Period sex is a queer issue

When Flex® first came to market in 2016, Founder and CEO Lauren Schulte Wang was elated at the fact that she could finally offer a menstrual product to millions across the U.S. that solves for numerous common period complaints. She was especially grateful to have resolved one issue, in particular, that uniquely impacts the queer community: Period sex.

As a bisexual woman, Lauren had firsthand experience dealing with the complexities of maintaining a sex life when dating people who also got periods. 

“Period sex only really bothered me during long-term relationships with women. I’d get my period one week, she’d get hers the next… that really put a dent in our love life,” she explains. 

Lauren is not alone. The Ultimate Lesbian Sex Survey revealed that only 37% of participants were enthusiastic about having sex on their period, and 42% were enthusiastic about having sex on their partner’s period, making period sex a uniquely queer issue.

Of course, period sex isn’t a straightforward topic to navigate in any relationship, whether heterosexual, homosexual, pansexual, or otherwise. But when more than one partner deals with menstruation on a monthly or (in some cases) even more frequent basis, there’s no denying that it impacts those relationships more substantially.

A better solution for periods & pleasure 

Lauren hails from a small, conservative town in Georgia and was initially surprised to find herself in the world of period product innovation. When she started to talk with other menstruators about her periods, she noticed that people were eager to have candid conversations about what wasn’t working: Things like cramping, bloating, leaking, and pee string. 

People hated spending money on products every month that didn’t make their periods more comfortable. It was 2015—but most were still relying on products designed in the 1930s

“We’ve put a man on the moon. We have billionaires today now flying into space. And at the time there was a serious lack of innovation for period products. No one was even talking about periods in 2015,” Lauren adds. They weren’t talking about period sex, either. 

It was time for a change. 

Shifting the period sex script

The topic of period sex is hotly debated. There’s a massive divide between the two most vocal sides: There are those who are not only comfortable with period sex, but who find they crave sexual intimacy even more when menstruating. And then there are those who—for many reasons, from pain to physical aversion—have no desire to engage in anything sexual during their periods. 

Both are absolutely fine. 

But here’s the thing: As a society, when we talk about period sex, the conversation tends to focus on whether or not someone should have period sex. That’s far too personal a question, and it’s the wrong one to ask. 

Some of the problem stems from the way period sex is treated by the media. While it’s still infrequently depicted, when it does come up, the narrative centers the male or non-menstruating person’s ability to “handle it” as the crux of the storyline. 

Meanwhile, it dismisses the needs and emotions of the person who is actually coping with the cramps, bleeding, and swelling. And it only very rarely considers the frequency with which people in lesbian or queer relationships, where more than one person menstruates, have to navigate these realities. 

Rather than focusing on the should—as in, ‘should you have period sex?’— Lauren realized the conversation ought to be centered on creating more and better choices. People with periods, and the partners they engage with, shouldn’t be limited by the physical products available to them. This is especially important when, as a pair, a couple spends 50% or more of their reproductive lives menstruating.

Ultimately, the choice belongs to the people who menstruate. Non-menstruating sexual partners can’t be left out of the broader conversation but their perceptions and opinions shouldn’t overshadow the needs of those dealing with the day-to-day discomfort of having a period. 

Flex Disc was created by a person with a period, for people with periods. The mission? Help people around the world experience period freedom.

How Flex Disc creates a solution

Regardless of which side you’re on re: the period sex popular debate, it’s worth noting that having it can offer some real benefits, including: 

  • Reduced cramps
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Potential for a  shorter period (especially with orgasm)

For those whose period sex hesitancies mainly have to do with an aversion to blood, stains, or odor, Flex Disc unlocks a whole new world of benefits. Here’s how it works:

Flex Disc is worn inside the body, like a tampon, but sits in a different place—an area called the vaginal fornix. The vaginal fornix is all the way at the back of the vaginal canal, just beneath the cervix. It creates the vagina’s “rear wall” and is also the area with the widest diameter. 

Flex Disc doesn’t block the vaginal canal, which means you can have penetrative sex while wearing it. The disc leaves your vagina free for any kind of sexual pleasure while sealing in leaks and odors. It’s safe to use with a partner, a toy, fingers, and can be worn along with contraceptives including the IUD, ring, and condoms. 

It’s important to note, however, that the disc itself is not a contraceptive.

Designed for comfort first, Flex Disc forms to your body and moves with your body, rather than against it. It doesn’t exacerbate cramps, nor does it impact vaginal pH balance. Made with medical-grade polymers, the disc is ‘biologically inert’—in other words, it doesn’t host bacteria the same way a tampon’s cotton fibers are prone to do. This is part of why it can be worn for much longer than a tampon (up to 12 hours). 

Some users even report having stronger orgasms when having penetrative sex while wearing the disc since the catch may offer some gentle cervical stimulation. 

“Being able to have sex with whoever you want on your own terms, whenever you want, is amazing, whether that’s with the towel or with Flex Disc,” said Wang. 

Period freedom is sexual freedom

Your period and sex life can coexist. Giving people options for how and when they choose to have sex is central to slashing period sex stigma.

Flex products are created for all menstruators to live their lives the same way they do when they’re not on their period, whether that’s going for a swim, sleeping for 12 hours without worrying about TSS, or having an all-day sex marathon (hopefully with ample time for snacks in between).

Whether you choose to have period sex with a towel, in the shower, or mess-free with a Flex Disc, our feelings are pretty clear: Pleasure is a human right, and you deserve options for how you choose to enjoy it. 

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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