5 Ways To Feel Less Anxious About Having Sex During Your Period

I’d like to think we are in an age now that reexamines old attitudes towards sex and gives women the permission that they never fully had before to expect period sex as a normal part of their intimate relationships. But menstruation is one of the final frontiers in the world of body-positive taboos. It requires a lot of mindful effort from both women and men to “unlearn” the squeamishness and disgust that surrounded the topic when we were younger. Having a monthly period was one of those things that in your early relationships was probably kept hidden from your partner, in order to shield them from the reality of your normally-functioning body (see also: maintaining completely hairless legs, armpits and bikini line).

Sex-negative cultural traditions have led women for ages to just accept that having a period is shameful, that it inhibits them from going about their regular lives, and in some cases, that they are required to remove themselves from the company of men. That’s an awfully unfortunate situation, since author and sex educator Heather Corinna writes, “Women often will experience high levels of arousal during menstruation because of decreased estrogens in their bodies at that time.” What a cruel time to be on a self-induced sex fast!

However, if you or your partner still need a little convincing to break out the dark-colored towel, here are a few ways to quell any hesitations that you might have:

1. Start With Stimulation

Don’t let your next period week be all about your partner without any reciprocative action for you. Have your partner warm you up with manual stimulation, or use a vibrator to get you off. You may feel more comfortable to start if your partner plays with you with your underwear still on, and then slowly strips it off once you're both ready to go.

2. It’s A Great Excuse For Shower Sex

Hooking up in the shower is great anyway, since there's hardly any cleanup afterwards. This is a great way to introduce a squeamish partner to period sex, while showing them that is not such a big deal, and oh yeah, it’s actually pretty hot.

3. Get Into Position

Missionary, to be more specific. For period sex first-timers, it's a perfect starting position and you won't feel as self-conscious about it. Lying on your back will also reduce the bleeding, because gravity won't be working against you to make it any messier than it needs to be.

4. Roll It All Off

While you’re at it, using a condom during your first period sex experience will reduce a little bit of the squick-factor by having an extra barrier there. The lubrication from your period will make it feel really enjoyable for both of you. It's important to use a condom if you’re having period sex with a casual or non-fluid-bonded partner, since you are unfortunately more susceptible to contracting an STI during this time.

5. It’s An Easy Way To Try A Darker Shade Of Vanilla

If you and your partner have been wanting to try something naughtier in bed than your usual repertoire, period sex is an easy way to add a hint of kink into the action.

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Image: Mateus Lunardi Dutra/Flickr, Giphy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)