Parting the Red Sea – A guide on the do’s and don’ts of period sex

Menstruation. It’s a touchy subject, but that doesn’t mean you have to refrain from being, ahem, touchy, while it’s happening. There’s a lot of stigma surrounding period sex, and periods in general, which is shit craic, because period sex is great. A lot of people, for some unknown reason, think periods are unclean, unsanitary or otherwise dirty. This is simply not true. Menstruation is just a natural part of having a uterus. There’s nothing terrifying or fearsome or extraordinarily unhygienic about periods, despite what 14 year old boys might think. If the mere idea of menstruation repulses you, you should 1) grow up, please and 2) potentially stop reading now.

Period sex is actually quite good for you. Having an orgasm causes the muscles of the vagina to contract which in turn helps push the menstrual fluid out, and thus shorten the period. Admittedly it won’t shorten it by a substantial amount, but hey, any reduction to bleeding time is great. Period sex has also been shown to stop or greatly reduce cramps (temporarily), which is also great, because cramps are evil. Orgasms can also boost your mood, which is fantastic if you’re prone to period rage or sobbing like I am. In addition, all the wild hormonal goings on are reported to result in intense, amazing orgasms. What’s not to like?

So now that you know the truth about periods and the benefits of a good menstrual orgasm, what do you need to do to prepare for period sex?

Talk to your partner. Take some time to figure out how you both want it to go. Do you want it to be penetrative or not? Is oral a no go? Are there things you’d normally do that you don’t want to happen during period sex? Are there things you want to try? Are you both definitely okay with this? Do you need to get anything in preparation such as lube? Consent and communication are always key.

If you’re having sex with someone with a penis, and you aren’t on birth control, buy condoms. A lot of people think you can’t get pregnant while on your period. Those people are wrong. It’s highly unlikely, but it is possible. Babies are incredibly expensive, as are ‘weekends away’ to England. Just use condoms. Better safe than sorry.

Get out the towels. Unless you have a ridiculously light flow, you are probably going to drip at some stage. Put towels on every surface your genitals will be near. If you’ve only got thin towels, put down more than one. No one wants to orgasm and then immediately have to change the sheets. Don’t use the good towels or white towels, unless you’re prepared to remove blood from them and/or listen to a lecture from your mam. Thick dark coloured towels are the best choice.

Give the area a wipe before getting down to business. A lot of people feel the need to have a full on shower before period sex. This isn’t necessary unless you personally want to. A wipe of the area with toilet paper is fine. It’s especially a good idea if you have a heavy flow or tend to pass blood clots.

Accept that it’s going to be messy. There’s no getting around it, period sex is messy business. This is a fact. Make peace with it. Embrace it. A wise person on an internet thread once said “remember, humans and genitals are washable” and honestly that’s a good thing to keep in mind if you or your partner are squeamish. Plus, you could even shower together after if that’s what you’re into.

If you or your partner are not fond of the idea of blood to genital contact, try toys. If you’re fond of penetration you can get a decent dildo online or in most sex shops for €10 to €20. Vibrators are also great if you want to have a good time while avoiding the shark cave. Again, you can get a pretty decent one online or in most sex shops for €10 to €20. With toys make sure to clean them regularly according to manufacturer instructions. Don’t use silicone based lube on silicone toys, it corrodes them. You can get water based lube everywhere anyway.

Try to relax. If you’re trying period sex for the first time, don’t let yourself get stressed about it. Of course it’s a bit more complicated than regular sex, but once you figure out what’s good and works for you you’ll wonder why you even worried.

If it hurts, stop. This should go without saying. If you’re in pain, it’s perfectly acceptable to tap out. Bodies are weird. Menstruation is weird. If your body isn’t having it, let it be, try again some other time. There’s always next month.

Don’t fear oral. A lot of people are afraid of the idea of period oral. It’s honestly not the horrible vampire film nightmare you think it is. You actually don’t pass that large an amount of blood during your period. Your partners mouth, contrary to popular belief, is not going to be flooded. If you enjoy oral and your partner is up for it, give it a shot, especially if you don’t feel up for penetration. If one or both of you hate it that’s cool, but I strongly recommend you don’t knock it until you try it.

Go to the bathroom shortly after you finish. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, peeing after penetrative sex helps prevent UTIs. Secondly, the contracting of the muscles during orgasm may have pushed out some menstrual fluid. Hopefully you’ll have towels down anyway, but if you or your partner are squeamish it’s probably better to deal with that A.S.A.P. rather than wait for the Niagara Falls cascade of doom.

And there you have it! Everything you need to know to have a bloody great time (pun intended) while getting sexy on your period. Go get your dark towels out, buy some condoms and let the good orgasms roll. Once you get past the ‘ew’ factor, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it sooner.