Show Transcript for Episode 265: Do You Have Sex on Her Period?

00:00
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Laurie Watson 00:02
So we’re going to talk about sex during a woman’s period. Welcome to foreplay radio, couples in sex therapy. I’m Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.

George Faller 00:13
And I’m George Faller, couples therapist.

Laurie Watson 00:16
And we are passionate about talking about sex and helping you develop a way to talk to each other.

George Faller 00:21
Our mission is to help our audience develop a healthier relationship to sex that integrates the mind, the heart and the body

Laurie Watson 00:31
are a great personal lubricant, please check out Uberlube.com and use the coupon foreplay to support us at the podcast. Thanks. Before we start, George, I want to talk a little bit about the retreat, because that is coming up. You can

George Faller 00:45
talk about whatever else you want to talk about.

00:48
Just keep talking about whatever else I want to talk about. Okay. Well,

George Faller 00:52
I was just a typical avoidance of men want to talk about periods, I guess?

Laurie Watson 00:56
Oh, yeah. So we want to just Yeah, well, well, again, we’re we’re meeting with people on February 5, we got a lot of signups we’re excited about seeing you guys. You don’t have to, you know, actually show your face on zoom, if you don’t want to, we think it’s normal and natural to want to talk about sexual intimacy. And that’s what great sex and great love is all about. On the fifth. So you can go to our website for play radio, sex, therapy.com to sign up. And I think we have you paying by Venmo. Although we’ve made special arrangements, if you don’t have Venmo, you can come pay. It’s 450. Now because we are past our early bird, but we would love to have you join us and talk to you then. And now back to George talking about periods. So what do you think? What do you hear? What do you hear? What do you listen to this guy? What do you hear about from men and from women when they tell you about? You know, she’s on her period? And what he thinks about that? Or what I mean, what do you think men even know about periods?

George Faller 02:04
I think that’s like the period that ends the sentence. That’s where men want to stop the conversation to see the word and just be done with it, which really is unfortunate. So I am I am looking forward to this to this episode. And just I think it’s a bad combination to have a real negative connotation around something that isn’t really accurate. Yeah, that have no communication about it. So you’re never going to change that. Right. So no wonder why for centuries, it’s been this way. Yeah. You know, it’s, we really need to change that.

Laurie Watson 02:37
Yeah. I mean, there’s, there’s a long history, right about women being unclean. When they’re on their periods. I think in earlier cultures, they didn’t exactly understand what was happening. I mean, blood is kind of scary. And, you know, they didn’t know where it was all coming from. So there were a lot of reasons I think that other cultures interpreted it differently. But certainly, blood that comes out is not unclean, it does come just for the record, you know, it comes from the uterus, when an egg is not fertilized a woman sheds the blood of the inner part of her uterus. And that’s what comes out. And it’s natural. It’s fine. It’s normal. I think, you know, one of the things that I’m always curious about is there are mood and sexual fluctuations during a woman’s menstrual cycle. And I’m always curious that men don’t track that. I mean, first of all, he can’t take advantage of the parts of the cycle where she’s kind of feels more sexual. And then he isn’t prepared necessarily for the mood changes that sometimes happen. A lot of women, you know, because of our fluctuation of estrogen, progesterone, and our lack of testosterone, testosterone, steadies men, it makes them it’s a mood stabilizer, especially just for the record, like when I have a guy who comes in who’s depressed, sometimes, you know, I check his testosterone or I have his testosterone check. Because if it’s low, he’s more susceptible to mood disorders. And with testosterone, with women having so little of it, and then these waves, of course, they go through mood problems when she’s at different points in the cycle. Do you know George, just for the record, when a woman might feel the most sexual desire on our cycle? This is a test.

George Faller 04:30
And I failed it miserably. Just before oscillating,

Laurie Watson 04:36
yes, you’re right, just before oscillating. She’s going to feel maximum amount of desire. And a lot of women feel a lot of desire, like the day before she starts her period. So partly what is interesting, you know, oscillation, obviously, there’s an evolutionary kind of reason that she would feel more desire at oscillation, you know, because she’s going Want to do it and make those babies. But right before her period starts, she does sort of gain water weight. her pelvis also gains kind of gets more congested with blood and water weight. And that heavy feeling can actually make her feel horny. And can can give her a better orgasm. So oftentimes, there’s like, great mind blowing orgasms the day before you start your period. And then frequently, that contraction that happens with orgasm brings on period. So it’s because women’s uterus often contracts during an orgasm. So I mean, something that men out of track and trace, not everybody’s regular, but a lot of women are.

George Faller 05:47
Well, I think a lot of men need to change their relationship to periods. So I mean, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for periods. Right? So I mean, how do we how do we have gratitude and honor? You know, what, what this is doing for us? And I have a friend and colleague, Reverend Susan Calhoun, and we’ve had this big conversation around periods. And, you know, it’s it’s such a privilege to just not want to talk about it. Something that’s so relevant that happens every month, that’s gonna impact everybody in the family. Yeah. And yet, most couples never even talk about it. So how do we start seeing the opportunities to really have these conversations to when we talk about so often in this podcast, best sex, right? How do we include the brain, the body, the heart, the the spirit that they get, like, we’re trying to get higher levels of engagement?

06:41
Mm hmm. Right.

George Faller 06:42
This is another great vehicle on which to kind of increase levels of engagement within a couple.

Laurie Watson 06:48
I love what you’re saying, how do we get there? How do we do it? And I would say, a lot of women do track their cycles. So it’s circled on their calendar when they’re expecting their next period, I would suggest that men ask their wives or partners, you know, tell me about your period. Are you regular? That’s, that’s a really important question. And it’s a biological, physiological question. Most women, classically, it’s a lunar cycle, which means it’s every 28 days, the way the moon goes through its full cycle, in 28 days, a woman actually goes through her cycle and 28 days, but learning, like your partner, what her normal cycle is, you know, because sometimes for some women, it’s a normal cycle might be 31 days, or it might be short, or, you know, there’s there’s all kinds of variations, and they mean different things. If she’s regular, it doesn’t really mean much, if she’s a little bit longer, a little bit short. But irregular cycles can mean things.

George Faller 07:53
I tried this, because I typically was raised in a family that never talked about it. Oh, yeah, three sisters, and mother, and it was never talked about, oh, obviously, I wind up doing the same thing in my relationship. So as I’ve started to look more into this, you know, I remember last month, I said to my wife, so how is your period go? Like, I just want to show interest that she looked at me like I had to, hey, who is this guy? Right? This is just something we normally would never talk about. But again, this is like, why do we not talk about this, if this is something that’s really impacted her day? why not show that I want to just check in to see how that’s going. And if there’s any way I can help, or you know, just to give her a sounding board, if she wants to talk about it.

Laurie Watson 08:36
I love that you did that. That’s awesome. I too, in a family, I was raised with brothers, and kind of taught that it was like shameful that you didn’t let your brothers or your Father God forbid, know about your that you were on your period. So all the supplies had to be hidden, the results of the supplies had to be hidden and kind of masked over. So nobody was supposed to know when when I had a child, my first baby. after childbirth, you also essentially bleed you have like a period. And my stepmother said, you know, is there anything we can get you at the store honey? And I said, you know, sure. And she said, but just don’t tell us to buy any feminine supplies, because that would embarrass your father. And, and I’m like, you know, gosh, I’m 30 years old. You know, my dad. He doesn’t know this about childbirth. He doesn’t know this about women are somehow or another It’s embarrassing, and I would say young women to another important question is to ask your wife or your partner. Tell me about your first period. Tell me what you felt as you were developing as the first time you had a period because it’s often a really important moment. In many ways. Sometimes women are deeply embarrassed girls are deeply embarrassed because we really consider the period the moment when a girl becomes A woman. And so so there’s a transition. And she may or may not be developing breasts at that point. Oftentimes women start their period when they break 100 pounds. And unfortunately, with childhood obesity, women are starting their periods earlier and earlier. So we need to have these conversations with our daughters. much earlier. That that’s one thing but but that moment, I think is really important. You know, where were you to remember, what did you do? Did you have supplies? Ready? Did your mother talk to you? Had you already been told this was going to happen? Was that a surprise? I, I’ve said this on the podcast before, but just my mother told me about starting a period very young, because she had a trauma, she had started her period in school, and had not known what it was. So you can imagine this thing happening to you and not knowing what’s what, where all this blood is coming from. And oftentimes, it’s accompanied by cramps, so you don’t feel that good. You know, your body is cramping. You know, it’s traumatic. So let’s come back and talk more about appreciate.

George Faller 11:10
This isn’t just a guy problem, right? It’s it’s a cultural problem that women are taught not to talk about this and feel shame and feeling dirty. And like, yeah, there’s a lot of hang ups around something that’s really beautiful, healthy and natural. And you really got to find a way of talking more about

Laurie Watson 11:29
it. And it’s a father problem, right? I mean, fathers should know how to celebrate this in their daughters in an appropriate way that rejoices over her development. Okay, let’s come back and talk some more about periods. George, I want to talk to you about Uber lube. I’ve had two people call me about it, that have started using it. And one of them was a girlfriend who said, I have menopausal pain is just a big problem. And she started using Uber lube, no pain. And then a patient told me that she had pain intermittently with sexual intercourse. And she couldn’t depend on her own natural lubrication. So she started using Uber lube, like I told her to every single time, don’t trust at this point that your body will do everything it needs, just use it, you know, it’s fun, it’s extra. She’s using it, no sexual pain, starting to really enjoy sexual intercourse. So I’m excited about this product. I have used it for years and recommended it for years to couples. It helps with the experience, especially if there’s any kinds of problems and just for fun.

George Faller 12:43
That’s right, Laurie, whatever we could do to increase our pleasure and connection. Use all those tools. And Uber lube is a great way of enhancing that emotional bond.

Laurie Watson 12:53
It’s a good lubrication, and most people it helps with touching right in the beginning, it’s it’s important to make sex as pleasurable as possible. So Uber lube, you know, silicon based, doesn’t stain anything, you want to wipe off your sex toys if you use it with that though, and it’s clear it’s a great bottle hulu.com with the coupon for play.

George Faller 13:16
Yeah, that’s good stuff.

Laurie Watson 13:18
Give us a G spot.

George Faller 13:19
All right. If a couple is not able to hold on to their vulnerability, then that is a sign of a process telling us that they need to go back and really understand more about that mistrust and that good reasons they’re protecting themselves

13:36
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George Faller 14:40
continuing our conversation on periods, there’s so many periods in sex or like they don’t mix like we don’t even think about it. Let’s just shut it off for that week. And you know if that’s what people choose, that’s that’s totally fine. But we also want to open up that space to say hey, what is the intimacy that connected the bond? This could be a really incredibly emotionally bonding time for a couple, if they could have conversations that they could be more creative. So what do you think Laurie? What can couples do around their intimacy and sex during this time?

Laurie Watson 15:13
Yeah, I think it is an important conversation to have, I think men and women have some resistance often to having sex during their period. I mean, for some, it’s no big deal. You know that sex is messy. I mean, you think about if you’re a woman, and you’ve had sexual intercourse, there’s a jacket inside you that has to come out, you know, so that’s kind of messy, it could be on the sheets, it could be on your underwear, it could be coming out the next day, you know, you could be feeling that. So as a woman, you you understand sex is messy, maybe as a guy not quite as understanding about that aspect of it, you know, and if you have your period, I think some women say, you know, I just, I don’t feel well. So that’s one resistance. And that’s fine. You know, I’m not saying have sex when you don’t feel well. But I think they’re worried about the shame aspect, oh, I’ll get blood on his penis, and he’s gonna freak out. And so they don’t want to do that, because they’re afraid of how he’ll feel about it. One of the things that happens to for women after they start their period is actually a drop in estrogen. And so ironically, they, they might need more lubricants. So again, we recommend Uber lube.com. With the coupon for play. It is a great lubricant. It’s silicone too. So it, it is not sort of easily water soluble, which is great. So you might want to think about that.

George Faller 16:38
Yeah, I find it helpful. We talk a lot about cycles, right to pursue the withdrawal, or how does the couples see the menstrual cycle as their cycle? Not her cycle? Yeah, it’s something that they they do together? Like maybe she needs more reassurance, more comforting, more nurturing? Or maybe she you know, if the sex is good, are they gonna turn towards masturbation if they don’t want to have intercourse? Like, how does the couple recognize especially this is a really vulnerable time?

17:09
Yeah, I got,

George Faller 17:11
you know, this is you said she might be having cramps, she might be not feeling so great about herself, like couples are not just after each other when it’s perfect. They want to be there for each other when when each other’s down and not feeling so great. So wouldn’t this be a fantastic opportunity for vulnerability for couples?

Laurie Watson 17:29
Yes, to talk about how or what they want to do when she’s on her period. I get accused of saying that sex sells everything and and i will say, orgasm does help with menstrual cramps. that’s proven.

George Faller 17:42
So the slip that in?

Laurie Watson 17:48
Yeah, I mean, and when you say masturbation, I’m assuming that you’re talking about shared mutual masturbation where they’re touching each other, or each of them is touching themselves holding each other or some way that they’re experiencing sexual stimulation, while she’s on her period, but not having sexual intercourse. Right?

George Faller 18:06
You know, how many couples are say the husband is frustrated because they wants to have an orgasm, they can’t. And then the wife is feeling guilty. And now it’s creating a divide between the couple are feeling resentment, relief, or whatever it is around that negative cycle. Right? But how does the couple then have that conversation? Like it’s okay, if he missed debates with her and she doesn’t, if that’s ends with both of them hugging each other and feeling closer together? Like what’s stopping couples from being more creative during this time, instead of just leading to the same old monthly frustration with each other?

18:43
You know, sometimes you frame this as a question. Like I say, I feel like I got the answer. I’m not exactly sure.

Laurie Watson 18:51
Not really, but I’m not sure what stops them. I think what you’re talking about is just the discussion and saying, hey, especially if it’s if it’s not a complaint, you know, it’s like, you know, I’m I’m feeling desire, how would you feel about holding me while I do me? Or do you have any energy to help me get to orgasm? Or can we kiss a lot of women, you know, they love oral sex. And so they’re like, okay, can have oral sex during my period, they think they will never try that. But it’s like, you know, she could take a shower, put in a fresh tampon, and she could have oral sex, or she could receive oral sex. You know, if he was cool with that. I think they’re a discussion about it, like you said, would be wonderful. So maybe the first question is, how do you feel about sexual intercourse on your period? Or how do you feel about sexual intercourse on my period? Right, just, let’s just start there. And what is the what is the concerns? Let’s say that, you know, one or the other of them is worried she’s like, Ah, you know, I don’t want to get this Cheeto messy. That’s disgusting. Forget that. You know, put down a towel. girlfriends would not be that bad. But maybe start there, what else would they say,

George Faller 20:06
this is a great time for non sexual touch. If she doesn’t want to have an orgasm, there’s a lot of shame attached to it, but she doesn’t feel so great about herself. That would be an amazing time for her partner to give her a non sexual touching, just say it’s okay. You know, I want you to be alone. I’m here. Mm hmm. instead of always being alone with those feelings, that’s the opportunity during these periods. Yeah,

Laurie Watson 20:29
I think too, one of the complaints I hear from women so often is, I don’t want to have sex because I feel fat when I’m on my period, because women do gain up to maybe five pounds when she’s on her period, just water weight. And that feeling of I’m not acceptable, because I’m up five pounds, he doesn’t think I’m sexy. And, you know, he may not be able to tell whatsoever that she’s up five pounds. But she may subjectively feel like she’s not sexy at that point. So I think that’s a good point to talk about. Also, if I were a man, I would be so reassuring during that season. You know, like, Honey, you’re hot, you look great. So there’s like an emotional containment, around what might be these typical feelings that she has about her body during this time,

21:21
and no good.

Laurie Watson 21:23
And non sexual touch is, is wonderful. I mean, foot rubs, back rubs, just lying together naked, you know, that might be great.

George Faller 21:31
Why let this menstrual cycle create inevitable distance every month, if couples can learn to prevent that distance, right, and that’s what this container is, you know, we, we still connect, we still need each other, we still, you know, are being vulnerable, we’re heading towards each other. And then after maybe that period, cycle ends. Now, they’re probably in a very different place. They don’t have to bridge all that distance. If they’re choosing not to have sex during that period.

Laurie Watson 22:01
I think the most powerful thing that I’ve heard you say this episode is, it’s not her cycle. It’s our cycle, right? It’s the man and the woman’s cycle. And if they approach it as, this is something that happens to us to our bodies, and happens to our sex life, and let’s think about it as something that we’re dealing with. You know, also, just the last point, yes, women can feel moody during that time, and extra nurturing emotionally, you know, like, What can I get for you? What can I do for you can you know hugs and holding and touching, and maybe words of appreciation, you know, I’m, I’m so glad that, you know, I’m married to you. I think you’re beautiful. You know, I appreciate all that you do for our family, I appreciate that this is what brought our babies into the world, I appreciate that you labored for us and look at what your body can do, how powerful it is. I think a lot of women also, you know, childbirth changes the body and having your husband who you Those are his children appreciate that, know, would be really helpful. It’s just a result of periods,

George Faller 23:10
I gotta give credit to Suzanne, for that one, I would have never had these compensations a couple years ago. So I should give credit to you for this podcast and caused me to talk about things I normally don’t talk about. But that really does unite a couple, instead of turning against each other and not talking about things. To me, the worst thing is the lack of communication, because that can never be repaired. It’s just an inevitable once a month thing that’s going to happen. If couples can unite. This is their cycle, that it don’t have to separate them. And it really can totally change the game plan around how couples experienced this this period.

Laurie Watson 23:48
Yeah, absolutely.

George Faller 23:50
There was so I’m using the word period interchangeably.

Laurie Watson 23:54
Period inside, you’re doing good G. There was this book I read, it was about Jewish culture. Old Testament times, it was called the red tent. And the red tent was this fantasy book about that women would actually take each other into the red tent and nurture them, give them space, you know, let them have their emotions with a group of people who all understood. And I’m like, that’s what I happen. You know, it ought to be celebrated. And instead of, I need to get away from my family because I’m a witch. It’s like, my family needs to see that I have need, you know, I have need of their tenderness. I have need of extra care during the season and, and a little bit of extra grace, right? Yeah, I’m gonna be more emotional. You know, I may snap a bit and just not never tell a woman this. This is a good point. Never tell a woman you know, are you on your period is how long you’re mad or that would be really dumb to say that but just kind of holding in your heart. Oh, you know. That’s right. Because I know now that I’m a man and I’m tracking her cycle, you know, it’s five days before her period, she’s probably going to start feeling her emotions and maybe give me some space for that. That would be lovely.

George Faller 25:11
We have big dreams on this podcast. We’re not just here to entertain, we want to change the world and just tell the world would be if that would happen. If we would reduce the shame around this topic, and actually united couples and families to see this as healthy and beautiful and something to celebrate, we all win from those conversations. And all it takes is that face in the awkwardness of all the years of muscle memory, not to talk about it so hard to hold your powder. If you’re female having your period, how do you actually not face it alone? and have a conversation, it all starts with that conversation.

Laurie Watson 25:48
And I thought that that would be a good thing, to tell your partner about it, to tell them maybe how you feel, and as a partner to ask your partner about their feelings in their body and in their minds and hearts and what they go through.

George Faller 26:06
And how does this not also tap into the spiritual element around intimacy? We’re gonna have a whole nother podcast on that one.

Laurie Watson 26:14
Yeah. I mean, this is a life giving force. Right? I mean, it has a spiritual component. Absolutely. Okay. Thanks for listening today. We encourage you to have this conversation. Thanks for listening to us. Talk about periods.

George Faller 26:29
Keep it hot, y’all. Very excited. Laurie, upcoming Couples Retreat weekend. Great love, great sex. What an opportunity for couples to work on that sexual and emotional cycle.

Laurie Watson 26:46
I know I’m so excited. We get to partner together to actually teach and share with couples. It’s going to be on Friday, February 5, and we’re really encouraging you to take the weekend away together to do this material with us. We’re going to have interactive parts. Talking about the emotional connection the cycle, asking your partner questions, we’ll have a little breakouts we’re gonna keep it fun. Keep it hot. It’s gonna be a fast day. We’ll start at 10am Eastern Standard Time February 5. Great love great sex. Find us on the website, foreplay radio sex therapy.com and sign up.

27:22
We don’t give many guarantees. But if you show up for this retreat, you will have conversations you’ve never had with your partner before calling your questions to the foreplay question, voicemail dial 833 my foreplay, that’s a three three, the number four play and we’ll use the questions for our mailbag episodes. All content is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for therapy by a licensed clinician or as medical advice from a doctor. This podcast is copyrighted by Foreplay Media