Bangin’ While Bleedin’: Ten Ways to Ease Period-Sex Anxiety
Having sex while you or your partner are menstruating is often considered taboo. But while things may get a little messy, with a little forward planning and preparation, sex during periods is possible- and can actually be beneficial for your health and your relationship.
The taboos surrounding menstruation go back centuries, and can be found in most cultures and religions. The menstruating woman was considered unclean and impure, and it was believed that contact with her blood would drain men of their strength and sexual virility. Consequently, having sex with a woman during her monthly period was seen as not only dirty, but dangerous, too:
[Menstruation] is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you.Quran 2:222
And to a woman in her (state of) niddah (impurity) you should not come close (with intent to) reveal her nudity. Leviticus 18:19
If the menstrual discharge coincides with an eclipse of the moon or sun, the evils resulting from it are irremediable; and no less so, when it happens while the moon is in conjunction with the sun; the congress with a woman at such a period being noxious, and attended with fatal effects to the man (Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, 77CE
While periods can get a little messy from time to time, they are a completely natural part of life, and despite the historical, religious and cultural taboos around menstrual blood, it is not any more dirty, contaminated, unclean or “noxious” as blood expelled from any other part of the body. Though there is a risk of spreading or catching an STI, using condoms during period sex will not only reduce that risk, but will also protect against unwanted pregnancy (yes, pregnancy is still possible during periods!).
Unless you are particularly squeamish about blood, there is no need to avoid sex when you or your partner are menstruating. As long as you share your feelings about period-sex openly and honestly with each other, and are both ready and willing to engage in it, there are simple things you can do that will go a long way towards easing your anxieties and making the experience far less awkward, nerve-wracking, or embarrassing for you.
Ten Simple Ways To Ease Period-Sex Anxiety and Let You Keep on Banging During Bleeding
- One of the biggest sources of anxiety when it comes to sex during periods is mess. Okay, the reality is that there will be a bit of mess and leakage, but if you place a thick, dark-coloured towel beneath you (double it over or use two towels if bleeding is particularly heavy) you can keep the sheets clean and avoid any staining.
- You can purchase some very stylish and unobtrusive-looking PVC bedsheets online from retailers that specialise in Bondage /Kink/ BDSM equipment. These are specially designed to withstand messy sex spills e.g. from semen and female ejaculate, lubricants and massage oils, food play and watersports, and can be wiped clean and washed off with ease.
- Keep some wet-wipes or damp washcloths nearby to deal with any excess leakage.
- Using condoms will make post-sex clean up of the penis/sex-toys a whole lot easier, as well as protecting from STIs and unwanted pregnancy.
- Having sex in the bath or shower can make cleaning up spilled period blood easy. The hot water can also help if you/your partner is experiencing menstrual cramping.
- Another factor that can exaccerbate period-sex anxiety is worry about odour. It is entirely normal to experience some odour during menstruation. There may be a metallic, iron-like smell, but this is the case with any blood. Vaginal bacteria and acidity can also lead to some odour. For the most part, as long as your/your partner’s vagina is healthy and good personal hygiene is maintained, any smell is unlikely to be too strong or unpleasant.
- If you find there is a rotten, fishy, or otherwise unpleasant smell emanating from the vagina, this could be the result of a tampon that has been lost or left in for too long, or it could be a sign of infection. If you notice an especially pungent odour, discharge or any other unusual symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor or gynaecologist as soon as possible to get it checked out.
- Speaking of tampons, always remove them before any penetration happens, otherwise all that pushing and thrusting could result in a lost or difficult-to-retrieve tampon.
- You/your partner may feel embarrassed about bloating or fluid-retention. If you are menstruating and feeling self-conscious about a bit of tummy bloat, trust me, this is far more noticable to you than to your partner. And even if they do notice it, chances are they won’t be the slightest bit bothered.
- Above all, be open and honest with each other throughout the experience. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel and, if you know that your partner has worries and anxieties about sex during menstruation, check in with them every now and again to ask how they’re doing and, importantly, let them know just how much you’re enjoy having sex with them.
The Benefits of Period-Sex for You and Your Partner
If you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to having period-sex, with a bit of forward planning and using the ten tips listed above, you will find there are lots of benefits in overcoming the sex-during-menstruation taboo. For starters, orgasms are great for easing period cramps, and they can also make the duration of the period a lot shorter, as the spasms and muscle contractions help the uterus to expel its content more quickly. The blood also provides lots of natural lubrication, which reduces uncomfortable friction and makes sex feel even better.
Many women find their libido increases during or near the beginning of their period. This is due to (1) hormonal fluctuations and (2) increased pressure on the lower belly and sex organs caused by the build-up of the uterine lining. As a result, a woman may very feel at her most horny during menstruation and, if so, period-sex is the perfect opportunity to make the most of all that sexual excitement. Why let all those sexy feelings go to waste?
Most of all, though, having sex when one or both of you are menstruating encourages open communication and increases the level of intimacy in your relationship, making your bond stronger and bringing you closer together.
Enquiries and comments are always welcome. You can also find me on Twitter @GrantJupiter