This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sonia Mariam Thomas. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

“Sex Knocking You Up Is So Bollywood, But Sex So Good Your Period Shows Up?”

This post is a part of Periodपाठ, a campaign by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with WSSCC to highlight the need for better menstrual hygiene management in India. Click here to find out more.

A still from the movie Parched
A still from Parched (no pun intended).

Sex is always fun for me. Periods are always an inconvenience for me. So why in the world would I bring these two oddballs together?

Let’s go back to 2014 when I still hadn’t had sex with anyone but was dying to know anything I could about it. I came across an article about period sex being the best thing that the woman had ever done, and the idea grossed me out. Who could possibly want to have sex when your vagina is bleeding like a river? Images of bloodbaths straight out of a Tarantino movie, while I am twisted like a pretzel, flooded my overactive imagination. I immediately shut it out.

I would never do that,” I told myself.

But, as they say, horny ko kaun taal sakta hai?

I didn’t plan on having sex the first time I had sex. I was on my period, and all I could think before the date was, “Best case, I’ll get to make out with him and send him home.” It was a “Netflix and Chill” session, so even as I was wrapped in his arms on the sofa, I knew it was coming. Every person who’s been in this situation knows the drill. An arm on the shoulder becomes a palm on your chest and, next thing you know, you’re kissing someone’s face.

In that moment, I was walking the thin line that every menstruator walks between extreme lust and an extreme aversion to touch. And I gave in to lust, only to remember that article from 2014. My brain went into overdrive, and I interrupted my incredibly hot makeout session, to say words I was hoping would end the story right there: “I’m on my period.

And, in a shocking turn of events, my date replied, “I’m okay with it if you are.


That was a bigger turn-on than the person himself.

So my first time having sex, I did something I had sworn never to do. And I liked it? Were people lying about your first time not being fun? Because here I was, relieved to be eased of the sexual tension, and not even remotely disgusted at the thought of my period. My period was, in fact, the last thing on my mind. It wasn’t the bloodbath I expected it to be.

I rode the crimson wave with multiple partners over the years and realised that not only was the shame only in my head, but that period sex helped me.

And I probably got lucky with the people I met because they all seemed to… understand.

A Still from Bazigaar by Abbas Mustan where Shahrukh Khan has definitely not had period sex
A Still from Bazigaar by Abbas-Mustan where Ajay has definitely not had period sex

With PCOD, life is pretty unpredictable in the reproductive region. And in the most Abbas-Mustan-esque manner, one time after sex a particularly kind partner called me up on his way home to say, “Hey I think your period is here because I saw some blood on the condom. So, please take care and let me know if you need anything.

Sex knocking you up is so Bollywood, but sex so good your period shows up? I was on board with this idea.

My cramps were noticeably more manageable than before. It was easier to have sex. It was more fun. Honestly, I thought I was crazy but turns out science backs me up. The vulnerability of sex and all its other noises and quirks and laughable moments made having a period one of the more mundane details in the equation. The bleeding was secondary and didn’t matter. Besides, the almost-thrill of possibly making a mess drove me.

I am not going to lie. Writing this piece down is hard. It’s hard to admit that I liked loved something that sounded disgusting in theory.

Our periods have been put on a pedestal by society. A pedestal of gold and extreme reverence that has also been buried six feet below; asked to be wrapped in silence and sheets of newspaper on the way home from the chemist. Don’t tell the world that you’re on your period but also embrace your pain, hide your sex drive, and conceal it all behind a smile because, “it happens to everyone, beta.

Our realities behind closed doors may see us secretly hating ourselves for our desires, no matter how progressive our outer selves are. That’s because our realities beyond our threshold hold us back. In a patriarchal world, this essay is blasphemous.

How does a brain that is conditioned to live in shame grow out of it? By facing the shame upfront. No, really. Brene Brown has said it too. So, I did it. I spoke to people about it, and some of my friends were intrigued by my experience, having a-ha moments about their rising libido during their periods just as I was. Then, some just nodded along and said, “Isn’t it great?

A still from Lust Stories. She seems to be enjoying herself.

Was it a secret that my friends were hiding from me? Were all menstruators called into a secret room and told that they will enjoy what should feel wrong but will feel so right? Did I miss this memo? We are hornier on our periods. So how have we not made the connection out loud yet?

We’re living in a world that is constantly telling women how to feel, including how to feel pleasure. We can’t even stand the idea of a woman masturbating (check Swara Bhaskar’s mentions on Twitter and you’ll know what I mean). We isolate women from their own lives when they’re on their periods. The pursuit for bold pleasure is not one we’re supposed to aspire to. In that world, to tell people that you enjoy period sex is like opening Pandora’s box of character assassination.

But it’s 2020. There are no rules anymore.

This essay is almost a note to me because you know what? I need to be more honest with myself too.

I. Like. Period. Sex.

So say it with me — I like period sex!

Or at least promise me, you’ll look someone in the eye and ask them for it. You deserve earth-shattering, potentially-cramp-healing orgasms too. What are we afraid of? A little blood? We have been trained in serial-killer-level cleaning up of blood since we hit puberty.

Do it. You know you want to.

Cut to 2019. I was on my period. We were face-to-face, and I told him, “I’m okay with it if you are.

You must be to comment.
  1. Anandi Sen

    I absolutely loved this! All yes for positive and healthy sex!

  2. Surabhi

    I love this. Thanks for being unapologetically you.

  3. Shubham Raj Singh

    HI Sonia , how about more progressive ideas like relationship counselling and behavioral counselling in universities and common adolescents program all around the country and why its a necessity for young adults now .

  4. Umang

    God!!!! Amazing!! Throughout this piece, I couldn’t help my smile! Wonderfully penned and ofc the experience is astounding 🤩

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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