Western society has conditioned women to think that there is something “dirty” about their period. And they must banish sex from their lives during their cycle.
But women in other sophisticated cultures enjoy glorious sex when they’re on their period. And when scientists investigated, they discovered some amazing benefits of period sex.
So yes, it’s a thing. And no, it’s not dirty or weird. In fact, many women in this part of the world are catching on.
Let’s get started with why most girls think period sex is a taboo.
Period Sex — History and Cultural Perspectives
Different cultures have different views about period sex. Some see it as an amazingly powerful part of female sexuality, and other cultures think it’s something “unclean.”(1)
But those cultures that view period as a taboo influenced much of history. And their views got passed down through the generations. Those views shaped how most girls feel about their bodies. At the very least, they feel “dirty” or “unclean” during their cycle. And period sex must be very weird.
But there’s absolutely nothing dirty, unholy, or unnatural about your period, or even about having sex during your cycle. Quite the opposite.
Period sex is a natural part of our sexuality. In fact, in some cultures, menstruating women are even considered to be at the height of their power(2).
Demystifying Period Sex
Most women are usually shocked when they encounter period sex for the first time. They think period sex is something out of a horror movie. No it’s not.
In fact, period sex can be incredibly normal and healthy, just like sex at any other time. If you and your partner are comfortable with it, nothing else matters.
But there are some amazing benefits of having sex during your period. Here’s some of them:
Do you know that orgasming during your period is one of the easiest ways to reduce menstrual cramps… or get rid of them entirely?
That’s right. Orgasming floods your brain with the body’s natural pain killers. These pain-fighting hormones are called endorphins and oxytocin (3).
And with these hormones in your bloodstream, you won’t be writing in agony when aunt flo visits. You won’t be feeling those cramps… and even if you do, it’d be bearable. So yeah, having some sex during your period can be a fun way to sidestep period pain.
In addition to that, some studies have found that sex can also relieve migraine symptoms (4). If you usually suffer from those, then you might need to try having some good sex during your period.
Now, this might sound too good to be true, but some women find that period sex actually shortens their cycle.
It’s true. Here’s how it works:
When you climax, your uterus contracts. And this helps to expel your uterine lining faster(5). What does that mean? Your period ends earlier than it used to!
But here’s the caveat: make sure you climax during sex. That’s what contracts your uterus and leads to shorter periods. While this is not an express ticket to a 2-day period, shaving off a day or two could be a win for some ladies!
Yes, most ladies are able to reach orgasm with ease during their period.
And that’s because at that time, the vagina is naturally more lubricated. And with better lubrication, sex is a lot more comfortable, and a LOT more pleasurable (6).
Psychological Benefits of Period Sex
We’ve seen some of the physical benefits of having hot sex during your period. But it goes beyond that.
Studies have found some emotional and psychological perks of period sex. For starters, sex during your period can promote a greater sense of body acceptance(7).
Yes, the better we embrace our body, the more confident we become. And the less self-conscious we feel.
Next up, intimacy.
Period sex can increase the emotional bond between you and your partner. They know our cycles are a vulnerable time for us. And a study found that sharing that time with your partner can help to deepen the bond you already have in your relationship(8).
A Step-by-step Guide to Period Sex
If you’re thinking about trying it out, you’ll probably need some directions. Here’s a simple guide to get you started:
Open Communication: Be upfront with your partner about your period status and discuss any potential concerns. Keep in mind that consent and comfort are important for you both(9).
Prepare: Consider laying down a dark towel or investing in a sex blanket designed to soak up any fluid. Some people also prefer to have period sex in the shower. So if you and your partner are already used to doing the deed in the bathroom, consider trying that too(10).
Go Slow: Start slow and see what feels right for your body. Some women may find that their bodies are more sensitive during menstruation, which could lead to hotter sex.(11)
- Aftercare: Clean up afterwards and take care of any menstrual flow. Warm showers can be soothing and a great way to transition out of sexy time.
How to Get Your Partner Onboard
Some partners are perfectly fine with period sex, especially if they know the exciting benefits you stand to gain… like better sex, less painful cramps and a lighter mood.
And your partner may even find your increased libido, arousal and responsiveness very exciting(12).
But, just like with any sexual activity, communication is key. Open, honest discussion can address any concerns and set the stage for nice sex during your period.
And if your partner isn’t sure, help them to understand that period sex is natural. And there’s nothing wrong with it.
A Word on Safety
While period sex can be fun, you should still keep your health and safety in mind.
STIs are still a possibility during period sex, so don’t throw caution to the wind. As always, maintain good hygiene and make sure that your partner is clean as well(13).
And also remember that you can also get pregnant.
Period sex may not be your cup of tea, and that’s absolutely fine. If you’re not comfortable with it, don’t try it.
But if you’ve been holding back because of societal taboos or unfounded fears, it’s time to free yourself. Remember that your sexuality doesn’t take a break when your period starts. In fact, it can be exactly what you need to deal with the cramp and pain that visits with aunt flo.
There’s no shame in having a conversation with your partner or seeking advice from a healthcare professional about this.
- Breaking the Silence on Menstruation ↩
- Menstruation across cultures: A historical perspective ↩
- Alder, J. (2009). Sexual behavior in pregnancy, after childbirth and during breastfeeding. Bailliere’s Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 23(1), 221-230. Link
- Magon, N., & Kalra, S. (2011). The orgasmic history of oxytocin: Love, lust, and labor. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 15(Suppl3), S156. Link
- Hambach, A., Evers, S., Summ, O., Husstedt, I. W., & Frese, A. (2013). The impact of sexual activity on idiopathic headaches: An observational study. Cephalalgia, 33(6), 384-389. Link
- Paterson, L. Q., Jin, E. S., Amsel, R., & Binik, Y. M. (2014). Pleasure and pain: The effect of (almost) having an orgasm on genital and nongenital sensitivity. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 11(6), 1394-1400. Link
- Body acceptance through the menstrual cycle ↩
- Sexual Activity During Menstruation: A Qualitative Study ↩
- Talking to Your Partner about Sex ↩
- Sex During Periods: Messy, But Sexy ↩
- Women’s sexual response to menstrual cycle changes ↩
- Menstrual-cycle and menstrual-blood related attitudes and beliefs of males and females ↩
- Regan, P. C., & Berscheid, E. (1996). Beliefs about the states, goals, and objects of sexual desire. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 22(2), 110-120. Link