By: Agra Mikel, SFU Student
Saying the words “period sex” is like opening up Pandora’s box. It’s bad enough having a woman openly talk about a healthy and normal bodily function — throw the desire for sexual pleasure into the mix and it’s like an invitation for the world to go berserk. But what really is the big deal when it comes to period sex? We shouldn’t be perpetuating stigmas surrounding women who bleed, especially when sex during a period actually has some benefits.
Studies on the health of menstruating women show that having sex during periods can help relieve menstrual cramps and headaches. It could also cause them to have shorter periods. This is the ultimate bonus considering periods can be painful and unavoidable for many women. Why not flip a difficult, inescapable time of the month on its head and make it something pleasurable?
Of course, these advantages are not exclusive to the biological female body. For all parties, having period sex can actually increase the overall sexual experience. Menses acting as a natural lubricant can make for a rather smooth and easy-going session. At the same time, most biological women’s sex drives reach an ultimate high at this time, intensifying the crave and energy to really get it on.
So if period sex is safe and may even have some added benefits, why is it that people are still so quick to dismiss it?
The problem boils down to how periods have historically been framed as wrong — and therefore shameful — in nature. Stigma over period blood is ingrained in our history, from the Ancient Romans who thought that women who menstruate were actually dark witches, to the French who believed that monster babies would be born out of those who consummate while on their period.
While these ludicrous myths may long be forgotten (or at least, I’d hope so), notions of shame and embarrassment surrounding menses continue to linger to the present day. Further complicating the open enjoyment of period sex is the fact that women are also reprimanded for openly expressing their desire for sexual pleasure. While men are free to do so — and are sometimes even praised for it — women instead experience backlash for asserting such a natural bodily instinct, and are deemed as lewd and unladylike.
Perhaps the true biggest downside to period sex is how messy it can get — easily leaving a bedroom looking like a bloody crime scene. Even I — as an advocate for this forbidden act — would not want that. However, there are plenty of ways to get around this issue. Placing a towel onto the bed is a small price to pay for the amount of bloody pleasure that can be had between partners. And if that’s not sanitary enough, shower sex is also an option — just clean yourself up as you go.
The second most common argument against period sex after “it’s messy” is usually that it’s “unsafe.” This is a complete misconception. But don’t just take my word for it; Healthline confirms that there is actually nothing wrong with getting it on during this period of time (pun intended).
Of course, period sex is not for everyone. If someone generally gets squeamish from seeing blood, then by all means, they should stay away from this activity. However, shaming women for wanting to exercise their right to sexual pleasure — at any time of the month — is inexcusable. At the end of the day, period sex is completely healthy and normal, just like any other form of consenting sexual expression.