Whether you are a huge fan of period sex or you generally avoid it, there are ways to make it easier, more comfortable, and better yet, more pleasurable!

Reducing Mess

While some folks will happily and fearlessly deal with the flow, not everyone wants to go as far with the messy aftermath that could come with it. Thankfully, there are a couple of tricks for reducing the mess:

1. Tampons

For those not engaging in penetration, tampons will keep the blood from exiting while you enjoy outer-play sex skills… which, personally, are some of my favorite skills to enjoy.

2. Menstrual Discs

For penetrative play, inserting a menstrual disc before starting will help you catch the blood so you can reduce the amount that ends up leaving the vagina and getting all over the things entering. An internal condom can also be a great way to keep the blood at bay. 

3. Dark towels or sex blankets

Setting out a dark towel or two, or specifically engineered blankets that catch fluids, can be a great way to save your sheets. Not only that, but they provide a safe place to rest sex toys once they’ve been used, instead of contaminating nightstands or floors. That way, you can enjoy your post-sex glow in peace and throw everything in the wash later.

Maximizing Comfort

Whether it’s pre-menstruation or menstruation time when you’re experiencing physical discomforts like cramps and lower back pain, there are ways to reduce those painful nuisances to get your sexy on.

1. Pillows and sex wedges

Sometimes, your back just needs a little extra loving. Pile pillows under the hips, lower back, knees, and/or neck so your spine feels aligned and supported. Sex wedges are specifically designed to support bodies when having sex in ways that reduce pressure and discomfort for your joints.

2. Heating pads

When physical support isn’t enough, you might also want to add heat. Heating pads can be placed under the hips and lower back like pillows during sex (wrap them up to avoid burning the skin if naked) but can also go directly over the lower stomach to reduce cramping there.

3. Supportive positions

Body pain means it’s not the time to try turning yourself into a sexual pretzel. Choose positions that feel most comfortable for you and honor your body’s needs. This might mean positions that don’t over-arch your back or strain your neck.


Blood, in addition to other bodily fluids, is a carrier of sexually transmitted infections. If you and your partner aren’t already having unprotected sex, it’s an extra reason to use a barrier method, like the internal or external condom, and dental dams, to protect against STIs. Also, while getting pregnant during menstruation is not common, due to how long sperm can survive post-ejaculation and some medical conditions, some people do get pregnant after having unprotected sex during their period. Therefore, use a form of contraception if seeking to avoid pregnancy if you’re having sex with sperm-producing partners.


One of my personal favorite things about sex is the potential for pleasure! Period sex should be no different. Two things to keep in mind:

1. Lubrication is your friend

Despite people assuming that the menstrual blood will be lubricating, sometimes it really isn’t. That’s why you want to keep a lubricant handy. Even if, during other parts of your cycle, you tend to be especially moist down there, you might experience vaginal dryness due to hormonal changes during menstruation. Dry sex can cause discomfort and injuries so a good lubricant should always be on hand.

2. Orgasm reduces pain

If you are struggling with those cramps we mentioned earlier, or headaches, an orgasm can also offer some much-needed relief. Use the tips described above to reduce any anxieties you have about mess, safety, and comfort, and relax your way to one of the best natural pain relievers.

Yael R. Rosenstock Gonzalez

Yael R. Rosenstock Gonzalez

Sex Educator, Researcher, Author, Speaker
I'm a queer, polyamorous Nuyorican (Puerto Rican New Yorker) Jewish pleasure activist (a term popularized by adrienne maree brown) who believes that sexual wellness and sexual liberation involve our WHOLE selves. I center identity, values, and social positioning work, playful exploration, and intimacy with self and others. I am here to support you in finding pleasurable, joyful, embodied experiences with self and sex through intentional practices geared towards your specific needs because sexual wellness and pleasure are for anyone who seeks them.