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Ah masturbation. Your self-love sesh. Your special “me” time.

If you have a vagina though, Aunt Flo doesn’t always respect the sanctity of “me” time. But is it OK and safe to masturbate on your period?

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Yeah, you sure as heck can masturbate on your period! Just like you can have period sex, you can also have sex with yourself while things are flowing.

Your period doesn’t really make masturbation any more dangerous or “dirty.” And, yes, period blood is messy, but it’s just another body fluid.

Chocolate and comfy sweatpants are your time of the month standbys, but you might want to add a masturbation session during your period, too.

Masturbating may boost your mood

Sex feels good — that’s why we do it. Sex with yourself feels good, too, so it’s no surprise masturbation may give your mood a boost.

Masturbating can help you release dopamine (the “feel good” hormone) and oxytocin (aka the “love hormone”), which can make you feel pretty dang good. Hitting the Big-O also releases endorphins, which can make you feel happy and even euphoric.

Touching yourself might shorten your periods

Because orgasms make your uterus and cervix contract, masturbating may help speed along the uterine lining shedding during your period. Translation: A shorter period. It’s not an exact science, but it might help.

Masturbating may help cramps

The best news though? Touching yourself might actually help relieve your period cramps. Orgasms flood your bod with endorphins, which beyond making you happy, can also act as a natural pain reliever.

So, if the heating pads aren’t helping you out, masturbation just might help ease your cramps.

Rubbing one out might ease that headache

That same pain relief from a Big-O may also help relieve period headaches. One 2013 study found that sexual activity helped relieve the participants’ migraines and cluster headaches.

Fall asleep after some good vibrations

Having an orgasm can also help you relax, and striving for an orgasm can sometimes tire you out! Masturbating may put you in the chill state of mind you need for some ZZZ’s.

Show yourself some self-love

What better time to celebrate your body and the amazing things it can do than during your period? Appreciate your flow and show some love.

It’s totally cool if you want to masturbate on your period. And it’s totally cool if you don’t want to, either.

Do whatever you feel most comfortable with. What you like will depend on the erogenous zones you prefer, and what feels good varies from person to person. Here are some tips:

Choose your love zone wisely

If you’re free bleeding and worried about the mess, consider masturbating on surfaces that you can remove stains from easily. It’s gonna get messy.

Your comforter/duvet, or over your bedsheets, will probably be the easiest to clean. Or, just throw an old towel down first.

Not into mess? Hit the showers

It’s hot, steamy, and you won’t have to do laundry afterwards. Just make sure any toys you bring in the shower are water-safe!

Focus on external clitoral stimulation

The least messy way to get your rocks off solo is by focusing on the outside of your clitoris. This way you can leave in a tampon, menstrual cup, or period disc.

You can use your own fingers, of course, or other stimulating toys like a vibrator if you need *Tim the Tool Man Taylor voice* more power.

Use a period disc

If you’re using a period disc, you should be fine to proceed as usual since most are designed to be used during sex. But just be aware of any pain and stop if you feel the cup push against the vaginal wall.

Remove your tampon before penetration!

Safety first, and remove that tamp before exploring your bits internally. And obvi, replace it with a fresh tampon once your self-love sesh is complete.

It’s not that you can’t masturbate with a tampon, it’s just not safe for any type of penetration while you have a tampon inside you. Leaving your tamp in can up your risk of infection.

If a tampon is pushed too far into the vaginal canal, it won’t necessarily cause damage to the vaginal wall. But it could still make the tampon difficult to retrieve for some folks. The same goes for period discs and menstrual cups.

Go for the butt

If you wanna avoid the menstrual blood sitch entirely, play with anal beads or a butt plug. Remember to use lots of lube!

Keep toys clean with a condom

You can use a vibrator or dildo internally when you’re menstruating, but you’ll need to wash the menstrual blood off afterwards.

Don’t masturbate with anything porous either. Some plastics may trap bacteria and you really shouldn’t be using stones or crystals in your vag anyway.

If washing menstrual blood off your sex toys sounds hella annoying, put a condom on your vibrator or dildo before you masturbate. Easy!

Try mutual masturbation

Having a Big-O doesn’t have to be a solo act. Invite a partner to join in some mutual masturbation.

Mutual masturbate safely

If you end up touching each other, or sharing sex toys, remember you can still pass STIs during your period. According to the National Health Service, blood-borne diseases like HIV are also easier to pass through menstrual blood.

And, if you’re trying to prevent pregnancy, make sure you keep any sperm away from your vag. Your pregnancy risk isn’t completely eliminated when you’re menstruating.

How to clean period blood off your sheets and towels

The top two things to remember when it comes to washing up period blood are:

  1. Cold water is your friend. (Hot water is not your friend.)
  2. Treat the stains as soon as possible.

There are several ways to remove period blood stains when washing your sheets or towels. These tips will work best for cotton.

  • Fresh stains: Run them under cold water. They might wash right out.
  • Stingier stains: Soak them in white vinegar, let them sit for 30 minutes, and then rinse them with cold water. Repeat as necessary.
  • White sheets/towels: Soak in diluted chlorine bleach or non-chlorine bleach (typically made of hydrogen peroxide) if traditional bleach isn’t your thing.
  • Colored sheets/towels: Wash with diluted non-chlorine bleach made of hydrogen peroxide. This is often labelled “color safe bleach”.

How to clean blood off your sex toys

Cleaning sex toys is a lot less fun than using sex toys. Most sex toys should come with cleaning instructions when you buy them. Always refer to your toy’s instructions, but some basic sex toy cleaning tips include:

  • Unplug your toys and remove batteries before cleaning.
  • Wash silicone toys with anti-bacterial soap and warm water, boil them for 5 to 10 minutes, or pop them in the top rack of the dishwasher. Only submerge in water if they have no mechanics.
  • Glass toys and hard plastic toys can be washed with anti-bacterial soap and water.

Remember to always clean your sex toys between partners.

  • It’s safe to masturbate, and it’s safe to masturbate on your period. You know your own body best. If it feels good, do it.
  • You can use toys inside yourself, but clean them afterwards. And don’t masturbate with anything porous.
  • It’s best to remove menstrual cups/discs and tampons before masturbating.
  • Focusing on external stimulation of your clitoris will be the least messy in terms of stainage.
  • Throw down an old towel before gettin’ to it. And hit those period blood-stained fabrics with cold water immediately!
  • Menstrual blood can transmit STIs. Keep that in mind if you do mutual masturbation or share toys.