Updated: Feb 22
Question: I want to have sex while on my period because my sex drive increases. However, my fiancé thinks it would be gross. Is there anything I can do to convince him?
So you're engaged to marry someone who, for a few days a month, treats you like a biblical leper?
Despite marvels of human progress in the 21st Century like the development of mRNA vaccines and landing rovers on Mars, the irrational fear and disgust associated with menstruation has some of our progress stuck in the Bronze Age.
Nevertheless of your boyfriend's attitude, I want to commend you for not succumbing to these irrational beliefs yourself. Negative attitudes against menstruation are historically and culturally ingrained, and are reinforced in religious texts:
“If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has sexual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them must be cut off from their people” (Leviticus 20:18, NIV).
But before anyone starts packing their bags to cut yourself off from your people, understand this is a religious belief, not a medical fact. There’s nothing medically unhealthy with desiring or having sex while on your period.
I repeat, period sex is perfectly normal and healthy.
Say this as an icebreaker at your next family gathering.
To approach this topic with your fiancé, I’d recommend you ask what he means by “gross.” Does he get squeamish at the sight of blood? Does he believe it is unhygienic? Would he feel that you are in pain if he sees blood coming from your vagina? Does he think that having sex while on your period would result in uncontrollable spurts of blood like in an Eli Roth movie?
With the exception of a blood phobia, you can reassure him of the falsities of the other beliefs: 1) Aside from the STI risks of coming into contact with many bodily fluids (blood and semen), there is nothing unhygienic about coming into contact with menstrual blood, 2) the blood is not coming from an injury, and 3) while you may not want to have sex on expensive white linens, period sex won't end up looking like a scene from Hostel.
You can explain to him the sexist double standards relating to bodily fluids, in that his semen has the cultural liberty to spray wherever it pleases, but your menstrual blood needs to be kept hidden as if it's bringing a curse on your crops.
Even with these reassurances, however, ultimately he has the right to set a boundary that would be prohibitive of this behavior. His objections may be rooted in cultural myths and misogyny, and he may object to exploring and challenging these beliefs. Regardless, he has a right to say no. But as I say in most of my articles, you'll have to decide if this objection is a big deal and if it's a deal breaker. And it's okay if it is. Just as he has a right to say no, you have the right to say "thank you, next."
Yes, that's an Ariana Grande reference.
But if he is willing to challenge his self-reported “grossed out” feelings, be sure to start slow. It's not advisable to start the process by showing him fetish porn of a submissive eagerly waiting to suck on a Domme's blood-soaked tampon, and saying to him, "See, a real man is not grossed out by this."
A better approach is to start by exploring non-genital or non-nude sexual behavior while on your period. Pretend you are an early teen when making out and feeling each other up was the pinnacle of sexual excitement. Explore mutual masturbation. Remember dry humping? Engage in that forgotten, underrated behavior until he is ready for wet humping. How about sex in the shower? You can use condoms, menstrual cups, or dental dams for intercourse and oral sex until there's greater comfort. Remind him that this feels good, it doesn’t hurt, and that it’s healthy. Remind him that you're not a Disney character and that you actually have bodily functions.
Start with exploring his feelings and progress from there, but never lose sight that menstruation and period sex are healthy and normal.
By taking baby steps, hopefully he’ll realize that he won't be swarmed by a plague of locusts for having sex with a menstruating woman, and you'll be able to get your sexual needs met regardless of what Leviticus says.