What’s more arousing than rebelling against anti-menstrual attitudes and engaging in period sex?
Story by Sophie Muir | @sophiemuir
Illustration by Ella Williams
Menstruation is a healthy routine of life yet women may feel ashamed of their body. Women have been period-shamed for as long as they have had periods, which was long before humans even evolved as a species. In ancient times, when humans had little knowledge about biology or the reproductive system, women were considered practicers of magic and sorcery because of their menstruating powers. Men couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that women were able to bleed for a week without dying. They didn’t understand menstrual blood and considered it to be especially powerful, but not necessarily in a good way.
Ancient Egyptians used the mysterious substance in their medicine and even combined it into their spell castings. Ancient Greeks spread menstrual blood like fertilizer over their fields every spring as a planting ritual.
Women are still regulated by their religions while menstruating. Ancient Jewish women were prohibited from having sex during their menstrual cycle, a period of time where she is a niddah, until engaging in a ritual cleansing bath called a mikveh. The law, which still applies to Jewish Orthodox women, states that when a woman is in her menstrual impurity for seven days, not only is she unclean but the people and objects she comes in contact with are as well. Passing objects back-and-forth from a menstruating woman to a man is prohibited. Ancient Islam has complex rules concerning menstruation. It is prohibited, or haraam, for both the husband and wife to engage in sex while she is menstruating. Once her cycle has come to an end, the wife must purify herself by soaking in a ritual bath. When connecting the period-shaming that women face today with these historical and cultural narratives, it becomes clear why women have negative feelings about this important part of their lives.
In ancient times, these rules and regulations regarding menstruation were put into place by our male counterparts. Today, period-shaming still occurs as a result of our period-adverse peers and partners. It is important to acknowledge that comfort with period sex typically correlates to comfort with partner support. Rather than tolerating derogatory language or ill-advised jokes relating to your period, normalize the conversation with your partner. Discussing your desires and ask for what you want! Potentially reconsider who you’re having sex with if they’re someone who makes you feel ashamed for desiring it or if they’re unwilling to grow their consciousness on the matter. Perhaps explain to them that there are no health-related reasons not to have sex while on your period.
In fact, there are many health benefits that come with period sex. Orgasms serve as a pain reliever, one much stronger than any over-the-counter painkillers, as your body releases hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine when you climax. Therefore, engaging in sex while on your period may help relieve your cramps if you are someone who suffers. Plus, blood performs as a natural lubricant during sex, making it even more enjoyable if you are typically on the dryer side. If you and your partner are worried about logistical problems, such as messy sheets, simply grab a towel before heading to bed or hop in the shower for some soapy fun!
Be the ultimate “power couple” by grabbing your partner, taking them to bed, and working together to defeat societal shame against menstruation.