Do sex and menstruation mix? Well, despite the perception of some that a menstruating woman is literally and/or figuratively 'unclean', many people are more than happy to explore the option of menstrual sex. This article will delve into what you've always wanted to know it; why it's hot, why it's not, and everything in between.
The social taboos involving menstruation ('menses' or 'period') and sex are far-reaching; there are many belief systems across the world that ascribe to a variety of perceptions and rituals related to it. Some philosophies forbid intercourse with a woman who is on her period, while others recommend that during menses women ought not to receive communion or enter into a place of worship. During pre-Judaic times women were isolated to red tents during the course of their menses, hindering them from participating in most activities, including sex. It was also common for religions to mandate cleansing rituals to be performed after a woman had ended her period.
Some judge that these traditions come across as oppressive signs of male dominated societies, while others perceive them as a celebration of the sacredness of the event. There are many instances in history that suggest taboos related to menstrual bleeding, but the true origin of these beliefs has likely been lost to antiquity (Read more about it.).
Statistically speaking, women who choose to have sexual intercourse during their periods have been found to have the following positively correlated characteristics; they are young, highly educated, Caucasian, and possess a high economic status. Although this data is based on very preliminary research, it does indicate that women who possess certain economic and intellectual freedom feel less hindered in making the choice to have intercourse during menses.
Sometimes, the last thing on a menstruating woman's mind is to have sex with her partner; she feels irritable, bloated, pained and/or tired. On the other hand, there are women who become extremely sexual because of their surge in hormones, and find that sex is the best physical release. A woman's sexual partner may be positive or indifferent to this physical state, but it just as common that he/she is reluctant (or completely unwilling) to enter into sexual union. The reality is that her partner's aversion to sex has nothing to do with her attractiveness or sexuality; his or her preferences simply vary. Let's look at the pros and cons for sex during menses as they apply to both men and women.
When it comes to sex, a woman's desire fluctuates over her menstrual cycle, and research has shown that it is highest at the time of ovulation (when the eggs are released from the ovaries). In recent years, another peak period has been uncovered. Preliminary studies are beginning to provide evidence that women demonstrate a higher sex drive just before, or just after, menstruating. This information presents an excellent opportunity for couples to discuss whether intercourse during menses works for them.
Women's' bodies are usually very sensitive to touch, and the physical sensations that they experience during menses are greatly heightened. Although not every menstruating woman will be receptive to the idea of having you kiss and fondle her all over, there are some who consider menstrual sex as the best sex ever. Moreover, the wetness of the vagina can feel delightful, and gives you the option to skip foreplay if you want to! Some people consider menstrual sex a pro because they believe that a woman can't get pregnant. Think again! Although the chances are slim, it is still possible for a woman to spontaneously ovulate a second time during her cycle.
Sex is great way to manage menstrual cramps. Female hormones and prostaglandins are released upon orgasm, inducing a contraction in the uterus. This is similar to those that cause the uterine lining to be shed during menstruation. This physical contraction (along with climax!) can help take the edge off any discomfort a woman may be experiencing. It is commonly supposed that having sex during menses can also end the cycle early, although there haven't been medical studies to verify this (Read more about it.). The uterine contraction induced by orgasm can make blood run faster, so be prepared for heavier menstrual flow post coitus.
Religious and social taboos regarding menstrual sex can certainly be limiting factors for both men and women, but there are other reasons why they might be disinclined to do so. Some couples don't like to have sex because it limits the positions they use; they consciously avoid those that cause excessive blood flow, such as women on top. The odor might smell unpleasant to some people, and others don't like that menstrual fluid has such a sticky texture; the mess it can create is also a turn-off for some.
There are a few cons related to blood phobias. Consider those who feel faint when they see or even think about blood. Some men can be very uncomfortable with the thought and/or sight of blood on their own fingers, legs, and penis; the same thing applies when they see a woman with menstrual fluid between her legs. Some men avoid menstrual sex because they get the uneasy impression that it looks as though they've hurt their partner during intercourse.
A significant concern that many people have concerns the incidence of STDs/STIs when a woman is menstruating. Preliminary medical findings do show that women do become more susceptible to infection during this time. There have been studies done that show a correlation between self reported STD/STI incidence and sexual activity during menses. However, further epidemiologic studies need to be performed in order to bolster these findings. If the woman is a carrier, an increased risk also exists of transmitting Hepatitis B, C, or HIV through the blood. If you have any doubt about the STD/STI status of your sexual partner, the best and safest advice is to use a condom.
Most couples avoid having sex when the female is menstruating because of the potential mess it makes. Here are a couple of great tips to make the clean up easy. Keep a towel or a wet cloth nearby and when both of you finish, give yourselves a quick wipe down and then go for a shower. The reason you shouldn't linger is because menstrual blood is pigmented and dries quite quickly; if you do linger, you'll need to pay a bit more attention to washing it completely off. At any rate, keep your mind off the mess and focus on enjoying the post-sex scrub down.
A woman's period, not to mention her mood, is most intense during the first couple of days of menses. It helps if you aim for sex before she begins her cycle or after the first couple of days are over with. If her flow is quite heavy, you can opt to have sex in the shower. If not, she can wear a tampon up until the point you both want to make love, then remove it, and apply lubricant if needed. A dark colored towel will come in handy.
If the vagina is 'closed for maintenance', there are oodles of ways to get yourself and a lover off. The best way to start spark something sexual is by offering to give her a massage. Releasing tension in the lower back, neck, or shoulders may be all she needs to get into the mood; just be mindful of the pressure that you use and ask her to guide you in the right direction.
After the massage, there are a few different ways to approach the situation. Being on her period is a great opportunity to relish simpler intimate pleasures such as kissing, caressing, fondling, and cuddling. If she doesn't feel like peeling off her clothes, you could try and get each other off while you're fully dressed. This can be done via a combination of mutual masturbation, hand jobs, or sex toys. If you both want to get more physical, perhaps try having anal sex while she's wearing a tampon. You could also try a form of 'outercourse' like Inter-Mammary Intercourse, which basically means that the man's penis is rubbed between a woman's breasts to simulate vaginal intercourse.
No matter how you go about it, remember to experiment with different types of stimulation as well as sexual moods. A woman experiencing fluctuating hormones may feel frisky, feisty, or even get the desire for hard sex.
All in all, every woman's body varies in cycle length, hormone activity and desire. If you pay attention to the unique needs of your female partner, menstruation and sex can mix after all. Don't be afraid to experiment, it's all part of the great sexual experience … so give it a go and enjoy!