Here’s today’s question from a Hot, Holy & Humorous reader, served up short and sweet:
Do you (can you) make love during that time of the month? And if yes, how do you handle it?
Do I? No. But, to be fair, I had horrible periods for years, and now I don’t. So my time of the month was like trying to make love with a mammoth gorilla wedged between you and your husband, and now it’s nonexistent so I never think about it anymore.
More importantly is the question Can you? Because things change from person to person, marriage to marriage, but what’s reasonable and good is the bigger issue.
The short answer is yes, you can.
Note that a woman’s cervix is open for blood flow during her period, so her risk of getting and transmitting bacteria or STDs is increased. But if you deem the risk low or nonexistent, it’s completely possible to have sex during your period — as long as you both want to make love and you’re willing to (a) deal with the mess or (b) introduce ways to stop it from getting messy.
Some wives simply don’t feel good enough to engage in sexual intercourse, though, because they are in pain or discomfort to a degree that wouldn’t allow sex to be enjoyable. That doesn’t mean they must avoid all sexual activity. After all, this could be a perfect time to bless your husband with “blow job” or hand job. But vaginal penetration could be a no-go for a few days while menstruation runs its course.
Then again, other wives are very interested in making love with hubby, except they have this stuff to do something about and they don’t know what to do about it. Your choices then are:
- Let sex be messy. Put a towel beneath you two during sex and have some wet wipes or washcloths readily available for clean-up afterward.
- Have him wear a condom. Sex is still messy this way, but your blood flow will not be in direct contact with him.
- Introduce a barrier method. You can keep your menstrual flow from escaping and thus keep your vagina clear by using a diaphragm, cervical cup, or Softcup. (Read more about my experience with a Softcup here.)
- Wait until your flow decreases. Usually, the heaviest flow happens at the beginning of a period, but toward the end it’s trickled off to be not much of an obstacle if you want to have intercourse. You might find that very little flow is transferred late in your period.
- Do all the other stuff and wait to have intercourse after “Aunt Flo” leaves. Sexual intimacy in marriage encompasses the whole shebang, so you could engage in foreplay and hold off on the feature presentation until your flow is finished.
So you can have sex during your period, but I haven’t gotten to a very important aspect: Should you?
I’m sure a few out there are already saying to themselves: But what about Leviticus 18:19? That verse says, “Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.” There is also Leviticus 20:18: “If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her monthly period, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them are to be cut off from their people.” Cut off? That seems rather extreme.
Ezekiel 18 also includes this description: “Suppose there is a righteous man who does what is just and right. He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife or have sexual relations with a woman during her period.” So idolatry, adultery, and abstaining from sex during her period on the same footing? This verse would indicate so.
Do I believe we are bound by those restrictions today? No, I don’t.
Levitical commands with a moral imperative are restated and reinforced in the New Testament. Thus, idolatry and adultery both receive condemnation in the Old and New Testaments (Exodus 20:3-6, 1 John 5:21; Exodus 20:14, Mark 7:21-23). Statutes that involved cleansing appear to be motivated by ceremonial and health concerns. In a less hygienic society (aka Old Testament times), it would be a far worse idea to have sexual intercourse during a woman’s period as it could put her health at serious risk. But such commands are not reiterated in the new covenant.
Still, I think you should be careful. Make sure you’re both on board, that you have no health concerns to address, and that you treat your bodies with honor.
For more on this topic, check out Sexual Intimacy & Your Period: Tips for Wives.