As someone who menstruates and has sex, eventually (25% of the time, give or take) the two will cross paths. Period sex is a decidedly controversial act and one that exists at the intersection of historical and societal stigmas, personal preferences, misconceptions and emotions. I’d like to explore period sex: the good, the bad and the bloody.

Menstruation has a long and global history of stigma and taboo evoked in a range of religious and cultural beliefs and practices. Beyond any actively taught beliefs, a general perception of menstruation as secretive, dirty and unsanitary persists. Last year, Florida even considered a ban on teaching some students about menstruation. Periods are still very much an uncomfortable and debated subject, as is sex itself (I’m not even going to get into Florida’s sex education policies). And even if you’re open about your period, you may only talk about it in negative ways, a phenomenon one study refers to as “menstrual moaning.” This isn’t to say you need to love your period. I try to feel neutral about it, and in fact, I have grown to find comfort in my body’s healthy monthly cycles. 

Even if your period itself is manageable, period sex can be an uncomfortable topic even among sex-positive and sexually open people. Some people just avoid it altogether. I like to think of myself as a period sex aficionado, heavily inspired by my deep love for Rachel Bloom and her Period Sex anthem. Personally, I’m a big fan of the extra lubrication, increased arousal and decrease in potential pregnancy. Beyond that, I don’t want to give up sex for a quarter of my life! Beyond the well-documented benefits of period sex, I have a radical proposition to make: Period sex is just sex. It doesn’t need its own category or lists of convincing benefits to make it acceptable. 

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