In all honesty, periods can suck. Between the bloating, the cramps and the money shelled out for tampons, there’s not much to love about bleeding a few days out of the month, but one thing that can make them just a little bit awesome? Period sex! And very specifically here we are talking about oral sex (cunnilingus) during your period — because, hell yes, you can have it.
It may be foreign territory in your bedroom, but oral sex during menstruation is just as natural as it is any other time of the month. (FYI, all safe, sane, consensual sex is natural!) If you’re feeling a little shy about enjoying your partner’s mouth while sailing the red sea, this is for you.
So read on for our pro-tips for giving and receiving oral while you or your partner are menstruating.
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First of all, hormones can work with you or against you
Since we go through waves of hormones all month long, our temperaments and libidos regularly shift. While some may find they have lowered sex drive while bleeding, a lot of people end up with heightened arousal, often due to reduced estrogen and something called “pelvic congestion.”
Whether the excess pressure and water retention allow the body to feel more engorged and aroused or we simply crave an orgasm to cure cramps, a lot of people find sex during menstruation to be especially satisfying. That said, some folks might be a little extra sensitive to the point of needing extra-gentle stimulation, especially internally.
If your partner is bleeding, it’s important to find out if they enjoy penetration or prefer external-only stimulation during this time. For folks who do enjoy a side of penetration with their cunnilingus, fingers or a well-made toy can work wonders. To make cleanup as easy as possible, use barriers like condoms, dental dams (it’s what they’re there for!) and gloves, and throw down a dark towel beforehand. Speaking of avoiding messes…
Use a menstrual cup to put a dam in the crimson tide
Some people may not be willing to mix blood with their pleasure (totally fair!) While there’s absolutely nothing gross about sex or periods, it’s OK to have preferences! For those who’d rather avoid sheet stains, try wearing a menstrual cup while you play around. These neat little easy-to-use cups catch the blood and keep it inside for up to 12 hours. Insertion requires a little technique, but they save money in the long run, and they’re totally sanitary — plus there are some models totally designed to be unobtrusive and comfortable during sex (like Intimina’s Ziggy Cup).
Using a menstrual cup frees up all of the delightful real estate known as the vulva for pearl-polishing pleasure. Resting just the pad of the thumb against the entrance of the vagina won’t interfere with the menstrual cup (if there is one), but it will provide a whole new world of sensation for the receiver. As things get more heated, try sliding the thumb up and down gently, just a few centimeters, to add even more excitement.
Extra reassurance might be required
As mentioned above, some people get a little uncomfortable at the idea of sex during menstruation. Whether this is due to social conditioning, mess or something like a change in the way we smell, we might need a little bit of reassurance to relax into fully enjoying ourselves.
Before you go down on them, mention how you can’t wait to have your mouth on their body. Communicating your intention provides an opportunity for them to express any embarrassment or to let you know that actually, they really do need to step into the bathroom first. Allowing space to prepare (or decline, which is also OK!) will do wonders for their comfort and confidence.
Once you have permission, make use of one of the best sex toys in your toolkit: communication. Tell them how hot it is to feel them get turned on or how excited you’re getting from eating them out. Knowing a partner is enjoying what they’re doing is seriously reassuring, not to mention steamy as hell.
Periods come and go, but good sex — and solid communication — are forever.
A version of this story was published January 2017.
Hi, so there’s more period products than ever — and more opportunities to find the comfortable, practical menstrual product of your dreams!