For all the sexual taboos that have been dismantled, period sex is still a big one. But whether you’re nervous about venturing into the wide world of period sex for the first time or you’ve been an enthusiast for years but still worry about the logistics, we’re here to tell you: Fret not! There are plenty of great reasons to indulge in the joys of sex during your period, and a ton of ways to maximize pleasure when doing it.
“More comfort around messiness can break down barriers to sexual enjoyment,” says Shannon Chavez, a psychologist and certified sex therapist in Los Angeles. “Studies have shown that people who have higher arousal are less grossed out by bodily fluids and ‘messy period sex.’ ”
Here’s everything you need to know about how to have sex on your period.
Can You Have Sex on Your Period
First things first, a lot of people still question whether you can have sex on your period.
The answer is a definite yes. In fact, it can be particularly pleasurable—the hormonal changes that happen during your period—namely increased estrogen and testosterone levels—leads to intensified arousal (and sensitivity). “Your vagina is actually more open and receptive at this time, so if there was a position you were trying to do, but it didn’t work so well in the past, now is the time,” says Carlen Costa, sexologist and relationship expert. (For inspiration, check out real women’s favorite positions for explosive orgasms.)
Benefits of Having Period Sex
One of the most obvious benefits of period sex is increased pleasure. “When you have your period, your hormones are in overdrive, which means you might find it even easier to orgasm from touch or penetration,” says Emily Morse, sex therapist and host of the Sex With Emily podcast.
Orgasm can also help ease any period cramps. “Orgasm will release feel-good chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins (our body’s natural painkillers) that can ease the pain of menstrual cramps and bloating,” says Chavez. Plus, some women find period sex to be more enjoyable overall. “One of the great things about period sex is that you don’t need any lube because you’re already incredibly wet, which means some positions are actually easier for some women to be in,” says Costa. “Some experts suggest sticking to one position so as not to create a mess, but I say go for it,” she adds.
There’s also some evidence that having sex on your period can shorten it. With every orgasm that shoots oxytocin into your body to alleviate cramps, the contraction that accompanies the orgasm helps to flush out the uterine lining faster than if left to its own devices. This isn’t to suggest that one romp will lead to your period being gone by the morning, but it will shorten it enough that you might notice a difference.
Can I Get Pregnant Having Sex On My Period?
It is possible to get pregnant during your period, so using your birth control method of choice is very important.
“For women with shorter cycles, 21 to 24 days opposed to the typical 28 to 30 days, the risk is higher,” says registered nurse Gigi Gaytan. “Sperm can live for about two to three days, sometimes even up to five days, so if sex occurs at the end of the period and ovulation starts early with the sperm still alive, there is the chance the woman can get pregnant.” Use a condom (even if you have a LARC).
Period Sex Tips
Okay so you want to try period sex. Here’s how to make it as pleasurable as possible.