So, I had my period last week, which meant my ladybusiness was closed for normal sexual operations until further notice. I feel completely and utterly unsexy when my uterine lining is shedding and I have stuff a wad of dried, bleached cotton up there to keep it under control. Not only that, but I have this ongoing sense of anxiety, dread and leftover irritability from PMSing. Essentially, I am not in my finest form.
That said, it doesn’t stop me from thinking about period sex in theory. I know that if I threw down a red towel, handed my boyfriend a condom, and said “proceed carefully,” he would totally be game (in fact, when we were first dating and I was completely insatiable, we did it a few times). I know plenty of women who say that they find themselves even more horny on their period than at any other time of the month. And yet, period sex is still something that seems kind of taboo. I’m sure part of it stems from our (as ladies) discomfort and overall icky feeling. But I also feel like a lot of it is because dudes, in general, are completely repulsed.
Considering that menstruation is a normal bodily occurrence that affects over half of the population, you’d think the stigma and weirdness surrounding periods would be a lot less omnipresent. But our society still treats it like it’s really gross and shameful. I have friends whose moms refused to have conversations about periods with them. It wasn’t until this year that an ad for sanitary napkins actually featured “blood.” Religions all around the world have questionable perceptions of menstruation. It’s no wonder that many of us, as females, become pretty icked out by our own bodies from anywhere from 15-25% of each month. So naturally, guys aren’t exactly going to be super enlightened and progressive about periods either. My boyfriend didn’t know what a tampon looked like before he met me, and was utterly fascinated. Guys balk at the idea of buying tampons or pads for their girlfriends (like the cashier is going to think they’re the ones bleeding…) But, really, periods are such a non-entity in the grand scheme of things. They may be bloody and inconvenient, but they’re natural, healthy, not embarrassing and a confirmation that you’re not knocked up.
When even AskMen is publishing articles on engaging in period sex, perhaps it’s time to be a little less skeeved out about the idea of sexy time during shark week. If period sex truly is unappealing to you, of course you shouldn’t engage in it. But if it’s something that you would be into, don’t be afraid to bring it up to your partner. A good partner, even if they’re not into the idea, is not going to make you feel disgusting or unreasonable for wanting it. There’s no reason to forgo sex every time you bleed (especially since the average woman spends 3500 days menstruating).