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Menstrual Sex: It's Not Just For Vampires
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Many people are terrified of having sex when they or their partner are menstruating, but it's really not that big a deal! There are plenty of ways to have mess-free sex while one partner is bleeding, even if you get squicky around blood. As long as you have the right equipment and attitude, it shouldn't be a problem.

  Stick a Cup Up There

Menstrual cups are increasingly being seen as the "way of the future" for period products. They're reusable, sustainable, far more body-safe than tampons, and far less wasteful than pads. Menstrual cups sit inside the vaginal canal and catch blood, rather than absorbing it, so they let the vagina hang onto its natural moisture.

Cups are made of silicone, just like many of our favorite sex toys, so they can be washed and sanitized just like any silicone dildo. There should be no concern about bacteria gathering from menstrual blood, as long as the cup is washed with soap and water in between uses (when possible) and boiled once a month.

The reusable type of cup, produced by companies like DivaCup, Meluna, and Yuuki, is worn low in the vagina, so it doesn't allow for penetration. These cups are perfect for women to wear while having anal sex, receiving oral sex, or participating in any other sexual activity that doesn't involve vaginal penetration.

Softcups, on the other hand, are disposable cups that sit high up in the vagina, close to the cervix, like a diaphragm. These were designed with penetration in mind. With a bit of practice, it's easy to learn how to put in a Softcup so all the blood gets caught right where it comes out of the cervix, before it can make a mess in the vagina.

  Spongy Goodness

Another alternative menstrual product is these sea sponges by Jade and Pearl. (Other, smaller companies produce them too, but Jade and Pearl are the most well-known sea sponge manufacturers for menstrual use.)

Like Softcups, sea sponges are worn high up in the vagina, just below the cervix. They absorb the blood, like a tampon. When they get full, they can be removed, washed out, and placed back in. Some women with heavier flows find that sponges don't absorb as much blood as they'd like, but for sex during one's period, sponges are a fantastic option.

Sea sponges have a very similar texture to the walls of the vagina - soft, squishy, and textured - so they can easily go undetected by a partner's fingers or penis. This makes them a great choice if you have to keep your period a secret for some reason.

Like any object that goes far up into the vagina, it may be difficult to remove sea sponges, especially when you've just had sex and are aroused (the cervix moves up and back during arousal, taking the sponge or cup with it). It's no problem: just wait a few minutes, lube up your fingers, insert them, relax, bear down with your muscles if necessary, and gently pull on the sponge until it slides out.

  Perfect Time for a Towel

It's this author's opinion that every sexually active person should have a large, dark-colored towel, intended specifically for sex. Sex is a messy activity and we all need a little extra protection from time to time!

If you or your partner have a heavy flow and/or prefer not to use cups or sponges, a towel of this description is a must-have. Fold it up a couple of times and place it under the pelvis of the partner who's on her period, and then have at it. Towels are easy to wash so there should be no concern about mess.

If you have the funds, it might be a good idea to upgrade to a red or black Liberator Throe (or comparable product), a sex blanket designed to absorb fluids. This, too, is easy to wash, so there are no excuses for not throwing caution to the wind!

  Just Get Over It Already

Blood can be troubling if you're not used to it, especially if you've never experienced it in sexual situations before. But there's really nothing to be afraid of. You have many options for hiding blood away during sex, if that's your thing - and if you'd rather not encounter it at all, it's easy enough to pop in a tampon and avoid vaginal penetration for a week.

No one HAS to have menstrual sex in their repertoire, but it's a good thing to know how to do. Having to abstain from sex for a week every month is no fun at all, so if you don't have to, why do it?

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