I’ve had sex on my period twice in my life. For the first time, I was constantly running around the neighborhood with a friend of a friend and had a casual relationship for several months. During one of these “runs”, I really wanted to have sex with her even though I had my period. Before I took her home, I told her she was on her period and she replied, “I like period sex.” I’ve known female friends who absolutely love period sex, because the orgasms are amazing for cramps, and I couldn’t imagine a man saying he loved them. But he did and we had a great time.
It wasn’t really that long ago that I had intercourse the second time around. As we lay in bed, my partner said he didn’t think vaginal intercourse would be prohibited “because of a little blood.” We went for it, but first I grabbed a dark towel to make the bed and discovered what I knew after having sex for the first time since my period.
But when we talk about menstrual sex, we don’t always include all the details. Yes, endorphins can ease cravings, and no, it’s not some crazy bloodbath (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 must use a condom
Even if you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, or you’re using another form of birth control, using a condom during your period is essential. Not only does this make cleanup easier, but it also reduces the chance of germs if your partner doesn’t like blood.
“Blood is generally an environment for bacteria,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, M.D., assistant professor of OB/GYN at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and author of For Your Vagina: Your A-Z Guide to Piercings, Periods, and Pleasure. More to tell Bustle. “If blood in the vagina or uterus is exposed to certain bacteria during unprotected sex, there are more places for bacteria to multiply.” V.
2 Position is everything
Having period sex won’t make you look like Carrie in Stephen King’s 1976 movie Carrie, but it’s important to choose your position wisely once you’re done with your partner. For example, a spooning position for attraction or a missionary sex position would be your best bets. Think about it: If you’re on top, you’re likely to have a little more blood than if you’re on the bottom—it’s just basic science. So, if you want to limit how much blood is involved in your period sex, think seriously about what positions you want to avoid.
3 Shower sex is only great in theory
Dr. Dweck told Bustle that some of her patients have spotting, and one partner has opted for shower sex to save the sheets during her period. But while this sounds like a great idea, it could be great in theory.
For starters, sex in the shower can be dangerous because it’s slippery. Then again, if you spill menstrual blood, at least some of it is sure to run down your legs. Before you know it, the two of you slip and slide in the shower and one of you, if not both, falls. Basically, you’d better be on a flat surface with a towel underneath.
4 You can still be pregnant
A lot of things come up when people talk about period sex, but one topic that doesn’t come up enough is that yes, you can get pregnant on your period.
“If you’re actually on your period, you ovulated two weeks ago, you’re not pregnant, and you’re shedding,” Dr. Dweck tells Bustle. “If that’s really the case, then your fertile window is gone, so you can’t get pregnant.”
But the problem is that many women’s cycles are irregular, so if you don’t know when you’ll get your period or ovulate, there’s a risk. In addition, condoms should be used when having sex during menstruation.
5 It can make things really intimate
Of course, menstrual intercourse is different for everyone. For some people, period sex is not an act to do with someone because it requires trust and extreme comfort. Being exposed to bodily fluids like blood can create an intimacy that no one else experiences.
6 It may shorten your period
When we talk about period sex, we tend to talk about how it feels and the logistics of keeping blood to a minimum, so we tend to miss the main selling point: It shortens the period.
With every spontaneous contraction, the lining of the uterus and blood are released. So, more indulgence means more contraction, which means more ejection… voila! Your period may be a few days shorter.
7 It feels really good
Having sex during your period has many benefits, such as pain relief, but it also feels really good. Why? For a lot of women, when they’re on their period, they’re more horny than usual, which I don’t think people mention enough. Also, since you’re on your period, you don’t need to apply oil, so everything is slippery and fun. Even if you’re not peaking, sex feels great when you’re on your period because you’re itching to get your libido going.
Will you take it? Menstrual sex can be amazing; You just have to realize what’s involved. Of course, you might try it and think it’s the worst, and that’s okay. At least with these seven pieces of information in your pocket, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect.