Your health is our priority. To continue our journey during #SexualHealthAwarenessWeek, we asked Demi from Soft Limit to share her advice on period sex. Let’s find out how to have safe sex during your period!
One of the most divided questions in relation to sex is ‘can you have sex during your period?’ and the answer is yes, as long as you aren’t squeamish of a little mess!
Having sex during your period has its benefits and side effects. The crux of period sex is that it can be messy – but it is safe. The benefits of period sex include:
- Relief from cramps; orgasms relieve menstrual cramps!
Menstrual cramps are a result of your uterus contracting, your uterus also contracts during an orgasm and therefore, can bring some relief from period cramps. Endorphins, which are released during sex, are the ‘make you feel good’ chemicals. These too can help take your mind off your menstrual discomfort!
- Shorter periods; having period sex COULD make your periods shorter!
Contractions during an orgasm push out the uterine contents faster which can result in a short period.
- Natural lubrication; easy access!
Blood is a natural lubricant and can make penetration easier. NOTE – If you have a fear of blood or are squeamish, maybe period sex isn’t for you. If you are engaging in period sex, prepare the area with towels and wipes to clean yourself up afterwards and always use a condom or barrier method! If you are engaging in period sex, it might also be beneficial to have a safe word on hand (which is beneficial in all sexual scenes), this will allow either partner to stop the scene if they wish too.
However, there are also downsides to having sex on your period and some of them are more serious than others:
- Blood; well duh!
Having period sex means you most likely will be messy by the end. Aside from getting blood on yourself, your partner and possibly ruining your favorite sheets, period sex can also make you feel self-conscious. Anxiety over making a mess or seeing blood (if you are on a heavy flow) can take the fun out of sex!
- STI’s; always use a condom!
Having sex on your period has the risk of spreading a sexually transmitted infection such as HIV or hepatitis which live in blood and can be spread through menstrual blood. Whenver you are engaging in period sex, using a barrier method (a internal or external condom) to reduce the risk of spreading or catching an STI. If you are engaging in oral sex or foreplay during your menstrual cycle, use a dental dam to stop the spread of infection. DISCLAIMER – It is not recommended to engage in oral sex when you’re on your menstrual cycle!
- Remember to remove your tampon
If you are engaging in sex whilst on your period and you use tampons, remember to remove it beforehand! A forgotten tampon can get pushed so far into your vagina during sex that you will need to see a doctor to have it removed and it could cause internal harm.
Here are some tips to make period sex a much more comfortable and less messy experience… And most importantly, safe!
Being open with your partner is key for period sex. Tell them how you feel about having sex on your period, ask them for their feelings on the topic and if you do wish to engage in period sex, set boundaries to ensure the safety of both parties. Talk about the reasons behind your discomfort and create some ground rules for engaging in period sex including things such as using a safe word!
If you are not enjoying the sex (as with any sexual interaction) stop immediately! Research suggests that those on their menstrual cycle will be at their optimum horniest during ovulation which takes place in the middle of your cycle rather than at the end, when you get your period. Libidos tend to fluctuate during your cycle, therefore listen to your body and communicate with your partner.
PREPARATION IS KEY
If you are uncomfortable with the sight of blood but still wish to engage in period sex, lay a dark towel down to catch any blood leaks but in a discrete manner, or have sex in the shower! Keep a wet washcloth or wipes by the bed or area in which you are having sex in to clean up with afterwards. It might be beneficial to also have a bath prepared or have easy access to a shower so you can wash yourself straight afterwards, as well as new clothes and your chosen sanitary product ready.
If you are afraid of too much mess, try having period sex on days that your period is lighter. This will be different for each individual but if it is your first time, why not try period sex near the end of your flow!
Have your partner wear a condom to protect against pregnancy and STI’s. It might be useful to have several condoms at hand as well as a bin close by to dispose of it afterwards.
WHATEVER SUITS YOU
Your usual sexual position may be uncomfortable or make you feel self-conscious when engaging in period sex. Find the position that feels the most comfortable and pleasurable! Why not try missionary which can limit blood flow due to gravity but be careful about deep penetration because the cervix is lower and more sensitive during this time of the month – communicate with your partner and let them know if you need to stop!
You may wish to not focus on penetrative period sex to begin with, perhaps you wish to focus on external stimulation such as manual or oral stimulation of the clitoris. This can also be a great way to lead into penetrative sex because it will allow you to relax and find your confidence in engaging in sexual acts during your menstrual cycle. To minimise mess during oral sex, try using a tampon or menstrual cup!
The most important take-away is to stay safe when engaging in period sex, and to only engage in it if you and your partner are comfortable in doing so!