Let’s Talk About Sex and Your Period - Hey Sister!

Let’s Talk About Sex and Your Period

Ah, the menstrual cycle – that monthly visitor that brings cramps, chocolate cravings, and... a spike in libido? Yes, you heard that right! It's time to shed the taboos and talk openly about sex and periods, just like your friends at Hey Sister! do – with science, honesty and a sprinkle of humour.

Listen to Your Body: It's Speaking Loud and Clear

First off, it's essential to understand that feeling frisky during your period is perfectly natural. In fact, for many, the menstrual cycle can heighten sexual desire, thanks to hormonal fluctuations. So, if you're feeling a little extra during that time of the month, know you're not alone.

The sensation of feeling more sexually aroused or "frisky" during your period can indeed be attributed to the complex interplay of hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout the menstrual cycle. Let's pull back the curtain and take a peek at how your menstrual cycle affects sexual desire.

The Science Behind Your Libido During Periods

Hormonal Fluctuations: The menstrual cycle is governed by fluctuations in various hormones, primarily oestrogen and progesterone. In the early part of the follicular cycle phase leading up to ovulation, oestrogen levels rise, peaking just before ovulation. This increase in oestrogen boosts libido in many individuals, making them feel more sexually aroused.

Oestrogen Role: Oestrogen is not only crucial for regulating the menstrual cycle but also plays a significant role in increasing sexual desire. It enhances blood flow to the pelvic area, increasing sensitivity and potentially making sexual activity more pleasurable. Although oestrogen levels are lower during the menstrual phase than in the pre-ovulatory phase, the gradual increase in oestrogen as the period ends and the body prepares for the next ovulation cycle can start to enhance libido towards the end of the menstrual phase.

Progesterone's Role: After ovulation, progesterone levels increase. This is also known as the luteal phase, which prepares the uterus for a possible pregnancy. Progesterone is typically associated with a decrease in libido. However, during menstruation, as the levels of progesterone drop (along with oestrogen), the body may experience a relative increase in sexual desire as it emerges from the progesterone-dominant phase.

Psychological and Physical Factors: Beyond hormones, several psychological and physical factors can influence libido during menstruation. For some, the relief from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms with the start of menstruation can lead to a boost in mood and energy levels, indirectly affecting sexual desire. Additionally, increased genital sensitivity and natural lubrication during menstruation can make sexual activity feel more pleasurable for some, contributing to an increased interest in sex.

Pain Relief: Yes, you heard me: pain relief. Orgasms can act as a natural pain reliever due to the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. For some individuals, the prospect of pain relief from menstrual cramps through sexual activity may also contribute to an increased interest in sex during their period. If this is the case, a pelvic physio can help to correct an overactive pelvic floor so that those orgasms cause pain.

Now, it is important to note that for those with endometriosis and an overactive pelvis, orgasmic contractions can bring on or exacerbate pain. But you will know your body and what feels best for you. 

*Individual experiences with libido fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can vary widely. Factors such as stress, overall health, individual differences in hormonal balance, and personal and cultural attitudes towards menstruation and sex can all influence one's sexual desire during their period.

So the answer is…Yes, You Can Have Sex on Your Period!

The biggest myth we need to bust is that sex during your period is off-limits. It's not!

It's a natural, healthy part of your sexual wellness journey.

So now you're considering period sex. It’s time to communicate with your partner. This is where you need to open up about your desires any hesitations and establish boundaries. This openness ensures a comfortable, enjoyable experience for both of you.

We’ve broken down “how to communicate” into three categories of lovers and how to address your desire with them best. 

For First-Time Lovers

When you're about to embark on a sexual journey with a new partner, and your period arrives unexpectedly, it can feel a bit daunting. Here’s how to navigate the conversation:

Timing and Tone: Choose a comfortable, private moment to discuss the topic, using a calm and open tone. Make it clear that you're sharing something personal and important to you.

Honesty and Reassurance: Be honest about your current situation and express how you feel about having sex during your period. Reassure your partner that it's a natural and healthy part of your life.

Educate and Inform: If your partner is unfamiliar with period sex, gently share some basic facts. Highlight the benefits, such as natural lubrication and potential for increased pleasure.

Ask and Listen: Encourage your partner to share their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. It’s important to listen actively and address any questions or hesitations.

For Friends with Benefits

In a friends-with-benefits scenario, where the relationship might be more casual but still requires mutual respect and understanding, here’s how to approach the topic:

Straightforward and Casual: Given the nature of your relationship, you can afford to be more straightforward. Bring it up casually, indicating it’s not a big deal but something you want to check in about.

Boundaries and Preferences: Discuss any boundaries and express your preferences clearly. It’s crucial to understand each other's comfort levels without any assumptions.

Flexibility: Be open to flexibility, suggesting alternative sexual activities if one of you is not comfortable with intercourse during your period.

Safety First: As always, remind each other about the importance of using protection to prevent STIs.

For Long-Term Committed Partners

In a long-term relationship, you likely have deeper communication and understanding. Here’s how to deepen that connection through this conversation:

Openness and Vulnerability: Use this as an opportunity to be open and vulnerable with your partner. Share your desires and any concerns you have about period sex.

Mutual Respect: Emphasise mutual respect and the importance of each other's comfort and pleasure. Discuss any past experiences and what you both might want to try or avoid.

Experimentation: Consider this an opportunity to experiment with new sexual activities that you both feel comfortable with during your period.

Ongoing Dialogue: Make it part of an ongoing dialogue about your sexual relationship. Check-in with each other afterwards to share what you liked or didn’t. 

In all scenarios, it's important to remember that consent and mutual comfort are paramount. 
Use this conversation not just to navigate the logistics of period sex but also to deepen your connect and understanding of each other’s needs and desires. Whether it’s with a new partner, causal relationship, or long-term love, clear and empathetic communication can lead to a more fulfilling and enjoyable sexual experience.

Embrace the Mess: Tips for Hassle-Free Period Sex

Let's face it: period sex can be messy, but that shouldn't deter you. Here are some Hey Sister! approved tips for keeping things as tidy as possible:

  • Lay down dark towels or use a waterproof blanket to protect your sheets or you can splurge on a luxurious waterproof “squirt” blanket made specifically for occasions like these. 
  • Consider shower sex as an easy-clean option.
  • Explore using menstrual cups or discs or sponges that can be worn during sex to minimise mess and keep your flow away during your night of pleasure.
  • Keep wipes or a towel handy for quick clean-ups.

Regardless of the set-up, reframing our perspectives and celebrating the intimacy it can bring is important. 

Here's how to approach it, adding to the practical advice already provided:

Embrace the Moment: Rather than focusing on the mess, focus on the moment and the connection you share. This mindset shift can transform the experience into something more meaningful and enjoyable.

Aftercare: Incorporate a warm, cozy aftercare routine that might include cuddling under clean blankets, sharing feelings about the experience, or even taking a warm bath together. This can help reinforce the beauty and intimacy of what you've shared.

Celebrate the Experience: Afterward, take a moment to reflect on and celebrate the experience together. Acknowledge the beauty of what you've shared and how it's brought you closer.

Discover New Depths of Intimacy

Period sex isn't just about physical pleasure; it's an opportunity to deepen your emotional connection. It's a time of vulnerability and openness, allowing you and your partner to explore new levels of intimacy and understanding.

Embracing Your Cycle: The Ultimate Act of Self-Love

Remember, your menstrual cycle is a significant part of your life. Embracing all aspects of it, including your sexual desires, is an empowering act of self-love and acceptance. Your period doesn't pause your life – it's a part of your vibrant, multifaceted existence.

Talking about the ultimate act of self-love, now is the time to talk about masturbation on your period.

Exploring the realms of self-love and intimacy doesn't always require a partner. Partner-free sex, or masturbation during your period, is an empowering and deeply personal way to connect with your body, understand your desires, and embrace your sexuality in its entirety. Here's how you can embrace and enjoy partner-free sex during your period, celebrating your body's natural rhythms and needs.

Understanding the Benefits of Partner-Free Sex During Your Period

Masturbation during your period isn't just about physical pleasure; it's a form of self-care that can help alleviate menstrual cramps, reduce stress, and improve your mood by releasing endorphins, the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators. It's also an excellent opportunity to explore what feels good for you in a pressure-free environment, learning more about your body's responses at different times in your cycle.

Tips for Comfortable and Enjoyable Partner-Free Sex

Create a Relaxing Atmosphere: Make your space comfortable and inviting. Consider dimming the lights, playing your favourite music, or lighting a scented candle to create a relaxing ambience that enhances your experience.

Use Protection for Cleanliness: To keep things clean and convenient, consider using a menstrual cup or a tampon during masturbation. These products can minimise mess and allow you to focus on your pleasure without worry.

Explore Different Techniques and Toys: Periods can affect your sensitivity and what feels pleasurable. Use this time to explore different masturbation techniques, pressures, and rhythms. Experimenting with sex toys designed for external stimulation can also add variety and enhance your experience.

Listen to Your Body: Your body's needs and desires can change throughout your cycle. Pay attention to what feels good and doesn't, and adjust accordingly. Remember, there's no right or wrong way to explore your body.

Embrace the Mess: Just like partner-involved period sex, embrace any mess as a natural and beautiful part of the process. Keep wipes or a towel handy for easy clean-up, and remember that this is a normal and healthy part of your sexual wellness.

Practice Mindfulness: Focus on the sensations and let go of any guilt or shame associated with masturbation or your period. Practising mindfulness can enhance your pleasure and help you develop a deeper connection with your body.

Aftercare is Important: After you've enjoyed some self-love, take a moment for aftercare. This might mean taking a warm bath, treating yourself to some comfort food, or wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket. Aftercare is your way of thanking your body for the pleasure it provides.

The Importance of Self-Love and Exploration

Partner-free sex during your period is a powerful act of self-love that affirms your right to pleasure, irrespective of societal taboos surrounding menstruation and female sexuality. It's an opportunity to dismantle those taboos, starting with your perceptions and experiences.

Embracing your sexuality, with or without a partner, during your period is a radical act of self-acceptance. It's about recognising and celebrating your body's capabilities, honouring your desires, and prioritising your pleasure and well-being.Remember, your journey towards sexual wellness and self-discovery is uniquely yours. Exploring partner-free sex during your period is just one of many paths to embracing your body's natural rhythms, understanding your sexual needs, and nurturing your relationship with yourself.

Final Thoughts: Own Your Cycle, Own Your Desires

At Hey Sister! there's no shame in talking about, having, or enjoying sex during your period. It's time to own your cycle and your desires, breaking free from societal taboos and embracing the powerful, beautiful, and sexual being you are.

“While not everyone is in the mood for sex during their peak flow, period sex when you are in the mood can be just as good as any. In fact in some circles it's viewed as being connective to both partners and may even deepen the bond. I invite people to consider a slow and sensual sexual experience, perhaps even invoking tantric practices where you and your partner connect to the breath, movement and sound. But of course if your period is a complete write-off-of-a time and sex is the last thing on your mind then instead it's time to give your body and mind some self love instead” Jade Walker, Naturopath and Hey Sister! Director of Health and Wellness.

Let's normalise period sex and celebrate our bodies in every phase of the menstrual cycle. Because, darling, you deserve to live your fullest life – period.

Feeling empowered? Ready to embrace your cycle in all its glory?


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