Dear LSOP experts,
I’m a 40-something year-old man child, and I still have hang-ups about having sex during a woman’s visit from aunt flow. What’s the deal?
First of all, with this, like with any sex act, you are never under any obligation to something you don’t want to. Having said that, there is no medical reason not to have sex with a partner (who wants to have sex with you) while they are menstruating. It’s not going to hurt them, and assuming that you are fluid-bonded or using adequate protection, it’s not going to hurt you.
For a lot of reasons, too many to unpack here, most of us have grown up with the stigma of menstruation being dirty and shameful, which has led to (among other, more serious consequences) a common aversion, especially among CIS men, to having sex with a person who is having a period. We recommend doing some research on menstruation- a better understanding of what your partner/s are going through may help to dispel some of your inherited anxieties about menstruation. We’ll break down some of the sex-specific info for you below.
When a person is having their period there is a lot going on with their body and hormone levels, affecting mood, body temperature, breathing, and libido, among other things. Discomfort and pain are common, as are either an increased or diminished libido.
Contrary to what you might expect, many people who menstruate find that having sex and experiencing orgasms during this time can actually alleviate some of their undesirable symptoms. The ‘feel good’ hormones our bodies release during arousal and orgasm can help ease cramping and pain, elevate mood, and give energy.
It is still possible for a person to become pregnant while they are menstruating, so maintaining any contraceptive practices you generally use is advised during this time.
There is the possibility of blood getting on you and your sheets- this is just a reality. There are ways to minimize the mess, however. The menstruating partner can have a shower or bath beforehand to flush away any collected blood, and some folks have success using a menstrual cup and doing only shallow penetration. You can put down a towel, or if you want to get fancy, use a water repellent blanket like a Liberator Throe or No More Wet Spot Blanket. And of course, there’s always the option of not engaging in penetrative sex at all, favouring clitoral stimulation and other types of touch and play.
Your hang-ups aren’t something that is completely out of the blue, and acknowledging that this is something you struggle with is the first step to overcoming your qualms, which it seems like you want to do. Educate yourself, and above all, communicate with your partner about their desires and yours, and come up with a game plan that satisfies everyone!
-- The LSOP Experts