Sex on your period is a personal choice. For some it’s NBD, while others are like, “Um, no. I’m dying, don’t touch me.” Some women find intercourse painful during menstruation, especially if they’re suffering from sensitivity issues and the bane of our menstrual existence — period cramps. But what if you have your period and want to get down? Should your horrible period cramps really stand in the way of getting some?
Not according to Dr. Jessica O’Reilly (Dr. Jess), host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast. It’s important to note that not only does the comfort of sex positions vary from person to person, but so does the location of cramping — key information to have before getting naked.
“When it comes to cramping, the location of the pain or discomfort also varies from person to person — some feel that their lips are tender just before or during their period, while others feel more sensitivity deeper in the vagina by the cervix,” she tells HelloGiggles.
She notes that others might experience headaches, joint pain, and lower-back cramping. Fun times!
However, according to Dr. Jess, many people report that they feel more tenderness in their cervix right before and during menstruation, so positions that allow for more external rubbing and shallow penetration may be preferred for those with heavy-duty cramping. You also might just prefer a more “lazy” approach to sex on your period, and in that case, positions that don’t require a lot of physical exertion are best.
Here are some Dr. Jess-recommended sex positions (for both hetero and same-sex couples) that will feel amazing even when it feels like your baby box is murdering you.
Lie on your sides facing one another, and then get down to it. You can throw a leg over your partner’s thigh if it’s more comfortable as you kiss, breathe, and whisper in sync. This position makes it difficult to reach greater depths of penetration, as your bodies provide a buffer, but it offers the intimacy of eye contact and the ability to rub on the outside with your fingers or a toy.
This is a top position for orgasm regardless of whether or not you’re experiencing cramping, but it’s ideal when you’re experiencing a bit of pain, as it allows you to be lazy as you simply lie on your stomach. Your partner lies on top of you, entering from behind, and you can wrap your hand or a toy (like The We-Vibe Wish) around your Venus Mound for extra clitoral rubbing.
This position offers the intimacy of full-body contact, which can be soothing during the uncomfortable days of cramping. The benefits of physical skin-to-skin contact are many: decreased stress levels, increased trust and intimacy, lower blood pressure, improved sleep, and more! Spooning also doesn’t require much effort on the small spoon’s part (hooray for just lying there!).
Dr. Jess also makes an important point when it comes to sex — you don’t need to have penile penetration to reap the awesome feelings of sex. You can always use your hands, fingers, or a toy to reach the heights of pleasure and the big O.
And if you need more reason to engage in some sexual healing while cramping, Dr. Jess says sexual pleasure may reduce the pain and discomfort associated with cramping.
But, as always, “If you don’t want to have sex when you’re experiencing cramps, that’s okay too,” she says. “Please don’t feel pressure to do anything you don’t want to do!”