The only way I can even write this column is to imagine I’m talking to one friend. Yes, you. Just us, talking about all this weird stuff we’re not supposed to discuss in polite company. Otherwise it’s impossible to share things like what I’m about to tell you. But I have to tell you something to connect the last column to this one.
So. I’m only telling you.
We have covered three bases, and it’s time for a home run, right? Right. But…I wanted to make this journey realistic based on my lived experience, so here goes.
I travel a lot, and I usually see lovers for a weekend or so here and there. Since forever, my bloody, messy, crampy, and moody period has landed during a visit early in the…togetherness. Suddenly I’m there, a few hundred dollars into a crush, hoping they’re on Team Bloody Awesome.
I used to resent this timing, but now I’m grateful because I learned in my early 20s that anything less than Team Bloody Awesome is a red flag for me. My monthly visitor helps me gauge compatibility—weed out the unready. There is a scale, you know. It’s like this:
Team Bloody Awesome!
When members of this team find out it’s period time, they go tender with care. They know that blood makes us bleeders hungry for meat*, chocolate, and messy multiple orgasms to help shake out the cramps. They don’t have the good sheets on the bed when you arrive—or if you’re away from home, they remind you that hotels bleach everything. They give you time in the bathroom to navigate your particular period situation—diva cup, tampons, pad, or panties— uninterrupted. And then? They get down. Bonus points when they are gentle with your swollen sensitive nipples, and/or enjoy rubbing your lower back while you moan and wrap your cramping body around a hot water bottle. When you’re in the mood, they understand the increased sexual risk of blood and make sure all previously agreed-upon protection is lined up so you don’t have to worry your period little brain. They tease and quiet you through any moments of hormonal rage and, if everything is just feeling too blech for sex, they bring you the good ice cream in front of the TV and get under the blanket with you.
Team Bloody Fetish
These vampires can smell when it’s time to bed you. They out themselves by doing extravagant things like pulling your tampon out with their teeth, or making you grind bloody poems into their thighs. They love the abundant lubrication of blood, and are thrilled to meet the voracious appetite of their moon-time lovers. You may have to redirect their excitement if you aren’t in a sexy mood, which happens for some of us during PMS and the first couple of bloody days. They might even be more into the bloody mess than you’re comfortable with. Because the norm is so anti-blood, even if these team members seem extra, it can be healing and normalizing to experience a lover on Team Bloody Fetish.
Team Bloody Skittish
These lovers don’t run away from the river of life, but there’s not much enthusiasm for the swim. They might prefer a day-three or day-four period bone, when the whole thing is a bit more under control. With a sweet direct request and a quick shower, you might get them to kiss on your clit for a moment. It’s good to be curious with these lovers, examine the reticence, and see if they have an interest in exploring Team Bloody Awesome. Best case scenario, you can negotiate a period-sex arrangement that doesn’t require either of you to feel uncomfortable or undesirable.
Team Bloody Faint**
These lovers would prefer that God had not smote the vagina with an affliction as dire and dramatic as monthly bleeding, even in the name of fertility. They feel they need to be protected from the detritus of unused miracles, sometimes to the point of not touching their bleeding lovers or even going on dates during the week of uterine shedding. If you don’t take it personally, it can be really cute when they get that deer in headlights look when your period starts mid-coitus. They might have specific blood-related trauma or a phobia of blood. You can ask about that. If they don’t though, this team member should be invited into a learning journey around what periods are and how they work. Many of them have desires programmed by the ‘period = unclean’ narrative that only seems to serve a male-supremacist worldview.
Now it’s important to keep in mind that this whole scale shifts relative to your own comfort with your cycle, blood, cramps, and moods. You might be Team Bloody Awesome in theory but Team Massive Cramps (if you’re regularly in so much pain that period sex seems unthinkable, you might be an unknowing member of Team Fibroids, so talk to your OBGYN) or Team PMS Hulkmonster in real life.
This piece is not to imply that you must be aroused during your monthly blessing. It’s about destigmatizing this natural process, which can actually feel really good. This piece is for those who have wondered how we can live in a society that so easily embraces the blood of war (or the fake blood of the war entertainment industry), but gets faint around blood that only exists as part of a cycle of life-making. Ah, dear reader, contradictions are human, and moving through them in the name of great sex is divine.
Hot and Heavy Homework
As Big Freedia says, “You already know!” Have period sex with yourself (any and all penetration is easier with that natural-flowing lubrication) or another human on the first day of your/their next period.
* Or meat substitute.
** This is fine if you are a gay man. You’re also exempt from the homework…unless you are (or are with) a trans man who still bleeds, in which case it may or may not be interesting for you.