I’ve had sex on my period twice in my life. The first time it was with a friend of a friend I kept running into around my neighborhood and was casually hooking up with for months. During one one of these “run-ins” I had my period, but really wanted to have sex with him. Before I took him home, I told him I had my period and his response was, “I love period sex.” I knew female friends who really enjoyed period sex, mostly because an orgasm is amazing for cramps, but I couldn’t imagine a guy would go so far as to say he loved it. But he did, and we had a ~bloody~ good time.
The second time I had period sex was actually not too long ago. As we lay in my bed, my partner said that he didn’t think vaginal sex should be off-limits “because of a little blood.” We went for it, but first I grabbed a dark towel to put on the bed, something I had learned was necessary after having period sex the first time around.
But when we discuss period sex, we don’t always cover all the details. Yes, orgasm endorphins can ease cramps and, no, it’s not going to be some sort of insane blood bath (although there will be blood), but there are things that aren’t always covered. Here are seven things no one tells you about period sex:
1. You Should Use A Condom
Even if you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship and you have another method of birth control, using a condom during period sex is must. Not only does it make for easier clean up, which is especially important if your partner is squeamish about blood, but it lessens your chance of contracting bacteria.
“Blood in general is a medium for bacteria,” Dr. Alyssa Dweck, OB/GYN, Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and author of V is for Vagina: Your A-Z Guide to Piercings, Periods, Pleasure, and So Much More tells Bustle. “If blood in the vagina or uterus is exposed to some bacteria during unprotected sex, there are more places for bacteria to grow.”
2. Position Is Everything
While period sex won’t have you looking like Carrie in Stephen King’s classic 1976 movie Carrie after you and your partner finish, it’s important to choose your positions wisely. For example, the spooning position or the missionary sex positionare going to be your best bet, from a gravitational perspective. Think about it: If you’re on top, there’s likely to be a bit more blood than if you were on the bottom — it’s just basic science. So if you want to limit how much blood you have involved in your period sex, seriously think about what positions you want to avoid.
3. Shower Sex Is Only Great In Theory
As Dr. Dweck tells Bustle, some of her patients have opted for shower sex when one partner is menstruating, as a means of saving their sheets because, blood stains. But while that definitely seems like a great idea, it may only be great in theory.
For starters, shower sex can be dangerous because it’s so damn slippery. Then, if you toss in some menstrual blood, some of which is definitely bound to at least trickle down your leg, things get even more slippery. Before you know it, you’re both slip-sliding in the shower, and one of you, if not both of you, ends up falling. Basically, you’re better off staying on a flat surface and just putting a towel under you.
4. You Can Still Get Pregnant
Although lots of things come up when people talk about period sex, the topic that doesn’t come up enough is yes, you can really get pregnant during your period.
“If you’re really having your period, then you ovulated two weeks ago, you did not get pregnant, and you’re shedding uterine lining,” Dr. Dweck tells Bustle. “If that is really the case, then you can’t get pregnant because the window of fertility is gone.”
But the problem is that so many women have irregular cycles, so if you don’t know exactly when you’re menstruating and ovulating, the risk is there. Beside, you should be using a condom during period sex anyway, as mentioned in number one.
5. It May Make Things Really Intimate
Of course, period sex if different for everyone. For some people, period sex is not really an act you do with just anybody because it requires trust and an extreme level of comfort. And, exposure to one’s bodily fluid like blood, can create a type of intimacy you won’t have with just anyone.
6. It May Shorten Your Period
Because when we discuss period sex we usually address how it feels and logistics of keeping the blood as minimal as possible, we tend to skip over a major selling point: It can shorten the length of your period.
With every contraction that comes with an orgasm, the uterine lining and blood are expelled. So, we can deduce that more orgasms means more contractions which means more expelling and… voila! Your period could be shortened by a few days.
7. It Feels Really Good
In addition to the many benefits of period sex, like alleviating cramps aside, it also feels really good. Why? Well, for a lot of women, they’re hornier than usual when they have their period, and I think this is something that people don’t mention enough. Also, because you are menstruating, there’s no need for lube, so things are really slippery and fun. Even if you don’t climax, sex on your period still feels great, as you’re sort of scratching the itch of your libido that’s in overdrive for the moment.
Takeaway? Period sex can be pretty damn awesome; you just need to go into it realizing what’s involved. Of course, you may try it and think it’s the worst, and that’s totally fine. At least with these seven pieces of information in your pocket, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect.