Don’t Put Sex Aside Once a Month
Your menstrual cycle does pose particular challenges when it comes to intercourse, but in reality, sex doesn’t have to come to a screeching halt during that time of the month.
There are ways to approach the situation that can make period sex something enjoyable. With a slight change in mindset and a little preparation, you can make the most of sexy time all month long.
Let’s break barriers and squash stigma! Embrace your period and your sex drive; believe they’re not mutually exclusive.
The Cycle Itself
There’s a lot going on during the various phases of your cycle. Being on your period is just one small part of the overall process. Your body is constantly moving through the phases of your cycle, each with unique physiological characteristics.
Menstrual Phase-During this phase, your uterus is shedding its lining. The first day your flow begins is actually considered the first day of your cycle.
Follicular Phase-This phase gets its name because each egg begins its life inside an individual follicle. During this phase, hormones stimulate the follicle to mature into an egg. This phase actually starts in tandem with the menstrual phase, and they overlap by a few days.
Ovulation-At this point in your cycle, it’s time for the egg to be released and travel down the fallopian tubes. This short window of time is when pregnancy is most likely.
Luteal-The luteal phase is when the lining of your uterus thickens and prepares for the implantation of a fertilized egg. Increases in progesterone and estrogen are responsible for promoting the thickening of the lining. If a fertilized egg is not implanted, your cycle will continue and lead back to the shedding of the lining for day one of the menstrual phase.
Menstrual Blood, What is it?
The make-up of menstrual fluid varies from person to person depending on factors like age and health history, but overall there are general characteristics.
During menstruation, your body expels the endometrial lining of the uterus. All month it has been accumulating, including blood from an increased flow to the uterus, in anticipation of embryo implantation, and when pregnancy does not occur, that fluid is no longer needed.
Menstrual fluid is a biological fluid that is mainly composed of blood, vaginal secretions, and endometrial cells of the uterine wall. The blood, though, is not the same as the blood running through our veins.
The blood circulating in our body consists of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and blood plasma. It delivers oxygen to our body parts and transports waste away from cells. There are also concentrations of hemoglobin and iron.
Menstrual blood contains low traces of the components in regular blood and does not have any coagulants because the body wants it to remain fluid; it’s not intended to congeal or scab like regular blood.
Is it Safe?
There is a common misconception that menstrual fluid is harmful or unhealthy. There are absolutely no physical dangers to you or your partner should you decide to have sex while on your period. For two consenting, healthy individuals, it poses the same risks as any other sexual encounter.
Are There Advantages?
Your body releases endorphins in response to pain or stress, but they are also released during certain activities like exercise or sex. Having an orgasm releases endorphins, which act like natural pain suppressors in your body. Endorphins work with opiate receptors in the brain to create an analgesic effect.
This means sex during your period could actually relieve painful symptoms like cramps and headaches.
Many women also report a higher sex drive during the days they’re menstruating. As your hormones fluctuate, so does your libido. Ovulation can bring about more interest in sex due to our inherent nature to procreate, but it’s also common to feel that same compulsion toward your partner while on your period.
Protection and Pregnancy
A lot of women assume they can’t get pregnant from having sex while on their period. While your chances are lower, you should still take precautions. Here’s why.
You’re most likely to get pregnant during ovulation, which typically happens around 14 days before your period starts. However, every cycle is unique, so the timing of releasing an egg can vary. For example, if you have a shorter cycle, you’re at a higher risk of pregnancy during your period.
Using protection is always a good move at any stage in your cycle. You can contract or transmit an STI, and viruses like HIV live in menstrual fluid. A condom significantly cuts down the risk of spreading either.
Listen to Your Body
At Red Moon, we believe in bodily autonomy and expect you to accept nothing less! Period sex can come with feelings that range from slight reservations to a flat-out, not a chance. If you’re apprehensive about having sex during your period, stick with your gut on the decisions.
However, if you’re feeling it, then, by all means, let the pleasure begin! Here are our top ten tips for making period sex sexier.
When it comes to a good relationship, communication is always key. It is especially relevant when tackling a taboo topic like period sex. You want to have an open and honest conversation about how you’re feeling and what you might experience during the encounter.
Prepare the Space
While you may get adventurous with your location at other times of the month, during your period, you might want to stay put. Lay out dark towels on top of sheets that won’t be missed if they get messy.
Here are some tips for easy clean-up if you do have a mishap:
- If you’re quick, cold tap water will do the trick
- Fairly fresh stains will respond well to hydrogen peroxide
- It may sound weird, but older stains can be tackled with meat tenderizer or vinegar
- Baking soda is a great go-to; mix with water and slather on the stain
These cleaning hacks can help with your undies too!
Carry out your typical “self-care down there” routine. Any washing, shaving, or adding a spritz of body spray or lotion you’d typically do before sex can undoubtedly make you feel more comfortable and clean during your period.
It might not allow for a spur-of-the-moment love sesh, but feeling fresh can boost your confidence.
Embrace the Intimacy
You can really increase the connection with your partner by showing that you’re comfortable with them experiencing sex with you during that time of your cycle. It certainly takes a level of trust, so you’re going to have to lean into your bond with your partner to explore this level of intimacy, but that’s where our connections with our partners have room to grow exponentially.
Assuming you’ve had the conversation mentioned earlier and communicated clearly with your partner, you can relax! Sex is always better when you’re feeling relaxed, so focus your brain on enjoyment.
Attend Other Areas
Take the chance to pleasure each other in different ways. You may feel more comfortable keeping the actual intercourse brief, so take your time leading up to it by exploring your other erogenous zones.
Find a Comfortable Position
Many women consider lying on their side to be the easiest way to enjoy period sex. Think about what position would make you feel least vulnerable or worried about leaks.
Consider the Extra Lubrication a Bonus
The menstrual fluid, which includes plenty of normal vaginal fluid, naturally reduces friction. If you regularly use lubricant, you might find it’s not necessary.
Have Cleaning Supplies Handy
Stash a stack of towels or washcloths nearby. If you’re a fan of hygienic wipes, those will work too. You’ll also want a stash of your favorite period products at the ready for when you’re through.
Avoid Clean Up Altogether
Christening your new couch or 800-thread-count luxury sheets may not be advisable, but it could be the perfect time to orchestrate a sexy shower scene or titillating tub encounter. Test out the “waters” for a no-mess period sex experience.
Red Moon Encourages Empowerment and Pleasure
We love sending the message to embrace your period. It’s part of what makes you a sexual being! It truly doesn’t have to put a damper on your sex life.
Choose to have sex any time and on your terms, even if it does mean a little extra prep because of your period. It’s safe, has its own advantages, and, with the right mindset, can be just as enjoyable.
We support your decision to abstain and encourage you to enjoy the act if you feel comfortable!
Cherie Marquez is the co-founder of Red Moon, where she brings her talents as an entrepreneur, storyteller, and holistic health enthusiast. Cherie is also the founder of Take One Daily Media, a marketing, advertising, and design agency dedicated to using media in creative and progressive ways. For twenty years, Cherie has used marketing and design strategy to impact social change. You can connect with her on Linkedin.