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I’ve started re-seeing a guy I dated before for about a year. The other night we had sex and when I went to bathroom afterward I realized I’d unexpectedly started my period. I apologized and was a bit embarrassed and he assured me it was fine.

When we woke up in the morning he initiated kissing and some hand stuff so I went down on him for a bit. I went and removed my tampon thinking we were going to have sex. When I got back he flat-out refused. I fully understand why some men aren’t into period sex. It's not something they have to deal with monthly so they don’t get as blasé about bleeding genitals as women do. (I realize there are a lot of women who aren’t into period sex as well.) I’m not looking to push him into something he’s not comfortable with, my question is more around how to get myself not feeling bad about this. I’m finding it difficult to be ok with the fact my partner is grossed out by a function I can’t control for ¼ of the month. Maybe it’s irrational but I’m feeling really rejected and hurt by this.

I’m also not a tit-for-tat type lover but the idea that a week of oral—blow jobs for him—that goes unrequited gets my hackles up. And I HATE that I’m feeling like that. I don’t want it to be a “I did X for you so I demand you do X for me” but I feel like I may end up resenting him otherwise. I don’t remember him having such a big issue with period sex when we dated previously so I’m confused. It may be worth mentioning that he’s younger than me (he’s 27) maybe that has something to do with it?

Anyways, looking for suggestions on how I can get over this. Any advice would be appreciated!

Hurt And Bleeding

Being a man and a gay one at that, I'm probably going to fuck this up. People who know better, do better, and just flat-out are better are invited to offer HAB better advice in the comments thread. But here's what I wrote back to HAB earlier today...

I’m guessing he won’t go down on you for that 1/4 of the month either—even with the tampon in and the flow (I’m presuming) blocked? And manual stimulation/vibrators/toys are out too?

I’m finding myself kind of conflicted here. I've never have to deal with blood, so blood kinda freaks me out, and I’m a big gay homo. While I had a few female sex partners, HAB, that was years — decades — ago and I don't recall what, if anything, we did (or didn't) do during their 1/4 of the month. But in all honesty here's what came to mind as I read your letter: PIV is so central — too central — to straight people’s sex lives. It’s the default act, it's the definitional act. PIV is heterosexual sex. I can't count the number of times I've encouraged straight people to broaden their definition of sex, to explore options in addition to PIV. I frequently urge straight couples who are bored or feeling disconnected to take PIV off the menu while continuing to have sex. It forces them to get creative and maybe/hopefully stop seeing PIV as the one and only option—or the absence of PIV as a crushing disappointment and all other options as consolation prizes or participation trophies.

So… maybe being forced to do other stuff one week a month—because he can't do PIV during your period—would actually be a beneficial. It’s NOT okay that you’re servicing him for an entire week without any form of reciprocation. Blowjobs to tide him over and nothing for you? That’s not gonna fly. But blowjobs for him and oral with a barrier—internal or external—for you plus manual stimulation or vibrators or toys for both? That could have an upside. It would preferable, of course, if taking a week off PIV was a mutual and joyful choice and not something you're having to do because your partner suffers from hemophobia. But maybe you can make some blush lemonade out of these bloody lemons?

Since it’s early in this new/revived relationship, HAB, I'd urge you to address this directly with him before you get anymore invested. And never, ever apologize for having your period. — Dan

Hi Dan you are so totally right, straight people are so hung up on PIV I literally didn't even think of alternatives, and I have been around the block a few (hundred) times. *smacks forehead* I was tempted to tell him to forget all intimacy during that week but that made me feel like a petulant child. Also natures cruelest joke: I'm so horny during period week I'm tempted to dry hump anyone who holds eye contact for longer than 3 seconds.

The subject hasn't come up about him going down on me during even with safety guards in place but I can almost promise it'd be a hard no. Still that leaves a lot of other doable stuff! I'm going to bring it up when I see him tonight in a positive but firm way. Wish me luck! — HAB

P.S. Didn't expect you to write back. I'm fan girling a bit right now! Thanks for the advice and hope your shoulder is feeling better!

Shoulder slowly feeling better, thanks, but this shit is killing me. Wishing you luck with your positive-but-firm chat today. Write back and let us know how it goes! — Dan

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