Me: I just got my period.
Partner: Oh so we can’t have sex…
Me: Um, what?
Thinking to myself: “Aunt flow just arrived!”
Me out loud: “Sorry hun, I have a bit of a headache.”
Partner: “Ok, do you want to watch Game of Thrones?”
Me: “It’s that time of the month.”
Partner: “Oh, I assumed you were on the pill?”
Me (rolling eyes): “Actually no, but even if I was I would still bleed once a month.”
Do any of these conversations sound familiar? I’ve had at least one partner who believed that we could not have sex because I was menstruating and others who just didn’t like the idea. Friends have told me they have had to fake headaches rather than simply say they had their periods because their partners (I’m talking to you Irish men) could not even deal with the knowledge that they were menstruating let alone stomach the thought of having sex with someone on their period.
So what is going on with sex and periods?
From the Bible to Superbad we have been told that sex during menstruation is sinful and corrupting, dirty, shameful, messy and gross, something best kept secret.
“And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.” Leviticus 20:18
Is it any wonder that period sex is one of most persistent menstrual taboos? Considering that our periods can last anywhere between two and seven days out of every month, many menstruators do not want to simply practice abstinence during this time. So lets get some facts straight about period sex and why not to let the taboo get in the way of a good time.
Yay for Period Sex!
- Many menstruators experience a rise in libido right before ovulation other menstruators report feel more turned on during their periods.
- The uterus and the vagina become engorged with blood during menstruation, making everything down below extra lubricated and extra sensitive, resulting in better orgasms!
- Orgasms relax the uterus and therefore ease menstrual cramps and other symtoms associated with periods such as low moods and irritation. So why not suggest that your partner, as well as making you a camomile tea, gets busy with you?
- I know for a fact that menstruation can cause so much pain and bloating that the last thing you want is any kind of penetration, but what about a little cunnilingus or masturbation?
- It’s very unlikely, but still possible, to get pregnant during menstruation which for some couples can mean some care free frolicks. However, if you have shorter cycles and are ovulating close to the end of your period then pregnancy is a possibility. If in doubt – use condoms!
- Menstrual blood is not dirty, just another bodily fluid made up of the uterine lining and cervical fluid. it can increase the risk of STI transmission, as the cervix is more dilated than normal, so if you or your partner have not had a recent screening or you are not in a monogamous relationship use condoms or dental dams.
- It can be messy but nothing that a sea sponge or towel (not white!) can’t solve.
As with all things sex related, personal preference and consent should always come first. You shouldn’t feel pressured into having sex on your period if you are not into it or not in the mood, but nor should you feel ashamed for wanting to. If your partner is really not into it or particularly grossed out by it, try talking to them. Or if you are feeling a little adventurous some feminist vampire menstruation erotica might change their minds. Yes this is a thing!
How have you dealt with periods in your relationships? Is it a no go area or much ado about nothing?