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10 Ways To Enjoy Valentine's Day When You're On Your Period

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It’s kind of an old, arguably outdated joke to hope you don't get your period on Valentine’s Day. Cramps, bloating, fatigue? And on the "most romantic day of the year"? No, thanks. Plus, who wants to deal with the mess of period sex, right? While Aunt Flo isn't necessarily a welcomed guest on Cupid's big day, there are more than a few ways to enjoy Valentine’s Day when you're on your period. Seriously, don't cancel your romantic plans just yet.

Menstruation means different things for different people, of course. Some of us are fortunate enough to be able to still move about the world in a mostly effortless way when we're on our periods. Just pop in a tampon, maybe down a few over-the-counter pain medications, and you’re all set. Others have a lot more trouble and way more pain and discomfort associated wth menstruation, especially those with endometriosis. As such, it can be challenging to do just about anything while on the rag.

The following ways to enjoy Valentine's Day when you're menstruating run the gamut of experiences, and I’ve listed a number of tips that will help you enjoy all the over-the-top romance no matter how good or rotten you feel. Consider this my Valentine's Day gift to you and your cycle, because we all deserve to enjoy ourselves when we’ve got communists in the funhouse (look it up, it’s a thing).

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Let Your Date Know What's Up

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If your long-time significant other is planning something special, but you don’t know what it is, gently remind them ahead of time that you’ll like be re-enacting the elevator scene from The Shining that evening. That way, if the plan was to go for salsa dancing lessons or something, there’s time to change it up. You know what your activity level is during your period, so feel free to drop some hints (even if it’s just that you’d rather stay indoors with a box of donut holes).

Let Your Kids Know What's Up

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When you’re a mom, there’s a good chance you’ll be spending Valentine’s with your kids, too. If they’re wondering why mom doesn’t feel like playing race cars on the floor, let them know that you’re menstruating. There’s nothing wrong with telling our children about our cycles, even if they’re young. Sure, they probably won’t understand the full logistics of menstruation, but they can still develop empathy for what we’re experiencing. Plus, it’s a good way to set a sex-positive foundation.

Wear Something Sexy & Black

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I’m not talking about a little black dress (unless that’s what makes you feel sexy when you're on your period). I just mean something comfortable that still makes you feel good about yourself and your body. Don’t try to squeeze into something that’s too tight because you’re feeling the menstrual bloat. Instead, feel free to put on something free-flowing and dark colored so you don’t have to worry about potentially staining your outfit. No stains = very sexy.

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Buy Yourself A New, Cool Menstrual Product

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Have you been on the fence about buying a Diva Cup, Luna Cup, or other menstrual cup? Are you eyeing some Gladrags or do you have a couple of cute period pads in your Etsy you've yet to purchase? Give yourself (and your period) a little gift this year and make it happen!

Create A Personal Period Ritual

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Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about romantic love with someone else. You can (and totally should) incorporate plenty of self-love into the holiday, too. Set aside a few minutes — or even a few hours, depending on your schedule — to reflect on how undeniably awesome you are. Meditate, then enjoy a warm, comforting cup of tea (I recommend red raspberry leaf for menstruation), or try a little spa-like treatment by taking a long shower or bath (if that’s comfortable for you), and adding in a face mask or body scrub while you’re at it. Then, if you're up for it, give your whole body a gentle massage with your favorite lotion or oil. Light some candles or diffuse some soothing essential oils. Play soft music in the background. Whatever makes you feel good.

Enjoy A Romantic, Healthy Meal

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It’s not surprising that iron-rich foods tend to be what’s best for you while you’re menstruating. So, I suggest you opt for a meal rich in spinach, lentils, tofu, quinoa, dark chocolate, broccoli, or red meat. You could certainly whip up (or have your partner whip up) a fairly tasty meal using all of the aforementioned ingredients. See if you can find a way to make the meal extra special. Eat off fancy plates, put on some bossa nova or other mood music in the background, light some candles, and actually turn off your phones. You get the idea.

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Indulge In A Few Cravings

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While you don’t want to go overboard with junk food, it’s OK to enjoy some of your period cravings. It’s freaking Valentine’s Day, after all! Make a miniature pot of fondue and dip some strawberries in chocolate, or buy a small cheesecake and enjoy the damn thing all to yourself. You know, whatever makes you happy.

Have A Period Subscription Box Waiting For You

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If you can plan ahead, you might want to give your period a little Valentine by way of a period subscription box. There’s several out there, like the Artemis Box, which comes with a number must-have menstruation items (like bags of tea, yummy treats, face masks, and heating pads). Even if no one else gives you a gift, it will be nice to have something like this arrive just for you.

Shop For A New Sex Toy

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You may or may not be feeling frisky on your period. But even if you’re not feeling it right now, you will probably feel up to it later. So why not gift yourself a future orgasm by way of a new sex toy? There are plenty of feminist, woman-owned sex toy shops out there to choose from. Go ahead, be adventurous and buy a toy you’ve never tried.

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Put Some Sheets Down & Get Busy

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Hey, a little blood doesn’t have to mean the end of your sexual escapades. Plenty of folks don’t mind gettin’ down and dirty (read: messy) while you ride the crimson wave. I suggest making sure you don’t have any sheets you’re particularly fond of on your bed when you have period sex, and having some dark-colored towels nearby just in case. You can always take a shower right before to try and minimize the mess, too.

Whatever you do, just make sure you enjoy yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

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