Welcome to ‘Ask Your Friendly Neighbourhood Sexologist’ with Gigi Engle and Vivastreet, a monthly column where certified sex educator Gigi Engle answers all of your sauciest sex questions. Have a question for Gigi? Comment below or ask us on Twitter.
Q: Can I have sex on my period, as I usually get hornier at this time of the month?
A: Periods have long been stigmatized for basically ever. Having sex on your period has been historically seen as unsavoury or unclean. Luckily, attitudes are changing slowly, but surely. Period sex is totally normal, fun, and actually quite healthy for you. Hormones are ablaze for many women during their periods. Some of us feel our most sexually aroused during our cycle. Bodies are too cool.
Not every woman gets hornier on her period, but it does happen to some — so we should be able to talk about it. Scratch that, we should be able to have period sex openly and enjoy it. Orgasms can relieve tension headaches, menstrual cramps, and even calm anxiety.
So the million-dollar question: What about the mess? There is no way around it: When you have sex on your period, there is blood. The first step is accepting this fact. Talk to your partner about the period sex situation before you have it. Get the communication factor out of the way. As normal as period sex should be, if you haven’t done it before, it can be a shock (and not in a good way). Your period is red, your towel is red or blue. Done and done.
Remember to have fun. Don’t focus entirely on the penetrative/mess aspects of this situation. Treat this sexual experience like any other and embrace it to the fullest. This means grabbing the sex toys in lieu of having boring, ultra-careful sex because you’re so afraid of damaging your sheets. Live your life!
Q: How many dates should I go on before having sex?
A: There is no way to give a definitive answer to this question. It’s all about your levels of trust with this person, how into them you are, and whether or not you feel ready. This could be after one date, three dates, or two months. Everyone is different. What matters is feeling ready, excited, and not like you’re being pressured by the other person.
Remember, if you choose to sleep with someone on a first or second date and they don’t call you back, slut-shame you, or think you’re “that kind of girl” (whatever the hell that means), you dodged a huge bullet. You do not have time to be wasting on some asshat who doesn’t understand that you are a human person deserving of respect and you do not deserve it more or less based on the sex you do or do not have. Sex is a normal part of human life. Enjoy it and don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about yourself for doing what you want.
Q: My sex life is very vanilla. How can I spice it up and make it more exciting?
A: As human beings, we need to try new things in bed to keep it hot. Trying new things together can help in shaking things up. What we tend to forget with sex is that there are truly endless possibilities to what we can do to experience pleasure. The human body, the vulva especially, is a complex piece of anatomy. The clitoris is like a magical animal of its own. It’s a bit finicky and unpredictable at times.
What once worked to get you to orgasm may not forever. Additionally, the brain is a huge part of what turns you on and right now, your brain is bored with the same routine. It needs something new, something fresh to get it excited again.
We all adapt and change over time. Try something new. Experiment with alternative positions and find a new favourite. And remember, you can always come back to this one again in the future.
Have you considered that your partner goes to this position because he or she knows this is your favourite position? When you’ve been married for a long time, it’s difficult to try and rework a system that has always worked. How can you know something is broken if nothing has led you to think it’s broken, you know?
Q: I keep on having vaginal farts during sex. Is this normal and how can I put an end to it?
A: There is no such thing as a “vaginal fart”.” What you’re referring to is “queefing” a perfectly normal bodily function that happens when the vagina is penetrated and trapped air escapes. No, it’s not always the sexiest sound in all the world, but getting bogged down with anxiety about something you can’t control is going to hinder your ability to be able to fully enjoy sex.
If someone makes fun of you for queefing, simply explain that it’s a natural response the vagina (an internal body cavity) has when a penis or toy is pushed inside, taken out, and pushed back in. This quite clearly leads to trapped air. Do not get embarrassed – and if you do – own it. Honestly, embrace the queef because it happens to frickin’ everyone and we need to get over it.
Q: Does fantasising about another person during sex with my partner count as cheating?
A: It’s time to stop saying that porn and fantasy are detrimental to our sex lives. This myth is tired. It’s old. It’s just time to stop. We’re hyper-focused on demonizing anything sexual in this society. Adult entertainment, fantasy, audio erotica – it is fun to watch, think about, and listen to. Let’s stop with all the shaming already.
Cheating is betrayal. Cheating is physically having sexual contact with another person(s). It is deception. Cheating is not watching a movie and getting yourself off. Cheating is not thinking about a gangbang you created in your mind.
We should all be masturbating. Masturbation is healthy. It is nonsensical to pretend otherwise. Countless studies have proven that masturbation is good for you, whether or not you’re in a committed relationship. It plays a vital role in healthy sexual development. Porn is an add-on to masturbation. It helps to fuel our fantasies – which, in turn, fuels our desire for our partners.
About Gigi Engle
Gigi Engle, ACS, CSE, CSC, is an award-winning feminist author, certified sex coach, sexologist, and sex educator. As a brand expert with Lifestyle Condoms & Zumio, she promotes and teaches about pleasure-based sex education, masturbation, and safer sex practices. Gigi’s work regularly appears in many publications including Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Elle Magazine, Teen Vogue, Glamour and Women’s Health. Her articles have been shared over 50 million times, with her top posts reaching over 150 million shares. In 2019, Gigi was named Journalist of The Year at the Sexual Freedom Awards. Her book, All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life, is available wherever books are sold.