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What You Need to Know About Period Sex. Period.

What You Need to Know About Period Sex. Period.

Written for GFH by Luna Matatas

Unfortunately, our world is rife with shame imposed on menstruating bodies, vaginal fluids, and sexuality. This is ironic given that it is the same blood from where we were all born! In the end, it’s okay not to want to have sex on your period. It’s also okay not to want to have sex with someone else during their period. It is not okay to shame someone for what their body naturally does. 

If you do want to sex it up and find pleasure during your period, there are lots of ways to navigate the common things that hinder hooking up during menstruation.

Reasons why people might not want to have period sex:

  • Smell

  • Mess

  • Taste

  • Blood makes them queasy

  • Body shame

  • Ick factor*

  • Safety concerns with bodily fluids

  • Don’t feel sexy during period

*There’s nothing wrong or dirty about menstrual blood or going down on someone on their period. If you’re not into it, that’s okay. If you don’t feel sexy about it, skip it. But if you’re grossed out about blood on your chin, you might be able to navigate that if you want to. 

Reasons why people do have period sex:

  • Because they can or want to

  • Some people are hornier on their periods

  • Increased wetness and fluids feels good for some people

  • Some people get cramp relief by getting all the feel-good body chemicals that orgasms have to offer

  • They don’t want to feel restricted from sexual pleasure during menstruation

  • To enjoy the eroticism of menstrual sex

The Truth About Sex During Menstruation


There are all kinds of shaming stereotypes about periods. These stem from misconceptions that periods and vaginas smell bad and are “unhygienic.”

Period blood can have a metallic smell. Some people get turned on by this and others not so much. Regularly changed tampons and menstrual cups reduce the likelihood of this odour and are good for our sexual health anyhow. Also, showering together before sex can be foreplay as well as help rinse away any iron scent.

Sticky Sex

Blood gets sticky. While for some this may look like beautiful, blood-stained art on someone’s face, fingers, or genitals, for others the aesthetic isn’t pleasing and the sticky texture is distracting. Here are some tips for minimizing the stickiness:

  • You can keep gentle, unscented baby wipes by the bed for a quick clean up.
  • On a sex break, you can use a wet towel or facecloth to wipe down. Make this sexy by kissing or dirty talking while you wipe each other down.
  • Have a shower together and wash away the reminders of your hot sexy time down the drain during a soapy make-out session.
  • If you don’t normally use condoms, you can use them to reduce mess on sex toys, dildos, penises, and even fingers (if you don’t have a glove available). Consider internal condoms (also known as female condoms) as well. Internal condoms also allow for blood and fluid-free transmission when a sex toy (such as a vibrator or dildo), fingers, or a penis moves from one orifice to another.

Bed Mess

Undeniably, period sex can be messy on your bed linens. Those of us with lighter periods will inevitably have a smaller mess than those of us with heavier flows.

There are sex blankets meant for protecting your sex surfaces from fluids, like semen, squirt, saliva, lubes, and blood. They are an investment, but they are sexy and machine washable. Mine is conveniently red.

Here are some mess-reduction tips:

  • You can pre-plan and put on your “period sheets” (old sheets that can withstand a stain)
  • You can throw down a dark-coloured towel or two
  • Use disposable incontinence pads
  • Use disposable plastic sheets (or cheap shower curtains) underneath your sheets
  • Wash anything that gets bloodied in very cold water right away

Not Comfortable with All the Blood?

Some people get queasy around blood and some people love the extra lubrication and wetness that’s possible with period sex. If you’re in the lock-down-the-blood camp, there are great products to help you minimize discomfort and mess:

  • Menstrual cups such as the Intimina Ziggy Menstrual Cup can be used to catch the blood during any kind of sex including penetrative vaginal sex (others have shapes that prevent them from being used during penis in vagina sex)
  • Tampons (can’t have penetrative vaginal sex with a tampon in)
  • Dental dams 
  • Internal and external condoms
  • Sex sponges
  • Nitrile (latex-free) gloves 
  • Sex toys such as vibrators and dildos to reduce direct contact with the blood

Try having a conversation outside of sexy time and outside of period time to get a sense of what their take on period sex is. It may be a non-issue or you may discover it’s a solid ‘nope.’ It may be a concern of safer sex, which is ok. You might discuss sex activities that are different than your go-to sex—as long as this is pleasurable for BOTH partners, congrats on spicing it up! This conversation can be a lovely opener into all kinds of non-vulva or non-penetrative focused sexual pleasure that is possible for fun and for your sexual health. 

It’s also okay to not feel like pursuing pleasure at all or the same way you normally would. You might open up more sensual or slow space in your sex, or explore with BDSM to try something different. 

What's not okay is expecting the menstruating partner to perform oral sex for the other person by default.

Embracing Menstrual Eroticism

Menstrual eroticism is finding pleasure and arousal because of menstruation. If you menstruate, explore how you feel about your own blood and then see how it feels when you imagine it in an erotic way. Is the primalness hot for you? Is there a gyno/medical fetish to explore? Is being vulnerable by exposing such a private time with someone else hot for you? Is the consistency, smell, or visual of the blood erotic for you? Is the turn on that your partner accepts and desires you at any time of the month? Is the idea of seeing your blood on your partner’s face, body, or fingers sexy? Do you use it in a fantasy as part of submission or domination?

If menstruation turns you on, here are some menstrual eroticism ideas:

  • Body blood stamping
  • Watching menstruation together in the mirror
  • Menstrual worship
  • Use dildos or vibrators that show off the blood

If after exploring your feelings towards partnered sex or masturbation on your period you still end up with NOPE, that’s okay too. 

Sexual Health and Safety Stuff

Blood, like other bodily fluids (e.g. semen or vaginal fluids) can transmit certain sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV. Deciding to have sexy times on your period with someone else, means considering the use of barriers for safer sex—just like other types of sex that involve fluid exchanges. 

You can have period sex without exchanging fluids, by using condoms, dental dams, and gloves. And yes, you can get or give a sexually transmitted infection during period sex and pregnancy is still possible.

Periods can be an opportunity for creative sexy solutions by refocusing your attention and energy on other erogenous zones or bringing eroticism to menstruation itself. You have lots of options, including abstaining from sex with yourself or someone else during their period.