Period sex is taboo still for some reason, but heaps of people do it!
Still, blood freaks some people out, which is reasonable, as from the beginning of time it has been seen as a sign of injury or disease. We have to learn to view menstruation as a normal and natural process.
Periods are something a lot of people feel like they need to hide. They have been told by a patriarchal society that it is gross and shameful. When we’re going through puberty we are not taught that it’s okay to menstruate. Instead, we learn to hide it away and how to not get spots of blood anywhere.
Watch: What happens when a sex worker gets their period? Post continues after video.
Half of the population between the ages of fifteen and fifty are going to get their period each month, so why don’t we all make it a non-shameful part of life?
Curiosity brings so many amazing things to our lives. We have to embrace the fact that menstruators are going to get their periods and still achieve incredible things, and that includes a fantastic sex life.
If you get your period, you might know the frustration when it cuts out a chunk of your sex time each month. But, unless you are afraid of blood or not able to cope with the mess, sex during your period isn’t something you need to avoid. It can be messy, but it is safe!
Plus, sex with your period has a few benefits:
- Relief from cramps. Orgasms may bring relief from cramps! When you cramp, your uterus is contracting to release its lining. When you have a ’gasm, the muscles of the uterus also contract but are followed by a release. This release can bring some relief from the cramps.
- It may relieve menstrual headaches. Endorphins released during climax may play a role in relieving headaches. There have been numerous studies to show that those who engaged in sexual activity during a migraine reported relief.
- It is a natural lube. Pop the lube away because blood acts as a natural lubricant. Just put a towel down — or have sex in the shower and wash away the evidence!
- It can make your periods shorter. Because orgasm muscle contraction pushes out the uterine contents faster, you could have shorter periods.
With a lot of people I meet, enjoying sex during their period is not a problem at all. But for those who do find it a little confronting, I guess I have to ask, ‘Why?’ I think they just don’t have the right information.
A lot of women also skip their periods if they’re on the pill so they can keep having sex. I encourage them to give period sex a try to see if they can enjoy the experience.
Remember, anything that you do sexually starts as a bit of an experiment, usually because we’re not taught to have sexual confidence. We lack knowledge about what’s going on in our body and how it interacts with sex. It’s something that we have to try. Like anything new, it takes a little bit of anxiety and trial and error to get to a place of comfort.
Listen to this episode of Sealed Section with Chantelle Otten, where she discusses the one part of sex we don't talk about enough. Post continues after podcast.
For anyone who gets a little freaked out around blood, or periods, I always suggest sex in the shower because it washes away the blood instantly. Or you can put a towel down on the bed or have some wet wipes around to clean up afterwards.
Not wearing a tampon is probably the most important thing to remember, because that’s going to interfere with intercourse. Of course, you can wear a tampon or a menstrual cup during oral sex, clitoral play or when you’re using a vibrator (without penetration). Outercourse is key if you are avoiding penetration. Anal sex is a really good option too if you enjoy it.
My whole philosophy centres around educating people that sexuality is not just about penetration and orgasm.
Maybe you can have a lot more outercourse during your menstrual week, or other types of sexual activity that don’t involve going near the vulva area. You can explore sex toys, buy vibrators for different parts of your body, do nipple play, or focus on other erogenous zones, like the ears or chest.
You can try a little bit of role-play. Maybe give your partner a massage with a happy ending or direct them to rub your feet. You can listen to audio porn (like Dipsea) and get your mind turned on, or touch yourself over the top of your underwear — it’s all part of an erotic sensation because it’s engaging your senses.
Remember, sex is what you make it.
Educate your sexual partner on the possibilities of sex during your period and give it a go!
This article is a book extract from Chantelle Otten's The Sex Ed You Never Had. If you would like to get a copy for yourself, you can shop it right here.
Feature Image: @chantelle_otten_sexologist Instagram + Mamamia.