David’s life was turned upside down when he was just 15 years old.
He was hanging out at his house after school with a girl he knew from math class when one thing led to another and, before he knew it, he was performing oral sex on her.
“I didn’t know she was on [her period], and then all of a sudden, I’ve got blood in my mouth,” David told me during an interview for “D Is For Desire,” HuffPost’s love and sex podcast. “I had no idea that there was any kind of fetish about it but I found that I enjoyed it. I thought it was rather exciting, especially because as a male, especially at that age, periods are something that are really considered taboo or something that boys don’t really talk about.”
That experience opened a new world for David, and now period sex is an essential part of his life ― one that he says he couldn’t live without.
“[If you took away period sex,] you might just want to take my dominant arm,” he told me, adding, “it would be devastating to me.”
David isn’t alone. Many people enjoy period sex ― and, yes, some even crave it. But because cultures around the world have spent thousands of years positioning menstruation ― and those who experience it ― as unclean, disgusting and even dangerous, we still rarely have open, honest and nonjudgmental conversations about it, much less having sex during it.
For this episode of “D Is For Desire,” I spoke with David about his love of period sex and how it developed and strengthened since that first encounter in high school. I also chatted with Lucky, a submissive in a BDSM relationship who told me how period sex with her owner has changed the way she views her period and how she uses it to enrich her career as a digital sex worker. Finally, menstrual historian Elissa Stein, the author of “Flow,” discussed why periods ― and period sex ― are still so scary to so many people, and what it’ll take to change that:
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“D Is For Desire” is produced and edited by Nick Offenberg, Sara Patterson, Becca DeGregorio and Noah Michelson, who also hosts the podcast. If you have a question or a comment about the show or a suggestion for a topic you think we should tackle in season two, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a voicemail at 732-660-8030.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.