm? Well, those same contractions can help expel the contents of your uterus (i.e. your uterine lining and other cool stuff that you shed during menstruation) more quickly. The quicker it’s all out, the sooner your period is over.
This isn’t the case for everyone, but it happens frequently enough that I felt it was worth including in the list. Try it out and see if it works for your next period.
How To Have Successful Period Sex
Okay so now that you’re all excited to have some period sex, I’ll bet you’re wondering how to make it go smoothly. I’m not gonna lie, periods can be messy. But sex can be messy too, it’s all just bodily fluids and it’s cool to be mature about it.
Here are my top tips for making your next bloody romp go smoothly!
Setting the Mood
Feeling bloated, crampy, and grumpy isn’t always the best combo for arousal. Take all the time you need to get yourself into a sexy headspace. Try reading some erotica, taking a warm bath, drinking a herbal tea or a glass of red wine, using some CBD like Veritas Farms, whatever floats your relaxation boat.
There are a few logistics you can put in place to make your period sex into a fun and easy experience. The Liberator Fascinator Throes is a super soft and comfortable blanket that is 100% waterproof and is my number one recommendation for mess-free period sex. If that’s not in the budget, laying down a dark towel works well. Try setting aside a dedicated one for this purpose.
If you’re trying to limit blood flow, you can leave a tampon or a menstrual cup like the Fun Cup in during external sex and even for some light penetration. However, I still recommend a towel or blanket to avoid having to wash the sheets in your post-coital bliss. Keep some Freshies on hand to freshen up during or after, they are so easy to use and maximize your relaxing-after-your-orgasm time.
The Best Positions For Period Sex
Some positions are a bit better than others for period sex. My personal favorite is side lying like spoons. It helps me control the depth and tempo and avoid getting my cervix bumped, which isn’t too fun. Missionary is also great during period sex, as it limits the splash-zone a little.
Some people love doggy style during period sex, and having your hips above your shoulders like that will lessen the potential for stains.
But the hands-down winner for period sex positions has to be… the shower! Shower sex is a great intro for anyone nervous about the ‘mess’ of period sex, for it simply washes away. Plus with all that natural lubrication, you’ll be less likely to dry out in the shower than usual.
Timing Is Everything
The biggest key to period sex success is foreplay. The cervix moves a lot throughout our cycle, and for most people, it’s quite low (closer to your vaginal opening) during menstruation. During arousal, the uterus moves up and makes room to envelop any penetrative objects, which moves the cervix out of harm’s way.
Cervixes rarely enjoy being ‘bonked’ by anything. However, this takes time. Around 20 minutes to be exact. This means that you need at least 20 minutes of foreplay, so this is not the time to be skimping on it!
I hope you enjoyed my top tips for pleasurable period sex. Do you have any menstrual sex hang-ups? Did you try it out after reading this? Let us know, we love hearing from you!