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*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.
As an editor of a sex-positive magazine, I’ve read a lot of submissions about period sex.
Articles where women openly talk about their sexual desires while being on their periods; and their partners who selfishly refuse it without giving a decent reason.
Personally, I love period sex. What’s there not to love? Natural lube, over the top hormones that turn you on like crazy, and relief for all sorts of period pains.
I fell in love with my ex-boyfriend on one of our first dates when he suggested we both take a hot bath while I was on my period. I was a shy virgin back then and wasn’t even sure boys were allowed to see our period blood, let alone bathing in it, or even worse: to have sex with us while it’s still there! He definitely felt more comfortable than me when it happened, and over time he taught me that there’s nothing gross about any sex, especially when you’re having it with someone you care about.
Needless to say, I would never refuse anything to this man, no matter what he wanted to do or try in bed with me. Not because I felt obligated, but because we both knew how to enjoy each other and turn every activity into something fun.
With that role model in my bed, I never knew there was another group of boys—not to be confused with men—who’d refuse to have period sex with their partners no matter how much they needed or wanted it, because, well, they find it gross.
Guys who find it gross to have sex with a woman who has something natural coming out of her vagina, that they then have to wipe off their body, probably never bother to think that this is exactly what every woman has to deal with every time she has sex and ends up covered in semen or, in the case of a blowjob, ends up having it in her mouth or—depending on the preference—on her stomach.
To those guys, I have a question: Did it ever occur to you that, despite what you might think, your semen is no almond milk?
I always felt bad for women complaining about not being able to fulfill their fantasy of period sex with their partners, and never understood what drives those men they’re talking about—until I encountered one myself.
While trying to have sex with me, the guy realized I was on my period while taking my underwear off. He immediately put it back and said: “Oh, next time then.”
Naturally, the only thought in my head was…”the f*ck?”
And when I tried to ask him about that, he explained that the period blood down there is yucky and gross. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard. Just a month prior, a friend of mine was fingering me while I was on my period, and even suggested to go down on me despite me worrying about crossing a line and declining his offer (period shame is still in each of us, even when we meet someone who destigmatizes it).
One in three women has had a partner refuse to have sex upon finding out they were on their period, leaving the majority of women (56 percent) feeling uncomfortable initiating or having sex on their periods, over fears about how their partner would react.
Moreover, about 38 percent of women have felt pressure to perform other sexual acts on their partner because they, or their partner, didn’t want to engage in intercourse during menstruation. The research also shows that 42 percent of women have experienced period-shaming, while more than half of men studied, believe it is inappropriate for women to openly mention their menstrual cycles in the workplace.
With that much shame in the world, how can we actually be in a relationship with someone who would bring this shame to our bedroom—once again making us feel ashamed of ourselves because of how gross periods are to them?
Sex is not only about receiving. Well, maybe if you’re 16 it is. But in other cases, the sensation of giving someone pleasure might feel like a bigger turn-on than an actual orgasm.
I might find your semen disgusting, but I can actually live with that and learn to enjoy it, because there’s nothing better than being able to please someone you care about, or even just someone you decide to share a sexual adventure with.
Period sex can also be a great relief for period cramps and headaches, as well as the sexual tension and energy that’s escalating as our hormones explode.
So, if someone cares about giving pleasure, how can they refuse something that their partner wants or even needs, knowing that it would make them feel better?
The way a guy treats women on their periods, and the way he reacts to period sex, has been one of the main indexes for me to determine their maturity. And unlike some people, maturity has always been the first thing I look for in a man.
So, here’s a friendly reminder to all women out there: if a guy refuses to have sex when you’re on your period, he doesn’t deserve to have sex with you when you’re not.