Kristopher Lovestone grew up learning a lot about menstruation, later earned his “red wings” and now has strong feelings about period sex. Makenzie Mizell has had many ups and downs with her periods, including a form of sexual freedom and relationship flags. Whether you’re a fan, foe, or somewhere in between about period sex, this Girl Boner Radio episode has a lot to offer!
Stream it on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify or below. Or read on for a lightly edited transcript.
“Period Sex: Stories, Takes and Tips!”
a lightly edited Girl Boner Radio transcript
Period sex. How do you feel about it? I have asked lots of folks this question recently and the answers range from enjoying it as much as any sex, to really, really disliking it.
I surveyed my email list, I polled on Twitter and I asked around. And most people told me they’re okay with it now and then. It’s not their top choice of sex timing, but that it can be fun once in a while, especially on non-heavy-flow days or if it’s the one time you can be with a partner.
Some people avoid all period sex for very valid reasons. One person said the messiness is too much to deal with, given their physical disability. A few folks shared that pain related things like fibroids or endometriosis make sex really unappealing at that time of the month. Others just flat out aren’t into it…or have welcomed not having to think about it, now that they have passed menopause. And several people said they leave it up to their menstruating partner.
Today you will hear from two folks who have grown to really appreciate period sex, for reasons of connection and even greater physical ease—along with some backstory about their respective journeys with Aunt Flo. First, a fun invitation.
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So certified sex educator and author, Kristopher Lovestone, does not menstruate. He has, however, known about periods for as long as he can remember.
[acoustic chord riff]
I knew about menstruation from a very young age because my mother never hid anything from me. I remember one time even when she needed to get an abortion, and she brought me with her to the clinic because there was no babysitter to be had.
So I’ve always had the reality of menstruation and reproduction in my life ever since childhood. So I wasn’t afraid of it. Although I wasn’t attracted to it, either. But I just kind of embraced it as part of the world of being with a woman or being with somebody who has a period.
So once he was in colleague and started having sex, he had no qualms about it.
I didn’t think Oh, it’s dirty. Although I didn’t really like the scent; it has a real iron smell to it. But that’s okay. You don’t have to like everything, right?
But I found it to be really a nice lubricant. Talk openly and explicitly about it. I thought, Oh my god. This is great. Like everything’s just really comfortable and slippery all the time.
He remembers the first time.
Yeah, college dorm room, 12th floor, by the window, lights turned off and her dorm mate wasn’t there. [laughs] So we had a moment. But she just said, “Yeah, I’ve got my period right now and I’m not flowing very heavy,” and I’m like, “I don’t mind. Let’s just get some towels down on the bed so we don’t mess your sheets up.” And that made her feel comfortable, like she could relax. You know, just like some physical real world concern. Like I don’t want to get the sheets dirty because then you got to go down to the laundromat and do all the stuff, you know?
He’s also gained his “red wings.”
Red Wings are, generally speaking, when you go down on a woman when she’s bleeding for the first time. You get your Red Wings, kind of like a pilot gets their wings when they solo.
And he wasn’t too sure about it at first.
You know, I thought, Man, this is gonna be gross. I don’t like the taste of blood. Like I’ve licked a cut before, I didn’t really like the taste but I thought, let me understand some anatomy here. It’s coming out of her vagina, right? That’s like two inches below her clit or an inch below her clit, if she’s on her back. Like, okay, I don’t have to like suck at her vagina. I can go down on her clit and I’m not like mainlining the blood, right? So it was totally fine.
You know, I licked all around the vulva. And then she had a lovely time and it was very close and personal, but I didn’t feel like I was getting covered by blood on my face like, which to me could have felt like messy. It was way cleaner than most people would think it would be.
Now maybe somebody likes the taste of blood. That’s fine. I think it’d be a very personal magical thing, very intimate. What’s more intimate than your partner’s lifeforce, their blood? For me it wasn’t like a draw, but it wasn’t something offensive, either, when I thought about it. Like, Oh yeah. I can just like love her clit up and like, you know, massage her body while I’m going down on her clit and give her a nice little clit love session without like tonguing her vagina while she’s bleeding. That was just me, what I was interested in.
He’s right that some people are drawn to blood during sex. There’s even a name for it: Hematolagnia, or blood play, when you use blood or blood-like imagery during sex. There’s also a full-on menstrual fetish, and a French website dedicated to buying and selling blood stained underwear and tampons for such purposes.
In an interview for the website, Mic, a man named Eric talked about his own period fetish. He said his wife seemed surprised at first, but also respected it. Here’s what he told journalist Mélanie Mendelewitsch about one of their practices:
“We lay towels over the sheets to protect the bed. Sometimes she can bleed through but cleaning is part of the ritual for me. I find going down on her really exciting… My wife often ends things by masturbating me with a used towel.”
Kristopher, on the other hand, has never really longed for period sex. But when he’s been with someone who’s menstruating, it’s just been part of the experience.
That’s not something I long for, something like that. I’ve never had somebody say “No, don’t do it.” But there’s so much times when I’m making love spent really raising the energy and really creating deep magnetic connection between the two of us that it gets to a place like where whatever happens between the two of us is natural, a natural expression of our desire and our passion in the moment.
And then it’s things like oh, body fluids, they seem to not carry so much importance anymore. It’s kind of like we transcend the, our preferences with our body or our repulsions about physical things because we get so deeply connected in the present moment. So no, I’ve never had an experience like, “No, let’s not do this.”
Even if you were a little taken aback by blood, you might not be during sex. A 2012 study conducted in the Netherlands showed that sexual arousal tends to dampen people’s typical disgust response.
And sometimes, like in Kristopher’s case, bodily fluids shift from neutral to pretty special.
My life partner, we’ve been together for 16 years now. We’re fluid bonded, which means we don’t use condoms, don’t use dental dams or anything like that. Oh, then, and also I’ve had a vasectomy, [high pitched affirmation] which means that we don’t have a concern anymore about pregnancy. So we put that whole concern, worry and apprehension about an unwanted pregnancy on the shelf. It’s gone.
So then it shifted our experience of my semen to something that’s a delicious fluid to share. Where actually she feels like she craves it. Like she wants me to come. She wants me to come inside of her or on top of her— however she wants it. By extension, her body fluids, her natural lubrication and her menstrual blood, I also love.
So it creates – it’s like we’re sharing our hopes and our fears and our love but we’re also sharing ourselves and our DNA. It’s like the most personal lovemaking I’ve had in my life, to achieve this point of real deep fluid bonding, soul bonding, emotional bonding. So to me, like I experience our lovemaking when we’re sharing our fluids, free flowing, that it’s really transcendent. It’s really deeply emotionally and physically and mentally bonding.
So it feels like we’re creating magic. It feels like we’re creating a prayer. It feels like there’s some force moving behind us. Like want to call it fate, you want to call it the universe, you want to call it souls or something like that. Sure. We feel like we’ve known each other before, like a greater story to our lives that we tap into with our body fluids.
So it feels magic when her blood and my cum are mixed, as if it’s an elixir or a potion or an ointment or some magical alchemical substance. So like I rub it on my heart. Like, I’ll put it on my third eye. Like I’ll say a prayer or I’ll give gratitude for the things in my life that are big blessings like my relationship, my health, you know, being alive. It feels like worship.
[encouraging, acoustic music]
I asked Kristopher what advice he’d like to share around this topic.
Okay, I’m going to talk to heterosexual men. If there’s anybody that tunes into this, learn about menstruation.
Some people experience huge changes, some people don’t. Learn your partner. Learn about pads and tampons and DivaCups. If you don’t know what a DivaCup is, Google that shit, already. Like you need to know.
And don’t feel weird about going in the tampon/pad aisle and picking up some tampons to have at your place. Or if like if she’s got big cramps, get a hot water bottle or like a hot pad, make her some soup and like treat her nice and baby her a little bit. Care for her.
This creates the foundation where you can be a health ally to her. And if she experiences that you accept the whole reality of her, not just the parts of her that you want, like oh her all pretty and perfect. No, no, the whole, the whole reality of her, then that builds a context of rapport and trust. If you really want her to be your sexy goddess, you need to build trust. Those are the keys to the kingdom.
So learn about menstruation, learn about reproduction, be empowered to be an ally to her rather than a guy who’s just bewildered and caught off guard and ends up making things worse by saying, “Oh, you deal with it.”
You end up creating a relationship based in reality. You can begin to understand the reality of her as a human being at this age in her life.
We all change, and five years from now, 10 years from now, 20, 30, 40 years, she’s gonna be different. So learn who she is now, the reality of her, not who you want her to be, not who you wish she was, but who she really is, how she’s showing up, and then stay engaged, because she’s going to be different next week, next year.
And if you can do that, you become a dance partner that can improvise and have the most beautiful dance in life. Because as she leans out, you can lean in, as she leans in you can lean out. You can give and take, rather than being rigid in two roles that can’t handle life changing.
Kristopher works with straight men and couples who are struggling with “a pattern of paralysis and relationship exhaustion” –
– by creating a constellation where they can actually communicate what they really want to each other, have the protocols, scripts and communication pathways to bring up their desires, to elicit and tease out of their partners what they want, what they don’t want, what they’d like to try and not. So we create a reality, a relationship of two real human beings with each other that’s sex positive.
If that resonates with you, you can learn more in his book, The Conscious Cock: The Empowered Sexuality Manual for Men.
It’s really short, succinct, to the point. Guys, if you want a hot, long term, successful relationship with your partner, like this is the toolkit. This is like the how-to manual to help you get there.
[acoustic chord riff]
After speaking with Kristopher, I knew I wanted to explore period sex a bit more with someone on the other side of it, someone who menstruates. And I immediately thought of my friend and colleague, Makenzie Mizell.
You may remember her as my in-studio engineer, back in pre-pandemic days. She has appeared on the show before, to discuss sex toys, and a very funny lube adventure from her life. She’s a producer and the founder of Period Podcast Network—which isn’t why I thought of her for this topic, interestingly.
I thought of her because she is one of my favorite people to talk to about, well, many things, but “body stuff” included. Like me, she is fascinated by the body and how it works, and about sexuality, and she’s always eager to explore it all.
So why don’t we start with a little bit about your menstrual journey. [laughter] What do you recall learning about periods? What were your experiences like early on?
The first thing I remember. My friend, Emily, we were like besties in grade school. And then I got my period at 11, and she was very upset that I had gotten my period first.
I thought that a period was you bleed in the shape of a period and then that’s it and it happens once, [Makenzie laughs] when I was really little, and I heard about “you get a period!” I was like, Oh, a bloody period. And that’s it. [Makenzie continues to laugh] And I was horrified, horrified to learn that it would be so prevalent in my life.
Makenzie was the opposite of horrified.
I was so excited… You know when you’re a kid, you just want anything that makes you an adult. At that age, I remember I would get undressed for a shower. And then I would like, lean in the mirror and squish my shoulders together to try and get cleavage, you know what I mean? I was just so ready to be an adult. [chuckles] So I was very excited about getting my period.
They didn’t make it sound too horrible in health class, which is nice. The person who did our sex ed class in fifth grade was incredible. She was one of the sixth grade teachers and she just did a really good job of making like getting older not sound scary.
And when I got my first period, like I ran to her in her class, she wasn’t even my teacher, she just taught sex ed, and I ran to her and she was like, took me over to this closet was like, “Oh, this is a big day. Like, here’s the pad, and I’ll show you how to use it.”
So yeah, the beginnings of my period. Hang on. Beginnings of my period, the day I got it, exciting. My second period I ever got lasted 20 days.
I just remembered something. Just kidding! The thing I thought was my first period was actually my second period. My first period my mom told me, “This is your period.” And I said, “No, it’s not. I have diarrhea, and I’m pooping my pants because blood is red, not brown.” [chuckles]
So I spent like four days in horrible pain, bleeding in my underwear, refusing to admit that it was my period. And then my second one, I discovered it while I was on the toilet, and I was like that blood is red. So I believe this is my period.
The things we don’t learn… Since then, Makenzie’s periods haven’t really become more predictable, even now that she has better understanding.
I have been putting off going to an OBGYN for like two years for period problems. It hasn’t been normal since day one. My cycle is longer than I think other people’s. It’s like several days longer than a month. So it kind of is like weird to keep track of and then I have a different reaction every time I get on birth control, even if it’s the same type.
I think when you and I—before the world ended, when we were in the studio—I remember having a couple days where I was like, “I have to lay down because my body has nothing left. I’m two weeks into my period.” And then I’ve had other times that I’ll get on the exact same birth control. And after a couple months just no periods, no pain, no emotional ups and downs.
It’s completely inconsistent. And also every other period is painful. So like I’ll have a good one and then a bad one, like clockwork every time, and the bad ones are heavier. So it’s just like, I don’t even know. Clearly, I just need to go speak to a professional.
When it comes to period sex, Makenzie is good with it. In fact, she’s found some benefits that give it a leg up over non-period sex. We’ll get to that in a minute. But her partners’ takes have been mixed.
I’m fairly certain that the first person I was having sex with, or having, you know, P-in-V sex with, I’m pretty sure I remember them being cool with it. Which is like kind of silly to even have to say, but I’ve come across so many people who are like, “ewww, gross, icky,” which is like, it’s fine to have your own personal opinion about different body fluids. Like, I don’t expect anybody to be cool with cum; I don’t expect anybody to be cool with menses. But to be like “you’re gross right now” is not great. And I’ve had a few partners who were like that.
But, yeah, I’m fairly certain that my first sexual partner was – I remember a few times that we did have sex while I was on my period. And it was nice, because that coming with the first person I’d ever been with intimately sort of laid the foundation for me being like, this is fine. This is normal. We can do this. We can talk about this.
The “ew/yuck/gross” reactions from other partners haven’t been the only adverse reaction to bedroom flow.
I want to like write in the sky that “tampons dry you up because that’s what they’re supposed to do.” And I know that I’ve had people who have been sort of offended, and they’re like, are you not into this, and it’s like, I’ve literally just had something in my body that like, the purpose of it was to absorb moisture. Like, don’t worry about it. Lube’s your friend. It’s fine.
Thank you, Makenzie. Lube is a friend. And levels of wetness vary so much. It’s really not the only sign of arousal. It also doesn’t always mean someone is emotionally turned on or interested in sex – but that’s another topic.
But speaking of arousal, many aspects of Makenzie’s cycle have turned menstruation into something hot and helpful. Some folks are less sex-inclined during their period. For others, like her, it’s often the opposite.
Number one, I think it’s great. I think that your hormones go on some fun little ups and downs around that time. And sometimes the downs aren’t great but also having a sex drive through the roof and when you have a partner who’s willing to have period sex, it’s the best.
Either way, I always masturbate, too. It’s just so nice to release that energy. And I feel like it helps with the pain. It just makes me more comfortable.
Makenzie has also noticed that when she isn’t having her period, she feels her body tighten up with penetration.
An OBGYN offered me dilators because I was having painful sex. And over time, that has not been a problem. But I feel like my body does something where it tightens up. And sometimes it feels great. And sometimes it makes sex a little bit uncomfortable. But on my period, everything’s all open.
[encouraging, acoustic music]
It doesn’t happen when I masturbate, when I have sex, it just feels completely different. And I don’t know why that is. But that’s something I really love about it, too, is that I don’t feel that same sort of a tension. And it seems to translate to the rest of my mind and body and just overall make me feel looser and in the moment with sex.
Makenzie has had partners who say, basically, “I’m not sure about period sex,” or “I don’t quite know how it works.” And she welcomes that-
-because I think also like people who don’t have periods don’t have the same education on what it means. So for me, I’m not only so okay with people not understanding but like I’m thrilled when people want to have a conversation about it. I know my last partner was like, “Does it hurt you to have sex when you’re on your period?” Like, I love that.
But one person, in particular, who didn’t handle it in a great way. The correlation there was that he wanted me to be – he didn’t want to know that I peed, you know what I mean? And so I feel like being vehemently against period sex was like wrapped up with this thing of like, “Don’t pee. Don’t fart. Don’t have a period.” It was like “just be my idea of what a pristine woman is.” There’s no situation in which that was sustainable because the period was like a reminder that I was a physical human person and that was the snag for them.
Talk about a red flag, literally and figuratively.
It was just a brick wall and it wasn’t a healthy relationship, anyway, so it’s like, okay, that was one of many things that weren’t working. And, you know, what am I going to do? Sit down and like spend a bunch of time working through that when, just throw the whole thing out. [chuckles]
But with other people, it’s just always about talking, you know? It’s always about sitting down and being like, “What’s comfortable for you? What’s comfortable for me? Do we get a towel? Do we get the lube? Do we just say screw it and ruin the sheets?” Just like having adult conversations with grownups who are like, “How heavy is your flow?” “Oh, it’s like this.” It’s just communicate, communicate, communicate.
And even with like when people don’t understand, at all, what it’s like to have a period. So you spend a half an hour of your life giving them a little bit o, a fifth grade sex ed lesson. And then I get to have the sex that I want. They get to go forward having more of a sense of what they want and understand with period sex. And again, that’s for me. It’s not anybody’s responsibility to educate somebody else.
You and I both love this stuff. I’m always excited for a chance to sit down and talk about bodily functions. So, yeah, so it’s all communication for me.
[encouraging, acoustic music]
When Makenzie has had those conversations, and the little tutorials when needed, she said they’ve served as a nice intimacy builder. And when all goes well, she takes it as a great sign.
I was reading this article the other day that was like “how do you know if it’s real?” or whatever, like if it’s a healthy relationship? And one of the things was like you can fart in front of each other. And I kind of feel talking about stuff like this in that category. It’s like oh, it’s a willingness to have intimacy.
There’s such a difference between sex and intimacy and being able to just be like, sometimes I want to have sex when I’m on my period. Sometimes I’m gonna queef. Sometimes I’m gonna fart during sex… It feels like a beautiful way of like developing safety, knowing that someone’s not gonna reject you because you’re being a person.
If you’ve never had sex and you’re curious about it, Makenzie said her best advice, other than communicating, is not to assume it’s going to be this major thing—or worse, a major catastrophe.
It’s probably not what you think. I think people have a sense of it being very dramatic. And it can be – I mean I’ve had friends who said they turn on the light and it looks like a horror movie. And I’ve made a mess. But there’s just so many times that it’s not really that big of a deal…not like gallons of period blood come out. And it just doesn’t make a huge difference. I think that’s the big thing for me is that it’s not super dramatic.
The podcast network Makenzie started, Period, isn’t about menstruation—not directly, at least. I love how she came up with the name and what it stands for, and the growth she and her team have cultivated.
It’s really evolved over the past year. Currently what we’re aiming to do is get any underrepresented voices out into podcasting.
So the name being Period isn’t tied to gender or sex or whether or not you have periods. But it really came from a place of wanting something with a double meaning and wanting something that makes people confront the fact that they’re uncomfortable with it.
I’ve told it to a few people, and they hate it. And I think that’s really important, you know? I think that if you’re uncomfortable with even saying the word “period,” cool. Then let’s keep having conversation about this.
It really comes down to women choosing to not be afraid to be poignant or to be direct. You end a sentence when you’re done and mic drop with period. There’s something final about it.
And you and I had talked about like this phenomenon in conversation where women have a tendency to not end a sentence with their thought because that sounds aggressive. And they end it with so um, but you know, so Period is about that, not just for women, but for anybody who wants to be on the network and be confident in what they have to say.
There are a million mediocre people without much knowledge who feel that they have a right to have a podcast and they do. But so we have that right to be in that space as well and be confident about it.
And a big place that I would love for you to direct your love is a show we have called Tinsel Town Tea. They’ve just been kicking into high gear. Like I don’t know how to explain it. They’re just finding their groove and like ready to take off. And I feel like if all of us could just put our attention and love and energy towards them, I think it’ll really launch them into the next phase of what they’re doing.
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Thanks so much for listening and have a beautiful, Girl Boner embracing week.
[outro music that makes you wanna dance!]
I will say one thing that doesn’t quite relate to period sex, but periods in general.
I thought forever that I couldn’t use cups because they were just like, not just uncomfortable, but like painful when I wore them. But I found out that I have a shallow cervix. I searched around and I found a cup specifically made for people with a shallow cervix. And it’s amazing and it’s wonderful.
Oh, and this segues into the gross thing that I was going to tell you. That having a cup got me familiar with the smell of menstrual blood, and my cat’s breath smells exactly the same as period blood. So I just wake up in the morning to her kissing me and just a mouthful of the smell of period blood so glad that I know that now. [laughs]