By Lipi Mehta:
Menstruation and sex – two of the most natural phenomena on the Earth that also happen to be two of the most taboo conversations in India. And when I put them together in my head, I can only imagine eye-popping reactions. “How is it even possible?”, “Isn’t it icky?”, “That’s just disgusting man!” – just some of the stuff I’ve personally heard about having sex during menstruation (or period sex).
But here’s the truth, and nothing but the truth – having sex on your period is normal, it’s possible, and it won’t give you the cooties. And when we label it as ‘nasty’ or ‘dirty’, we’re only reinforcing notions of how periods and sex both are perceived as embarrassing, shameful or just plain disgusting.
So, how do you have sex on your period? Just like you would otherwise! And if you are someone who experiences cramps on your period, it has been proven that orgasms release oxytocin and dopamine and other endorphins that can really help ease the pain (and make you feel much better). Also, it’s really not gross – it’s just blood – something that can be washed, wiped and cleaned easily, even from bed sheets (although some positions do help in restricting the mess).
A 2012 study also found that in the heat of the moment, “sexual arousal overrides the natural disgust response” – so it’s totally possible that you won’t look at it as ‘period sex’, you’ll probably just look at it as sex! And another good thing? Blood is a natural lubricant and can make the whole experience smoother and even more pleasurable than you might imagine!
But does this mean that you can have period sex without protection? You ‘can’ of course, but it’s advisable that you use contraception. Sperm can survive in the vagina for 2-5 days, and if you have a shorter period cycle (less than 28 days), you could ovulate early and there’s a chance of getting pregnant. So if you want to avoid pregnancy, use some form of contraceptive. Also, a woman’s cervix opens up during menstruation, which increases the chances of infection. So it is best to use a condom to protect yourself from STDs (and that goes for both men and women).
And finally, should you have period sex? Well, that’s totally up to you. If you feel like it, go for it! If you don’t, then don’t. Just remember that no one can “cajole” you into doing it against your wish. Also, your partner is not doing you a favour by having sex while you’re on your period. It’s all about mutual consent and choice. So there it is. Go forth and don’t be scared of trying something new – it can turn out to be bloody beautiful!