'Fifty Shades of Grey' Normalizes Period Sex — And Whatever Your Feelings Are About The Book, That's A Good Thing

HIGH WYCOMBE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: A blood red Supermoon is seen rising in the sky on September 9, 2014 in High Wycombe, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Source: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images News/Getty Images

However you feel about the Fifty Shades of Grey books, the series has caused an increase in sex toy sales, inspired discussion of BDSM practices in the mainstream media, and produced positive images of period sex by depicting it an enticing, body-positive way. These are all arguably good outcomes from E.L. James' series, particularly the last one, as we have few representations of menstrual moments in popular culture that aren't related to the infamous bloody shower scene in Carrie. If you haven't read the book, here's the gist of the scene in question: Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele are about to have sex, he asks if she's still on her period, and then reaches down and pulls her tampon out before they hit it. 

I remember reading some of the disgusted responses to this interaction, and thinking: haven't a ton of people experienced something like this? There are a lot of unrealistic aspects to Fifty Shades, but this is definitely not one of them. In fact, it's a depiction of one of the more everyday intimacies between the two main characters. We may not talk about getting it on during that time of the month too much — or feature it in many publications or movies — but it's a frequent fact of life for a lot of sexually active people.

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While period sex can be amazing, there is still so much stigma surrounding it. Common misconceptions about period sex include: that it will make your cramps worse, that you will get blood everywhere — slasher film style, and that it's just plain gross. While we can't use science to dispel that latter, there are actually many reasons to have sex on your period: not only can it shorten the length of your period, but it can also lessen the severity of your cramps, and it can make it easier to orgasm. But these practical truths probably aren't why Christian and Anastasia are getting down during her time of the month. It's more likely because women may get very aroused at this point in their cycle. With all the action already going on in that area, it's easy for ladies to flip the switch and want to get even wetter.

Unfortunately, if you do go to see the film this month, you won't be catching any tampons on screen. As you can imagine, the filmmaker's decision to omit this scene got a lot of fans upset. Apparently, it was never even considered for inclusion, which seems like a mistake, if you ask me. I'm not personally a fan of the series, but if there was a tampon scene followed by hot period sex in a film of this magnitude, you can bet I'd go to the theater for that alone. 

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Although Fifty Shades of Grey has been criticized for misrepresenting BDSM relationships, promoting domestic abuse, and being poorly written, there are indeed some positives that have risen out of E.L. James' cultural phenomenon.  While we may not get to see live action period sex, the fact remains that the author did think to include that scene in the book, which, in turn, inspired discussion and ultimately helped to normalize one more potentially amazing kind of erotic interaction. 

Images: Giphy

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