Bloody Fantastic!

Question: I want to have sex while on my period because I notice my sex drive increases. However, my fiancé thinks it would be gross. Is there anything I can do to convince him?

Are you engaged to someone who lusts after you 21 days a month, but for one week treats you like a leper covered in bleeding skin lesions? The fear and disgust associated with a menstruating woman is ancient and unfortunately continues in many pockets of today’s society.

First of all, I want to commend you for not succumbing to the irrational beliefs about menstruation. Negative attitudes and prejudice against menstruating women are historically and culturally ingrained, as well as appear in the Quran and the Hebrew Bible:

“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 you start packing your 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 to or having sex while on your period.

To approach this topic with your fiancé, I’d recommend you explore what he means by “gross.” Does he get squeamish around or is phobic of blood in general? 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 general phobia of blood, you can reassure him of the falsities of the other beliefs. Aside from the normal risks of coming into contact with bodily fluids, there is nothing special about coming into contact with menstrual blood; the blood is not coming from a painful injury; and while you may desire not to have intercourse on expensive white bed linens, it will not end up looking like a scene from Hostel.

Remember, however, that you can’t force someone into a sexual behavior, even if you believe the avoidance is irrational. He may not want to explore the issue and will continue to be aversive to sex one week out of the month. And as I say in most of my articles, you'll have to decide if this is a big deal for the relationship (and it's okay if it is). But if he is willing to challenge his self-reported “grossed out” feelings, you can start slow and think about sex outside the box (figuratively and literally).

You can start by exploring non-genital or non-nude sexual behavior. Pretend you are an early teen when making out or feeling each other up was the pinnacle of sexual excitement. Remember dry humping? Engage in that forgotten, underrated behavior until he is ready for wet humping. Explore mutual masturbation in a dimly lit shower. Remind him that this feels good, it doesn’t hurt, and that it’s healthy. Remind him that women aren’t Disney characters and actually have bodily functions.

Also remember that this is his problem, not yours.

Start with exploring his feelings and progress from there. By taking baby steps, he’ll likely realize that he will not be swarmed by a plague of locusts for experiencing sexual pleasure with a menstruating woman, and you'll be able to get your sexual needs met regardless of what Leviticus says.

And your euphemism is no reason to stop sexual pleasure.

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