Are men okay with period sex? (And do we really care?)

Originally posted on Bellesa Collective

Period sex is a huge taboo for many of us when we’re younger. I mean, we have to learn to get used to talking about periods and — gasp!— carrying a tampon openly. And when you’re in junior high, that can seem like enough of a struggle. But as we get older, many are learning to embrace complaining about our periods and having sex when it’s that time of the month. Which makes sense— if you have regular periods, are you really going to deny yourself sex for one week out of every month? That sounds so unnecessary.

But some hetero women are still wary about having sex on their periods because they’re not sure how a guy will feel about it. Now, in my experience, men are pretty relaxed about sex when you’re on your period. I’ve only been with one guy who was weird about it — and he was a total neat freak and pretty uptight about everything, so I wasn’t really surprised. But maybe I’ve just had a good run. So how do men generally feel about period sex? Well, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

First things first: who gives a fuck?

Firstly… I don’t care if men like period sex — and neither should you. If you like it, if you’re cool and comfortable with your body in all of its many cycles, then you should be with someone who loves it just as much as you do. It doesn’t matter if men, in general, like it or not. All that matters is that you’re with someone that shares your enthusiasm. And that shouldn’t be negotiable.

Most people get that it’s natural

But it’s reassuring to hear that most people are pretty cool with it. A survey from the Flex Company, which designs disposable menstrual disks, asked over 500 people what their views on period sex were. And 84 percent of people had had it themselves — so they’re obviously pretty cool with it. As for how it was, the most popular response was “natural” and “normal”which received 45 percent of the votes. Yeah, some people thought it was gross — but, interestingly, 30 percent of people surveyed said they wanted to have more period sex. And when Cosmopolitan spoke to four different dudes about it, most of them really enjoyed it — and the only turn off for one guy was having a bloody dick, which I get can be a little weird. But the others weren’t phased. “From my experience, the sex has always been really fun,” one man explained. “I’m not sure why. I know there’s a hormonal thing on the woman’s side of things.” For women, it tends to be great (more on that later) and for men, it’s just not that big of a deal.

The biggest issue is easy to fix

Now here’s the thing, the biggest problem that people with period sex was actually a totally understandable one — that also happens to be totally easy to fix. In the same survey from The Flex Company, 86 percent of those said that the biggest issue with period sex was “the mess and clean up”. To which I say: Well, no shit, Sherlock. But all you need is a towel on the bed or to have sex in the shower and suddenly that’s no longer an issue. Hell, there are even a lot of menstrual cups these days that claim they can provide mess-free sex. So if that’s your biggest problem, there are a lot of ways to deal with it.

And we need to not be so penetration-centric

Even having a problem with the mess of period sex reveals a bigger issue. There’s something off about how we look at sex generally — we are way, way too focused on penetration as the only form of sex. Or at least as the “pinnacle” of sex. If you don’t want to ruin your white sheets, I totally get it. But you can do a lot of fun sex things that don’t even involve the period mess. Most women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm — and you can have plenty of that with a tampon still in. Focus on outercourse and on foreplay that doesn’t involve penetration. Kiss, get the nipples involved, go for ass stuff if that’s your thing. But thinking that you can’t have sex if you can’t put something into a vagina is not just heteronormative, it also means you miss out on a lot of fun.

And it’s great for you

Finally, as a woman, period sex — or at least, period orgasms — are great. Did you know that not only do orgasms help relieve period cramps, they can also shorten the length of your period? And, anecdotally, every woman I know (including yours truly) is horny AF and extra sensitive during their period. So why deprive yourself?

Having sex on your period should be about what you want to do and what makes you feel great — and that means having a partner who embraces your body as much as you do. The truth is, most people get that period sex is totally normal. Yes, it’s messy, but that’s easy to fix — and is balanced out by the fact that the extra sensitivity makes it feel amazing for you. If it turns you on, that should be enough for any partner you have. And plus, are you really going to hold out for a week of every month when your hormones are driving you into a frenzy? I’m certainly not.