The Definitive Guide to Period Sex.

All the fun, only some of the mess.

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Like with lobster dinners and papier mâché, period sex can be wildly pleasurable — if you’re willing to tackle the cleanup. Surely, for some of us, period pain is stifling enough to make an activity like intercourse sound thoroughly nauseating, but for others, it’s actually common to see a surge in libido in and around menstruation. Simply put, you’re hornier than ever on your period — and research alludes to the fact that sex may actually help soothe your cramps. So, sheets aside, what do you have to lose?

In the hopes of helping you take on your most pleasurable — and least disastrously messy — period sex yet, we’ve put together a basic guide to sensuality amidst the crimson tide. Here are all of your most pressing questions, answered.

How do I avoid destroying my linens?
Well, for starters, your period is often at its heaviest at the start of the month. If you can hold off until those final days, your flow will lighten — which helps ease the mess, of course. If you don’t feel like waiting (we hear you), it’s as simple as laying down a towel (in fact, couples will often have towels they use and wash expressly for this purpose).

As an alternative, perhaps most efficiently, consider moving your intercourse to the shower. Not only will you salvage all your linens, but you’ll both emerge from your partner play feeling fresh and clean.

What positions should I use?
For the sake of cleanliness, you’re well-advised to use gravity to your advantage. Stay on the bottom, and go for spooning, missionary, or side-by-side sex to help keep bleeding to a minimum (though, if you don’t mind making a mess, do your thing and enjoy whatever position hits the spot).

If you’re in the shower, you’ll want to try any number of standing positions (the “one leg up” is a crowd favorite). Naturally, you’ll need to be careful — make sure you’ve got places to hold on when the ground gets slippery.

What should I do if I’m feeling both cramped AND horny?
It’s not rare to feel both the overwhelming discomfort of your period symptoms and increased libido. That said, when your uterus is truly aching, you might consider non-penetrative sex. Instead, opt for mutual masturbation, dry humping, anal, or the good ‘ol hand stuff. Then, you and your partner can still enjoy orgasm while you’ve got a tampon or a cup in place.

Should I still use protection?
In any/all scenarios, whether or not you choose to use protection is your call. But know that while on your period, it’s certainly still possible for you to get pregnant. It is less likely because of where you are in the ovulation process, but it’s certainly not out of the question. And on top of that, your period can make you slightly more likely to contract an STI, being that your cervix is more open than usual. The gist here is simple: Use the protective rules you would employ for any other sexual encounter.

Will sex help alleviate some of my period symptoms?
While this might sound like an old wives’ tale, there’s real, scientific merit here. In the event of orgasm, your pelvic muscles will contract — and lucky for you, this can help ease the pain of cramps. Plus, sexual endorphins are always a mood booster, and better yet, blood acts as a natural lubricant.

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