Periods. They come every month or so and yet we’re still unprepared. Roll on a week of cramps, headaches, hunger and a whole load of other nasty side effects. On top of that, you may even become horny as hell – as if things weren’t complicated enough.
That being said, we totally understand if you don’t want a silly little thing like your period to get in the way of sex with your partner, and we’re here to help. The Ann Summers period sex guide tells you everything you need to know – from benefits and preparation tips to the best positions and aftercare.
1. It’s a natural pain reliever
Anyone who’s ever had a period will know the devil that is cramps. Orgasms are natural pain relievers as they release the feel-good hormones serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. And if you can’t reach the Big-O during sex, you’ll still reap the pleasurable pain-killing benefits. That beats reaching for the paracetamol.
2. No need to use lube
Lube makes everything better. We’re big fans of lube here, but period blood is a natural lubricant. Enough said.
3. It creates greater intimacy
Having sex on your period requires a great deal of communication and trust between the two of you. It shows you’re truly comfortable with someone, and creates a deep and intimate connection. And we all know more intimacy = better sex.
4. You’ll move out of your comfort zone
Sex is all about exploring and finding new things you enjoy. If you’re a missionary gal who only prefers to do it in bed, dabbling with period sex might change that. It could open up a whole new world of positions and locations for you.
5. It can help shorten your period
Science time, ladies. Orgasms and pleasure cause your uterus to contract, and each contraction helps expel the uterine lining and blood faster than it naturally would alone. It also helps flush out the compounds that cause those nasty cramps. Win-win.
6. You’ll feel sexier
Let’s face it: we don’t always feel hot when our period rolls around. But we can be surprisingly horny – talk about mixed messages. But when all you want to do is eat chocolate and binge-watch TV shows, what’s the best way to remind yourself just how sexy you are? Having sex, that’s right.
Listen up, everyone. Let’s get serious for second – hot sex any time of the month doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay safe. Of course you should stay safe any time you have sex, but the rumours were wrong – period sex is no exception.
Make sure you use a condom for all sexual acts, unless you and your partner are both crystal-clear monogamous and have been tested. Some prefer to wear a condom during period sex because it helps with the clean-up process, but it’s also safer for two reasons...
Long story short, wrap up before you play.
First of all, infections. Nothing spoils a hot, sexy rendezvous like a positive STD test. Did you know your risk of catching an STD from someone can actually increase during period sex? This is thought to be for a number of reasons – the cervix is more open during this time, creating an easier pathway for bacteria and viruses, and blood can be a carrier of all sorts of nasty infections. Also, the vagina is less acidic during your period, which puts you at greater risk of a bacterial or yeast infection. Definitely not what you want.
Second, pregnancy. Unless you’re on some kind of hormonal birth control, you’ll need to wear condoms to prevent the pitter patter of tiny feet. Although it’s less likely than when you ovulate, you can still get pregnant during your period – more likely if you have a short cycle, that is if you ovulate shortly after your period finishes. That’s because sperm can live for seven days inside you - that’s right, a whole damn week.
A little preparation goes a long way, especially for sex on your period. Here are a few Ann Summers tips to help make it a smooth ride.
The most basic thing is to lay a towel – dark is better for obvious reasons – underneath the woman before you start. And it’s a good idea to have some wipes or tissues nearby too.
Some women like to take a shower beforehand, as feeling fresh will help them feel more comfortable.
And it may sound like we’re stating the obvious, but remove any pads, tampons or menstrual cups. You don’t want to get down to it only to discover there’s something in the way. Only some specially designed condoms and menstrual cups can be worn during sex. You don’t have to go towards that scene from Fifty Shades of Grey, but make sure everything is taken out before something else goes in.
Finally, as with any sexual act, consent and communication are musts. Both partners must be comfortable with period sex and aware that it’s happening. Even if you’re getting hot and heavy with your other half, be sure to pause and let them know. You’ll likely find most partners won’t mind, but you both still need to be on the same page. It’s okay to not want to, but it’s also important you understand the reasons why.
Consider your positions – gravity isn’t something you normally think about during sex. But when you’re on your period, when minimising mess and maximising comfort are your top priorities, there are a few golden positions that should be in your sex repertoire:
It’s tried, it’s tested, and it’s the best of the bunch for when you want to keep the mess down. Prop a pillow or two under her hips to help work against gravity.
Intimate and close, spooning is a top position for anal sex newbies, but it’s also perfect for period sex. It allows the woman to control the angle of penetration, and going shallow is ideal if cramps are getting in the way.
Sex under running water? Perfect for clean-up. And if he enters you from behind, it can stimulate your g-spot enough to help reduce cramping.
Chances are you’ve done this already, but it’s a go-to position for this time of the month. Lay on your back on the edge of the bed, he’ll stand in front of you while you have your legs over his shoulders. Perfect for deep penetration – which he’ll love – but it also gives you and your cramped stomach muscles a well-deserved rest.
We don’t really need to tell you how to have period sex, do we? It’s exactly the same – don’t start worrying or you’ll be in your head too much and won’t be able to enjoy it. Relax, forget about the time of the month and let yourself go.
But once it’s all done, and hopefully you’ve had an orgasm or two, there are a few things you need to do.
If it’s your first time, then just like anything out of your comfort zone, make time to talk to your partner about it. Did you like it? Or hate it? Would you like to do it again or cross it off your list altogether? It’s important you both have time and space to air your thoughts and feelings. Either way, it’s no biggie and you should both feel comfortable and safe enough to talk about it.
Second, clean up. Chances are you’re probably not going to make that much of a mess. The average woman only loses 30-40 millilitres of blood during her entire period – that’s not a lot at all. You’ll lose the most on the first and second day, so if you’re really concerned about mess you can wait until your lighter days. It’s all about what makes you feel more comfortable.
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