Why are we so divided on period sex?

According to the results of our period sex survey , half of adults would ‘never’ have period sex. However, 21 per cent of adults say the idea of it doesn’t bother them at all and interestingly, 39 per cent of women have days during their period where they would be more inclined to have sex.

The stats may be surprising, so we wanted to sit down with real people to talk about their experiences having (or not having) period sex.

We gathered five people with very different outlooks on period sex to ask them questions like ‘why are you for (or against) period sex’ and ‘what one word would you use to describe it?’ Their answers varied from ‘slippery’ and ‘revolting’ to ‘exciting’ and ‘normal’.

Watch the full video above to find out what people really think about period sex…

Differences in opinion

As couple Kimberleigh and David demonstrate, there are often differences in the way women and men feel about period sex, even within relationships! According to our survey, men are happier to have sex during a woman’s period than females are. Out of those who don’t like to have sex while menstruating, over half of men are put off by the mess (53%) and find it to be a turn off (51%) while women say they simply don’t like it (35%) or don’t feel sexy (44%).

How old you are also has an impact on how you feel about period sex. Charlotte aged 20 says “I just didn’t feel as empowered or as sexy” when trialing it with her boyfriend, and many younger people feel similarly turned off the concept. Out of women aged 18-24 who say they have cancelled a date due to their period, 70% said it was because of concerns about the possibility of having sex whilst menstruating. At the other end of the scale, it seems that the older you are, the less likely it is that you’ve ever made up an excuse to get out of having period sex.

Natural and beautiful or taboo?

One in five adults believe that period sex is a “taboo” subject. The same number wouldn’t talk to their partner about periods, well… period. Some women say it is embarrassing or a turn off, and 18 per cent say they don’t talk about it because their partner is just not very sympathetic. 

Despite the taboo, there is nothing wrong with having period sex. As Sarah sums up, “sex is natural and beautiful, and so is menstruation.” 

According to the NHS, it is safe to have sex when you’re on your period.  You should still use a condom to protect against STIs as there is a slightly increased risk and continue to use your normal method of contraception as it is still possible to get pregnant. This is because some women ovulate early in their cycle, and sperm can survive inside a woman’s body for up to 7 days. 

We want to put a stop to the feeling that you can’t talk about topics like period sex or menstruation. Whether you’re for or against having period sex, all that matters is that you’re able to have an open conversation with your partner about it. So do what you want and have sex in a way that feels comfortable to you and your partner – period.

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