I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Sex is one of the greatest pleasures life has to offer, second only to cheese, and followed by chocolate. All of which are ESPECIALLY best to enjoy during your period. Solo sex, partnered sex, quiet sex, kinky sex, you name it. Whatever positions you like, I promise it's better when you're bleeding.
In this guide, I'll give you some hard science on why period sex packs an extra oomph, answer all of your burning questions, and give you some tips to make it even better.
Important Facts about Period Sex
In a woman's lifetime, she will menstruate approximately 450 times, for a total of 2,280 days. Contrary to popular belief, that's 6 years of great sex you could be enjoying (yes, you!).
Here are some more common facts — and corrected misconceptions — about periods.
- You can still get pregnant when you’re on your period. Sperm can live in the uterus for up to 5 days, and if you have sex near the end of your cycle, it's possible that the sperm will be present when you ovulate and pregnancy can occur. Having sex toward the beginning of your period may lower your risk of pregnancy.
- Accurately tracking your menstrual cycle and ovulation cycle has proven to be an effective method of preventing pregnancy.
- If you aren't using birth control, in order to prevent pregnancy, you should use a barrier method like internal or external condoms or diaphragms.
- You can also contract STIs when having period sex, so be sure use whatever protection works for you.
- STIs can be transferred through blood and fluids. Practice safe sex and use a barrier protection like condom or dental dam to prevent the spread of STIs.
- Your partner will not be infected from your menstrual blood on its own unless you already have a known infection. There are a lot of religious and spiritual practices that discourage intercourse during menstruation. These practices are rooted in spiritual beliefs but not biological.
3 Amazing Benefits of Period SexNow that you're up to spee on the basics, it's time to review all the reasons you can (and should!) be haveing period sex.
- Menstrual blood = lubrication
As our sex educator Sarah D'Andrea spoke to Well & Good about “A lot of people don’t have as much arousal lubrication as they want. If you’re having your period, that’s just extra fluid in your genitals that will make it a little bit slippier.”
- Orgasms cure cramps.
Masturbate your way to freedom, ladies! Orgasms relax the uterus, climaxing increases blood flow and releases endorphins. The stronger the orgasm, the better it will relieve your pain. And you and I both know that self-love can sometimes be better than couple-play, so get going!
- Period sex can shorten your period
The contracting of your uterus during orgasm can sometimes speed up the shedding period of your uterine lining, which means your 7-day long period might shorten two or three days. Orgasms are basically a superpower.
Why Period Sex Feels Better
The reason why sex during your period is more enjoyable than other times of the month is due in large part to hormone changes. Progesterone is a hormone released by the ovaries before ovulation that prepares the endometrium to fertilize an egg. If there are no eggs to be fertilized, your body breaks down the thickened lining which lowers progesterone. Progesterone is known to lower libido, and since that hormone is the lowest at the beginning of your cycle, your sex drive is likely to be very high.
Your sex drive will continue to increase through week two of your menstrual cycle, during ovulation. During week two, your estrogen and testosterone levels peak. Estrogen is known for boosting your mood, skin, energy and sex drive. And as testosterone also rises, this dynamic duo makes you extremely horny. You’re also the most likely to get pregnant during week two because of ovulation.
After the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle, your hormone levels start to drop, which causes PMS symptoms, vaginal dryness, and irritability. Not the best scenario for love-making.
So, how much blood comes out during period sex?
You may be surprised that when you have sex on your period, it doesn't look like a murder scene when it's over. If you have sex during the end of your period, you might even find that there's no mess at all!
A person bleeds about three to four tablespoons of menstrual fluid during their period over a course of three to five days on average, though some women may experience heavier bleeding. Anyone who menstruates knows that period blood doesn't come gushing out constantly. The uterus is more like an IV bag than a waterfall, dripping out slowly over time. And just because you’re having sex, doesn’t mean it’ll all come out during the act.
How gross is period sex?
Sex is always a little gross, am I right? There can bodily fluids like sweat, saliva, and semen, so adding a little bit of menses to the mix might be too much for the squeamish. For all of the benefits, it's still completely normal if you think period sex is gross. When anything was about to go down, I would sheepishly whisper “I can’t, I’m on my period”.
I never really thought about how this was affecting my partner until one day they finally said the most shocking words I could hear. “I really don’t care.” So I womaned up, went to the bathroom, pulled out my tampon, and stained the sheets (where were the towels?? #college). It’s after that moment that I had a new level of self confidence that I can’t even begin to describe. Period sex made me feel better about and closer to understanding my body. And that, my friends, is the best gift of all.
For the straight ladies out there, most men don't give a damn if a woman’s on their period, (and tbh if they do care, ditch them because you 👏 deserve👏 better👏).
Tips for period sex
It’s true, most women probably don’t think they can feel sexy during their period week. You may experience symptoms such as sore breasts, menstrual cramps, leg pain, migraines, and with your hormones all over the place, the thought of getting into bed (not just to eat ice cream and watch Friends for the 8th time) is unheard of.
To that I say, communication is key. Let your partner know not to touch or to be gentle around certain areas that might make you uncomfortable, and all will be okay. Remember, your estrogen levels are highest during the middle of your period, which means your sex drive may be more intense than usual.
The best positions for period sex
- Two words: shower sex.
With menstrual blood working as a natural lubricant you’ll be less likely to dry out. Shower sex can be an extremely fun way to get close with your partner so long as you don’t slip.
Doggy style in the shower is a great way to minimize potential danger, since you’re most stable on all fours. If you’re shower is tiny like mine is, you can also try a bent-over position where your partner is standing behind you, and your bent at the waist with your legs spread apart. Very classy.
- Remember missionary?
While being on top is suuuper fun, you might want to try revisiting ‘ol faithful, because being horizontal will decrease your chances of staining the sheets.
- Traditional doggy-style
Or if that sounds like a snooze fest, doggy style is always a winner. If doggy style is normally painful, this might be the best time to try it. During your period, your cervix shifts to a higher position in your body, which may decrease chances of your partner bumping into it during penetration. Any position such as this one, where your vagina is lifted off the bed, will lessen the potential for stains.
Is period sex a buzzkill?
Recipes for period sex:
|Old School||The Future|
|1. Tell your partner you’re on your period||1. Tell your partner you’re on your period|
|2. Go to the bathroom, take out your tampon||2. Pop in a menstrual disc|
|3. Find an old towel||3. Have sex|
|4. Place old towel on bed||4. Cuddle|
|5. Have sex (if you're still aroused by this point)||5. Fall asleep|
|6. Do laundry||6. Wake up feelin' good|
You probably have this preconceived notion about period sex. First, you have to tell your partner when things are starting to heat up, then you have say BRB to go pull out your tampon, find an old towel, lay it down precisely where you’re about to get it on, and throw everything in the wash when you're done. I feel your pain, but let me tell you, period sex just got an upgrade.
The best way to avoid period sex mess is by using a menstrual disc, such as FLEX. Menstrual discs are worn around the cervix, and they are the only period product safe to use during intercourse that promise mess-free period sex. Unlike a menstrual disc, period products such as tampons and menstrual cups are worn in the vaginal canal, which block penetrative intercourse. And your pads and period panties are gonna have to come off (they won't save you from staining the sheets).
Take it from me, as someone who's accidentally left a tampon in during sex and lost it for a few days until I finally fished it out in the shower, it's not a pleasurable experience. (**screams internally**) Don't be like me.
Pro tip: Menstrual discs can be worn up to 12 hours, so if you’re nearing the end of the day, you’ll want to replace it with a new one to avoid slippage and mess.
If you still manage to stain the sheets, or even your underwear, here are some natural remedies for stain removal:
Note: Do not wash the sheets before using stain removal. This will only cement the stain in the sheets. Use a spot removal technique first, then throw ‘em in the wash.
- Ice: Place the stained sheets over ice and dab with a towel until the stain comes out.
- Dr. Bronner's Soap: Use a tiny drop with a bit of cold water over the stain, dab until the stain comes out. You may need to reapply soap a few times before the stain is completely removed.
- Baking Soda: Pour baking soda over the stain, spray with white vinegar, leave for 30 minutes, then dab with a wet towel to remove.
One and done. And remember, the best sex is period sex, and the best period sex, is safe sex. So next time you're menses come around, give some love a try! It won't hurt, I promise. ;)