Let’s Talk Menstruation: A Guide to Better Period Sex

woman in red sheets
Dr. Lauren Brim
Written by Dr. Lauren Brim

Women who avoid sex during their period miss out on all the many benefits of sex. Sex makes us healthier by improving sleep quality, boosting immunity, relieving stress and anxiety, improving our mood and heart health, reducing risk of breast and prostate cancer, and increasing our self-esteem and sense of meaning in life.

During our period, sex can relieve menstrual cramps, alleviate other forms of bodily pain like lower back pain and headaches, and can increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant when her next ovulation rolls around.

What is not to love about period sex?

But do women even like period sex?

That simple question is something of a mystery since very few women talk about their periods, much less the sex they have during that time. In general, if a woman is not in pain during her period, she enjoys period sex. What women don’t enjoy is the mess it makes, which is why having sex that week without the mess is an art worth mastering!

Women bleed around one week a month for forty years (that’s 3,360 days over the course of their lifetime) unless their cycle has been altered by hormonal birth control, fibroids, pregnancy or other factors. That’s a significant amount of time to not be having sex!

Red Sex

As a sex therapist and coach, I am committed to helping women get all the great perks of sex as much as possible.

Can you have sex on your period without hours of soaking, scratching, washing, and bleaching out period blood? Or without the shame of getting it on other people’s sheets and towels and the endless bed-remaking?

Trust me, I’ve done it all. And fortunately, the answer is: yes, you can!

So Here’s What You Need to Master the Art of Mess-free Period Sex:

A commitment to let go of any ideas that period sex is dirty, shameful, smelly, embarrassing or that men don’t like it. A decision to let go of the patriarchal idea that cleaning up and laundry is the job of the woman

Acceptance of the idea that, to quote Dossie Easton, “sex is nice and pleasure is good for you” and never is that more true than during your period!

  • A wipeable surface, like an Adult Play Mat®
  • a small absorbent product like a cloth menstrual pad, or a biodegradable product like a wad of napkins or a box of tissues by the bed
  • Condoms (if you’re using them with your partner for STI or pregnancy prevention)

Step-by-step Instructions for Better Period Sex

Step 1: Decide You Want to Have Sex and Communicate That to Your Partner.

As a sex coach, I find that a lot of women have trouble communicating they want sex. They prefer their partner read their mind and initiate.

Mensie sex

In the case of period sex, women want their partners to give them the green light that sex in the presence of blood is okay.

But if you want to master period sex you have to recognize that there nothing wrong or weird about having sex during your period and initiate it with your partnefr.

Whether you want to have sex because you’re horny, or you want all the pleasurable, relaxing, meditative and soothing benefits of sex- go for it! Just communicate that you want sex with your partner (or yourself) and get started.

I’ve personally stopped saying, “I’m on my period” and have started saying, “Let me grab my mat!” It’s so much more empowering!

Step 2: Slip into the Bathroom to Remove Any Barriers to Penetration

If you are using an internal product like a tampon or menstrual cup you can remove that on the toilet. Use a finger to enter and make a circular swipe of your vagina to remove any excess blood that is sitting there.

If you are wearing a diaphragm or cervical cup that you want to leave in during sex, you can remove it and dump the excess blood in the toilet and put it back in. Wipe the vulva afterwards with a wet and soapy hand or a biodegradable wipe.

Sex during period

Some women like to use a diaphragm, cervical cup, a LUWI (a second skin that lines the vaginal or anal canal) or a female condom during period sex. These products can prevent blood from coming out during sex, but they don’t always guarantee it.

So follow the steps outlined in this guide until you’ve developed a mastery of period sex that works for you!

Step 3: Lay Down and Get Busy

Lay down with your wipeable surface underneath your butt if you’re on your back, or slide it under your partner’s butt if you start on top. If it’s a small pad, it should go right underneath your partner’s balls or vulva to catch any dripping blood.

Put on a condom at this time if you are not with a tested partner or are using them to prevent pregnancy. If you are having sex at the end of your period and you ovulate early, you can still become pregnant from period sex.

Start slowly to gauge how your vaginal tissue is and what the lubrication is like. Sometimes period blood can make things extra slippery and sometimes your vagina can feel a little extra swollen or sensitive. It’s okay if sex feels more conservative during this time.

Kinky woman ready for sexual roleplay

From there, discover what types of movement and angles feel good to you, knowing that your wipeable surface is there to catch any blood that leaks out. You can relax and enjoy the moment.

If a lot of blood falls on the pad you can wipe it with a tissue mid-sex, or while changing positions. If your partner get blood on their hand, they can wipe it on the mat or pad, or grab a tissue next to the bed.

For some women their vagina feels more sensitive so they prefer slow sex, while other women want hard penetration and can feel even deeper waves of pleasure during their cycle. Sex during your period can feel especially primal, and some women report period sex being their favorite time to have sex!

Sex changes daily based on our moods, energy level, connection with our partner and hormone levels. So stay open that it can keep changing for you as you change your perceptions, age, have babies, and change partners.

Step 4: Enjoy the Post-bliss Cuddle

When we bleed on a towel or the bed, we spend those moments after sex wondering how much of a mess we’ve made or thinking about the clean up awaiting us. If we’re away from home, like at a hotel, we are already dreading what the maid is going to find. We don’t linger very long in enjoyment because we want to prevent making more of a mess!

When we’ve mastered the art of period sex, we get to relax and enjoy.

You and your partner can cuddle and enjoy talking about the orgasm(s) you had. You can even fall asleep!

When you decide to get up, put your hand under your vulva to catch any blood that might drip down as you make your way to the toilet or shower for a rinse with water or a biodegradable wipe.

When you return to the bed simply toss the bloody tissues out, or rinse your reusable pad or Adult Play Mat®. If sex toys were used, make sure to clean your toys after every sexual experience.

Didn’t I tell you that period sex mastery was totally possible?

There are some people who enjoy getting blood everywhere (hello, blood fetish) and some women are fine just waiting for the maid or hotel service to clean up (btw, if the hotel can’t get the stains out, they throw the sheets out) but most of us care about the clean up and want a better option for sex during our periods.

These step-by-step instructions can be used in your home, on vacation, and even at your friend or in-laws house!

Sex should be enjoyed all month long because the health benefits are just too good to pass up.

And don’t forget that mastering the art of period sex does not require a partner – masturbation or self-pleasuring during your period has all the same health benefits and follows these exact same steps. So go grab your vibrator!

Sex is beautiful and oh-so-good for you.

Master the art of period sex and you get to enjoy great sex all month long

About the author

Dr. Lauren Brim

Dr. Lauren Brim

Lauren Brim is an Advanced BodyTalk Practitioner, a Sexual Wellness Coach for women and author of The New Rules of Sex, a revolutionary 21st-century approach to sexuality, relationships, and love. Lauren has a deep compassion for human suffering and has worked in the healing arts for over a decade with clients all across the world.
She is passionate about helping others discover true and lasting mind-body health quickly without surgeries or supplements. She is also passionate about helping women discover their sexual wholeness, and the happiness and pleasure that come from eradicating sexual shame. Book a session, purchase her courses or book her for a speaking event at www.laurenbrim.com.