back to article Where does the taboo against sex during menstruation originate?

Also in this week's column: Great moments in human research 2: "Concluding, among other things..." What ever happened to tuberculosis? What is sexsomnia? Where does the taboo against sex during menstruation originate? Asked by Linda Phillips of Byron Bay, NSW, Australia Menstrual blood is seen as dangerous, magical, and …


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  1. Chris Davis

    You need to ask?

    The answer to all 'how did this happen' biology questions is always 'because those who didn't died out'.

    In this case, shagging unconcernedly during menstruation presumably didn't reproduce as efficiently as not. Maybe the unconcerned shaggers passed too much Hep-C around, as suggested. Maybe the abstainers built up so much, er, tension during the downtime that they were really pumping gametes by the time the woman got round to oestrus.

    It's all part of Darwin's Master Plan. Howsabout: PMS tends to cause fights between partners. Menstruation tends to keep them going and prevent a standard cure. Fourteen days later the couple are about ready to make up, sweatily, just in time for conception. Works for me.


  2. Webster Phreaky

    After his stupid reasons for "hairless faces on humans" ....

    After his stupid reasons for "hairless faces on humans", ones TOTALLY unsubstantiated by anyone in science, who believes anything this Ph.D. quack has to say!

  3. Julia Schopick

    Taboo: Sex During Menstruation

    I just happened upon this very interesting column by Dr. Stephen Juan, and while I certainly can't provide a definitive answer to his question, “Where does the taboo against sex during menstruation originate?,” I would like to point your readers to a wonderful website that contains lots of fascinating information (both scholarly and anecdotal) on the topic.

    The website is, the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health. It is an extremely serious venture, and contains nearly 2000 online pages!

    I also hope you will want to listen to a recent AUDIO INTERVIEW I conducted with this online museum’s founder, Harry Finley, at As you will see from reading the show notes, in this audio interview, Mr. Finley discusses some truly fascinating topics – many of them relating to the taboo nature of menstruation. AND, the show notes contain some truly wonderful links.

    The Keeper, Inc., at, is the manufacturer of the environment-friendly Keeper and Moon Cup reusable menstrual cups.

    I am so glad I found your site, and this column, in particular. And I hope you’ll want to visit ours and listen to the interview.

    Thanks very much!

    Julia Schopick

    The Keeper, Inc.

  4. Cynthia Milton

    Where does the taboo against sex during menstruation originate

    Because it's messy? And you don't actually feel like sex during menstruation? And anyway it's the woman who has to wash the sheets?

    Is there a bloke out there who actually wants to shag a woman when she's 'on the rag'?

    Get real, you lot.

  5. John Smith

    Not everyone's the same!

    Cynthia - just because you find it too messy and don't feel like it doesn't mean that all women do.

    One previous partner felt more horny than normal during her period and sex eased her period pains. I didn't have a problem with that at all and was only too happy oblige.

    Some other partners have had a problem with it but others haven't - probably about 50/50 so far.

    And yes, I take my turn at doing the washing.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Washing and Preferences

    In response to previous comments on this article, I have had sex with a couple of partners the day they have come on their menstrual cycle. Given how much they mean to me, and in the case of one, the frequency of getting to see her good as never, I carried on. It didn't feel any different, and seeing as it was my bed on both occasions I did wash my covers afterwards (although she did use some wipes she'd brought with her to get the worst of it up). Don't you just love narrow minded people? Don't call those of us who are more liberal stupid (I have quite a few gay friends - I don't go ewww why are you banging another guy up their backside, but I don't plan on doing it myself either)...

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