This article originally appeared on Shape. For more stories like this, visit shape.com.

By Shape.com/Isadora Baum
Jun 17, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Sure, sometimes your period makes you want to stay planted on the couch with ice cream—but most women go forth and crush life per usual whether they're bleeding or not. (#AnythingYouCanDoICanDoBleeding.)

The same goes for getting it on. There's no reason your sex life should take a backseat during your flow. In fact, period sex has tons of perks.

"Sex during your period is a great move because sex releases all kinds of natural feel-good chemicals in your body, including oxytocin and endorphins that help relieve the discomforts you may have with your period," says Jennifer Landa, M.D., an ob-gyn at BodyLogicMD in Orlando, FL. Not to mention, your fluctuating hormones are setting you up for better, more intense orgasms. (Thanks, Mother Nature!)

That being said, period sex may require a bit more thought than your usual impulsive romp. Whether you're dealing with cramps or simply want to keep your sheets stain-free, here are the best sex positions to try on your period.

Anal Sex

Yeah, we're going thereAnal sex is a great way to avoid staining those sheets.

"If you and your partner would rather avoid messy period sex altogether, take this opportunity to explore the back door," says Alicia Sinclair, certified sex educator and CEO of b-VibeLe Wand, and The Cowgirl. "To keep things mess-free, you can lay on your back with your hips propped up by a pillow. This puts the spine in a C-curve and helps everything stay relaxed, plus the elevation helps prevent spillage."

Try either placing your feet flat on the bed with knees bent, or grab the backs of your knees and draw them to your chest, she says. Since your partner will enter through your anus and not your vagina, you can even keep your tampon in.

One thing to note: For anal sex (and even doggy-style), if you feel like you have looser bowels during your period, steer clear. "Many women have looser stools during their menses due to higher levels of chemicals in the body called prostaglandins," says Dr. Landa. (See: Why Do I Have to Poop So Much During My Period?) If your digestion is a little iffy, you'll want to go for traditional P-in-the-V sex instead.

Yoga Missionary

A twist on classic missionary style, "yoga missionary," is great during your time of the month. "Get a little creative with missionary position to help keep period sex from destroying your beautiful sheets," says Sinclair. (That's right: Missionary doesn't have to be boring.)

"Rest your legs on top of your partner's shoulders, elevating your hips and preventing spillage," says Sinclair. Bonus tip: Hang your hips off the bed slightly and have your partner stand to enter, keeping all potentially messy areas entirely off the bed.

What's more, "some women suffer headaches during their period," says Dr. Landa, and having sex is a great way to get rid of a headache, thanks to all those feel-good chemicals that get dumped into your brain. For a headache, the best sex position is probably missionary because it reduces the need for a lot of motion on the part of the woman and allows her to rest her head comfortably, she says.

"I would try a variation on missionary where the woman keeps her legs closed tightly," says Dr. Landa. "It can focus more of the thrusting power in the area of the clitoris, which might help you get to orgasm."

Doggy Style with a Pillow

If you're going to add a towel to period sex, why not make it an asset to your pleasure? Try lying on your stomach, with a towel-clad pillow under your hips. Your partner can enter from behind, while you rock and grind against the pillow, says Sinclair. You get more clitoral stimulation, while your sheets stay super clean. Talk about a win-win.

Shower Sex

The best way to minimize cleanup time? Hop in the shower. The water will quickly wash away the mess, and your partner can keep their eyes on your face rather than worrying about whether menstrual fluid is getting anywhere, says Sinclair.

"Lean back against the wall and wrap one leg around your partner. You'll have support from both the wall of the shower and your partner's arms, eliminating the risk of falling," she says. (Seriously, be careful of slipping; that's what makes the shower a hot spot for sex injuries.)

Cowgirl with a Blindfold

Real talk: Some people just don't do well with the sight of blood. You could forgo period sex—or you could use that as an excuse to bring a blindfold into the mix.

"A simple yet sexy solution to a partner who is a little squeamish is to put a blindfold on them," says Sinclair. "Get on top while your partner either lies on the bed or sits in a chair. They'll enjoy the extra sensation of natural lubrication, and you can keep wipes nearby to clean up before removing the blindfold," she says.

What's more, woman-on-top positions are going to be more comfortable when you're cramping: "To ease cramping, one of the best would be woman on top because then you're controlling the action. You can allow penetration to the depth that is comfortable," says Dr. Landa.

Side-by-Side Masturbation

Chances are they won't care, but if your partner is apprehensive about blood, try a joint solo session. Lie side by side and masturbate individually. "A wand vibrator like Le Wand will feel great on your tender muscles, and you can both enjoy the intimate moment without getting messy together," says Sinclair.

"You can even add a Texture Cover over the top of your vibrator to protect it and make cleanup fuss-free," she says. Masturbating together is also a great way to show your partner how you like to be touched, so think of it as a tutorial that happens once a month.

Spooning

Get up close and personal and really let yourself connect with your partner—especially at a moment where you could be feeling a bit more vulnerable and/or irritable than usual. "I think spooning-style sex would work well to ease muscle tension because this is such a comforting and intimate way to have some nice slow loving with your partner," says Dr. Landa.