By Amy Boyajian
In our culture, period sex is still a pretty loaded idea. However, as we start to deconstruct notions around periods being dirty, shameful, and unsavory, we need to be talking about having sex on our periods, too.
We can do pretty much everything else while menstruating, so why should sex be any different?!
The truth is, period sex, in all its messy perfection, can be divine—you just have to open yourself up to the experience! The first step to engaging in any type of sex during your period is to have an honest moment with yourself and think about the fears, shame, concerns, or lack of information you may have.
tools of the trade
There’s a misconception that period sex has to be a team sport, but sex in general can totally be a solo act. Enjoying masturbation during your period can be very soothing, especially if your body feels a little unruly.
Toys and tools are great during masturbation, but stick to ones that are body-safe and non-porous. Pure silicone, stainless steel, ABS plastic, and glass are ideal. Also, sticking to darker-colored toys will help you avoid any staining over time, and always make sure to clean your toy between sessions. A toy that gives you options to stimulate internally or externally, like the We-Vibe Rave or the Svakom Keri, make it easy to vary your pleasure.
Though your period blood can act as natural lubrication, adding some lube into the mix can only enhance sensations. Remember, don’t use silicone lubes with silicone toys, but water-based or hybrid lubes are safe with everything. I really love Sliquid’s Sea with vaginal enhancing seaweed extract, or Good Clean Love’s Almost Naked lube with soothing aloe. CBD lubes like Bella CBD Aqua D’Amore water-based lube can help relieve cramps and muscles tension inside the vaginal canal.
And finally, with all that “messy perfection” it’s nice to have something to save your sheets from stains – but no need to sacrifice your towels. That’s why THINX came out with their Period Sex Blanket, a luxe solution that absorbs fluids with you play. Just throw it down before the action starts and let the 4-layer tech do its job — your sheets will thank you later.
how to overcome roadblocks
Period sex can require a little more planning, and in a society centered around the idea of spontaneous sex being the best kind, we often think this is a bad thing. But it truly isn’t. Taking the time to prep can actually make sex way better!
If you’re concerned about making a mess, throwing a blanket down, or having it already draped over your bed, is an easy solution. Though period blood isn’t going to harm your partner, using barrier methods and gloves can make things easier to clean up.
Remember, there is still a slight chance you can get pregnant on your period, and contracting STDs is still possible, so don’t get lazy about your birth control or STD barriers during this time. Keeping fragrance-free, body-safe wipes nearby is also helpful.
Another obstacle is adapting to your body’s sensitivities throughout your cycle. Sometimes penetrative sex doesn’t feel the best, especially if using tampons or menstrual cups have left your vaginal canal sensitive. This may require you to rethink what you consider sex, mixing it up with toys and other activities. Focusing on external stimulation, BDSM activities, or anal play might be more comfortable for you during your period.
need some conversation starters?
The best time to have conversations about sex isn’t right before you’re about to get busy. Surprises usually aren’t well received in the bedroom, so I suggest having a conversation beforehand with your partner.
Invite your partner to share their concerns about period sex, and talk through each one of them. This does require your partner to be transparent, honest, and open to re-evaluating what their opinions are about period sex, and you to help accurately inform them. While I’m not suggesting you hold your partner’s hand, it’s worthwhile to point them to the right resources, like this article, for more information.
In general, how receptive a partner is to this new information can be very telling about how much they value your pleasure. You should learn to value your own pleasure as well.
Amy Boyajian is the owner of Wild Flower, a non-binary, inclusive sexual wellness store that focuses on education. Originally from the UK, Amy received a lot of her education firsthand while working as a dominatrix in NYC. After hosting workshops and events centered around sexual exploration, Amy launched Wild Flower to help normalize sex, center marginalized voices, and promote self-love within our society.