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If you’re not having sex during your period, you’re not living


Is sex during your period a bit messy? It certainly can be. But is it worth it? Hell, yes.

I’ve never been squeamish about having sex during my period thanks to my first boyfriend/the man I lost my virginity to. In the throes of young love and passion, it was a given that nothing would get in the way of our nakedness, so I don’t recall that we even discussed whether we’d stop while I was bleeding. There was no pause or ick factor — I just grabbed the towel, and we went to town — and never stopped the entire time we were together.

More: 6 reasons to love your period (yes, seriously)

Years later (when you’d think I’d have been wiser), I dated a man who thought periods were disgusting. I was all, “Hey, NBD — it’s just normal bodily fluids,” and he was all, “No way — that’s gross.” He was also the boyfriend who liked to pretend I didn’t use the bathroom like a human person, not unlike Donald Trump. He literally made me turn on the tap while urinating so he didn’t have to listen to something so appalling. Yes, I kicked him to the curb, and I suggest that if you are dating/schtupping/sexting with a man who is nauseated by your bodily fluids, you also dump that guy. Just a bit of friendly advice.

Between those two, there was also the guy I met at a bar one night, whom I warned that I had my period after it was clear we were going home together. He was not flummoxed and somehow made tearing the tampon out of me into an act of tremendously hot foreplay. (I’m still very close friends with this one, because clearly he’s a keeper.)

So clearly I’m totally down with period sex, but from all the accounts I’ve heard, I’m in the minority — even among women. I wish I weren’t, because you, dear reader, are really missing out. This is in part because many of you have succumbed to the myth that getting down during your Moon Time is somehow dangerous, gross or just plain wrong. It’s really easy to internalize myths about our bodies, so let’s bust this one, shall we?

There is a long-standing (we’re going back to biblical times here) misogynist notion that menstruating women are dangerous and “ritually impure.” You can thank my ancestors, the ancient Hebrews, for that bunch of mishegoss (that’s Yiddish for crazy-town). Let’s throw this sexist baby out with the bathwater, shall we? It belongs in the same category as the notion that women were created from men’s ribs. It’s also how “obey your husband” got to be in traditional wedding vows.

More: 7 tools that make tracking your period way too fun

To this day, some Orthodox Jewish women are not allowed to have sex with or even touch their husbands while menstruating. They must visit the mikvah (ritual cleansing bath) at the end of their period before they can resume sexual relations. Some tribal cultures force women to go to menstrual huts, which appears to be the same principle.

If you want a spiritual argument for boinking during your period, consider reversing the misogyny here — maybe we are actually sacred as we shed our uterine lining, and touching us can infuse our partners with some kind of magical period pixie dust. I mean, if Hell’s Angels understand that going down on a woman with her period is cause for celebration, why can’t the rest of us get with the program?

It’s a nice day for a red wedding

So why have sex — or just fool around — while you’re bleeding? There’s a long list of great reasons to just go for it.

  • Some women are naturally more aroused during their periods. The clitoris can be more engorged during this phase of your cycle, putting you in the mood.
  • Orgasms are amazing cramp busters thanks to dopamine and oxytocin.
  • Sexual activity may help with menstrual migraines.
  • Orgasms can help you expel more of your period blood thanks to uterine contractions, which can help with premenstrual spotting next time around. It can also potentially shorten your period.
  • It’s deeply intimate and can bring you super close to your lover. If he or she is willing to get all up in your beautiful, bloody bits, then you can really do anything — and say anything — to each other.

Quick and dirty tips for amazing period sex

  • Remember that your menstrual blood is not the same consistency as lube even though it’s also liquid. And if you’re at the beginning or end of your visit from Aunt Flo, you might feel even drier than at other times of the month, so always have lube on hand.
  • Remember those old towels you refused to throw away even the last time you Kondoed your house? Grab them (the darker, the better), and double them up on your bed. You can even get leak-proof sheets from Bed Bath & Beyond if you’re going to make this a habit.
  • A post-coital shower with your lover is always nice.
  • If you’re still worried about staining your mattress, you can just start in the shower and stay there.
  • Most important: You can still get pregnant during your period. If your cycle is on the short side, then this is especially the case, so this is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Use your preferred method of birth control like you would at any other time of the month.

So the next time your little red friend shows up for her monthly dance, show her a few new steps. You might end up with fewer cramps, a shorter period and a whole lot more pleasure than you were expecting.

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