Are we supposed to bang when we’re on our periods? Period sex was once very much a taboo (and TBH, it still is), and it's a question that just won't go away. It is also a sexual scenario rife with strong opinions. You’re either down or you are completely and unequivocally not down. Plus, there are entire (sexist AF) cultural narratives around the “uncleanliness” of a menstruating person.
For the Love of Period Sex
Case in point: Nepal just threw out an old law that stated that women had to stay in special huts outside the home during their periods after two people died (no joke, a woman was bitten by a snake and died in one of these huts). We may not be banishing people to huts here, but many people are still terrified by period sex - or fascinated by it.
According to data collected by Simpatic.us from over 4,000 users, both men and women say they are interested in having period sex - 38% of men and 31% of women. Despite any lingering taboo, there is a significant group of people who are down for sex during this time of the month. So, this begs the question, why do people love period sex?
For some, it’s a battle between wanting to f*ck ... but also not wanting to destroy the Egyptian cotton sheets they bought on Amazon Prime. (As a type A nutbag myself, I can personally relate to that notion.)
“I have a love/hate relationship with it,” says Marie*, 24. “I don’t want to go five days without sex, but I despise the mess. I guess we could do it in the shower, but shower sex is a pain in the ass. I guess you just lay down a red towel and hope for the best.”
If you don’t own a red towel, you really should. Of course, if you are very much anti-mess and go for the red towel trick, you have to be cognizant of remaining on the towel. If you change positions too often or too aggressively, the sheets will get it. See? I’ve thought a lot about this.
For all the “unclean” storyline bullsh*t we’re fed, there is evidence to suggest that women can be horny as all hell during their periods. “Scientifically speaking, some women experience increased libido during their periods due to a spike in progesterone levels around ovulation and fluctuating hormones.” Erika Jensen, co-founder of The Flex Company tells Kinkly.
While research shows you’re most down to bang during ovulation (usually 14 days after your period ends), hormone levels are whackadoo during menses too. Some people may be in the thralls of cramps and self-loathing (ie: not feeling sexy) during their periods, while others may experience a flush of hormones that pushes libido sky high.
"I’m my horniest when I’m on my period,” says Hayley*, 29. “I wouldn’t be able to date someone who wouldn’t have sex with me on my period. It’s when I want to do it the most.”
Not to mention heterosexual men aren’t as grossed out by this whole thing as you might think. They are into period sex too.
“When in a relationship I enjoy sex while my significant other is on her period. I'm not sure why, but it makes me feel like a dog in heat and it's a major turn on,” offers Jesse, 27.
Jensen tells us that the men she works with often report that having sex with their partner during her period actually makes them feel closer and more connected.
“I’m not going to turn down sex, even if a woman is on her period. Sex is already super messy, so who cares?” adds Marc, 33.
And there is more to it than that. There are people who love period sex so much it’s an actual fetish. This is likely born out of the taboo nature of period sex. We want what we can’t have or what is considered “bad” or unsavory.” For others, period sex is just … well, HOT.
“I think the most wonderful thing about period sex is that it defies all the BS we absorb about menstruating bodies being disgusting and shameful. When you're having period sex you either don't care about those messages or you're enjoying reveling in your own dirtiness.” Tina Horn, host and producer of the kinky slut podcast "Why Are People Into That?" tells Kinkly.
Jensen says that we can’t accept and normalize this perfectly healthy practice without letting go of stigma. “This is important to note because although there are certainly fetishes surrounding the category, the broader population has to first accept period sex for exactly what it is - just sex,” she tells us.
So, why do people love period sex? Well, one of the key (if not obvious) things to note here is that people are into period sex because people love f*cking. Sure, there is fetish around period blood, but for the most part, people just want to have sex despite the obstacles. As much as we like to period-shame, many people aren’t going to give up sex just because of a little blood.
Think about this one for a second, if you didn’t (or don’t) have sex on your period, you’re missing out on five to seven days of sex every single month. Now, let’s say you began your period at 13 and go through menopause at 50. This means you’re missing out on exactly 2,579.5 days of sex in your life. That’s a lot of days. That’s a SH*TLOAD OF DAYS.
Many people have period sex because sex is awesome and periods are normal. Fifty percent of the population has a period. Instead of ostracizing people on their periods and period sex, we should just be more open about it. If everyone just STFU about periods, we’d all be having more sex. Period.
For others, they just plain like it. “For those who enjoy blood play, menstruating can be the safest, most organic way to revel in the smell, taste, feel, and head trip of their favorite fluid.” Horn tells us.
Normalize Period Sex. It’s the catchphrase for the next presidential election. (I will need payment for this idea, btw.)
There. I basically just solved the puzzle for world peace. You’re welcome.
*Names have been changed.
Gigi Engle is an award-winning author, certified sex educator, psychosexual therapist in training, and author of "All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life." Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @GigiEngle.