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    Period Sex 101

    Navigate the realm of intimacy with confidence as we delve into the nuanced topic of period sex. Gain insights into the physical and emotional aspects, and discover how to approach this natural aspect of life with openness and understanding. Explore communication tips, debunk myths, and find comfort in embracing the unique dynamics of intimacy during menstruation.

    By Liv Surtees / Jan 23 2024

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    You plan to finally get physical with your date and then boom, two hours before you’re supposed to leave the house, your period hits. You feel super turned on when you’re bleeding but you’re not sure if your partner will be into it, so you don’t make a move. You feel a little nervous about getting down to it with someone even though you want to, because you’re worried it’ll be messy or uncomfortable because you’re on your period.

    At some point, all of us will probably have experienced one of the situations above! Period sex is a debated topic, but the truth is, just like sex itself, periods are also a completely natural and normal part of life. So, why can’t the two exist in perfect harmony together, with no shame surrounding the idea that getting down and dirty on your period really isn’t that dirty at all?

    Well, this should be the case and that’s exactly what this article is here to help you with! We’re going to take a look at why there is a stigma surrounding period sex, discover what men really think about period sex, think about the safety of sex during your period, and give you tips on how to successfully enjoy having sex on your period, in the most mess-free way possible!

    why do some people get horny on their period?

    During the ovulation stage of your menstrual cycle, your testosterone and estrogen levels peak, therefore increasing the desire to get frisky. When you bleed, this feeling of desiring sex can still remain for some, therefore meaning they’re much more likely to want to have sex.


    Additionally, if you experiencing period pain or cramps when you bleed, you may be drawn to having sex because you’re aware that orgasms can provide you with natural pain relief: when you orgasm, blood flow increases, helping to relieve the cramps, and uterine muscles contract whilst releasing chemicals into the brain that act as natural pain relievers.


    Therefore, both the attraction of reducing nasty PMS symptoms and potentially being more naturally charged up due to hormones, may increase your desire to have sex. 

    sexual health

    why is there stigma surrounding period sex?

    The stigma surrounding period sex doesn’t actually involve sex - it’s all about how periods, in general, have been made out to be dirty, unclean, or unattractive by society and culture.


    Although each society and culture’s views on periods differ, there has been an overarching belief that periods are things that not only shouldn’t be discussed, but shouldn’t be celebrated. Rather, periods have been stigmatised: thank you misogyny.


    Fortunately, there seems to be a general breaking down of taboos (Read Sexual Taboos Article - here) over the past few decades and women’s rights have come a long way. Therefore, the stigma surrounding not only periods, but period sex, in particular, is diminishing and more and more people are not only open to the idea, but simply not bothered by it.

    do men not like period sex? 

    In 2016, Flex surveyed 500 men and women about how they feel about period sex, and over 55% of the people surveyed claimed that they considered period sex natural, with some evening claiming they thought it was “amazing”.


    Whilst, of course, this survey was rather small, contained both men and women, and 50% of the participants didn’t suggest they loved having period sex, this is still great news: we’re opening up more to the idea of having period sex.


    Personally, I have never been with a partner who thought that period sex was unacceptable. In fact, no man I’ve ever been with has been bothered by me being on my period or not wanted to have sex due to that. Maybe I just know some really great people, or maybe men really don’t care.


    When speaking to male friends about this topic, they all give a resounding answer of, “why would I care?”, with a shrug of their shoulders and a confused look as to why anyone would find it a turn-off.

    Honestly, men shouldn’t care, and it really seems like they don’t! So, although your partner(s) may simply not want to have sex whilst you’re on your period, if a guy ever makes you feel unclean or unattractive because you’re on your period, my advice would be to walk out: he’s a wrong’un!

    is period sex safe?

    One of the main reasons people tend to be nervous or feel weird about period sex is because they believe that there may be side effects or complications that occur from doing it. 


    Period sex is as safe as normal sex: there’s no difference. 


    During your period, you still have a possibility of getting pregnant or getting an STI. So, use protection! However, you’re not more likely to be at risk of anything and you’re not going to experience any other kind of complication that you wouldn’t if you weren’t on your period.

    5 tips for having sex on your period

    Now we’re all clued on the fact that period sex is natural, provides us with pain-relieving benefits, and will still bring ourselves and our partner(s) pleasure, it’s time to take a look at 5 tips to help you have better, less messy period sex.

    speak to your partner about it

    Whilst it’s definitely not OK for a partner to make you feel bad about being on your period, you should discuss the idea of period sex with them before jumping right into it. If either of you has any thoughts or concerns about period sex, now is the time to talk about it!

    remove your feminine hygiene product

    You will need to remove your tampon/cup/pad before you have sex, unless you are using a menstrual disk that is designed to be suitably kept in during sex too. If you don’t remove your feminine hygiene product, such as a tampon, you may risk it getting pushed further into the vaginal canal. So, take it out before you engage in anything penetrative.

    grab a towel

    Whilst you might want to have sex in a different location (we’ll take a look at a great location next), if you are having sex in your bed, you should pop a towel down to ensure you don’t get any stains on your bedding or mattress. This way, clean-up is a lot easier, stress-free, and speedier too!

    hop in the shower with your partner

    If your flow is especially heavy, or you would just prefer to be in the shower regardless of your flower, hopping into the shower with your partner is a great way to not only enjoy period sex mess-free, but to add a little spice to the experience too.

    make sure you're still using protection

    Period sex can still result in pregnancy and STI transmission, as mentioned above. Therefore, make sure you’re still using adequate protection when you’re having sex during this time, as you normally would.

    the takeaway

    If you want to have period sex, grab the towel, lay it down, and get to it!


    As well as providing you with all of the pleasure and benefits that come from having sex when you’re not on your period, the fact that you can satisfy hormonal desires and reduce your period pain is enough to convince me.

    So go, have fun, and revel in having two of the most natural parts of life - sex and periods - combined!

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    Dr Barbara Sturm





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