The Hygienics Of Period Sex
So you’re “calling a code red” and “closing up shop for maintenance” because “mother nature’s” calling about her “monthly evacuation.” Simply put: you’re on your period and you’re not feeling so frisky when “Aunt Flo’s” in town, right? Well you are not alone! Just the mere mention of the words sex and period in the same sentence, and I don’t mean the punctuation mark, can make you feel totally grossed out and cringing in disgust.
It’s common for many women to avoid having sex while on their period. Just the thought of the blood, tampons, maxi pad and fluctuation of hormones can totally ruined the mood. However, for some women, having sex while on their period is a natural part of life that comes with many benefits. Believe it or not, it’s actually a turn-on for many women because estrogen and testosterone start to rise by the third day of the menstrual cycle. Because of this spike in hormones, many women experience a heightened sense of arousal and feel an insatiable desire to be more sexual and sensual during this time.
Having sex during your period can potentially alleviate some of the discomfort of the menstrual cycle. The hormones and endorphins that the body releases during sex, such as oxytocin, help to relieve mild pain, depression and irritability associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Having sex also increases blood flow which has the potential to minimize headaches and relieve those dreadful cramps. If you’re a little on the dry side, menstrual blood actually helps to keep the vagina lubricated which will help to reduce uncomfortable vaginal dryness, ripping and tearing during intercourse. Additionally, with each and every orgasm, the muscle contractions helps to expel the blood flow and uterine lining much quicker; thus making your period much shorter. Many women also enjoy sex more when they are on there period because of increased feelings of fullness in the pelvic and genitals. This feeling of fullness increases sensitivity and helps with arousal.
With all those benefits to having sex while on your period, why would someone choose not to partake in the pleasures of the period? Well before you decide to get on your “surf board” and take a “ride the crimson wave,” there are a few things to take into consideration:
Sexually Transmitted Infection Risks
Practicing safer sex is even more essential during your period. Your risks of sexually transmitted diseases and infections are higher than normal during this time because the cervix expands more than usual to allow blood to flow through. This expansion creates a direct pathway for bacteria and viruses to travel deep inside the uterus and the pelvic cavity, placing a woman at an increased risk for sexually transmitted infections. Also, the vagina has lower acidity at this time, which puts the woman at a greater risk of a yeast or bacterial infection, which also helps to aid in the transmission of STIs, hepatitis and other blood borne diseases. So, on your period or not, safer sex is always the best bet.
But it doesn’t feel sexy!
Due to all the hormonal changes, cramping and bloating, you may not feel sexy or like being intimate during the “time of the month.” You may feel unattractive or maybe your partner isn’t comfortable with having sex during this time. This is totally a natural feeling. In order to move beyond this feeling, consider taking a hot and steamy shower with your Beloved. Not only will this help to relax you and spice things, up but it was also help to reduce any anxieties and concerns about cleanliness. Lots of foreplay will also help to take your mind off of your period and onto your Beloved.
Sex can be messy period, but especially so during this time. If you’re concerned, here are a few ways to minimize the mess:
- If you’re worried about ruining your sheets having sex on towel will help take those worries away. You could also turn up your kink meter and consider investing in a pair of rubber sheets.
- Having a warm, wet, washcloth or wet wipes nearby to freshen up and quickly clean up afterwards can help to reduce the mess.
- Your sex positions can also reduce spillage. Having sex in the missionary position will limit blood flow. Conversely, try to avoid having sex with the female on top because there is the possibility of more leakage due to gravity.
- Having sex toward the end of your period, when your flow is lighter will reduce the likelihood of coming in contact with a lot of blood.
- Wearing a digraph, soft menstrual cup or a female condom can help reduce the amount of blood that might come out during intercourse. While these devices may not completely block menstrual flow, they can help absorb some of the blood and/or keep it off of your partner.
- If the mess really bothers you, then try having sex in the shower. Since water can dry out the natural lubrication of the vagina, it might be a good idea to also use a silicone-based lubricant.
If you still think, “It’s just nasty!”
Men ejaculate. Women have vaginal fluid and periods. A period is nothing to be afraid of; t is a totally natural, healthy biological process. Menstrual blood, like other bodily fluids, is natural. However, menstrual blood, unlike those other bodily fluids, has been stigmatized and is considered taboo by society. Historically, female bodies and feminine hygiene have been ostracized and made to feel dirty, and messages put out by the media and feminine hygiene companies help to perpetuate this stereotype. In addition, some cultures and religions believe that a woman is unclean during her period. The decision to have sex on while on your period comes down to a personal choice that is based on your comfort level, beliefs and values regarding sexuality and your partner’s willingness to indulge.
I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant right?
Wrong! There is a chance that you can get pregnant while your on your period. Although very rare, the likelihood is still not zero. Although every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, in general women are usually most fertile about 14 days before the onset of their next menstrual period. This is called ovulation. You are likely to get pregnant if you have intercourse a few days before you ovulate, the day you ovulate, and a day or two after you ovulate. But if you are not on a hormonal birth control method like the pill and are having unprotected sex during this time, there is a possibility of getting pregnant.
Period sex doesn’t only mean intercourse, you’ve got options!
So, you and your Beloved have both moved beyond any hesitations about having sex while on your period and you’re ready to take things to the next level. Instead of intercourse, allow your partner to earn their “Red Wings” through oral stimulation of the clitoris. To prevent your partner from coming in contact with any fluid that may be coming out of the vagina during this time, be sure to use a dental dam. If you don’t have a dental dam, you can use a sheet of plastic wrap or cut a male condom in half and roll it out flat. Remember, oral sex carries the same risk as vaginal and anal sex, so make sure that you always practice safer sex.
Choosing to have sex during “that time of month” is a personal choice that both you and your Beloved have to be comfortable with. Be informed and understand all the intended and unintended consequences of period sex. Make sure you have a conversation with your partner prior to engaging. Don’t surprise your partner in the heat of the moment; don’t be misleading about what’s going on with your vagina. Always be upfront and let them in on the decision prior to any sex play. Communication is the key to any sexual experience. As long as your partner is comfortable and you are practicing safer sex, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy sexual intimacy at all times, even during your menstrual cycle.
Dr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a clinical sexologist, sex therapist, best selling author and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE. Dr. TaMara is also the Editor-in-Chief of Our Sexuality! Magazine. Our Sexuality! is the premiere magazine for women’s sexuality and sexual health. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook at LIFE by Dr. TaMara or Instagram, or her Live Inspired Feel Empowered (L.I.F.E.) blog www.drtamaragriffin.com. Join and support #HowDareINot #ISaveLives Movement visit www.howdareinot.org