Period sex is a highlight of what I, personally, consider the most miserable 3-5 days of the month. Because of my birth control, it's been about a year since I've had an actual period, but the previous fifteen years of intermittent anguish are burned into my memory: cramps, mood swings, anxiety attacks, ruined underwear, bloating, acne, and spotted sheets, to name just a few symptoms. But sex on my period? The heightened sensitivity, increased natural lubrication, and diminished cramps weren't enough to erase everything else I was going through — but it certainly helped.
Then there's the issue of the mess.
Usually, it's pretty easy to just lay down a towel and get on with it. But towels are not especially sexy. Now, however, picky menstrual sex-havers have a more glamorous option: a $369 (!) quilt specifically designed for getting it on when you're on your period, made by Thinx, the controversial company famous for its absorbent period underwear.
The blanket doesn't look like a functional sex accessory: one side is a satiny lavender with red contrast stitching; the reverse is a rich, velvety black meant to be absorbent and stain-resistant. "If used properly, the blanket will not stain," said Siobhan Lonergan, Chief Business Officer of Thinx, in an email. "There are two sides, one that is designed to be decorative, and one that is designed to be functional, which includes our patented four-layer technology, and will absorb fluids."
Should you want to use it more than a day in a row, however, you're out of luck, as washing it is not easy. According to Lonergan, the blanket first needs to be rinsed, then machine-washed and finally line-dried (exhausted just thinking about that) — so it might be best for couples who don't intend on needing it both Thursday and Friday nights.
The price is baffling as well. $369 is more expensive than any quilt I could find at Target or West Elm, a fact which I pointed out to Lonergan. "We have designed the blanket to be a purposeful luxury item, using high-quality fabrics and including our period proof tech," she told me. "It's beautifully designed and will enhance any apartment, and it's made with love for love, in New York City."
Fair enough — labor laws and legal oversight mean the NYC workers who made the Thinx Sex Blanket are more protected and better compensated than workers in, say, Bangladesh, where much of the world's textiles are produced in incredibly dangerous conditions.
The blanket itself is, well, pretty nice. The satin side is luxurious and smooth, and the absorbent, functional side feels a bit like Thinx underwear: soft, but not drugstore-fleece-blanket soft. TMI? But I can totally imagine myself using this blanket for its intended purpose — even though I don't have my period.
But perhaps more important than style or whether anyone would really buy it, at least according to the company, is sparking conversation and fighting period sex stigma. "This is more than a blanket," said CEO Maria Molland Selby in a press release. "This is another opportunity to bust through yet another period taboo and to open a much-needed dialogue about period sex and sex generally."
While a nearly $400 luxury product available to a select few might not accomplish this goal, creating conversation is always a nice idea in theory. Perhaps it will encourage other, more affordable brands to introduce similar products — and given the long line of excited fans outside the launch at the SoHo Thinx pop-up shop, I wouldn't be surprised if hundreds of New Yorkers end up with the Thinx blanket draped on their beds.
If you're just trying to do it during your period and not make a mess, though, any towel will do.
The Thinx Period Sex Blanket is $369 and available at Thinx.