Love + Sex Love Life Stories

Men need to stop being crybabies when we’re on our periods

I don’t shy away from talking about periods. They’re a part of life for most people with vaginas. They aren’t gross. They aren’t dirty. And it’s completely normal to have sex while you’re bleeding, despite what many whiny little baby-men will have you believe.

I’ve heard guys express concern or flat-out disgust at the idea of having sex with a woman on her period so many times it’s alarming. A fuck buddy once looked incredulous when I told him that yes, women having sex on their periods is a thing.

It was my turn to look dumbfounded when he informed me that he had never slept with a woman while she was having her period. His tone and the strange wording of his response made his message clear: he didn’t want anything to do with “period sex” because it’s disgusting.

A boyfriend of mine said he didn’t mind having sex with me on my period as long as we used a condom. As if he was doing me a favor. No thanks. Period blood isn’t something you need to protect yourself from.

A lot of my friends have told me similar stories. Guys freak out or become lukewarm when we tell them we’re cramping, bloating, or tired.

Period symptoms! Oh no!

But men seem to really lose their shit when you straight up tell them that you’re on your period. Suddenly, they have 100 excuses for why they don’t want to have sex.

Hey dumbasses: my vagina doesn’t suddenly become a toxic wasteland just because there’s a bit of blood coming out of it. Your dick isn’t going to wither away. Having sex isn’t going to result in some gladiator-like bloodbath.

Get over it. My body isn’t disgusting simply because I’m on my period.

And actually, having sex during that time of the month will probably help me out. I’ll probably experience lighter cramps and feel better overall, so you really need to stop throwing your man-tantrum, and think of someone other than yourself, mostly, me.

The narrative that periods are dirty is ignorant and has been used to police women’s bodies and lives for centuries. When men balk at intercourse because a woman is experiencing a normal, natural bodily occurrence, they are assuming that sex is an activity that exists solely for men’s pleasure and gratification. This reaction removes women’s sexuality from the picture and instead forces men’s desires and ideas about cleanliness on to the female body.

If men refuse to have sex with me because I’m on my period, I have no time for them. It’s a stance that I’ve only recently adopted after years of doing the emotional labor of explaining how periods and sex work. It’s infuriating to see just how little men actually know about periods and how they use their privilege to dictate when bodies are acceptable and when they are not. It’s belittling to feel unworthy of someone’s attention or intimacy because my body is perceived as “gross.” Especially when that perception is as a result of a totally natural process.

Guys, you can easily erase your own ignorance by doing your own research. You don’t have to be a genius to understand that periods aren’t harmful, and that a woman wanting sex while she’s having hers isn’t unusual. And it would help if y’all could find yourself a little empathy too. Sex isn’t all about you and your preferences. Your partner has a say as well, and you should be honoring that.

Ladies, you deserve to enjoy sex whenever and however you want it, including when you’re on your period. Don’t let crybaby men tell you any different.

By Lauren Jones

Lauren Jones received her BA in English Literature from Marquette University. She is interested in reproductive justice, intersectional feminism, and domestic violence. She loves decaf coffee and hates the patriarchy.