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Period sex: 5 things you should know about it (hint: it’s good for you)

By Maya Khamala

Most of us would probably say that period sex is not the ideal, not the sought-after experience, not the pinnacle. Still others among us find the idea just plain gross. As far as I’m concerned, that’s just sad and limited. 

Given that organized religion, (among other forces at work in the world), often aims to control women’s sexuality in some way, it’s not surprising that some people (of all genders) take issue with period sex…generations worth of misogynist ideas do have a stronghold on society’s collective mind. I wanna know where the book is that talks about men’s fluids getting all over and inside women being blasphemous, or outside of the natural order of the universe. Not to mention—for those who like anal, period sex should have a relatively lower ick factor, and this coming from a real fan of both.

While period sex may not be what I strive for, the fact remains that I have had some damn incredible sex while menstruating, and I think we all need to let go of our prudishness around it. I’ve had first-time period sex with people on multiple occasions, and usually against my “better” judgment: generally, I really want to have sex, yet try to warn the guy or even stop him because I don’t think he’ll be comfortable with my period. I have typically been wrong, and even downright surprised: more than one lover has failed to blink an eye, preferring instead to go down on me. Other times, of course, I’ve had men act weird or even refuse sex with the tiniest amount of menstrual blood present—even in long-term relationships. That’s close to 25% of the time where sex is a no-go, for some people. Whether it’s you or your partner who is put off by the idea, just know that when you give up trying to keep things neat (besides a strategically placed towel or two), all kinds of astounding hotness may await you.

Here are 5 things you should know about period sex.

1. It’s good for PMS, and your period 

If you tend to have premenstrual cramps, there’s an orgasm for that. When you cum, the body releases oxytocin and dopamine, along with other endorphins that can really soothe any period-related pain. And natural hormone rushes are a lot more potent than any painkiller. A 2013 study concluded that sexual activity may reduce migraine and cluster headaches too. And, if you wanna get back to non-period sex sooner, the contracting of your uterus during orgasm sometimes makes the shedding of your uterine lining quicker than usual, which means a 7-day period might end up being two or three days shorter. Orgasms.

2. It can bring you closer together

Now, this is not a foolproof statement, but sometimes we are more likely to have period sex with someone we’re close to or want to be closer to. But no matter how you and your sexual partner might describe your intimacy spirit animal, opening up to having sex during your period can mean making yourself a bit more vulnerable, and, at the best of times, vulnerability breeds vulnerability. If your partner is not interested in sex during menstruation, you obviously can’t make them do anything, but personally, I am biased and believe that anyone kicking up a fuss about it needs to calm down and get over their fear of women’s bodies. Biased, told you.

3. Having your period can make you horny 

Just because auntie Flo’s in the house doesn’t mean you have to pause your sex life till she’s on the next flight out. Many women actually find they’re more sexually aroused during menstruation due to fluctuating progesterone levels. According to a study by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, 62% of women reported increased sexual desire before or during their period. If this is you, why let a little blood stand in your way?

4. Menstrual blood is nature’s lube 

“Menstrual blood actually makes a very nice lubricant and may enhance sexual satisfaction for some couples,” says Kellie Flood-Shaffer MD, an associate professor and division director of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Women lose about four to twelve teaspoons of fluid every cycle, and not every drop of it is blood. Other fluids coming out during menstruation can also be a great sexual lubricant for intercourse and a welcome relief for anyone who tends to lack in the lube department.

5. Menstrual blood does not cancel out sperm 

By now you’re hopefully sold on period sex, but just remember that contrary to popular belief, sperm can live in the uterus for up to 5 days. So, dependent on the nuances of your cycle, even if you have sex while you have your period, it's possible that sperm will still be present by the time you ovulate. Pregnancy has occurred and can occur this way. Having sex toward the beginning of your period may present a lower risk, but it’s absolutely not a guarantee, gal, so be safe.

Bonus tip 

If you use a Diva Cup during your period, and you happen to be into anal sex, I would highly recommend engaging in some anal play/sex with that Diva Cup in place. Something about the placement of the cup, and simultaneous anal penetration…it’s like a mild yet titillating version of your deepest DP fantasy. Just saying. Plus, your partner can still freely stimulate your clit with hands or tongue. And—it’s not messy if you care about that kind of thing. 

If, when all is said and done, period sex is not right for you, or not right for you 75% of the time, that’s all good. The beauty of it all is having the choice, my dears. That’s what’s hot. So if embarrassment is the only thing holding you back, take this as a license to get physical, even while menstruating. You’re likely to enjoy it more than you expect.

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