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Pleasure and Sex with PMDD
How To

Pleasure and Sex with PMDD

A guest post by Jaley Hardy


Living with Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) can often feel like a nightmare and can make navigating sex and relationships tricky. One bright side though, is sex can sometimes alleviate some of the intense emotional/physical symptoms (orgasms can be great pain relief!). Here are a few tricks I find useful and hopefully they can help you work through the discomfort, mood swings, and pain to still enjoy healthy and happy sex along the way. 

Communicate as much as you can!

Communicating your symptoms can be terrifying but it’s important to be able to share what would help. Ask yourself some questions “what do I need at this moment, what do I feel comfortable giving a green light to and what do I want to avoid” Listen to your body. Oftentimes it can be as simple as “you know penetrative sex might not work for me at this time of the month but here are a few things I would enjoy...” Journal about your wants and needs, talk to a friend, therapist, or visit a support group. Try talking about it at a time when your symptoms aren’t at their worst or bring it up outside the bedroom like while doing dishes or taking a drive. You can also share any resources you find such as articles or news with potential babes, as a way to get the conversation going!

Rediscover Pleasure

Unfortunately, we are often conditioned to think of pleasure in pretty limited terms but pleasure doesn’t have to be just from sex. Non-sexual forms of intimacy can be an excellent solution if you’re not in the mood for sex but want to feel that closeness and connection. Deep massage, holding hands, cuddling, taking a hot bath or shower together, or engaging in gentle movements such as yoga, meditation or dance. 

Take it real slow

Use positions that don’t require a lot of effort on your part like lying on your back or on your stomach and take it super slow! Use props or whatever is going to increase your comfort such as pillows for your lower back or extra neck support. Don’t forget about toys! Asking your honey to use your favourite vibrator while you ease into sex can feel incredible and allow you to take your time and evaluate where your body is at before jumping into anything too intense. 

Bring pain relief into the bedroom

Lie down on a heating pad (making sure it’s not too hot to avoid burning yourself!) if you need to ease cramps or any other body discomforts. Use oil meant for pain relief and ask your partner to rub it onto you. I recommend checking out the “Moondance Period and Pelvic pain relief” found at Venus Envy. Lie back and put a cold cloth on your head while your partner goes to town giving you some amazing oral. Whatever works for you but pain relief and sex don’t have to be two separate things! 

Mutual Masturbation

 If you’re running low on energy but still want that orgasm, touching yourself in front of your partner can be incredibly intimate and another way to engage in sex while still respecting your body’s needs. Take some time to set the mood, whether it be sexy music, candles, or whatever is going to help you relax and unwind. It can be really hot for both parties to watch the other get off and to be a part of each other’s experience of pleasure.

PMDD is never going to be a walk in the park. Some months are easier than others and some months feel dark, upsetting and lonely. Having the tools to help us in the worst of times can do wonders. Our sex lives and relationships can weather the storm and the more we know, the stronger we can be in navigating the ups and downs.

If you’re looking for more information, organizations like provide informative articles, resources, and tools that can make understanding PMDD each month more manageable. 


Jaley Hardy (she/her) has been an educator at VE since 2019. Her goal is to connect people with their bodies in a sex positive way to enhance their sexual experience and overall pleasure in their lives. 

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