Welcome to Let’s Talk About It, the column where we answer questions posed by our readers regarding sex, sexuality, gender and related topics, brought to you by the student-led organization Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee (SEAT). For this edition, we were asked about period sex.
Having sex while menstruating is perfectly normal and acceptable if it is something you and your partner(s) are comfortable doing. There’s nothing dirty, gross or wrong about having sex while on your period. In fact, having sex on your period can have benefits, including menstrual cramp relief, headache relief, increased arousal and shorter periods.
Now, let’s get into some tips for having great sex while on your period. Lots of folks lay down towels, specifically red or dark-colored ones, to protect their bed sheets, and that’s a perfectly valid option for getting it on while menstruating. Shower sex is also an option if you don’t want to deal with the mess at all, as the shower will rinse away any messes you and your partner(s) might create.
However, if you are interested in an option that decreases the mess entirely, you might look into menstrual discs like those offered by Flex and Softdisc. These discs sit at the base of the cervix and prevent the blood from leaking down the vaginal canal, thus preventing the blood from getting all over the place during sex. Of course, if you are not having penetrative sex, you could use tampons or menstrual cups to keep things cleaner. Just be sure not to have sex while wearing a tampon or menstrual cup (or other method that is not meant to be worn during sex) as this could cause injury and/or discomfort. Also, if you find that the texture of menstrual blood is unpleasant or feels too drying for comfort, lubrication is always a good option.
Although there aren’t any inherent health risks to having sex while on your period, it does present the same risks that sex would normally present (i.e. pregnancy and STIs). When having sex on your period or otherwise, be sure you are using protection to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STIs. As an added benefit, using condoms or dental dams can make things a bit less messy as well.
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