15% of people who menstruate will engage in their usual sexual activity on their period. (Source: Clue and Kinsey, 2020)
The case against period sex has long been shrouded in taboos and stigmas. But not only is period sex perfectly safe and healthy, multiple studies have found along with the hormonal spike comes an increased desire for intimacy. So if you’re unsure of where to begin, here’s a quick guide for how to embrace your pleasure and make menstrual shame a thing of the past.
Rejig your menstrual mindset
Whether or not you grapple with menstrual shame, shifting your mindset from the burdens to benefits of period sex is paramount. Experts have found sex while menstruating can alleviate symptoms of PMS, including mood swings and cramping, as well as offer a natural lubrication during the act. Plus, the release of oxytocin heightens the sense of empathy and communication – two vital factors for great partnered sex.
Go with the flow
Understanding how your body changes over the days you’re menstruating will not only make you more in tune with your physical needs during intimacy, but can also help you get vocal with what you want in the bedroom. Track your cycle and pinpoint the days you’d be most comfortable to have sex.
Pre and post care
Depending on how menstruating makes you feel, include a self-care ritual during the act to increase your comfort. Showering before and after sex, massaging your lower back and abdomen to relieve cramps or even indulging in comfort foods that help with symptoms are ways to combine foreplay with personal relief.
Switch up positions
If you’re not comfortable with your usual routine during menstruation, embrace the opportunity to revisit the playbook and get creative. Switching up the angles, positions, or who takes the lead to control pace and rhythm opens a new realm of inspiration – that you can take into your sex life, month-round.
Avoid the Egyptian cotton
Needless to say, the 400 thread count sheets aren’t the best to lay down before getting down. The old adage of using a towel to soak up any blood or investing in a special sex blanket will be a relief once the act is over.
Safety is still sexy
Yes, you can still get pregnant on your period, due to the variability of a menstrual cycle. Don’t lapse on your contraception routine – plus, condoms can help with the clean-up.