Have you heard of cycle syncing? It’s the menstruator’s practice of tracking their menstrual cycle to see how their moods and energy, impacted by all the changes in hormones, impacts their everyday life. It’s a super handy life hack that can help many of us plan everything from when we’re most likely to feel like partying, and when to opt for yoga over a HIIT workout.
It can also influence our sex lives!
Our hormones take us on a journey over the course of our cycle and this affects our desire and experience of sexual pleasure. Just like our friends at Smile Makers always say, one of the best ways to take ownership of your sexuality on our terms is to discover yourself! According to their latest sexual wellness study, listening to and getting to know our bodies better can also increase sexual satisfaction.
So, how can tracking our cycle actually benefit us sexually?
Many of us report feeling hornier whilst on our period, and period sex - solo or partnered - is a great way to help ease menstrual cramps. The reason we may feel more erotic or sensual could be down to our hormone levels or lack of. Our hormones levels are at their lowest during the menstruation phase of our cycle, which means we have much less energy and feel the need to slow down. In turn, this makes us more reflective and grounded. Being so in tune with what our body’s doing during this bleeding period can make us more sensual and in-tune with our bodies, too.
It’s not just during the time of the month that our sex lives are impacted, but throughout our entire cycle! Smile Makers have outlined how you *might* feel during each phase when it comes to sex. Everyone’s cycle length differs, but this rough guide may help us better understand our bodies!
Menstruation phase: days 1 - 5
The lining of uterus sheds. Energy and hormones at their lowest. Good time for reflection.
For solo sex: Take the opportunity to experiment with external stimulation. For penetrative play, our periods can decrease natural lubrication so it’s the perfect time to try out some water-based lube!
For partner sex: You’re more sensitive to touch, so take things slow. It could be a great time to connect with your partner on a deeper level through tantric style sex.
Of course, nixit can be perfect for any period sex you choose to partake in.
Follicular phase: days 6 - 14
Hormones start to increase in concentration. Feel more creative and engaged in new things. Perfect time to set intentions.
For solo sex: This renewal phase is all about building, so try tapping into your sexual imagination with some erotica to help build arousal. More all-encompassing pleasure such as cupping your vulva can feel really good.
For partner sex: Your communication levels are high right now, so you might find it easier to tell your partner what is on your mind. If no talk is needed, oral is always an option. You’re likely to lean more towards ‘receiving’ so being able to enjoy somebody else’s tongue could be very satisfying.
Ovulatory phase: days 15 - 17
Hormones really surge. Feel more sociable and have a higher desire for people. You’re likely feeling your best right now!
For solo sex: Your desire is at its highest so more spontaneous and playful masturbation sessions may occur. This kind of self-love can boost our self-esteem, so our confidence will be sky high!
For partner sex: In the baby-making phase, if your partner has a penis be extra attentive during intercourse depending on whether you are or aren’t trying to conceive.
Luteal phase: days 18-28.
Hormones at highest before a quick decline in the next phase. It's normal to feel particularly emotional and irritable.
For solo sex: This phase puts the whole ‘it’s not the destination, but the journey that counts’ theory to the test. You might find you’re not quite reaching orgasming as easily, but you can still find lots of pleasure. Set time aside to relax in bed or in the bath with a vibrator to really focus on the sensation.
For partner sex: Take your time with your partner, right now you might need or enjoy extra lubrication and stimulation. Seek out new ways to find pleasure together, such as researching and buying a new vibrator to use during sex!
Smile Makers is a sexual wellness brand on a mission to normalize the perception of vulva owner’s sexuality, and create a space for more pleasure-positive conversations about sex!