How to have mind-blowing sex all month long
- Sex positions can feel different depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle.
- There are several distinct bodily changes that occur during the menstrual cycle that may affect how a sex position feels: Cervical changes, changes in natural lubrication, and changes in your mental/emotional health due to your hormones.
- Want to have sex during your period? An orgasm can actually help to relieve cramps, but period sex is all about how comfortable you feel inside and out. Some don’t mind the extra mess to get to the promised land and others may be turned off by it. If you’re curious but want to minimize the clean-up afterward, wearing a menstrual disc (like Flex®!) during sex keeps things mess-free.
- Experiment with the same positions at varying points in your cycle. You may find it feels different depending on where your body is at.
Recapping the phases of your cycle
THE FULL READ:
Did you know you can hack your menstrual cycle in order to have the best sex of your life? And that you can actually enjoy sex all month long – even during your period – by listening to your body and adapting your positions and foreplay styles to the specific phase of your cycle? You totally can. And we’re going to tell you how.
First, here’s a quick recap for those of you who might have missed our last post on the phases of your menstrual cycle: There are three of them (four, if you count menstruation as its own phase, though it technically happens during the follicular phase). They take place in this order:
Follicular phase: This includes menstruation and lasts until ovulation (reminder: the first day of your period marks day 1 of your cycle). During this time, estrogen levels increase as your body gets ready to release an egg. The follicular phase takes place, on average, over days 1-14 of your cycle (but it “overlaps” with your fertile window, which begins about 5 days before ovulation).
Ovulation: Ovulation occurs when your ovary releases a mature egg through the fallopian tube. It marks a big hormonal transition and leads you into the next cycle phase. Ovulation – and the few days leading up to it – is your most fertile time of the month. On average, ovulation tends to fall around day 14 of your cycle, with the 5-6 days prior marking your fertile window (keep in mind that this time frame depends on the overall length of your cycle – these estimations are based on an “average” 28-day cycle).
Luteal phase: The luteal phase consists of the days post-ovulation when your body either prepares for pregnancy or doesn’t (if the egg was not fertilized). It lasts until the end of your cycle, at which point menstruation starts again – typically, days 15-28 of a 28-day cycle. Progesterone is a major player during this phase.
Through each of these different parts of the menstrual cycle, there are three main bodily changes that may influence how you experience pleasure and enjoy various sex positions:
- Cervical position (yes, your cervix changes throughout your cycle, not just during childbirth – see below!).
- Natural lubrication levels (cervical mucus plus arousal fluid produced by the Skene’s and Bartholin’s glands).
- Emotional and/or mental health as well as libido fluctuations caused by your hormones.
If you aren’t currently tracking your menstrual cycle, no worries – you may just have to do a bit of guesswork to figure out what phase you’re currently in. Cycle tracking is an immensely helpful tool, though, when it comes to understanding your own body and physical/emotional health. We definitely recommend it.
To get started tracking, pick up a journal or take notes about when your period starts and ends, along with any symptoms like cramps, fatigue, or bloating, in a day planner. Or go the high-tech route: There are a number of free and membership-based cycle tracking apps available to download for iOS and Android: Find our favorites here.
Sex during menstruation & the follicular phase
Is period sex even safe? Yes, definitely! You can have (really enjoyable) sex while on your period. We spoke with OB-GYN Dr. Heather Bartos who explained that orgasms can even help relieve menstrual cramps – huge win.
Here are some bodily changes to expect during menstruation and the follicular phase:
- Cervical position: Lower, firmer, very slightly open.
- Natural lubrication: More fluids to play with thanks to your period blood! This makes shower sex more enjoyable than usual. After your period, for the rest of the follicular phase, your cervical fluid will gradually increase as you approach ovulation.
- Libido & mental health: Different for everybody. Some people like to take advantage of this time – extra slippery fluids can turn people on. Others might prefer to be left alone, either because of hormonal changes or because tending to an aching, bleeding uterus makes them feel more drawn to their couch than their crotch. After your period ends, estrogen levels begin to pick up as your body gets ready to release another egg. This may boost your mood and make you more inclined to social interaction.1
The best sex positions for your period
Masturbate, solo or with a partner. Sometimes penetration is just too much sensation during your period, especially when bloating or nausea come along with your cramps. The perfect distraction from those fun period side effects? Get out your vibrator and play around with whichever pulses and speeds feel best. You don’t have to head directly downstairs – spend some time on other erogenous zones, first. You may surprise yourself!
Spooning. Certified sex coach Myisha Battle recommends this low-impact position for period sex because you can stay in a cozy, almost-fetal position while having some more control over the depth of penetration. By adjusting the angle of your upper body you can figure out which spots feel good.
Cowgirl. If you are someone who gets turned on by period sex, Battle recommends you get on top. This allows you to channel that energy while also maintaining some control over speed and depth of penetration. Play around, tilting your hips at different angles. You can also try this position without penetration. Lube up and enjoy some genital-to-genital humping and bumping.
Octopus. In this position, both partners sit. Have your partner wrap their hands and legs around you from behind. Menstrual fluids can be used as lubrication (if you so choose) as your partner gives you a cozy snuggle and a little manual stimulation at the same time. Yes, please!
Period sex tips
Worried about staining your fav sheets or rug? Pop in a Flex Disc™ for awesome, mess-free period sex (oral sex and manual stimulation included). A menstrual disc might even make it easier to enjoy a cervical orgasm thanks to the extra stimulation at the end of the vaginal canal.
Don’t worry: Menstrual discs can’t get “lost” inside you during sex, or at any time, actually. Flex can’t go past your cervix and is held comfortably in place (read: you can’t even feel it) within your vaginal fornix.
Not sure you’re ready to try Flex during sex? There’s always our good ‘ole standby, shower sex. Or, of course, your trusty sex towel, preferably in a dark color so you don’t have to worry about noticeable stains. Dark sheets plus a sturdy mattress protector come in handy, too, if you tend to get hot and heavy spontaneously, right when all the towels are still in the dryer.
If period sex sounds great but you tend to be a little extra sensitive during the first couple weeks of your cycle, make sure to keep the line of communication open with your partner. Try keeping your hands on their waist or wrist during penetration so you can offer a physical cue if things feel too intense.
Remember: Your cervix is a bit lower during menstruation and the follicular phase. For some, cervical pressure feels amazing, but for others, it can be slightly uncomfortable.
Sex during ovulation (your fertile window!)
Your most fertile times are the days leading up to and around ovulation. All of the days during which conception is possible are called your Fertile Window.
Here are some bodily changes to expect during ovulation and the days leading up to it:
- Cervical position: Cervix is higher up in the body (you may not even be able to touch it!), softer, more open.
- Natural lubrication: You have increased cervical fluid during this phase, which means extra lube au naturale, and it won’t stain your sheets!
- Libido & mental health: Libido, creativity, and energy levels tend to be higher in this phase; this is where, whether you want to procreate or not, your biological, evolutionary drive tends to kick in.
The best sex positions to try during ovulation
Doggy style. Sex coach Myisha Battle shares that, because the cervix is slightly higher up around ovulation, this is a fantastic time to try deeper penetrative positions. Doggy Style is a fun sex position to work with because you can do it in so many ways! Try it on all fours, against the bed, standing up… you can even try different variations of Doggy Style such as Frog Leap (the person being penetrated squats instead of rests on their knees), or Turtle (the person being penetrated stays resting on their knees, but wraps their arms around their thighs). If your knees are sensitive and you’re not on a bed, put a pillow beneath them.
Reverse cowgirl. If you are looking to stimulate your G-spot, try this! Similarly to Cowgirl, you are on top, except in this sexual position, you face away from your partner, and lean forward a bit. For those who are on the shyer side, this gives you some privacy to unabashedly feel all the feels, “ugly pleasure face” and all.
Pretzel dip. This position is all about catching the feels because it allows for deep penetration while still getting to lock eyes with your lover. Eye-gazing can lead to an even deeper connection! You lie on your side, while the penetrating partner scissors you. Added benefit? Both of your hands are free! So you can also give and receive pleasure at other sites like the clitoris, nipples, testicles, etc.
If you ARE trying to conceive… BONUS POSITION:
Legs on shoulders. A twist on missionary, but even better for those who are trying to get pregnant (plus, it offers great g-spot stimulation). Lay on your back as you would normally in missionary position, but throw your legs over your partner’s shoulders, tilting your pelvis upwards. This position allows for deeper penetration, making it easier for sperm to get through the cervix and reach their target. Oh, and gravity helps, too: When the goal is to conceive, try to stay lying down for at least 15 minutes after your partner finishes so that semen doesn’t exit your body right away.
Fertile window sex tips
With your creativity levels at their peak during ovulation, get out that Kama Sutra and pick a new sex position that challenges (and excites) you. You’ll be extra horny, probably a little more energetic, and totally clear-headed to plan that perfect date night – sex first, dinner second.
Your fertile window is a good time to experiment with some multiple Os, especially if you notice that your libido is a little higher than usual. If your partner has a penis, try using a cock ring – this can help them last longer. Throw on a fun, sexy playlist or even try watching porn with your partner if it’s something you both enjoy.
One note of caution: If you are engaging in penetrative sex with a person who has a penis and you’re not looking to get pregnant, be sure to use protection (or stick with your contraceptive method of choice) and take extra precautions during this time.
You’re a lot more likely to conceive during the five days leading up to ovulation, as well as on ovulation day, than during other phases of your cycle. However, keep in mind that you can technically get pregnant during ANY phase of your cycle.
Sex during the luteal phase
These are the days post-ovulation, leading up to your period. During this phase, estrogen levels plummet and progesterone takes over. You might feel a little less productive, a little more irritable,2 or experience PMS symptoms. Here are some other bodily changes to expect during the luteal phase as you near the end of your cycle:
- Cervical position: The cervix moves back down to its pre-fertile window position, a little lower and firmer.
- Natural lubrication: You tend to be the driest during this phase, thanks to a bump in progesterone levels.
- Libido & mental health: This can really vary from person to person. Some folks, especially those who track their cycles, may feel their highest libido here—knowing you can’t get pregnant can be a total turn-on! For others, post-ovulation progesterone levels can create calming vibes, while for others, the post-ovulatory time might include both physical and emotional PMS symptoms that make intimacy with others feel totally unappealing.3
The best sex positions for the luteal phase
Erotic massage. While you might experience vaginal dryness during this time, you still have glands, called the Skene’s and Bartholin’s glands, that produce arousal fluid when you’re aroused. These glands are located near the urethra and the bottom or back of the vaginal opening, respectively. So, lube up, and have your partner gently stroke different parts of your vulva. No penetration necessary: Just make sure your clitoris is well tended to.
Tired doggy. If you get the luteal sleepy vibes, try these positions, as they both allow for your partner to do most of the work. With tired doggy, you get to lie on your stomach (yes!) stacking pillows under your pelvis so that your butt tilts up some. Your partner enters you from behind. While you have less control in this position (cervical bumping beware!), at least you don’t have to move so much. And, for some, cervical bumping actually feels good. See how it feels for you!
Classic missionary. In missionary, you get to lay back (you actually lay flat on your back), relax and enjoy the show. Your partner kneels in between your legs and handles all the thrusting. For an added twist, put a pillow or two underneath your hips to adjust the angle of penetration – for some, this feels incredible. But, in general: Lazy sex FTW.
Lotus position. Where one partner sits cross-legged, and the other sits on their lap, wrapping their legs around them. Then start rocking back and forth. Another great option that involves minimal work and lots of cozy intimacy with your partner.
Luteal phase sex tips
Use lube to help conquer the dry spell. Alternatively, play with your saliva (or your partner’s). This not only lends some extra moisture, but it can also be a major turn-on. Try licking and/or sucking your or your partner’s finger before stimulating your vulva. And, of course, we always love a good ole fashioned make-out sesh. Don’t forget about oral if you aren’t in the mood for penetration.
Other things to consider for really good sex
If you have a tilted (a.k.a. retroverted) uterus: Just as all vulvas are different, some people have a uterus that tilts in a different direction than the “norm.” Sometimes, when the uterus is tilted towards the back, i.e. retroverted, deep thrusting and penetration can lead to discomfort in more “traditional” positions like missionary. If this is you, try out positions like doggy style and reverse cowgirl that work with your uterus’s tilt rather than against it. Experiment until you find what feels good.
Pee before play: Dr. Bartos shares that a full bladder can change the position of the cervix, so you may want to empty out.
Pee after play: Peeing after sex can help decrease your chances of contracting a UTI and/or other vaginal infections since it helps to flush bacteria from the area.
If your partner also has a menstrual cycle: Remember that you may be in different cycle phases, so your needs may not align. Check in with one another!
If you are on hormonal birth control: Because hormonal birth control alters your hormones, and therefore menstrual cycle, what is outlined above may not fit with your experience. Some forms of hormonal birth control stop ovulation altogether, and most alter cervical fluid secretions.4 Contraceptives may also decrease overall libido.5 Always check in with your body and remember that you have options! If your current birth control isn’t working for you, talk to your provider.
Now that you know how to hack your cycle for amazing sex, go ahead, get naked. You can thank us later.
This article is informational only and is not offered as medical advice, nor does it substitute for a consultation with your physician. If you have any gynecological/medical concerns or conditions, please consult your physician.
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