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May 20, 2021
Photo by Deon Black.
Will I like it? Will he/she/they like it? Can I still get pregnant? Is it safe?
So.many.questions. We’ve all wondered at one point or another, haven’t we…?!
Medically, there is no reason not to enjoy sex or a bit of frisky fun whilst on your period, but for some it’s a flat-out no-go zone (also, we'd like to acknowledge here that for endometriosis warriors, or those who may suffer from conditions such as vaginismus, sex might be super uncomfortable and so we'd recommend seeking professional advice/support). Whatever your preference, here are a few things to consider:
Getting frisky whilst on your period releases endorphins and oxytocin (often dubbed ‘the love hormone’) in our bodies which can improve our mood, reduce the perception of pain and make us feel all warm and fuzzy and connected to our partner. Orgasms are also said to relieve period pain (‘cos we needed another excuse?!). Learn more about orgasms and period cramps on The Moxie Periodic Table, as told by resident Sexologist, Chantelle Otten.
Whilst sex is the last thing on some people’s minds during their period, others can’t think of anything but. Arousal during menstruation for a lot of people on their period can be heightened, particularly due to increasing levels of estrogen and testosterone on around day 3. Also, don’t assume that your partner won’t be into it – they might really dig it, too. Doesn’t hurt to ask (but always remember, seek consent!).
Look, there’s no denying that it’s going to get a li’l messy, especially in the first few days of your bleed. You can always wash the sheets afterwards or lay a towel down before-hand or better yet, do it in the shower and easily wash away any 'evidence'. If you notice dark clumps or a heavier period soon after intercourse, don’t stress; it’s just your uterine lining shedding and it’s totally normal (though if you’re worried, always see your Doc). Sexologist Chantelle Otten shares her tips on how to have less-messy period sex...
Many people (particularly health professionals) may argue that there really is no such thing as 'safe sex', as all forms of sexual contact carry some kind of risk. But for the purpose of this piece, let's focus on sex and periods, and how you can make it 'safer'.
When we menstruate, our cervix is more open than usual and we’re actually shedding the inner lining of our uterus; which means that it becomes a bit like an open wound, making us more susceptible to infections – but it works both ways; not only are we more prone, but we can also more easily infect others, too. STIs like HIV and Hepatitis are more easily transmitted through contact with infected blood and so you may infect your partner if you’re not careful.
The best way to minimise risk of infections and STIs is to use protection, like a condom, a dental dam, or even latex gloves (depending, of course, on the kind of sex/intimacy you’re having, though be sure that neither you or your partner have a latex allergy). ALSO, be sure to thoroughly wash any sex toys with soap and warm water in between sessions.
Although unlikely during this phase of your cycle, it’s not impossible with penis/vagina intercourse! Sperm can live inside you for 3 – 5 days after sex and so if you happen to ovulate during that time, you may get pregnant. If you’re not keen to add to the fam just yet, use protection.
If you’re not into full-blown intercourse whilst on your period, or if you're not up for any kind of genital touching or stimulation, there are still other ways to be intimate and have some pleasurable fun with your partner (and even reach orgasm). Time to get creative, Moxette (and that goes for your partner, too 😉). Alternatively, you can always go it solo ❤️ Learn more from The Moxie Periodic Table resident Sexologist, Chantelle Otten 👇
Both periods and sex are natural, Moxette, and there’s no real reason (personal medical issues aside) why one should prevent you from experiencing the other. Whatever you do, or anyone else does, just always make sure it's a hard 'YES' and it's consensual. Your body, your period, your choice!
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