Period Sex: Surfing the Crimson Wave

period sex

It goes without saying that period sex isn’t really a topic for the dinner table. But is sex during that time of the month actually painful, messy or unhygienic? We’ve put some common myths and prejudices to the test and found that period sex is really not as bad its reputation suggests. And of course, we have some tips for those of you who would like to try it out.

1. Can you have sex on your period?

So many people ask “can you have sex on your period?” and the answer is – of course!  Menstruation doesn’t mean you can’t have sex. Having fun with sex while on your period doesn’t mean you have a fetish or a “perverted” predilection. After all, who wants to give up sex for almost a quarter of their lives? According to the YouGov Study Germans and Love, 37% of Germans agree and don’t want to sacrifice this time in bed either. You may feel a little under the weather and it may be a little messy, but there’s no question “is it safe to have sex during period” or not – it’s perfectly safe!

2. Women aren’t in the mood when they have their period

On the contrary, it’s not unusual for women to experience an increased libido during that time of the month. With more blood flow around the vagina and clitoris, sex can feel even more intense. Therefore, women often find sex during their period especially good.

Additionally, because sex during your period is still not that common and quite socially taboo, it becomes even more exciting for some men and women. You could also see it as sign of being comfortable, as few women will go to bed with a fling or one night stand during that time of the month. Taking this step can take a lot of trust.

3. Period sex hurts

Of course, with stomach cramps and migraines, it’s understandable that you may not desire sex during this time that much. For that reason, it’s tough to say whether period sex hurts or not. However, even those who are suffering from physical discomfort during this time might find trying sex worth it. During sex, hormones are released that can help relieve menstrual pains like cramps. Another practical side effect: when you orgasm, you lose blood faster and can even shorten your period!

If you have never done it, just give it a try alone with a vibrator or dildo. Then you will have a better idea of whether you feel comfortable with it.

4. How to have sex on period days

Periods are often much less bloody than many assume. On average, only about 60 mL of blood is released during a period, so essentially just 3 standard shots. This means that sex during period days is simple – normally, it is totally fine to just put a dark towel down underneath. Also, a quick shower will often work too. If something manages to slip through, blood stains can be easily removed by washing the affected area immediately with cold water.

Also, even if you find the bloody discharge a bit unpleasant, please remember to take out your tampon or menstrual cup before you get started. Of course, in the heat of the moment this can be a bit annoying, but leaving them in may lead to vaginal injuries. Also, the tampon string can easily snap and you may not be able to pull it back out. Then you have the risk of bacteria growth, which is right at home in a blood-soaked tampon. In the worst cases, toxic shock syndrome can occur and this is associated with high fever, skin and mucous issues, or even failure of your circulatory systems, kidneys and liver.

For those who don’t want to sacrifice sex during periods, but still aren’t comfortable with blood, there are now alternative options like natural sponges or soft tampons. The latter are made from foam and have a small opening instead of a thread, so women can pull them out with their fingers. They can both be used during sex and left in your vagina. The same applies to special menstrual cups, which do not have to be removed during sex and are apparently difficult to feel at all. There is also the Flextampon, a combination of a diaphragm and condom, which doesn’t need to be removed during sex and protects against an unwanted bloodbath in bed.

5. You can’t get pregnant on your period

Anyone who thinks that you can’t get pregnant while on your period is sadly mistaken. Although your period isn’t comprised of your most fertile days, particularly stubborn sperm can survive up to 6 days inside you. Even if your uterine lining is broken down during your period, a new egg may have formed again. So it makes sense to use condoms during period sex – they can even make cleaning up afterwards easier!

6. Sexually transmitted diseases are easily spread with period sex

Unfortunately, this myth is actually founded in truth because sexually transmitted diseases can be carried via menstrual blood. It is vital to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases throughout your whole cycle. Therefore you should definitely always use a condom during sex – especially during that time of the month.

Whatever floats your boat!

Period sex isn’t everybody’s favorite thing. So before you get naked, clearly communicate that you have your period. Otherwise, the whole thing can be an unwelcome surprise for your partner – and thus for you too. If you are all for period sex, but you aren’t sure how your partner feels about it, only one thing can help: talk to each other! There could be many reasons why you haven’t surfed the crimson wave together yet.

Just as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) knows, period sex is nowhere near as bad as its reputation:

It’s not a myth! Masturbation relieves period pain

Now we’ve dealt with the prejudices against sex during your period, but what about solo sex? Is it worth getting hands-on and putting a toy or two to use during your period? Yes! Want proof?

In May 2020, The Female Company and Womanizer jointly launched the Menstrubation Initiative. For three months, nearly 500 people masturbated during their periods, forgoing painkillers and recording the intensity and frequency of their pain.

The results? 90 percent confirmed that regular solo sex during their period relieves pain. 85 percent even plan to maintain their new masturbation routine in the future.

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Frieda worked as a freelance journalist for over 10 years: She used to write about Easter recipes and style icons, about human metabolism and Michelin-rated restaurants. In short: about everything, except for sex. And for a good reason. Frieda always considered herself to be an average sexual person for all those years. Until a breakup persuaded her to stop taking the pill, which she had been on for 14 years. It was then, at the age of 28, that she finally discovered her wonderful sexuality and found her true, unique and hungry libido. Ever since, she has not only practiced a new sexuality. She writes and speaks about it too. And has never been as fulfilled as she is today!