Are we looking at Period Sex all wrong?

If the title doesn’t give it away, then, brace yourself, this is going to get a little bit graphic.

I saw an article about a product that stems the flow of menstrual blood so that you can have happy period sex.

Before I go on, I would like to say that the article about FLEX makes clear that the company is keen to start and open and honest discussion about period sex.

“Our mission is at the core of everything we do and the reason we’re excited to get out of bed every day and talk to every woman (and man) we meet about menstruation,” said Jensen, head of acquisition and growth at The Flex Company.

I get that there is a market for this product. Who hasn’t fancied a bit of hanky-panky when Mother Nature is calling? Orgasms can help with period pains and even hurry things on a little, helping the uterus to expel lining. Sex at this ‘time of the month’ can feel different, better for some. Lubrication can come easier. There are lots of pros.

The cons are that it can be messier, it can be a little gross. Not everyone likes the sight or taste of blood. We also have such a negative attitude to menstruation in western society that many of us at least pause for thought before getting jiggly when we’re bleeding. Which is one reason I’m a strong supporter of talking about it more.

But period sex doesn’t have to be messy. Because sex doesn’t have to be about penetration. Which is, let’s be honest, the main reason period sex can be messy..

A quick web search revealed that around 80% of women cannot orgasm through penetration. Let’s just let that figure sink in. Eighty per cent. That’s most women.

A depressing number of articles stated this figure and went on to discuss female sexual dysfunction in the same breath. It is little wonder that so many of us believe that not reaching vaginal orgasm is some sort of failing.

There are a plethora of articles talking about many ways heterosexual couples can get their rocks off together. Yet, here we are, still treading the same worn boards, obsessed with penetration as the be-all and end-alll of sex.

Now we are creating kits to allow us to have penetrative sex ‘even’ during menstruation.

Are we really so unimaginative, so brain washed, that we can’t even bring ourselves to use this as a monthly gift. A time to put penetration to one side and explore other ways to…explore one another?

Okay. I feel I need to just make it clear here that I have nothing against penetrative sex. I am one of the 80% of women who don’t reach orgasm through vaginal stimulation alone. But I do enjoy penetration and would never want to remove it entirely from the menu. So please do not misconstrue this piece to be anti-penetration. It is not.

What I want to raise is the fact that, once again, women are being sold a solution to a problem that, in all honesty, is simply not theirs.

We are ‘fixing’ a perfectly natural process of the female body that means our male partners cannot have sex with us in the way that works for them. Why can’t we have a couple of days a month off?

I may be horribly wrong, perhaps the 80% of women who don’t orgasm from penetration, really enjoy and need it as part of the whole sexual experience. But I’d like to wave a flag here for trying out the alternatives. Whether your preference is tampons or cups or even sanitary towels, you can still have a lot of fun.

Finger play, oral sex and external use of sex toys are too often relegated to the ‘foreplay’ arena. Perhaps it’s time to give them their rightful place as full-blown sexual activities.

Or why not take these few days to change the focus of sex into something slower and more sensual. It can be a great time to improve massage techniques, hone your hand and oral skills…

I can’t help feeling that making products so women can be penetrated at any time of the month is not the empowering item for women they so often claim to be. Instead they’re yet another example of the male domination of sex.

I’m done with period shaming. I’m over pandering to male-oriented sex. Time to stop telling women how they like it. Time to stop selling us stuff to fix other people’s problems..

I’m all for sex, sex is good. Lets genuinely break the taboos around menstruation. Lets empower women to take control of their sexual experiences. Let’s provide them with tools to do that. But let’s do that on their terms and not simply to satisfy a very narrow view of sex.

Maybe we shouldn’t be stemming the flow, but swimming against it?

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