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My boyfriend won’t have sex with me while I’m on my period

by Ace Damon
The boy’s got hard looks and he’s hard to handle | Séamas O’Reilly

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I am a woman of 24 years. My boyfriend and I have been together for a long time and enjoyed amazing sex. However, there is one area that we seem unable to reconcile – the dreaded period. While I'm menstruating, my sex drive usually goes through the roof, but he's unable to act on the thought of the inevitable mess, especially the blood itself. I find this very frustrating and I am sure he is too, although he is too polite to say that. Is it unreasonable to expect him to handle a mess? My previous boyfriend never had this problem.

Different people have different views, feelings, and boundaries regarding many aspects of physical intimacy, and these are usually not negotiable. It is important to respect each other's boundaries in general, and it would be very unwise to press for penetrating sex during menstruation, as this is obviously a problem for him. But you could certainly find creative ways to have highly erotic, non-penetrating sex that could avoid “confusion” and be comfortable and satisfying for both of you. Examples may be erotic conversations, touching, massaging, role playing and sex toy play. Reassure him that you will respect your comfort level and then reshape your menstrual period as an opportunity to explore new options and erotic fantasies. You may find that setting the necessary limits and embarking on bold experiences can lead to exciting rewards for both of you.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is an American psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of sexual disorders.

• If you would like to receive advice from Pamela on sexual issues, please send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (do not send attachments). Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

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