If the idea of having sex on your period has you worrying about a "Carrie"-style bloodbath in the bedroom, you’re not alone. Though both are natural biological activities, for some people menstruation + sex = a messy situation. (Towel, anyone?)
While there are plenty of others — dudes included — who consider period sex a major turn-on, some couples may find it an awkward subject to broach. Especially when Aunty Flo shows up unannounced. Even in 2017, menstruation is far from stigma-free.
In all likelihood, even those who feel a tad squeamish about it have done it (or are doing it). Whether you’re all for red-hot sex or just testing the waters, here’s what you need to know.
It can relieve cramps.
Obviously, this is a big deal if you suffer from cramps when you’re on your rag. Sex — and more specifically, orgasm — triggers the release of pleasure hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins that may help to reduce pain from uterus contractions — aka, cramps. Think you’d rather pop some ibuprofen? Natural hormones are actually stronger than over-the-counter painkillers.
Doctors are all for it.
According to people who know, there’s nothing unnatural or unsafe about getting frisky when you’re surfing the crimson wave. In fact, it has some serious perks. In addition to relieving cramps, it may also make your period shorter.
And when it comes to hormones, many people find themselves feeling particularly randy as testosterone levels ramp up during the first days of their cycle. In addition, menstrual blood can act as a natural lubricant. In other words: lube not required.
Beware, you — and your partner — might like it. A lot.
Everybody experiences arousal differently. What turns you on might be an absolute turn-off for someone else. Some people consciously choose to focus on themselves during their period, others enjoy sex as they would any other time of the month.
The point is that even if you’re grossed out by period sex, that doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy it. If your partner’s down, it may even help you to break out of your comfort zone and deepen your connection.
Mess? What mess?
If you want to prevent making your sheets look like the site of a crime scene, wear a menstrual cup or female condom. Otherwise, a regular condom may make cleanup easier for your partner. Though it’s best to play around with what feels best, sex in the missionary position will let gravity do the work of limiting blood flow.
Sex on your period isn’t risk-free.
Yes, you can still get pregnant during your period — especially if you have an irregular or short cycle. However, the risk is low if you have a regular cycle.
You’ll also want to take the same precautions to protect against STDs as you normally would. The open position of the cervix means that you have a marginally higher risk of infection during unprotected sex. If you’ve tested positive for an STD, unprotected sex during your period can increase the likelihood that you’ll give your partner the disease.
[Image via Getty]