Intimacy and Your Period

Photo Credit:  August Nyson

Photo Credit: August Nyson

The topic of ”period sex” can be both subjective and sensitive. Some people feel that sex with a woman while she’s on her cycle allows lovers to share the most vulnerable parts of themselves. It builds trust, connection, and strengthens their intimacy. On the other hand, there are those who flat out say no, that it’s gross. “I’ll pass. I can wait a week,” says Brian, a single male. “I have done it, but [I’m] not a fan of it. The smell ... but I mean, on the last day ... maybe.” 
           
Nisha, a wife, mother of two, and teacher, says during that time she and her husband typically abstain from making love. “My sex drive is higher. With the stress of his job, and health problems … he isn’t for it. He’s also grossed out by the sight of blood. I like it [laughs] because the flow serves as an extra lubricant, and it’s easier to achieve an orgasm.”

One friend said her partner would just grab a few towels and spread them across the bed. “Him being comfortable with it eventually made me become comfortable with doing it. It took our relationship to a different level.” Another friend had quite a different perspective: “Forget him! What about my heightened sense of cravings? [laughs] Can he handle that? No, seriously, I use it as an opportunity to switch roles. As an opportunity to be creative in ways that please him. There is a certain level of power and control that I have in the moment that he can’t reciprocate.”

In a Healthline article entitled Is It Safe to Have Sex during Your Period? Tips, Benefits, and Side Effects, Stephanie Watson identifies the pros, cons, and possible risks associated with the topic. 

Benefits:

  • Relief from cramps

  • Shorter period

  • Increased sex drive

  • Natural lubrication

  • Relief from headaches


Possible Side Effects:

  • Messy

  • Anxiety over making a mess

  • Risk of spreading an STI (sexually transmitted infection, such as HIV or hepatitis), viruses that live in blood and can spread through contact with infected menstrual blood


Watson also advises that if you plan to have sex during your period and you’re wearing a tampon, remember to remove it. “Don’t let your period put a halt to your sex life. If you do a little prep work,” she says, “sex can be just as enjoyable during those five or so days as it is the rest of the month. You might be surprised to find that sex is even more exciting during your period.” 

In another online article focused on sexual intimacy within traditional marriage (under the title Hot, Holy & Humorous), the author takes a lighter approach to period sex by suggesting options other than penetration. She writes, “Perhaps the saying should be, ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the body grow friskier.’” There are times when sex may not be an option such as when recovering from surgical procedures, childbirth, or during chronic and severe illness, but a period doesn’t have to be one of them. Other options such as fellatio and exploration of each other’s body are suggested. However, if (to quote the title of Spike Lee’s movie), She’s Gotta Have It, then the author recommends using a diaphragm or a Softcup to help prevent the possible mishaps and mess that may occur during period sex. A diaphragm is primarily a barrier method of contraception that can also double as a blockade for menstrual flow. A disposable menstrual cup like the Softcup is a practical alternative to a tampon because (unlike a tampon) it is safe to wear during sex while you have your period. Though the menstrual cup may look a little like a diaphragm (which is also a flexible cup), never rely on a Softcup to prevent pregnancy because it’s not meant for birth control. 

The decision on whether to have period sex is clearly a personal choice that is left up to the discretion of two consenting individuals who want to come together on one intimate accord. Consideration of the other’s boundaries and comfort level should always be the standard, with love and mutual respect being the goal! 

By: CaSaundra Flagg

Be a Rose