For those of us who menstruate, period sex is a common conundrum. On the one hand, there's no reason not to do it if you're feeling up for it; on the other, it's kinda messy. For everyone out there who is not a bloodhound (or for people who just really, really, care about their sheets), let us introduce Flex.
This soft, disc-shaped menstrual barrier wants to save you from the mess of period sex by blocking off your cervix. You can wear it for up to 12 hours, and, with its sleek packaging and one-time use, it bears a stark resemblance to a condom. But it’s really more of a soft period cup (like the aptly named Softcup) that is only meant to make period sex more like regular sex. Another very important difference: It doesn’t work as a birth control method or help prevent STIs as condoms do.
A woman's testimony on the Flex site notes that she feels less self-conscious having period sex thanks to Flex. This raises an interesting point. Stigma still surrounds menstruation; it's visible in the tampon tax and in how people talk (or, rather, don't talk) about it. In a world where the idea of men failing to comprehend a tampon's function is mined for comedy, it's sad that some women may feel like they have to hide their periods from their partners. Still, this does sound like a useful tool for those times when you'd just rather not deal with the mess.
Meanwhile, those aforementioned soft period cups already exist and will accomplish essentially the same thing as Flex's disc, just without its sexy packaging.