We asked leading Sex & Relationship Coach, Rosie Rees, for her top tips to enjoy sex on your period…
"For me, there’s never been separation between pleasure and menstruation (in my mind!). Stereotypically, period sex has always had a squeamish, negative stigma attached to it, however there is no need to avoid sexual play during your period. In fact, it can be a really beautiful, therapeutic experience - solo or with a partner.
Orgasmic pain relief
Albeit a tad messy, experiencing orgasms on your period is actually beneficial for so many reasons. The increase in blood flow to the pelvis, the contracting & releasing of the pelvic floor muscles, cervix & uterine walls; and the influx of happy hormones and dopamine helps to naturally relieve period pain. And besides, our libido doesn’t automatically switch off when we start to bleed. Heightened arousal doesn’t just occur during ovulation, many folks are in the mood just before as well as during their period.
So if you experience cramps or chronic pre-menstrual symptoms leading up to your period, forget taking pain killers and instead try having slow, sensual sex with your partner or with yourself. Umm, you don’t have to tell me twice!
We all know lube makes pleasure and penetration a lot smoother, so think of period blood as some extra natural lubrication. Keep in mind that although it may seem super lubricated internally, the vagina and cervix will be swollen, softer and tender so be gentle and be aware you may even need to add extra lubricant.
If you are engaging in sexual activity on your period, here are some things to be aware of:period blood can vary in colour from bright red to dark brown; period blood can vary in consistency - from watery to thick and full of clots; and, period blood varies in scent and smell, from sweet to metallic. All normal!
Upgrade your period towel
If you’re into period sex like me, you will know what it’s like to rummage around for a dark-coloured towel to lay down on the bed in the hope it doesn’t leak through to your beautiful organic bamboo bed sheets. That’s why we developed waterproof Period Sex Blankets to catch and contain any bodily fluid leaks. Which are totally waterproof and available in ‘Moon Blood Red’ colour so it blends right in! And it’s uber soft, plush and fleecy, which is so much more pleasurable than a coarse non-waterproof towel under the bottom.
Slow down self pleasure
I’m a strong believer in slowing down sex and masturbation to heighten pleasure, vaginal sensitivity and enhance orgasmic experiences. Try this for me: eat a strawberry 4x as slow and tell me how much more you taste? Brush your hair 4x slower and tell me how much more enjoyable it feels? Slow down your breath...and notice how calmer and more present you feel.
The same goes with solo sex. Slowing down your breathing, your pelvic movement and your self pleasure will enhance your orgasm! Also with the cervix being extra soft, high, open and moist during menstruation, I suggest slowing down self pleasure if you’re using a pleasure wand internally too, try gently massaging the walls of the vagina and cervix to release internal tension and enhance feelings of pleasure and sensitivity. Just remember the cervix is ultra sensitive during this time.
Let Go of the Oral ‘Ick’
Being in a same-sex relationship with another woman, oral sex is a key element of our sex life, and it’s only since being in a relationships with a woman that I’ve experienced oral sex on my period. Past boyfriends got the ‘ick’ so I never requested period oral sex whilst in heterosexual relationships, even though the distance between the clitoris and vagina should make oral sex less messy than intercourse on your period. Anatomy lesson aside, I believe it’s time to let go of the ‘ick’ around periods and embrace our bodily fluids for the natural, human & miraculous function they represent.
Cry-gasms & Communication
Communicating your needs before, during and after is essential for a beautiful experience during your bleed time. If you’re having sex on your period, it’s best to do with someone with whom you feel totally safe because when we are bleeding, we are at our most sensitive and vulnerable, thus emotions may arise during intimacy. Don’t be embarrassed to request what you wish to receive in the bedroom and if your partner makes you feel wrong or bad, maybe that’s something to discuss more about in your relationship.
So make sure you communicate how you feel, what you need and express your personal boundaries before engaging in sex. And remember if tears arise during sex, it’s totally normal. I call them ‘cry-gasms” and as long as your partner or lover knows how to hold you throughout this, it can be a deeply healing experience. Ancient tantric traditions believed that the meeting of blood and semen was an incredibly powerful concoction, calling it ‘alchemical elixir’, so you may also like to set an intention before love-making on your period. Side note: although the risk is low, you can still fall pregnant on your period if your ovulation is early, so make sure you practice safe sex.
Sacred womb time
If you’re not drawn to self pleasure or have sex on your period, listen to that inner calling from your body. Your period is a sacred, feminine time to go inwards, to rest and to stop doing so much. Your yoni is shedding, detoxing and releasing old, stagnant blood from the previous month so it’s time to be gentle with yourself and slow down for a few days in your own “womb cave”. You may prefer to sensually massage your lower abdomen with coconut oil, use a heat pack and drink hot cacao, which is full of magnesium and will help alleviate the pain. This can also be such a devotional self pleasure practice in itself!
Since ditching disposable tampons about 5 years ago, I’ve had more period sex than ever! Free bleeding into my Modibodi period undies throughout the day and night means I am more open to being intimate with my partner or self pleasuring on my bleed. I also experience less cramping and pain because I allow myself to feel pleasure on my bleed and I don’t block the flow of my blood with cotton!
I wear a size 12 in Modibodi period underwear and absolutely love their texture, stretchiness and colour range!
Rosie Rees is the owner of the sex toy retailer Yoni Pleasure Palace which specialises in products to slow down self pleasure and prioritise pelvic floor wellness.