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Let’s Talk About Period Sex

Writing by Haylee Penfold // photograph by Taras Chernus

For a lot of us, being on our period can stir up a vast range of emotions because of the drop in hormones. There is no right or wrong way to feel on your period and while a lot of the time it means wanting to lay low and be alone, it can, in a some people mean having an extra surge in libido.

So why let a bit of blood stop you from having incredible sex if that’s how you’re feeling? Period sex can be really enjoyable and while it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (and that’s okay), there are a few benefits of getting down and dirty during your time of the month.

One of the positives is experiencing an orgasm while on your period. This can actually relieve cramps due to the release of endorphins which carry pain relief benefits as well as the contracting and eventual release of the muscles in your uterus which can put the crampy feelings at ease. While it may not work for all of us, and penetrative sex might be a little too much for some at that time, experimenting with solo sex and clitoral stimulation can work just as well (or even better) to experience the benefits.

Vulva havers usually feel more sensitive during this time as well, which in some can lead to increased arousal and the blood release can actually act as a natural lubricant to make penetration even more satisfying. Your body will still produce natural lubricant (mucus from arousal) as well as your period blood when you’re turned on. Extra lube? Yes please!

Solo period sex can also be a great place to start on your journey of period sex because you don’t have the anxiety of getting blood on your partner (not that there’s anything wrong with this) and you can experiment with yourself to see whether this is something you enjoy. You may want to stop there and just enjoy the quite, gentleness of solo sex during your period or you may want to amp things up with a partner.

While bringing up the topic of period sex with a partner can be nerve wracking, remind yourself that the worst they can say is ‘no’, and that’s okay. Not everyone will be comfortable with it, and communication is the best way to work through it. If your partner is not up for period sex (there can be many legitimate reasons for this, for example some people feel faint when they see blood), there is an opportunity there to try out mutual masturbation with your partner if they would be comfortable with that as an alternative.

If you’ve decided to have period sex with a partner, be sure to take the extra steps to make yourself feel more comfortable whether that be putting a towel down, or showering beforehand – do whatever feels right for you and know that there is nothing dirty or shameful about period blood. Take it at your own pace, it can be a really sensual bonding experience to have with partner.

Haylee Penfold

Haylee Penfold, she/her, is a twenty something, chronic illness advocate who is passionate about all things sex education and pleasure positivity. Will also bring up Harry Styles in any context she can.

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