My Newish Boyfriend Won't Have Sex With Me During My Period

Savage Love Letter of the Day

Comments

1

Tell him to stop being a little ballsack and fuck you. Period sex is not a big deal; he'll quickly get over it his irrational fears.

2

She's not a "tit for tat" girl but in THIS CASE...
And so it begins.

3

Why takes this one thing away from him? In another year she will have thought up at least two thousand reasons that it is too inconvenient for her have sex with him.

4

I think he’s unreasonable. Every woman is going to have a variety of normal, healthy secretions during the month and periods are one of them. Refusing to fuck someone because you find their body repellant 25% of the time tells me you shouldn’t be fucking them. If he doesn’t want to go down on her that’s fine but PIV should be on the table.

5

I am not a fan of period sex... but for me it comes from traumatically tearing my frenum when I was younger, now blood on penis makes me immediately lose my erection and any desire to have sex. But that's just me... not sure what his deal might be.

6

Oh how I relate to this conundrum. Extremely horny during period time + dude who refuses to fuck during said period = major sexual frustration. Some guys really are just very fussy about this topic and won't budge. My anecdotal evidence is that these guys are a bit obsessive about cleanliness in general - But they are the greatest guys to blow (hygiene on point) and an keep impeccably clean bathroom so I guess you gotta take the good with the bad...
While Dan's advice is fine - ordering other menu items, you're very probably right that the bf is not gonna stick his face where he won't stick his dick. Depending on how fastidious he is, he may not be down with manual stuff either. Sorry but them's the breaks.
Also, a tampon does not provide an adequate barrier during oral. There will still be a lot of seepage once the juices get goin'. If you guys don't use condoms, he may be persuaded to consider the condom as barrier route and turn the lights out. Otherwise, maybe try conspicuously and sexily masturbating in his presence a lot and maybe that will "inspire" him to get over it, put a condom on and fuck you on a towel. :-D

7

While I agree with Dan that straight people do overemphasize PIV, this makes me angry. UNLESS a man has legitimate hemaphobia or some sort of period-related trauma, we need to stop telling men it’s ok to be grossed out by periods. They’re a natural part of our bodies.

I’ve also found that men who aren’t ok with period sex are the first ones to be excited when they find out you’re a squirter (it’s pee, probably) and love spontaneous anal (high chance of shit dick).

I’m obviously taking this personally, but it’s clearly a result of internalized misogyny or refusing to grow up and overcome the teenage boy mentality of “eww periods.” We need to push men to examine where the disgust for the reality of women’s bodies come from, rather than coming up with ways to accommodate them. Women do that enough everywhere else.

In short, grow up and fuck us on our periods, god damn it.

8

Why does this LW "fully understand[s] why some men aren’t into period sex", "not looking to push him into something he’s not comfortable with" and "not a tit-for-tat type lover" when it's obvious that she 1) doesn't understand that some guys aren't into it 2) does want to push him into something he's not comfortable with and 3) is clearly keeping score over a sex act she initiated that was never asked for.

I don't think sex on her period is actually this LW's issue, it's her pretty severe perception gap.

9

If he gets squeamish at the thought of period sex, I wonder how he'd feel if you walked out of the bathroom with a big Jeff Stryker strap-on...saying, "Now let's see who bleeds."

10

You could get a diaphragm. They work quite well at holding back the blood for awhile. (I do this when I want to be able to have spontaneous sex during my period without a towel.) He might still not want to stick his dick in there but it might be enough that he's happy to use toys knowing they won't come out covered in menstrual blood and who knows maybe once he's gotten used to that he might get over himself and fuck you....

Also to those picking on her tit for tat... We aren't taking about this time is you and some other point in the future its me and visa versa.... we're talking about a regular thing where for a length of time (depending how long her period goes) it's just him. That's not OK.. She's allowed to feel a bit shit about that and she should try to find a way to make this time enjoyable for her as well. Actually it should be him writing this letter... I get squicked out during period sex, how can I please my partner during this time so that it's not all one sided?

11

Meh. Women have to clean up after unprotected PIV every time. If unprotected sex is on the table, he can learn to deal.

Choices are:
a) Use a towel (if his concern is messy sheets). Best solution, imo.
b) Use a female condom.
c) Use a cervical cap and prep with wet wipes (to get rid of blood) + lube (because wet wipes are drying).
d) Do c) but don't tell him. It's legit birth control on its own and nearly as effective as hormonal when paired with condoms (99.8%+). Is it his business if a side effect (if you prep) is no blood?
e) Use dental dams and gloves for oral and manual. Bonus points if the letter writer insists on using a condom during blowjobs and gloves for handjobs (only fair).
f) Insist on no blowjobs, no handjobs, no PIV without reciprocation -- during your period only. Recognize that this is HARD for the withholder and practice mutual masterbation.
g) Get additional boyfriends without period-sex hangups and explain to your boyfriend that he can be celebate if he wants, but you won't.
https://youtu.be/IGx4OLuE_xU
(Ahem)

12

Two words: Greek week.

13

Tit for tat pettiness is when someone keeps up with how many sexual experiences are for the pleasure of someone else and then expects reciprocation. Like, I gave you three blow jobs but you only went down on me twice or whatever. This sort of stuff could be a killer- sexual relationships aren't spreadsheets.

It's not a perception gap to say that it's not fair that for a full quarter of their sex life (the LW's words so she must be a weeklong bleeder) the guy gets off and she gets nothing. It's also not tit for tat pettiness- it's a major discrepancy. And blaming a perception gap ignores the woman's words, that she's troubled by this especially because it is the horniest time for her. So it's natural that it will not sit well with her for the bf to say, "you know that week while you are raging horny? You can blow me, but nothing else."

Fuck that. I agree with her that she can sit down the dude and present other options- maybe they just didn't occur to him either. But the fact that he was cool with her sucking his dick then all NO! about period sex without offering alternatives is a red flag that he might be one of those immature and selfish "blow job week" type dudes. But chat with him- maybe not and maybe he'll be down for some of these other things.

14

Ok, creativity and exploring other types of sex fun should be encouraged in general, but this dude needs to work on getting over whatever bothers him about period sex. From my experience it's REALLY not that different, just a bit more slippery and you get a bit of blood on you. Sometimes the flows heavier, sometimes it's barely there at all. Put a damn towel down if you're concerned about the sheets and go to town. As for oral, focus on/around the clit, which is what many women prefer in my own experience? What's more compelling that a woman who's super horny, dude? Period sex rules.

15

I don’t think this is a tit-for-tat issue because she’s extra horny when she has her period and this leaves her sexually frustrated. It would be a different situation if she had no sex drive that week; then she could give bjs with no reciprocation and not be bothered about it.

Also, day 2 of a period is very different than day 5 (or 6 or 7, depending how long her period goes). Maybe ease him into it at the end of the period.

16

Also regarding period sex oral with a tampon, yes when the juices get flowing there will be some very minor leaking, but just alter where you put your tongue/mouth- the goods are up above that anyway. Oral during period sex should be right after or during a shower.

I can't believe we live in a world where it's becoming a norm for people to eat ass and to expect women to be cool about cum in their faces/mouths and yet getting your wrapped dick wet while a woman is on her period is still considered a bridge too far.

Like anything else, no this dude shouldn't do anything he's not comfortable doing, but if he can come up with no other alternative way to have sex with this woman for a full quarter of their time together, then they are not sexually compatible and he needs to move on to someone who isnt' horny during her period.

17

If you're into men, the best ones (on this subject anyway) are those who have been in long term, live-in relationships already. If periods are new and shocking and repugnant to a man--that shows an unattractive level of inexperience and is a deal breaker for me.

I tend to abstain from sex on heavy days because my house is old and therefore only has plumbing on the ground floor. I don't relish the clean up process, basically.

18

Try the Instead soft cup instead of a tampon. Game changer!!

19

New boyfriend, please.

20

If someone is so freaked out at the idea of having his penis go into a vagina that is having blood flow out of it, good luck with assuming he's going to be okay with going down on a woman who's using a tampon to staunch the flow of blood.

I challenge that it's "blood" that is the issue; more likely it's a case of "eww, period blood! Gross: girl-parts blood."

Which simply should not be allowed to fly. There's nothing gross--it's a natural body function. Put a damn towel down and proceed with business as usual. If oral sex is too weird, okay, that's slightly understandable, but both PIV and fingering should still be on the table.

Now, I know there are women who don't feel remotely sexy or who don't want anyone anywhere near their genitals when they have their period, and if that's the case, then if they want to give the man in their life unreciprocated oral sex or hand jobs, that's fine.

But if the guy takes the stance that having her period makes a woman unfit for any sexual activity, than that should extend to ANY and ALL sexual activity, including blow - and hand jobs for him. Simply declare the week a sex-respite and wait for the period to stop.

21

As much as I think he should (not necessarily literally) suck it up...

Remote-control vibrator, maybe?

22

Yes! to the diaphragm idea! Or just do what the porn girls do and use a makeup sponge. (But don’t forget it! One of my GFs left a Today sponge in for a week and it wasn’t something I’d ever want to encounter again without safety goggles and foot long tongs). If Boyfriend is young and stupid you might be able to ease him into it, but not being willing to adapt to minor challenges like this doesn’t bode well for the long haul. Personally it never bothered me that much except on the really heavy days, and that was just because it made a head-to-toe hose-me-down and squeegee me off mess. We just switched to oral. Just tell him, “Stop being such a pussy. Your best friend eats me out when I have my period!”

23

I mean, yeah, you may need to shower your pubic hair afterwards, but as long as that's on the table, what's his deal? Maybe he has reasons, l dunno, and he can talk about them and figure out what works for the LW. (Him taking at least 50% of the lead, not her driving it all.) If he's not equipped for that, l doubt he's dating material for long.

"because my house is old and therefore only has plumbing on the ground floor."

I spent several passes trying to figure out this metaphor before realizing it was literal.

24

"we need to stop telling men it’s ok to be grossed out by periods"
yeah, no, fuck that. totally ok.

and fuck that stupid platitude about "natural parts of our bodies" that got mentioned like 20 times already, as if once wasn't clear enough.
All the other shit, piss, spit, boogers, smegma and whatever else is quite natural too.
I mean, uncut dirty fingernails are totally natural too.
But fuck anyone (in a "no" sense) who wants to incorporate that into sex and gets a bit too self-righteous about how boogers now are a political issue, so can to deny the right to refuse sexual activity in this exact instance.

25

Maybe he'd be more into it if it was shower sex? That takes care of the cleanup and if he really is a hemophobe it reduces the visual. You might also find that lights out sex flies but morning sex does not, in a sort of 'the idea is okay, as long as I don't have to see it'.

Most importantly, talk about it, and make it clear that you aren't interested in a week without sex every month, especially when it's your most horny week. Also consider that there are some religious hangups about this, and if that might be an issue, you probably need to address it head on so you know if he's possibly negotiable or just not, and then move forward or move on as makes sense to you.

26

Dude is missing out. My girlfriend and now wife of 26 years is, and has been horniest and most enthusiastic just before, during, and just after her period.
I can't think of anything better than her looking at me speculatively, and telling me, "Get your clothes off and grab a towel, I need you NOW."
Whee!
Messy? Sure. Sometimes it's a horror show. This is what the towel and the wet wipes are for. Taking a shower together afterwards is nice, too. Sometimes the cleanup just leads to making another mess.

27

Dude is missing out. My girlfriend and now wife of 26 years is, and has been horniest and most enthusiastic just before, during, and just after her period.
I can't think of anything better than her looking at me speculatively, and telling me, "Get your clothes off and grab a towel, I need you NOW."
Whee!
Messy? Sure. Sometimes it's a horror show. This is what the towel and the wet wipes are for. Taking a shower together afterwards is nice, too. Sometimes the cleanup just leads to making another mess

28

Claps for yasunori @24.
He doesn't want to get messy. Respect his boundaries and do yourself.

29

My approach has always been to defer to my partner. If she wants to have sex when she's on her period then I'm down. If she feels bloated, has cramps, feels unattractive, no sexy, whatever during her period then we won't have sex. I've got a hand (and sine the early 2000s, porn to help). The LW's dude needs to relax unless he has a blood phobia, but it doesn't sound like that's the case since he was fine when she said she wasn't aware that she had started her period.

The only thing for me is giving head. I'm not really up for a mouth full of blood, but there have been times when things are super hot and I insert my fingers and focus my tongue on her clit. Again, if she's into it, I'm into it.

30

I love women’s bodies and having sex with women, so there is not much more than that to motivate me to want to have vaginal sex during a sex partner’s period. So I do wonder what is at the root of a man’s displeasure at having sex during the period of a woman whom he is dating. Certainly, some degree of squeamishness around a woman’s body, which is immature and unappealing. Aside from rather heavy flow days, I think women are right to insist on period sex.

I would say, however, that some of this baggage comes from the fact that for men, until you start having sex, a woman’s body, and in particular periods, is rather mysterious even if you’ve had sex education. But by 27, I would expect a man to have a more mature view of menstruation, and seeing blood on her body and his after sex.

I think everyone has covered lots of good suggestions about how to make period sex work. Personally, I prefer using a condom, which minimizes the amount of blood on me. Mr. Hab may find that works well for him too. A menstrual cup also seems like a good solution to minimizing blood.

I do agree that HAB does sound like she’s more into scorekeeping than she wants to admit. I think that is human nature, and she should own it rather than reasoning why it makes sense in this case, but not some other case.

I would encourage HAB to think about equaling things out over the course of a month. For example, with respect to oral sex, while my partners tend to opt to givie me blow jobs for a few days of their periods, rather than have vaginal sex. I don’t give oral sex to them during these days, but I make that up to them by giving more oral sex than I receive during the rest of the month. So leaving aside 69, there are some weeks I go without blow jobs, and even with 69, after my partner orgasms, we’ll often transition to vaginal sex before of climax in her mouth. These aren’t hard and fast rules, but something that has evolved in a few relationships.

31

I think the letter is unclear. HAB didn't say that her boyfriend has drawn a big red line under period sex in general, just that he didn't want to do it the morning after she'd started her period. Now that makes sense -- the first few days are generally heavy, but the flow generally lessens as the week goes on. HAB should know if she dated this guy for a year, but I think she first needs to clarify whether he meant "no sex because your flow is too heavy right now" or "no period sex ever, eww gross." Did he SAY "no PIV but I expect blowjobs for the week"? Are these his words, her assumptions or her experience?

U Insult U: I think you got your pronouns backwards: "Why take this thing away from her? In another year he'll have thought up at least two thousand reasons that it is too inconvenient for him have sex with her." It's not HAB who's pulled the period sex, it's her boyfriend. Doesn't "no sex" mean "no sex"? Sex includes blowjobs, so if he's going to force her to be frustrated for a week each month -- the week each month when she's horniest -- why not show solidarity by suffering through the frustration with her? Seems only fair to me.

Sublime, I see you're here: This seems like a classic opportunity for Dan to have suggested anal sex, yet he didn't. So I think we can conclude that he wasn't suggesting anal for the straight guy who couldn't come during partnered sex due to death grip, either. (For the record, anal might indeed be an option to add to this couple's non-PIV list if they do proceed with a "get creative" solution instead of a "tell him to get over it" or a "DTMFA" solution. Why do I think it's fine to suggest it to this LW, but not the previous one? Because it's her own ass we're talking about, and because she's the one trying to solve a different problem -- "I'm horny and he won't fuck my vagina.")

31

I use a menstrual cup, and one of its many pros is also that when I wear it you can't smell any blood from outside, so oral is exactly the same of when I don't have period. My boyfriend too doesn't like period sex very much, he would do it for me, but I don't like the idea of him forcing himself to do it. I don't think it's stupid to be grossed out by period. Yes it's natural, but so many things are natural secretions of a body and I don't want them near sex, so I can relate. I'm obviously not grossed out by my own period, but I think I would be of someone else's, so don't feel bad if he doesn't like to see his penis covered in your blood. Try to ask what would he be comfortable doing to you during that time. Tell him you don't like to do things on him and not be reciprocated but let him choose what he is comfortable with. And consider using a menstrual cup, for me it really changed everything. With an internal tanpon, even if it keeps the blood from getting out, I could still smell it and wasn't very nice to go down on me, but with the cup is just super. We both love oral, giving and receiving it, and for us is always a part of sex , so during periods our sex exchanges are pretty much similar to what we do when I don't have period, just it doesn't end with PIV.

32

EmmaLiz @16: "I can't believe we live in a world where it's becoming a norm for people to eat ass and to expect women to be cool about cum in their faces/mouths and yet getting your wrapped dick wet while a woman is on her period is still considered a bridge too far."

Gold star comment! Also good suggestion that HAB could find one of the millions of men who isn't squicked by period blood -- in my experience, I've been the more reluctant one, due not to "eww blood" but to feeling bloated and crampy and unsexy; guys have been like "You have your period? Here's a towel," or at worst, "I guess I won't be going down on you, let's fuck" -- while her boyfriend finds a woman who isn't up for period sex, or is on long-term birth control that stops her periods. Or maybe a post-menopausal cougar. ;)

Tenzip @26/@27: Right on!

Surfrat @29: Um, you know that porn existed before 2000, right?

Sublime @30: Agree that 27 is far too old to be going "eww, girl parts."
And you may be onto something. Perhaps HAB should be doing more scorekeeping, not less. Is Mr HAB willing to set aside one of the other weeks in the month to go down on her, with no reciprocation? ;)

33

First off-- Cycles and periods vary a lot, and many of those variations can be fine, but I wonder if HUB is either exaggerating or needs to see a doctor. A typical cycle is about 28-30 days. A typical period is about 2-4 days of active red blood. There could be maybe a drop, a light flow for another 2 days after that, but not enough to be considered truly messy. 4 days out of 30 is a lot less than a quarter of the month. (About a seventh for those who don't have calculators.) If HUB is so messy with blood for a quarter of the time that her boyfriend considers it a real problem, first step is to a doctor to find out what's going on.)

But the question was how not to feel bad about the dynamic. HUB, look at it this way. He has a problem, and you're assuming responsibility for fixing his problem. Does stating it like that make you see it any clearer?

Imagine that he's never been able to keep a job and came home after being fired from another one. Imagine that he's terrible at housework and childcare so you do everything at home too. So you write to an advice columnist trying to figure out what you can do to keep from feeling bad about inevitably having to support him for the rest of your life. Now imagine that the advice columnist tells you all the ways you could make more money and organize your time to do better at cleaning! The stuff about earning money and efficient cleaning may all be true, but this is not your problem to solve.

Try this script for the boyfriend: "I love sex during my period, and you don't. What can you think of to solve your problem? What are you going to do so you can satisfy my needs?" Then listen.

If he comes up with half-assed solutions of things you can do for him, then you know you're talking to an asshole and dtmfa. If he apologizes that that's just the way he is, that's a tiny tad better, but accept the apology and still leave the ball in his court. If he's dumbfounded at first but does see himself as having the problem, if he comes up with some of the things Dan mentioned ON HIS OWN, then consider staying with him.

And to drive my point home, if it does come down to your dumping him, do so while saying: "It looks like we're sexually incompatible. You deserve to find someone more suited to you." And leave it at that.

34

I was never a fan of having sex during the first two or three days when there was greater flow. My preference was to give a blow job, then have my partner spoon me and talk dirty to me while I got myself off. I also remember using a diaphragm on lighter flow days years ago.

35

I second the recommendation to use Flex menstrual cups/ Softcup etc. Possibly better than a diaphragm since designed for blood flow specifically... I have good experience with them. A small amount of blood might come out, but hopefully the man will only be scared of larger anounts? Also, I find repeated thrusting tends to temporarily stop my menstrual flow - one particular lover prefers to take out the cup for his own comfort, and he wouldn’t care about the blood, but in the end it turns out there’s very little thanks to the activity in question... worth exploring how one’s body works in this context, might be a lot less messy than anyone feared. (Though maybe leave the cowgirl position for the rest of the month...?)

36

Based on personal experience from a while back (thank god for menopause!), the Instead soft cup was a game changer.
https://www.amazon.com/Softcup-14-Disposable-Menstrual-Discs/dp/B000X29GY6?th=1

37

I've got a tendency to be (quoting @6 eatin_meat) "a bit obsessive about cleanliness in general".

Yet I can't begin to relate to showing the slightest sign of this as a sexual partner, let alone avoiding PIV. Particularly given partners that are (@6) "Extremely horny during period time"!

The most I can say is that given my cleanliness thing I don't PREFER period sex (or anal). But I feel like someone who says no to what their partner wants because of, or who is controlled by, a need for cleanliness, is seriously messed up.

(But full disclosure, going down on her during unstaunched heavy flow I'm not feeling comfortable with barrier-free.)

38

With regard to the last item, count me in! Absentee ballot going in the mail today. VTMFO!

39

Blood is gross, regardless of the hole it comes from.

Don't try to shame men for finding blood gross. I don't care how "natural" it is because every human function is natural and it doesn't make it any less gross. Poop, urine, vomit, snot, etc are all natural and they're all gross.

40

As a woman who bleeds regularly I never understood why it's considered sexist for men to be grossed out by period blood. It seems to me like that is equating the experience of womanhood with getting a period and I think there is a lot more to womanhood than bleeding. Lots of things our bodies naturally produce are horrible. We produce sweat, oil, mucus, vomit, cystic acne, ear wax, and farts. I don't think choosing a human body as a sexual partner means you need to enjoy every single disgusting thing that comes out of them. Personally if men squirted blood from their dick hole I would find it pretty weird. Although blood is an excellent lubricant so that's a bonus I guess.

41

Y'know, I'm a weirdo. I love eating menstruating pussy. It's seriously one of my favorite things. And I get crazy horny during my period, so I can relate to HAB's frustration.

But that being said, a big FUCK YOU to those saying the boyfriend should suck it up buttercup if he doesn't like it. You can't bully people into being into things they aren't into. The libido wants what it wants, and everyone's hard limits should be absolutely respected.

My step one for HAB is USE YOUR WORDS. I get the impression she's been much clearer with Dan than her boyfriend about what she wants. She assumed instead of asking, then bottled up her feelings instead of talking it out. She's wondering why he's stopping when he seemed fine with it before. Did it never occur to her to ASK and see what the issue is? Surely he knows better than any of us.

And if it turns out he's absolutely not into it, fine. You're sexually incompatible. Either open it up, break up, or weigh whether what you like about him is worth the cost of admission.

42

Re: sexism and being freaked out by period blood

Can we take a step back for a sec? If the dude does not want to have PIV on a period, ok fine. That might be a deal breaker for some people- especially this particular LW who is raging horny during that week. I feel like everyone is skipping over that part. If this BF does not want to have sex with a gal on her period, then he needs to find another woman- one who is not raging horny during that week. We exist. I don't even want to be touched at that time.

But again I feel like we are trying to understand female sexuality through the eyes of male sexuality. Many women's sex drives are tied to their hormonal cycles. There are certain times of the month when I'm super horny and certain times when I couldn't bother. You don't always get laid when you are horny, and if you are in a relationship, you sometimes have to put out some effort into performance to please your partner when you are not horny.

What's fucked up about saying this woman should just accept that this guy does not like sex during a period is that this would mean that for the rest of their relationship (weeks? months? years?) this woman has zero options to get laid during the time of the month that she is most horny. Accepting that this man does not want sex during her period means that she gets to just be horny and dissatisfied with no possibility at all of relief for a full quarter of their time together and for the entirety of the time that she is the most horny.

That's totally fucked up. Obviously this is not a sustainable solution, and it's not tit for tat or keeping score. This is a massive incompatibility.

What's sexist is that the dude is OK with this, still is fine with her blowing him even though she gets nothing, and when he declines PIV, he does not offer anything else. Disliking certain sexual acts during a period is not sexist. Deciding that it's blow job week when your gf is on her period IS sexist.

But taking another step back, this is a new relationship, the incident happened one time, and the gf may not have talked to her boyfriend. Once she does, he might either be willing to get over his squeamishness under certain circumstances. This is how most of us are - plenty of sexual things our partners want to do seem gross at first and then we get used to them and then they become hot- (ok I will try licking your ass, but only right after you've made yourself sparkling clean; fine I'll let you pee on me, but not on my face and while we are in the shower) etc. He must show some willingness to have sex with her in some way - it can't be nothing for a quarter of the time.

And I know not all women (not most even) bleed that long. Some do, the LW does, I do. It happens.

43

Following up on my own comment @33 and having read the ones following it-- HAB might say "I get that you don't like having sex with me when I have my period, but that's when I'm ready to have sex with anyone who makes eye contact with me. How about an open relationship for that one week? You have sex with anyone you want to during that time. I'll have sex with anyone I want to during that time." See what he says.

As for the oral with a barrier idea, how is that materially different from PIV with a condom? Why not just ordinary sex where he doesn't have to look, and she takes care of washing the bloody towel after? (Which is what we used to do when I was menstruating. It wasn't that big a deal to put a towel down on the bed and then either to wash it or throw it away after.)

44

Fichu, theoretically, I think the difference is the mess. He will get blood on him- not on his wrapped dick, but on his legs and pubes and stomach and all that. Unless they hardly move and touch at all. I dunno, maybe I bleed more than most people, but if I have sex on my period, a towel would be useless.

I've never been intimate with women, so I don't know what it's like for most of you, but using a towel would only work if I was extremely still and so was my partner- I mean when you guys say using a towel do you mean that you put it under your butt and then fuck missionary and don't shift positions at all? Or you move the towel each time you move? If I did that, there would be a puddle of blood on the towel that would spill each time I moved it, ha ha. Actually, who am I kidding, I would bleed through the towel anyway.

Back to the LW. The advantage of using a tampon is that she can shower up- no sign or smell of blood anywhere, and he can just avoid any insertion. He can use a vibrator, his fingers, mouth, heavy petting / rubbing, etc, and while a little blood might seep out around the tampon when she's very wet, surely he can learn to handle that unless he has some extreme phobia.

45

I think rather a lot hinges on Letter Writer's use of the word "unrequited" in "the idea that a week of oral—blow jobs for him—that goes unrequited gets my hackles up."

If "unrequited" means "unrequited by anything," then he's the one being unreasonable. Surely he can wash his hands -- surely he can wash his dick? or her toys?!? -- after they are done. Surely he does that the rest of the month?

But If she means "unrequited oral," as in "oral for you == oral for me, even when I'm bleeding," then no, that's not reasonable. You don't get to dictate which bodily fluids another person finds too gross to ingest. If she was the type who refused to swallow because she's grossed out by that, she'd be within her rights to refuse. The same right applies to him.

46

Though I can only view this question through the haze of the Gay Privilege Card, I will say that, if nothing spontaneously occurred to him in the way of compensation once he'd had time to consider the matter, he doesn't sound like a keeper.

If they previously dated for about a year, what's different now?

47

I was also struck by this: "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."

Why did you apologize and act embarrassed? You are kind of participating in the whole "period sex is gross" thing yourself. At this point, for all you know he thinks he was following your lead. There are women who refuse to have sex on their periods too. You kind of set him up to think that you might be one of those, the way you responded the night before.

If you want period sex to be normal and not embarrassing, don't treat it like it is yourself.

Oh, and talk to him. Don't try to figure out what's going on in his head remotely. It sounds like both of you may be doing that. Him by refusing period sex the following morning, after you reacted weirdly to it the night before. You by writing in to an advice columnist the first time something confusing happens.

48

Maybe he just wasn't into it that one time?

They need to talk about this, and it's not clear from the letter that they really did so.

49

Count me in as someone who got super horny right before and at the start of my period (past tense because I'm menopausal). Luckily, my periods were pretty light and brief, and most of my partners didn't have an issue with PIV during even my heaviest days. I had one boyfriend who happily went down on me during my period, but I understood completely if someone didn't want to. It never occurred to me to use some sort of barrier just so I could get eaten, but if I still had my period and if I had a partner who objected to going down on me during it, I would try that.

To me, the issue here isn't that the lw's boyfriend doesn't want to have PIV during her period so much as it's a one-way sexual street 1/4 of the time. She says she feels rejected and hurt. If he can't bring himself to touch her at all, that's his right, but that still leaves her feeling rejected and hurt. And if he won't or can't bring himself to touch her but still expects her to service him--well, if she feels like going down on him for her own sake or because she wants to be GGG and give even when it's going to be unreciprocated, that's fine, but it shouldn't be expected of her each and every month, and for an entire week each month.

I happen to think that men do have an "eww gross" reaction to menstrual blood that goes beyond the fact that some body fluids are kind of gross. When I was young, I was raised to hide the fact of my period from my father, because it made him uncomfortable. It wasn't just that he was uncomfortable with the idea that his little girl was turning into a woman; he's still uncomfortable being confronted by the evidence that women bleed from their vaginas, and he's in his 80s. I hid my (unused) tampons and pads from him lest they freak him out. I remember being a young woman and looking for a female cashier at the drug or grocery store when I bought tampons, because I'd get so embarrassed when a boy or man rung them up. Why did I get so embarrassed? Because the men blushed and got embarrassed. I remember telling male coaches and P.E. teachers that I couldn't do whatever they wanted me to do when I didn't feel like it, by whispering that it was "my time of the month." They looked so uncomfortable, and waved me away quickly, like some contaminated thing that they were afraid was contagious.

I'm happy to say that my own daughters have no qualms about talking about their periods in front of their father, or asking him to go to the store and pick up tampons for them, but it was a learning curve for him to be able to hear it without blushing or looking awkward. I have a gay male friend who is a single dad. Recently, his teenage daughter had a slumber party and he was telling me about the grossness of the aftermath. He told me that someone had put a used tampon in the bathroom wastebasket and he was horrified and grossed out. He said this in a way that implied I would share the sentiment--that the girl should have had the decency to hide it better. I said, "would it have grossed you out as much to see a bloody bandage or tissues soaked with blood indicating there had been a bloody nose?" He admitted it would not have. I said, "maybe you should rethink your attitude; it's just blood. You could have seen used syringes or other drug paraphernalia--wouldn't that have been worse?" He agreed.

Men act disgusted with periods and period blood because women have allowed them to. The hypocrisy of straight men who think of women as "pussy," who want into vaginas no matter how much the owners of said vaginas might not want--who lie and rape to get into vaginas--who are repulsed by the blood that comes out of those same vaginas once a month really irritates me. I don't think men should be forced to suck it up and have sex with a woman who's on her period if they are repulsed--but I would at least like to see a culture where menstruation isn't treated as something shameful and disgusting.

50

@47: avast2006, I agree completely.

51

@44 EmmaLiz "I think the difference is the mess. He will get blood on him- not on his wrapped dick, but on his legs and pubes and stomach and all that. Unless they hardly move and touch at all."

If that's the case then Note to BF: Soap cleans skin, take a shower later.

Works for me, but then I just have a cleanliness-thing, not (like I see some commenters point out guys have) a women-thing.

52

Between my partner and I (who's been my only partner), it was actually I who was embarrassed about period sex and never really offered it. However, I very quickly found out that he didn't care at all if I was on my period and still wanted PIV. We now have a lot of period sex because it's nature's contraception :) But actually, it was pretty nice he wasn't bothered even a little because it allowed me to be more comfortable with my body and myself. On the other hand, I will point out my boyfriend is super unimaginative and pretty much only wants PIV. You win some you lose some.

I don't think your guy is a bad guy for being grossed out by period PIV, but I do encourage you to talk to him about why. Does he just think it's gross? Is he afraid it hurts you? Did he have some kind of a bad experience? Or anything else? Maybe you can talk it through and convince him its not so bad, and get him to try it a couple times. If that doesn't work, and it's really bothering you that he can't accept you, then you might want to consider leaving. If he doesn't budge with period PIV but it doesn't bother you, Dan's advice is very good. Straight people DO put too much emphasis on PIV, just in general IMO.

53

LW, if your lover isn’t into period sex don’t shame him for it. Most angles have been adequately covered. I’ve not bled for several years now and reading this thread reminds me how real that monthly time is for a fertile woman. And how often. In Australia an eighteen year campaign to drop the GST on ‘female products’ has just been won.

54

I must have an unusual period, judging by everyone else's comments. I have 2 days of light flow followed by 2 days of heavy flow, and then it stops pretty suddenly. Maybe a little bit of blood on day 5 when I wipe after going to the loo, but that's it.

I don't mind period sex but I don't love it, because I get the upset stomach which some women experience, and that doesn't make me feel very sexy. Plus the sensation of being fingered (externally) while I'm wearing a tampon is unpleasant. It's not pleasant feeling of fullness, it's just irritating. Then I could take it out and put a towel down, but even though I don't find the messiness gross, I do find it annoying.

All that said though I've never had a long term boyfriend who was squeamish about it, and I wouldn't put up with that. They adapt pretty quickly if it's just newness/ strangeness that's making them hesitant.

On another note, people mention menstrual cups. I can't get on with them at all. I feel like I'm somehow inadequate as a feminist. But I got a mooncup and hated the way it felt inside me (big and noticeable), needed to completely trim the stem as it was painfully poking me, hated trying to break the suction seal which was almost impossible without the stem... It was a nightmare. I also hate applicator tampons. Thank goodness for Lil-lets.

55

Curious @37: As a person who both has a vagina and likes vaginas, I'm not about to go down on a heavily bleeding pussy either -- nor would I want anyone to do that to mine. But as Dan says, there are many non-messy things one can do during one's period.

Dirtygerty @39: So I take it you include cum and vaginal secretions on your list of "gross" bodily fluids, and are too put off by these to masturbate or have non-period sex?

@40/@41: +1 to both these comments.

Fichu @43: "If you won't fuck me when I'm horniest, we should have an open relationship so that I can find someone who will" sounds like a reasonable proposal. FWIW, I was always horniest for the couple of days -before- my period; it was like my body was saying "Last chance! Get it now!" During, I feel unsexy, but my periods are (were) short so it really was a maximum of two days before I'd be ready for sex again. In other words, not much difference from my normal cycle of desire.

Emma @44: Yes, it sounds like you do produce far more blood than average, though I'm saying this as someone who I know produces less. Keeping a tampon in until penetration time and using a towel during and a damp washcloth after always sufficed for me.

Avast @45: Given the context of the rest of the letter -- ie he refused PIV -- I think she means "unrequited oral" as blowjob for him, no orgasm whatsoever for her. Good point that he (should be) washing his dick after sex anyway, so what's the problem with having a bit more fluid that's a different colour to wash off?

Avast @47: The reason it is considered polite to apologise in that situation is that one has not given one's partner advance warning that he will be getting blood on him, which can be an unpleasant surprise. No apology needed when it is known in advance that there will be blood.
I don't think he was "following her lead" when she came back from the bathroom, tamponless, ready to fuck and he said no.

Nocute @49: Amen.

Elmsyrup @54: "the sensation of being fingered (externally) while I'm wearing a tampon is unpleasant. It's not pleasant feeling of fullness, it's just irritating."
Lube. You need lube. Or as LavaGirl would say, coconut oil. Anything to make the area slick, because when you're wearing a tampon, your natural juices are blocked and can't help out.

56

@31/BiDanFan: “This seems like a classic opportunity for Dan to have suggested anal sex, yet he didn't. So I think we can conclude that he wasn't suggesting anal for the straight guy who couldn't come during partnered sex due to death grip, either.”

Or maybe he’s read in the comment thread over the years that some women don’t like anal sex during their period because they find their GI track gets upset when menstruating. Or maybe he read all your comments in that prior thread and thought, “Ugh, no way I’m mentioning anal sex again after that.”

57

I'm really shocked that so many people's reactions are "man up" . He doesn't WANT to do it, he's perfectly COMFORTABLE not to do it. If this was a MAN pressuring his girlfriend to drink his semen or take a faceful when she was squicked out by it, would so many people be lining up to shame her for it? Yeah, I don't think so. If you wouldn't shame HER for feeling squicked out by PERFECTLY NATURAL bodily fluids, then don't shame HIM, either. If he doesn't want to play in her period blood, that's FINE. it's not a real pretty sight for some, and I can see how it could disturb a partner. Hell, my boyfriend and I were midstroke in a hotel room when mine hit. He was still down to go, and I was, too, until I realized just how FAR the blood had spread in mere seconds. It was like cleaning up a fucking crime scene. Throw down a TOWEL? I would have been better throwing down a match to destroy the sheets! Some of us ladies are REAL heavy bleeders.

I get horny on my period, too. But if my boyfriend said to me that he wasn't into it, he'd rather wait, I would totally get it. LW, if you're still getting laid,
and getting it good, is this REALLY such a problem?

58

Pollyc @57: Of course it's a problem, otherwise she wouldn't have written to Dan.

"Man up" is one of the options proffered here. Others are: Accept that you're sexually incompatible and go your separate ways; find other things to do that aren't so messy; and even the creative "period week is open relationship week." What ISN'T one of the options is, "Sure, just let him get away with insisting on blowjobs but doing nothing for you for the full week each month you have your period," which HAB perceives as her boyfriend's current proposal and which she rightly sees as unfair.

And I do think that if a woman was saying she didn't want to have PIV with her partner because cum, even in a condom, squicked her out, she'd be getting flack for that too. I don't see anyone telling Mr HAB that he needs to go down on her during her period. Or that he has to fuck her when she's TOO HEAVY for a TOWEL.

59

If he isn't DTF during your period, get a new lover. Plenty of men are perfectly fine having sex during periods, that is what towels are made for (hint, get red ones for this purpose) and he can shower afterwards. Oral sex can get a little yucky but if he just licks your clit there's usually no blood up top. But plenty of other things to do. Good luck!

60

"I get horny on my period, too. But if my boyfriend said to me that he wasn't into it, he'd rather wait, I would totally get it. LW, if you're still getting laid,
and getting it good, is this REALLY such a problem?"

I think this is really dismissive about the fact that this is when the woman is horniest, and being with this man exclusively = never having sex when LW is horniest. As far as how big a problem it is, I suppose it matters in the context that you consider it and what you are comparing it to. To you, it seems it wouldn't be. To me, it would.

Like BDF, my horniest time of the month was not when I was bleeding so I never had to deal with this, but if I were in a relationship with a partner who took sex off the table during my horniest time of the month, that would be a dealbreaker. It's not that I expect sex that week- I get that people are busy and have personal and health issues and all, so there are months where I just have to suck it up and not get laid at that time, this is absolutely normal and not a big deal. But to say no sex at all never ever not even the possibility during your horniest week for as long as we are together, uh no. A respectful goodbye and we can still be friends. But if it were followed up by, "but you can blow me", then Goodbye and Fuck you.

I know that's not what happened here with this LW- yet again it was a one time thing and there wasn't a lot of communication around it so the dude might be perfectly willing to do other things once he starts to think about it, and he might even get over his squeamishness, etc. So I think it has as good a chance of working out fine as anything else, but I really can't even start to see the point of view that says, "it's OK that he's not interested, just his preference, be cool with it" unless that also means "and accept that you aren't compatible and move on to someone else" because the only alternative way to just accept his preference and be cool with it is to accept that you will never again have even the possibility of sexual satisfaction during the time when you are horny.

61

Also I might be an outlier here, but from talking to other women, I think it is pretty common for our sex drives to fluctuate with our hormonal cycles, especially if we aren't taking artificial hormones. For myself, I'm extremely wall-climbing horny for about a week (and as I've said, on my period I don't want to be touched), and the other two weeks I'm basically not horny. That doesn't mean I can't become interested- I know this about myself and I choose to get warmed up or if something particularly sexy is happening with my partner or if my partner warms me up, then I can get good to go, but I'm not walking around horny otherwise. So saying "no sex during your horny week ever again" just seems extremely frustrating for one thing and also taking away the fun of fucking my brains out when it's what I want most. Even if the relationship were open, that would not prevent me from resenting or being frustrated by the partner that refused to have sex with me every single month when I was the horniest- that just would not work for me. So I'm probably projecting a bit- but it sure does sound like the LW feels the same way. It's why her words resonated with me. The difference being that she's horny when she's bleeding and I am not, and that adds a complication.

62

I remember being a little weirded out by period blood in high school but my girlfriend at the time said “if you can walk through mud, you can fuck through blood”. Made me laugh and go for it and realized it wasn’t such a big deal after all.

63

BTW on the flip side, as I do have an entire week in which I do not want to be touched, I can say that it's pretty normal for me to give oral or participate in a hand job when I'm not down for anything else. So the funny thing here is that I'm arguing about how obnoxious blow job week is, but I guess that sort of describes my own period week, ha ha. So it's not the actions or the score keeping- it's about compatibility. I'm not confident that opening up would solve the problem either as it really isn't practical unless you are in some poly situation or have a fairly stable FWB. My experience of having an open relationship was that your opportunities had more to do with work and personal schedules and not your hormonal cycle- it's not like most people can go cruising several times in one week every month- you'd probably have to put the work into something regular, and if you were going to do that, then it seems like it would be easier just to be with someone more compatible in the first place- not like these two are a regular committed thing yet. And approaching the conversation that way (if you don't fuck me, I'll find someone else who will) is unlikely to be skillful- it will sound like an ultimatum, it might make him feel coerced. The motivation you really want is one of mutual understanding and mutual satisfaction- more just like, talk to him about why this is important to him and see where he is willing to push his comfort zone a little and then work with that a while and see how it goes.

64

@55: no, it's not just a question of lube. It's that when I get turned on obviously my whole area becomes sensitive, and then I hate the scratchy cottony feel of the tampon inside me, hate the feeling of the string, etc. It's distracting and unsexy. Maybe I'm toooo sensitive down there. God forbid anyone should have the slightest bit of fingernail when they're touching me, as well. My vulva is a princess.

65

On a related note, when I was dating, I always kept a box of tampons at my place just in case. A little extra bit of thoughtfulness that the ladies universally appreciated. One of the perks of getting old(er) is not having to worry about periods or unwanted pregnancy anymore.

66

Some women have periods that last a full week or longer. I did, just about every time. Thank goodness for IUD and age.

67

@BiDanFan: Of course, porn existed before 2000 but I certainly wasn't running out to a theater or to the video rental store every time I needed some mental aid to jerk off. And other than a brief stint in NYC, didn't have easy access to peep booths (which I rarely used since it's hard to schedule one's time to be horny and masturbate). The internet is so much better on that front: horny, need some help, thousands of choices are right there. Unless there's a damn outage at the wrong time. Haha.

68

A quibble: HAB doesn't say she is at her horniest when she's on her period.
She is clearly not NOT in the mood for sex, but i think we are misremembering the letter.

Upon a reread, I was mystified by several things. Here's most of the letter again:

"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."

So he assured her that the (presumably PIV) sex was okay after they'd had it and she afterwards discovered that she had started her period. Then the next morning, he initiated "some hand stuff," which I take to mean that he was fingering her clit. But only when she took her tampon out in anticipation of PIV, did he make it clear that that act was off the table.

I can't tell if they had a conversation; I can't tell if he is fine with all sorts of other sexual acts, but just not PIV. One interpretation is that, just waking up, he didn't remember that she had started her period, and remembered with a start when she removed the tampon--and he is grossed out by the idea of any kind of sexual activity involving her genitals when she's on her period. He was gracious the night before, as he realized that she was embarrassed, and the deed was already done and he chalked it up to a mistake, so he wasn't going to be a dick. But he really doesn't want to go near her genitals for the duration of her period.

Or perhaps he remembered just fine in the morning, and was okay with manually stimulating her clit, maybe even going down on her, so long as the tampon was in place plugging her blood up. In which case, he's implicitly "offering" her several different kinds of sex and she either puts a premium on PIV or she misunderstood him to mean "no" to all kinds of sex, other than his being blown.

She wasn't clear in her letter, and I wonder if the two of them understood each other. Maybe she's someone who doesn't enjoy oral or needs that filled-up feeling or just prioritizes PIV.
They need to have a conversation.

69

"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."

It's possible that other weeks in the month she actually does dry hump anyone who maintains eye contact, but I just assumed this meant this description meant 'period week' was her horniest.

70

@69: Ah, it was in the back-and-forth between HAB and Dan. I'd forgotten about that.

71

And: "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."---so we're not in my rosiest case scenario; where we and the lw are is with a man who won't consider doing anything at all to satisfy her during her horniest time, month in, and month out. Yet he expects blowjobs while he's not touching her.

DTMFA.

72

Just a clarification about menstrual cups. Proper cup-shaped cups are made of silicone and are reusable for years: they sit at the bottom of the vagina (much lower than a tampon) and are thus incompatible with PIV. They are however great for anything else including being, for me, much better than a tampon for a sexy moment without PIV.
The kind of menstrual cup I was recommending above, although called a cup, is actually disc-shaped, with a flexible membrane. They are single use (or one whole cycle tops). They sit up at the top of the vagina against the cervix and are held in place behind the pubic bone - they therefore leave the vagina free and are compatible with PIV. Or fingering etc too of course! In fact it is one of their marketing messages. I have tried these for sex and they do work, as I said in my comment 35 above :)
Obviously if a man flat out refused to even try this, I would consider him sexually incompatible...
@65 kudos to you!!!

73

Many people (particularly children) have blood phobias. While most people overcome the worst aspects of the fear as they grow up (they no longer scream or get nauseous at the sight of blood), it seldom becomes a source of sexual arousal. Once puberty kicks in woman are forced to deal with menses every month. Of necessity they are forced to become acclimated to dealing with blood. Another common phobia is the fear of needles which oft times never fully goes away. Just saying, don't know if that is a factor here.

74

Pollyc @57/EmmaLiz @60: "I get horny on my period, too. But if my boyfriend said to me that he wasn't into it, he'd rather wait, I would totally get it. LW, if you're still getting laid,
and getting it good, is this REALLY such a problem?"

The difference here is that Pollyc seems to be grossed out by her own period, whereas HAB is not. One can be of two minds about sex: on the one hand, perhaps I've seen something or met someone sexy and my mind is going "hmm, sex!" But on the other hand I know I have my period so it would be messy so it would be better to wait. That sounds like your situation, Pollyc, but not HAB's. She has no qualms about sex during her period and she expects her boyfriend to take her lead -- just like you do. In other words, she's not being any more or less unreasonable than you are.

EmmaLiz @63: "the funny thing here is that I'm arguing about how obnoxious blow job week is, but I guess that sort of describes my own period week, ha ha." The difference is that you don't WANT to be on the receiving end of sex during this week, but you're happy for your partner to not be frustrated. The fact that HAB's situation is the other way round makes it completely different.

I agree that an open relationship probably wouldn't solve things, you're right, unless she found another regular lover or managed to find a local Fetlife group for guys with a period fetish. It's one thing to expect your regular partner to have sex with you during your period. It's not really something you want to unleash on a one-night-stand.

Elmsyrup @64: LOL, ok! Have you tried the menstrual cups people keep recommending? I haven't -- I stopped bleeding before they were really a thing.

Donny @65: THANK YOU! This is such a thoughtful thing, anyone who regularly hosts people who have vaginas should do this.

Surfrat @67: Sure, the internet is like anything else in providing instant access to things. But, video RENTAL store? You did know that you could purchase videos, right? And magazines? Gosh, I'm lucky to have an imagination.

EmmaLiz @69: Congrats on the magic number!

Nocute @71: Mileage as always may vary. I'm perfectly fine with "no oral" when I have my period. But again, I don't (didn't) have week-long periods or lovers who were squeamish about fucking or fingering.

75

Yeah, I'd most likely have to let the LW go. I'm 100% fine with periods, buying tampons/pads/whatever, I just have very specific and very serious trauma around blood(any more than a drop or two) and any sexual activity and therapy has proven less than effective in treating that(and because it's so specific it isn't on the top of the list).

76

EmmaLiz@69 ~ Score!

77

Put on a glove and fist her.

78

@75 GhostDog I'm sorry about your PTSD around blood. Unfortunately trauma is anything but easy to get past. Take care. Good on you for working on it.

79

@78 TY. It's also complicated because it involved a sexual assault which is being triggered almost every day since last October.

Right now the top of the therapy list is not having a panic attack whenever I'm watching TV and see the latest sexual assault allegations. Maybe once that's gotten squared away I'll look at being able to have sex with someone when they are having a heavy flow period.

80

@79 GhostDog
Until then may your partners not be among those horniest during their periods. Hey, as @63 EmmaLiz said, "blow job week...I guess that sort of describes my own period week".

81

GhostDog @79: Commiserations and sympathy, unfortunately I do know exactly where you are coming from. I'm beginning to resent the term "rape survivors." That sounds empowering and what happened to me was anything but empowering. Some asshole decided to make me his VICTIM, I am a rape VICTIM. And I fucking deserve some sympathy, dammit, and so do you. Hugs.

FWIW, I think any reasonable human being would be understanding in a case like yours where trauma is the issue, where it's not just someone saying "eww gross." I join with Curious2 in wishing you partners who are happy to forgo period sex.

82

Hugs and sympathy to BiDanFan and GhostgDog and everyone who has been raped and sexually assaulted by predatory assholes. Thanks to the newest member of SCOTUS, I've been feeling unhealthy-for-me levels of the opposite of hugs and sympathy towards those predators.

And absolutely, as BiDanFan said, your partners will understand.

83

@81 Solidarity, though I wish that we had it over something happier like a mutual love of pie.

Thank you. I usually don't talk about it much because I don't want misogynist assholes to be all, "See, women are awful too so we can be garbage people and it's totally fine!".

The irony is that I lay what happened to me, both times, at the feet of the patriarchy. Without going into a blow by blow, what happened to me can be reduced to a single quote from "Stranger in a Strange Land", which is as follows.

The character was talking about women having sex with men, "when a woman's gonna, she's gonna. All you can do is cooperate with the inevitable." This is especially true if the guy acknowledges he is attracted to the woman.

In both cases I felt sex was unwise even though I was attracted to both of them. I said no and paid for it both times.

Also, in my case I'm super blessed in that my partner is on a form of birth control that means she doesn't have a period so this isn't really something that I have to worry about too to much.

84

@81

Oh, and for the record.

I think that mutual and/or assisted masturbation would be a great thing to try and is good overall when one or both parties aren't particularly interested in PIV.

85

My husband has never been cool with having sex with me while I'm on my period either. At first it bothered me; who does this guy think he is shaming me for a natural bodily function?! But then when I thought about it some more I realized what a relief it is that he actually TOLD me he's extremely turned off by menstrual blood. I'm so glad he didn't keep that a secret and quietly gag to himself while getting me off out of a sense of obligation and feminist shame. Sometimes we'll just do something nonpenetrative while I'm on my period, though for the most part I actually prefer not being touched during that time as I tend to feel bloated and gross anyway. Another option is to treat your period week as his week of awesome unreciprocated blow jobs, with the condition that there is a greater focus on you for the rest of the month. Or your period week could just be a chance for you both to have some alone time and masturbate instead of having sex with each other.

87

Reviewing the letter, it's worth noting that Boyfriend hasn't actually engaged in a week of demanding blowjobs for himself while leaving LW high and dry. That was LW's extrapolation of a possible future to not look forward to, based on what appears to be a single incident in which neither person did a stellar job of communicating.

LW sounds just a little tightly wound.

88

Avast @87: I'd agree with you, except that she previously dated this guy for about a year. That's 13 weeks or so of dating this guy while she's on her period, which presumably forms the basis for her seemingly unfounded assumptions about his attitude. If this was a brand-new lover, I'd agree that she's jumping to far too many conclusions.

89

I'm SO glad I no longer have Overlook Hotel elevator redrum periods anymore!
Dan, I think you indirectly nailed it for me a long while back when you once responded to a LW that sometimes a bodyfuck is as big as a mindfuck, and not everyone is comfortable with PIV.

90

@88: But she said she doesn't remember this being an issue the first time around.

91

I used to be an escort and hiding my period was a thing i had to do. You can use those makeup sponge applicators, they come like 12 or 20 in a packet, work great to stifle flow and he won't know the difference. Im sure there's a variety you could use but im referring to the white circular ones like wonder rounds 50 applicator rounds. You can usually find one like this at your neighboring bartells or walmarts or qfc or safeway. Good luck.

92

Ophelia, I'm intrigued. Are you saying that you would insert makeup applicators and then have sex with them inside you? This seems dangerous to me. It seems it would be ineffective if one were flowing heavily, but even for women who have very light periods (I assume on birth control as it is lighter then), how would it stay in place and how safe is it to have this inside of you while having sex? And how long could a tiny thing like that hold back any blood at all?

Am I totally misunderstanding you? Or missing a joke? I'm so confused. I hope you write back.

93

Lol, people are piling on the guy for not liking period sex, questioning his manhood, etc.

Chunky blood isn't erotic (or tasty) for most people. Periods are nothing to be ashamed of of course; like poop, pee, ear wax, eye boogers, booger boogers, semen, farts, acne we all have gross stuff coming out of us from time to time.

I think over time most guys get used to the occasional blood on the dick and will just go with the flow. But I don't think it is especially weird for a dude to not be comfortable with it when they first start out. I don't think it is weird for a guy to not want to do oral unless she's wearing a cup or something similar during the period. Plenty of other ways to have mutual fun while the oil is being changed.

It's a little like being in the bathroom with someone else who is sitting on the toilet. It takes a little settling into the relationship to get comfortable with each other's secretions.

94

I agree that men should never have to consent to period sex if they don't want to. But it's also worth noting that it's okay for this to be a deal breaker for women. For a lot of women, periods are tied into our sexuality, representing fertility and reproduction. (Obviously lots of women feel the opposite!) For those of us who are are turned on by or during our period, it's a downer to be with somebody who sees me as nonsexual dusing that time. It's a compatibility issue.

Full disclosure, I almost never have piv during my period. But I do have a partner who is willing to do what's needed to invest in my pleasure, whether it's a mixture of toys/hands on my clit and nipple stimulation, or even just making out with me and being fully present while I take care of myself. The important thing is he sees me as sexual and sees my gratification as important. I hope that the letter writer and her guy can come to a similar understanding.

Also, a comment on score keeping. If one partner receives pleasure, without even inquiring about what can be done for the other person, that's just rude. Especially if the receiver is that initiated as is the case here. I don't care if people call that score keeping.