Like most women, I used to think periods were gross. Dirty. Embarrassing. Shameful. I hated getting it, and I hated anyone knowing I was on it.
Back when I was in high school, I would channel my inner ninja to make sure no one got wise to my ‘condition’:
Sneaking off to the toilet at not-too-regular-so-as-to-arouse-suspicion intervals…
Stuffing tampons into my pocket so I wouldn’t have to risk getting them out of my bag. (While being careful not to overfill my pocket creating that weird pocket bulge that I was paranoid everyone would notice.)
Hiding tampons in my bra on sports day because our cute little netball skirts didn’t have pockets. All the while praying they didn’t fall out. Which of course they did. Many times.
But worst of all was the idea of period sex. (Or should I say not-a-chance-in-hell sex.)
Sex when bleeding was not an option. I didn’t want anyone going anywhere near ground zero at that time of the month. Anyone who even thought such a thing was deranged in my opinion.
Oh, how very wrong I was.
It took me a long time to work that out. Over 10 years in fact. But when I did, it changed my entire sex life. AND my relationship with my period.
Yep. Period sex gave my sex life an entirely new and fantastic dimension, and it also cured me of my period shame.
So how did I overcome my revulsion for period sex?
Below are 7 easy steps to getting period sex ready. These helps will take you from ‘totally freaked out’ to ‘#1 period sex fan’ in less than a cycle.
And they work whether you’re the one bleeding or the partner trying to get comfortable with the whole thing.
➜ RELATED: How To Enjoy Sex More: 7 Essential Tips For Women (That Actually Work)
#1: Why Would You Even…?
- Sex is great. If you like sex, why would you NOT want to have sex just because of a little red bodily fluid? If you rule out period sex, you’re ruling out a lot of sexy time.
- Menstrual fluid is a fabulous lubricant. And lubricant makes for really pleasurable sex.
- It feels different. In a really good way. You’re more open… receptive…soft…You feel more. It’s hard to put into words, and until you try it, you’ll just have to trust me that it’s great.
- Less body shame. When you normalise period sex, you normalise periods. And when you normalise periods, you normalise the female body. Hell yes.
- It’ll bring you closer together and breathe new energy into your sex life. Trying new things in the bedroom – especially things that feel like an edge – is a great way to shake things up and create deeper intimacy.
I could keep going, but you get the point. Get clear on your ‘why’ and it’ll help you take the plunge. It’s also important to explain this to your partner if they’re not on board. Yet.
#2: Get Your Facts Straight
There’s a lot of misinformation around periods, which makes period sex seem a lot more daunting than it needs to be. Here’s some helpful things to know:
- You only lose a few teaspoons of menstrual fluid per day. The amount varies for every woman, and it depends on the day of your cycle, but it’s a lot less than most people think.
- There’s nothing unhygienic about it – it’s just another bodily fluid. No different in hygiene to cervical fluid, your vagina’s natural lubricant, semen, sperm or even regular blood. And we’re generally pretty cool with all those things.
Let that sink in. If you’re OK with the usual kinda mess that happens during sex – and I’m really hoping that you are – then why should menstrual fluid be any different? It’s just a little more colourful. And that’s kinda fun.
- Period sex doesn’t need to be painful – just like regular sex doesn’t need to be painful. In fact sex can help you to relax your cramping uterus, and orgasms are pain-blocking superstars. Period sex will make the discomfort better, not worse.
- Sometimes it helps to know that you’re not the only one, so I’m just going to say it – plenty of people enjoy period sex. It’s normal and healthy, just like sex is normal and healthy.
#3: Open Up and…
Ask questions of each other and talk about your worries or concerns. Share how you feel about periods, and if you’re the one who gets them, talk through your experience of it in as much detail as you can:
When your heaviest days are, whether you get cramps or headaches, what your sexual desire is like during that time of the month.
This one’s especially important for any guys looking to try period sex for the first time. If you think periods are taboo and shrouded in misinformation for women, imagine how out of the loop men are! Often it’s an innocent lack of understanding that makes men a bit squeamish with periods.
Some really common questions guys have about period sex:
“Will it hurt you?”
“Is it hygienic?”
“What’s your period like for you?”
It’s also good to talk through any negative associations with blood, and reassure each other that there’s no need to freak out when you look down and see red. (Or rusty-brown, depending where you’re at in your cycle).
It’ll be extra important for him to mentally prepare for seeing blood on his cock, which can be a shock if he’s not ready for it.
It’s common to think of violence or injury when we see blood. But let’s reframe period blood as a sign of health – it’s your reproductive system doing its thang, which is something to be happy about. It’s a vibrant sign of fertility and femininity – and something to celebrate, not fear.
#4: Experiment in the Shower
This one makes the clean up oh so easy, which takes a lot of the worry out of it. And with all that extra period-lubrication, shower sex can work way better than it does at other times of the month.
Pick a day when your period is lighter, such as day 4 or 5 of your cycle. There won’t be as much blood, and it’s a nice way to ease into it.
But if you’re not so worried or you want a more colourful experience, go ahead and pick a heavier day. Whatever’s right for you.
#5: Use a Towel
When you’re ready to take things to the bedroom, it pays to be prepared. Period sex will mean a bit of extra mess, but it’s super simple to handle. The heavier your period, the more layers you’ll want to put down. Then it’s a matter of set and forget.
Keep an extra towel handy for a quick wipe down too. Or head straight to the shower afterwards as a nice way to unwind and clean up together.
Pro-tip: I bought a waterproof mattress protector a few years back, and it’s one of the best sex purchases I’ve ever made. I often bleed a little during sex (another post for another time) so this has been a game-changer. On those occasions where there’s been some unexpected blood or we’ve rolled off the towel, I haven’t had to worry about staining the mattress. #winning
#6: Going Steady
Do yourself a favour: don’t put a bunch of expectations on your first few attempts at period sex. You’re not aiming for The Best Sex Ever. It’s about experimenting and learning.
So if the first few times are a bit stop-start-awkward-weird – that’s fine! You’ll want to stop every now and then to see what’s happening down there and check that your towel back-up system is working. It’s also a good idea to check in with your partner to see how they’re feeling.
Keep communicating, and you can’t go wrong.
This might be taking you both well outside your comfort zone, so be compassionate and let the experience be what it is. It just means you have an excuse for more practice.
➜ RELATED: 6 Simple Ways We Make Time For Sex (Even When We’re Busy AF)
#7: Enjoy Yourself. Or Not.
At the end of the day, sex is about enjoyment. Yeah, there’s other reasons to have sex, but mostly we do it ‘cause it feels good. On all the different levels.
So if you try period sex and love it – hoorah! Keep on enjoying yourselves.
And if it’s not your thing – that’s fine too! We all have different likes and dislikes when it comes to sex, so there’s no need to do anything you don’t enjoy. Try it out, see what it’s all about, and feel free to pass if it ain’t for you.
But if you’re anything like me, period sex will help you feel period proud and have you looking forward to that time of the month.
Want to get rid of painful periods + stop the emotional rollercoaster?
(100% naturally, without going on the pill)
Hi, I’m Jodie - a life, love, and sexual empowerment coach. I work with women and couples to help them create the lives, love, and sex they’ve always wanted. More love, more passion, more pleasure, and more fulfilment.
Apply for a complimentary 1:1 coaching session here.