Lifestyle

What We Learned About African Views On Period Sex

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Period sex is a slippery slope – every pun intended. With all the various kinks being talked about, it’s interesting that something as ordinary as period bleeding appears to be such a deal breaker when it comes to sex. I wanted to know whether it really is a deal breaker, or it’s just one of those things we claim not to do like when Caribbean men swore they do not and would never give oral sex.

I am particularly interested in the views of Africans and gender variations, because most of us have witnessed the repression of desires by African women, simply because we’ve been told that some things just aren’t done. I also wanted to know general opinions on why people don’t engage in period sex and how willing people were to engage in oral sex, for example. This is probably a good stage to point out that giving oral sex to a menstruating partner is possible and doesn’t even need to involve any blood. Thank the universe for tampons!

In any case, here is some of what I found:

Africans And Period Sex

  • 70.9% of Africans said they have had period sex before, compared to 76.2% of Non-Africans.
  • All 5% of people that would only receive, but would not perform sexual acts on a menstruating partner were African.
  • 15% of participants said they would perform oral sex on a menstruating partner ( as well as other sexual acts). 17.2% of Non-Africans would perform sexual acts including oral on a partner, compared to 12.66% of Africans.

I will point out that the majority of the African participants live in Ghana and are unlikely to represent the entire African continent, but it is interesting to see the answers of people in my own demographic. 

Gender And Period Sex

I would have liked to have received more answers from non-binary people, but the sample was much to small, so unfortunately, my findings are very binary. Considering that there is such a high number of female people performing sexual acts on their menstruating partners, I am assuming that sexual orientation also affects perceptions on period sex.

This is what I found:

  • 58.6% of all participants that identify as male have engaged in period sex.
  • 75.4% of all participants that identify as female have engaged in period sex.
  • 79.6% of African women have engaged in period sex, compared to 66.7% of African men.
  • Out of the participants that would perform sexual acts on a menstruating partner (including oral sex), 73.3% identify as female.
  • 2.9% of female participants said they would not receive sexual acts during their period and 1.4% said they would only give but not receive, while on their period. This is irrespective of whether they had had period sex in the past or not.

Reasons given by female participants that do not give and/or receive sexual acts during their periods most commonly include hygiene and discomfort from cramps, whereas other female participants just didn’t want to deal with the extra fluids to clean up.

Some male participants that do not engage in period sex stated religious resons as well as hygiene concerns.

Conclusions

This survey was very informal and far from perfect, so I can not claim that it should have any social implications. I would like to suggest that it encourages people that menstruate and those that have sex with people that menstruate to think about their own prejudices about period sex. Scientifically, there is nothing wrong with having sex on your period, so naturally one of my favorite responses to how comfortable participants are with period sex is ‘Cis-Het woman who has no problem having her Red Sea parted here.

I was a little concerned about one female participant’s assumption that having period sex would cause diseases. This participant stated that they didn’t want themselves or their partner to catch HIV, as the reason for abstaining from period sex.

Period sex isn’t inherently dirty. Blood isn’t dirty. While diseases do spread easily through the transfer of blood, period sex can’t give you a disease that isn’t already present in either sexual partners – in which case unprotected sex should be avoided anyway. To stay safe during period or non-period sex, use condoms and/or get tested regularly to prevent STD/STI infections.

Here’s a list of more articles on period sex, as there is way too much information to fit in one article. In summary:

  • Period sex can be safe sex
  • Period sex can be enjoyable
  • Period sex shouldn’t be a taboo topic

Period Sex 101 https://helloclue.com/articles/sex/period-sex-101

Is it safe to have sex during your period https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/sex-during-periods#side-effects 

How to have period sex that doesn’t look like a crime scene https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/how-to-have-period-sex


Survey Infographic – PDF Link

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