Blood lust: A brief overview of menophilia

I apologise in advance if this is “too much information” but back in 1985, I had a brief relationship with a woman who had just come out of a long-term relationship with someone in the Hell’s Angels. One of the things she told me was that her ex-boyfriend had earned his ‘red wings’ many times and that he couldn’t wait each month for her to be on her period. For those who are wondering what the hell I am talking about, ‘red wings’ are earned by Hell’s Angel’s members when the perform oral sex on a women while she is menstruating. As I later found out, other groups of males who spend a lot of time together – such as those in the armed services – also engage in such practices to earn their ‘red wings’.

Many reading this might find my first paragraph of today’s blog utterly disgusting. For many, blood is associated with injury, trauma and/or violence. The fact that some may associate blood with sexual arousal sets the stage for an uncomfortable psychological and physical dichotomy.

It wasn’t until I came across a 1966 book by one of my favourite US writers – Hunter S. Thompson – that I first saw this practice written about in print. In the book Hells Angels, A Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, Thompson wrote that red wings meant that the “the wearer has committed cunnilingus on a menstruating woman.” There were also other types of ‘wings’ that Hell’s Angels could earn including ‘black wings’ (engaging in oral sex on a black woman) and ‘brown wings’ (for anal sex with a woman).

Such practices were virtually unknown by anyone outside of Hell’s Angels circles until journalists like Thompson started chronicling their activities and interviewing Angels’ members. Although many of the badges, patches and tattoos were worn with pride, they were often earned as part of male initiation rituals (the key components of which are typically pain, sacrifice, disgust and/or a sense of accomplishment). Clearly my own personal anecdote highlights that for a minority (at least), performing oral sex on menstruating women was something to be treasured, celebrated, and enjoyed sexually. What may have started as a ‘rites of passage’ became a regular and – well at least monthly – highly arousing occurrence. The fact that for many women their sexual drives often increase during menstruation may be another reason why some men find this so sexually arousing.

In trying to research this blog, I didn’t come across too much information. In Tantric sex, the practice is mentioned but not encouraged. However, in Karezza (a Westernized form of Tantra), it is viewed as an opportunity for increased intimacy between consenting sexual partners. In voodoo folklore, it is claimed by some that having oral sex with a woman during their period ties the man with that woman for life.

In previous blogs I have examined sexual paraphilias in relation to other activities that have involved blood including sexual vampirism and vorarephilia (i.e., being sexually aroused by the idea of being eaten, eating another person, or observing this process for sexual gratification). Another blood-related paraphilia of direct interest here is menophilia. Menophilia is a sexual paraphilia in which an individual (almost always male) derives sexual arousal from menstruating females. Such individuals (which may have included the ex-boyfriend of the women I mentioned at the start of this article) are also aroused by the smell, image, taste and/or feel of the blood expelled during menstruation. As one female menophile reported online:

“Blood to me is exciting. Thrilling. A visual delight. It has been that way since I was a young girl. Nose bleeds and the sight of blood was exciting to me. I would sit in the mirror and watch the red rivulets run down my face. I began to menstruate and after a period of self loathing and fear of my cycle”

It has also been claimed that some menophiles also enjoy licking used sanitary towels and/or sucking on used tampons. For these individuals, there are some clear overlaps between mysophilia (sexual pleasure from filth and unclean items such as soiled knickers) and sexual vampirism. There was also a case of a man who was both a menophile and a coprophile (i.e., sexually aroused by faeces). He was allegedly caught tampering with public toilets as a way of collecting excreted waste products from female users to fuel his sexual desires. Anecdotal evidence suggests that most menophiles are male, some lesbians are also claimed to enjoy such practices.

I have yet to come across any psychological theorizing about the roots and causes of menophilia in any academic paper or book. I did come across the following online speculation although there was seemingly no empirical evidence backing up such claims:

Some theorize that men lust after menstruating women because they are envious of the woman’s body which is in constant preparation for fertilization.  Contrary to this however is the fact that it is almost impossible for a woman to become pregnant during her menstruation. Either way, a fascination of period blood is a fairly common fetish at [this website]. Luckily for menophiliacs, it is easy to find a female who is willing to have sex during menstruation.  Often, women are charmed by men who aren’t disgusted by what is a perfectly normal and healthy body process”

In a previous blog on fetishism, I wrote at length about a study led by Dr G. Scorolli (University of Bologna, Italy) on the relative prevalence of different fetishes using online fetish forum data. It was estimated (very conservatively in the authors’ opinion), that their sample size comprised at least 5000 fetishists (but was likely to be a lot more). They reported that some of the sites featured references to menophiles. However, this particular fetish was included in a ‘body fluids’ fetish category along with coprophilia, urophilia, lactophilia and mucophilia. Although this category made up a sizeable minority of all online fetishes (9%), it is unlikely that menophiles made up more than a handful of websites found compared to the fetishes of other bodily fluids.

As with many of the paraphilias I have examined in my blogs, there is almost a complete absence of any academic study on menophilia. Maybe this is one of those paraphilias that – amongst others – is seen as more trivial and/or devoid of academic merit.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Flow Forum (A website about menstruation). Located at:

Red Wings (undated). The history and culture of red wings. Located at:

Scorolli, C., Ghirlanda, S., Enquist, M., Zattoni, S. & Jannini, E.A. (2007). Relative prevalence of different fetishes. International Journal of Impotence Research, 19, 432-437.

Thompson, H.S. (1966). Hells Angels, A Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. London: Random House

About drmarkgriffiths

Professor MARK GRIFFITHS, BSc, PhD, CPsychol, PGDipHE, FBPsS, FRSA, AcSS. Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Addiction at the Nottingham Trent University, and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He is internationally known for his work into gambling and gaming addictions and has won many awards including the American 1994 John Rosecrance Research Prize for “outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of gambling research”, the 1998 European CELEJ Prize for best paper on gambling, the 2003 Canadian International Excellence Award for “outstanding contributions to the prevention of problem gambling and the practice of responsible gambling” and a North American 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions To The Field Of Youth Gambling “in recognition of his dedication, leadership, and pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling”. In 2013, he was given the Lifetime Research Award from the US National Council on Problem Gambling. He has published over 800 research papers, five books, over 150 book chapters, and over 1500 other articles. He has served on numerous national and international committees (e.g. BPS Council, BPS Social Psychology Section, Society for the Study of Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous General Services Board, National Council on Gambling etc.) and is a former National Chair of Gamcare. He also does a lot of freelance journalism and has appeared on over 3500 radio and television programmes since 1988. In 2004 he was awarded the Joseph Lister Prize for Social Sciences by the British Association for the Advancement of Science for being one of the UK’s “outstanding scientific communicators”. His awards also include the 2006 Excellence in the Teaching of Psychology Award by the British Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society Fellowship Award for “exceptional contributions to psychology”.

Posted on May 28, 2012, in Case Studies, Compulsion, Eating disorders, Obsession, Paraphilia, Psychology, Sex and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after going through some of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I stumbled upon it and I’ll
    be book-marking it and checking back often!

  2. Stan Stickeymouse

    I suppose I come into this category. I am a male fetishist of female bodily fluids. I started in my early teens as a panty sniffer then progressed much later in life to urophilia (golden showers, pee drinking). It was then logical (for me at least) to start sniffing toilet tissue used by women to wipe their vaginas after peeing. This is relatively easy in some countries as tissue is disposed of in baskets and not thrown down the toilet.

    In countries where this is not the practice baskets or bins are provided for the disposal of sanitary products so I started sniffing these. For me it is not so much about the blood but the vaginal aromas (I never call them smells). Unisex toilets are my hunting ground but I will at times quickly dash into a female toilet when the coast is clear and grab the contents of the bin and rush out before anyone sees me. Other places to find used tissue, pads and tampons are, for example, in the bushes near picnic areas and lay-bys.

    I did indulge in “red wings” when my wife was menstrual (she is mow post menopausal) it was for me just natural. I loved to provide oral service to her so why stop when she was menstruating. I particularly enjoyed removing her tampon with my teeth and making love whilst sniffing it. Something I also do with her soiled panties.

  3. Some of the women in my life have made me feel that my desire to suck out and swallow their menstrual blood was somehow perverted. Perhaps it is. But the taste, aroma of a woman’s birth canal (menstrual or not) has always been an incredible turn on for me. I suppose part of it is the concept that I am tasting and swallowing the most female part of a woman’s body, i.e. her uterus. An incredible turn on for me. I find myself looking for women who might be also excited about this. It hasn’t been an easy search. On-line contacts with a few Asian women have resulted in them sending me tampons and napkins. I have loved this. So, perverted or not, I will always love the aroma and taste of a woman’s most precious “gift” from her womb.

    • My husband recently went down on me while on my period and I have to say it was the most amazing thing. He started by saying he just wanted to lick my asshole which I gladly let him but the more he licked the more I wanted to pull his head up to my pussy, he must have felt my yearnings because he eventually moved his mouth and tongue to my throbbing pussy and I have never been more turned on. I couldn’t get enough if him after that, kissing him tasting me on him after was amazing as was the sex. If you have not done this you must try it, you will not be disappointed. I can’t wait for my next menstrual period.

      • I realize that many women (and men) think this is repulsive, but I LOVE THE SMELL AND TASTE OF A WOMAN’S MENSTRUAL BLOOD, MUCUS AND CLOTS. TO me it is an incredible bonding event. There is nothing so delicious as the taste of a woman’s birth canal. The time of her period is so special. I love the taste of that milky discharge she sometimes gets just before her period starts. And when it begins to flow, she is a goddess.

      • Your husband is a very lucky man. I’m sure you are delicious.

  4. I wonder if this fetish could be rooted in the association of bloody sex with the taking of female virginity.

  5. Yes. in Tantra tradition copulation is permitted while a female is experiencing menses,it is woman on top. She is described as incarnate goddess Kali duing that time,who as per mychology rode lord Siva.
    Hindu tantra does not support maniac behaviour, most of the perverts are ignorant of Hindu sacred Tantra.

  6. I was wondering about my boyfriend who gave me oral while I was on my period and I was like no you can’t because I don’t want him get sick but he licked and sucked and it’s like I really feel like attached to him and I don’t know why but my question is when men go down on there women while bleeding do it make them go crazy over there woman and don’t want to leave them alone just wondering

    • Brian H McIntosh

      It’s sometimes hard to describe to people. Many listen and say “yuk”.(maybe even most). The extraordinary smell and taste of a woman’s menstrual discharge is hard to describe. It may have to do with a man’s animal attraction to his woman. It may be his way to let her know how much he loves her. I think it is both. It also may have to do with a woman’s willingness to share the most female part of her body with her man. I have had women tell me how exciting it is to listen to a man’s moans of pleasure as he sucks out and swallows her blood and mucus. I can only say it is a goddess who can happily nourish a man from her womb. A delicious and wondrous thing indeed.

  7. I would go to the ends of the earth to have a lady share this beautful act with me

  8. Brian McIntosh

    I can relate. It’s a true and delicious gift from that part of a woman’s body that makes her the most female.

  9. I’m a woman with this fetish (I’m bisexual), and it only occurred to me recently that my long-time ‘appreciation’ of menstruation is an actual fetish. It wasn’t always a sexual thing, it was mostly me utterly fascinated by my own period blood. I mean, I get to safely see a bunch of my own blood each month. I think blood is cool, so periods are worth the other not fun things for that.

    I eventually started finding the thought of girls I’m attracted to on their periods extremely alluring. Just knowing she’s bleeding, wearing a pad or tampon… I don’t know why I like it so much, I just do. I also find the idea of the partner either being okay with it or enjoying it even hotter. Taking something taboo and making it erotic.

    Haven’t ‘tried’ this fetish out IRL so I don’t know if it’s a fantasy fetish or not. The thought of ingesting some of it is hot, but not too much (as a kid I once accidentally swallowed a bunch of blood from a loose tooth and got super queasy so I always associate blood-drinking with that).

    What some above said about it being so incredibly womanly makes sense and I do like that aspect of it. I guess I’m just into those things that make a woman a woman and a man a man. It’s so primal, earthy, and sensual.

  10. I have a question. I am currently a 13 year old female. I’m turned on by the taste of my own period blood (not the blood itself) and often bite into my own used pads after taking them off. I don’t know if other women’s period blood turns me on, as I’m straight and have never tasted their blood before. I do know for certain that the regular blood of myself and others doesn’t turn me on for sure. Do I have Menophilia, Auto-Vampirism, Mysophilia, Odaxelagnia or some combination? If someone could answer me in a non-judgemental way, that would be great. My mom just found out and I’m feeling really embarrassed about it.

    • Noo!! Your mom found out, but as you are a girl I don’t know how embarrassing that could be, you should be fine

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