‘Parting the Red Sea’: Periods vs. Sex

Admittedly, this is not a piece of fiction but more of a reflection on the nature of periods in relation to sex.

Have you ever tried to have sex while on a period / with someone who is on their period? I did, once, about ten years ago. And I only have one thing to say—I’ll never do it again. I may have been bleeding, but I assure you it doesn’t hurt. Of course, that’s not the issue. It’s all about the mess that accompanies it. Now, I definitely think there’s going to be a handful of people (somewhere) out there who have a kink or fetish for this kind of thing, and quite honestly I would be interested to hear your thoughts, merely out of curiosity. Why does this appeal to you?

Most women’s periods last between three and seven days, but some go on longer due to hormonal irregularities etc. and some women don’t have periods at all. I’m lucky, mine tend to only be three days long (though I like to have a couple of days buffer either side before doing anything sexual). I was on the pill for around three years (two on Microgynon and one on Cerazette), but Cerazette made my periods stop completely and it felt so unnatural. That’s a common side-effect of certain birth control pills, and although convenient since I never had to worry about purchasing pads or tampons and I could literally have sex any time, I valued my own bodily functions more. I wanted those periods back, just so I knew things were working properly.

But we don’t talk about periods in erotica, typically. It’s so often glossed over. Well, except in that piece of fine classic literature (please note the sarcasm), Fifty Shades of Grey:

“Hold on to the sink,” he orders and pulls my hips back again, like he did in the playroom, so I’m bending down.
He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string… what! And… a gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet. Holy fuck. Sweet mother of all… Jeez. And then he’s inside me… ah! Skin against skin… moving slowly at first… easily, testing me, pushing me… oh my. I grip on to the sink, panting, forcing myself back on him, feeling him inside me. Oh the sweet agony… his hands clasp my hips. He sets a punishing rhythm – in, out, and he reaches around and finds my clitoris, massaging me… oh jeez. I can feel myself quicken.

What I find interesting about this is that, it’s written by a woman, and she knows what someone pulling a tampon out to fuck them would be like—an absolute bloodbath that would provide an ample feast for a vampire. And yet, we are presented with this image as though it’s a non-period situation. It just would not happen like that, and quite frankly, I can’t help but feel like this is affirming the male fantasy that they can just have sex with a woman anytime they like. But as we all know, but don’t always care to recall, the reality is, we do have this tidal wave of red flowing out from between our legs once a month.  Unless the women you know are extremely underweight, have a very high level of hormonal fluctuation or are on birth control that happens to have a period-negating side effect, the likelihood is that they will.

There’s a nice stream of commentary about this particular scene on this Tumblr site:

Yes, I know periods aren’t considered typically ‘sexy’ but they are just one part of what makes us female. And you know what? Personally, I get super horny when I’m on a period. Partly because I can’t have sex (or stick anything up there) but also because of all those hormones floating around, and it is so frustrating!

Now, I understand that I can’t speak on behalf of trans women—who for all of you who can’t hear in the back ARE WOMEN! I don’t purport to completely understand how periods work for them, so I can only recant my own experiences with this. But please, if you are a trans woman and you would feel comfortable discussing it, I would also love to hear from you – do you want periods?

After all, those pesky monthly cycles are like Marmite (a yeast extract which us Brits love…at least, I do)—you either love them or you hate them. Well, actually – it’s more that they leave a bittersweet taste behind. We accept them, but they can be so terribly inconvenient.

I’m going to reference Strange Sex 3 again here—take a look at the short story called ‘Just Like The Real Thing’ by John Lombardo. Trust me, it’s always even more of a treat to read this kind of thing from a male perspective.



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