Health / LGBTQIA+ / Relationships

Exclusive: Taboo Smashing Period Sex Portraits


Period sex happens every single day, all over the planet, but the subject still remains taboo.

Sure, there are private conversations between us, we share our tips and experiences, but we  never SEE other people having period sex, and certainly not queer couples – not in porn, not in women’s media – never. That’s why this photo essay by Nolwen Cifuentes is ground breaking. For the first time ever, we’re sharing a heartfelt, honest look into the realities of sex between couples who both get their periods. Included below are three unique couples, their portraits and stories.

If you want to help abolish the shame and stigma about periods and period sex, please share.

Photos by Nolwen Cifuentes


Why do you like period sex?

Almost every time, I am horniest at the beginning of my period. I’m also much more easily lubricated, so period sex can be a lot more fun than regular sex!

Why is eliminating the taboo about period sex important?

Periods don’t mean that women are untouchable for a week! The stigma that periods are gross (and the people themselves while on it) can create a lot of shame and cause sexual issues and trauma. We’re all different and while some people might feel too bloated for sex (of course it’s totally cool if you don’t feel comfortable with it!), others might feel a peak in their libido. Period sex is something that should be talked about with partners to see what everyone feels comfortable with, but to automatically think it’s “gross” just because of an old taboo is problematic. It also feeds into the idea that people on their periods do not own their bodies and are only ripe for sex in times where the other partner deems so.

What is special about period sex between two people who both get their periods?

Period sex is such a great way to connect with your partner. When your partner makes you feel safe, sexy, and loved while on your period, it has a way of creating a stronger bond. Period sex has a way of saying “I desire and love you no matter what stage your body is in.” It removes a feeling of shame and there’s nothing more bonding than that.

Any tips for period sex?

It’ll get messy so lay down a towel beforehand!


Q: Why do you like period sex (and what don’t you like about it, if anything)?

A: I like having sex while on my period physically because it eases the tense muscle contractions that are causing my cramps and emotionally because it connects me to my partner during a moment when my body is in a state of release and renewal. It’s a beautiful and sort of primal time, and such a unique space to be intimate with another.

Q: Why is eliminating the taboo about period sex important?

A: Eliminating the taboo about period sex is important because there’s nothing taboo about it! Haha. It’s just a body doing its gorgeous thing. When we release certain normal bodily functions out of a space of subversion, it creates freedom for others to follow suit.

Q: What is special about period sex between two people who both get their periods?

A: They both have an inherent sort of shorthand about what the other is going through. I feel like there’s automatically a safe space around it because there’s nothing “fascinating” or mysterious about it.

Q: What are your tips for period sex?

A: Have a towel handy, or an old blanket. Don’t forget lube—sometimes menstruation can actually cause dryness. And don’t be afraid to get your hands (and mouth!) dirty.


Q: Why do you like period sex (and what don’t you like about it, if anything)?

A: I know many folks commonly comment they get more aroused during their period, and the same is true of me. It’s an amazing feeling to find a partner who embraces, rather than rejects, that part of my life and sexuality. While I do find the mess to be a bit tough, one of the other, stranger things I don’t like is the sticky (and sometimes crusty) sensation it can bring as it dries on my skin.

Q: Why is eliminating the taboo about period sex important?

A: Period sex, and honestly periods in general, have been a source of taboo for much of our history (some cultures even temporarily banish folks from society during their period!). While it has become less taboo, there is still stigma, and a lot of shame for people during menses; embracing that aspect of ourselves and our partners can help create understanding, compassion, and a more intimate sexual/romantic relationship.

Q: What is special about period sex between two people who both get their periods?

A: When people have sex, whether partners, or simply a casual encounter, there is still a degree of intimacy those two people share. When you add the extra layer of intimacy in sharing your periods together, it can bring those two people together in an even deeper way than they could have previously imagined.

Q: What are your tips for period sex?

A: Lay down the towels, share a steamy shower or hot bath, and just enjoy yourselves. The more often you engage in the activity, the more normalized it will become! Embrace your period/partner’s period, in all its facets. It can really be a beautiful experience.


My name is Nolwen. I was born in California and still live here in beautiful Los Angeles. I’m mostly a photographer, sometimes a writer, and always a flawed human being doing my best to live this life. I’m interested in telling stories that delve into social consciousness, intersectional representation, and breaking down gender roles. My work spans from editorial publications to shooting for socially conscious brands and creating my own art (like this series) that speaks to what I believe in.

Follow Nolwen on Instagram and see more of her work on her website.

We need your help.

Legacy and mainstream media has failed women, trans and nonbinary people. They assumed our straightness, our thinness, our frigidity and our fragility for far too long. They preyed on our insecurities in order to market products to us, and told us stories from one perspective, over and over again.

But Salty isn't legacy media. We’re a radical new publishing platform with a mission to pass the mic to Salty babes across the world and amplify their voices. We’re fighting everyday to ensure the authentic stories of women, trans and nonbinary people are not erased.

But this comes at a price. As Salty takes off, we are faced with increasing overheads costs. There’s no secret bag of cash behind Salty. We are scrappy as hell, mostly working unpaid and need just 7,000 members to survive and thrive.

Invest in media that matters. Click here to make a one off contribution, or our choose-what-you-pay memberships start at $4.99 per month.

become a member

Related stories

For Me, Rest is Non-Negotiable

I’ve Spent Years on the Fence About Having Kids, But Now I Know

Religion Won’t Heal My Disability. I Wish My Family Understood That.

Sex Work and the Gig Economy