Period Sex: Bloody Good Fun
July 30 2020 | Written by Miranda Van Haarlem (She/Her), Graphics by Sissi Chen (She/Her)
Growing up I was always taught that an individual’s “time of the month” was a week full of mood swings, pain, and suffering. I was never taught that getting your period could be a positive thing. I didn’t know that getting your period on schedule month to month is a sign of good reproductive health, or that a study conducted in 2013 found that individuals on their period had an increase in libido (a person's overall sexual drive) due to shifts in estrogen and progesterone levels.
So why does mainstream media portray menstruating individuals as asexual? Taboos. The taboos that have been passed down from generations continue to play a part in what we see today. For instance, the theory of menotoxin - the idea that menstruating individuals emit a toxic substance - persists into mainstream discourse, leading to memes like this:
Some individuals experience painful periods and the last thing on their mind is being sexual. Still others feel an increase in arousal, and this should also be considered normal. With that being said, can you participate in sexual activities while on your period? YES! Having sex while on your period can be bloody good fun, but like all things involving sex, communication is key! Before having sex on your period, you should talk to your partner about what they are comfortable with, like oral sex and contraceptive use.
We ran a poll on our Instagram account (@wearemarlow) to get more insight regarding period sex. 62% of respondents engage in sex while menstruating and 59% of voters tended to be more sexually aroused during their period. The poll also showed us that 64% of voters have had a partner that wasn’t interested in period sex. With over half of our voters tending to be more sexually aroused during their period and over half being sexually active throughout their period, it is important to debunk the myth that one’s menstruation is a period of suffering that leaves no room for sexy time.
Are there any benefits to period sex?
Yes! If you struggle with cramps, sex and orgasms may help to release some of the pressure. Orgasms make the muscles of the uterus contract, releasing pressure and giving some relief. Remember, sex does not always have to include penetration, so break out those sex toys! Additionally, orgasms promote the release of endorphins, also known as feel-good chemicals.
Another benefit to period sex is the extra lubrication! Extra lube is always a good idea especially if you are prone to vaginal dryness and irritation, and with period sex there is natural lubricate waiting for you!
Can I get pregnant while I am on my period?
You can get pregnant during your period. While pregnancy usually occurs during ovulation (day 13-16), there is still a chance of becoming pregnant during your period (day 1-7), with a heightened chance towards the end of your period. Remember, studies have found that sperm can survive for up to 5 days in a female’s reproductive tract. With all types of sex, contraceptives are key, so it’s important to discuss with your partner what works best for you!
Additionally, STI transmission risk increases while on your period as viruses can be present in period blood. Again, discuss with your partner what contraceptives are best for you. Some examples include condoms and dental dams!
Can I have oral sex during my period?
Of course! As long as you and your partner are both comfortable with it, oral sex is a go. With a focus on the clitoris, oral sex while on your period can relieve cramps as well. Just a heads up: while menstruating, vaginas tend to give off a more metallic taste.
Tips and Tricks to menstrual sex!
Towel, towel, towel! To protect those sheets, consider laying a towel down!
Play around with positions to find what’s comfortable.
Practise safe sex!
Remember to remove tampons or menstrual cups if you are participating in penetrative sex.
If you are participating in masturbation or non-penetrative sex, it is okay to leave in menstrual products in as long as they are removed after!
Menstrual cups can slide up your vaginal canal due to the contractions caused by orgasms - wait 30 minutes for your muscles to bring it back down.
Remember to always communicate with your partner what you want and don’t want. Communication and consent are key!
Two words - shower sex!
Period sex shouldn’t be taboo. To have sex on your period or not is up to you and your partner! There is no normal or abnormal when it comes to your libido while menstruating. You do you!