Period Sex is Awesome
Period sex is quite a controversial topic. As a sex therapist and educator, I think this is because there’s a significant lack of knowledge. Some menstruators (and their partners) don’t even know that it’s the uterine lining being shed and think it’s the same blood that’s pumping through our veins as humans. We lack accurate and accessible sex ed in our country – which is why it’s so important to talk about this stuff.
First and foremost, it is absolutely safe to have vaginal sex during your period. It is not unhealthy or dangerous. However, there is a little bit of a higher chance of STI transmission (Lurie, 2010), so if you’re having period sex with someone new, be sure to practice the safest sex possible – which hopefully you’re doing anyway!
Second, you can get pregnant while on your period. The chances are much lower than other times in a menstruator's cycle; however, it’s still possible. Sperm can stay alive in the reproductive tract for up to five days which means that if you’re having irregular periods and ovulation occurs soon after your period; the sperm could still be living inside of you, making it possible to get pregnant “while in your period,” (Verma, 2017). Just like with STIs, if you don’t want to get pregnant, make sure contraception is involved (this could be the pill, an IUD, a condom, diaphragm, or contraceptive sponge).
So why have period sex and deal with a little extra mess? Here are five benefits: (also, we’ll go over how to quickly and easily clean up (or mitigate) this “mess” we’re talking about!)
HELPS WITH HEADACHES
Many studies have found that having any type of sex during someone’s menstrual period can partially relieve or even eliminate period-related headaches. How cool is that? About half of folks who get migraines get them during their periods (Witteveen, 2017). Some of those folks have found that having sex helps to lessen the pain of their migraine. However, exactly how that works isn’t super clear. Some doctors theorize that it may have to do with releasing endorphins (“feel-good” hormones) during sexual activity and orgasm.
CAN MAKE YOUR PERIOD SHORTER
This one hasn’t been scientifically proven yet. Still, many menstruators have reported that having multiple orgasms helps clear out the lining of their uteruses faster, causing their periods to be shorter. I mean, why not try?
HELPS RELIEVE MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
Menstrual cramps come from the uterus contracting to help shed its lining in preparation for a new lining. When a uterus owner orgasms, the uterine muscles contract and then relax – which can ease the muscular contractions that cause cramps. Now, some folks find penetrative sex to cause cramping, so if that’s the case, try other forms of sex. My definition of sex is a meaningful act of pleasure – so try masturbating, mutual masturbation, oral sex, or different types of stimulation that don’t include deep vaginal penetration.
NO NEED FOR LUBE
If you’ve ever had period sex, this will resonate. The period blood is its own lubricant. That’s all.
CAN BE EVEN MORE PLEASURABLE THAN “NORMAL”
Due to the hormonal fluctuations during a menstrual cycle, some menstruators find that they are more ‘turned on’ or have a higher libido during their periods. When our libidos are higher, and we’re super turned on, any type of sex is even more pleasurable.
Okay, great. So, you now know the benefits, to still practice safer sex practices for the prevention of pregnancy and STI transmission – but how can you keep it awesome by mitigating mess?
- Use a dark towel to create a barrier between you and the sheets (you can also get products like the Liberator throw or Fux Pads that are made for this, too!)
- Have sex in the shower (no mess at all, thanks!)
- Have Honey Pot’s wipes on hand for easy cleanup
- Use a menstrual cup you can leave during penetrative (or other types of) sex.
You’re all set. Now, talk to your partner about all of this and enjoy pleasure all month long!