Raise your hand if you naively thought that a “rainbow kiss” was the newest Kylie Cosmetics lip kit shade. (Hi, yup, it me.) But sorry to say, that’s not exactly it.
If the term sounds familiar to you, it’s likely you’ve seen “rainbow kiss” spiking all over your social feeds. Not only are there tons and tons of Twitter threads – some from legit doctors, but the #rainbowkiss literally has 1.6 million views on TikTok.
So for those who are curious, here’s everything you need to know about rainbow kisses, including whether or not it’s safe.
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What is a rainbow kiss?
Think of it like snowballing, with a twist. A rainbow kiss happens when a person goes down on a woman during her period. Meanwhile, the woman gives a blow job at the same time, possibly while in the 69 position. Once the man ejaculates in the woman’s mouth, the couple kisses, mixing menstrual blood with semen in the process, creating a rainbow with their mouths. And voilà!
“A rainbow kiss is a great way for everyone to enjoy the few minutes of cathartic bliss right after you both orgasm. Consider that the goal,” explains Danyell Fima, co-founder of Velvet Co. Basically, it’s a unique celebration of your sexual achievements.
Is a rainbow kiss safe?
Besides the fact that rainbow kisses might make you feel queasy if blood and/or semen is absolutely not Your Thing, the sexual act also poses some health risks.
“Semen and period blood can carry lots of different infectious particles, such as HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis,” says ob-gyn Heather Irobunda, MD. “If you are unsure of your partner’s STD status, you should not be sharing rainbow kisses.”
How is a rainbow kiss performed?
Some reports suggest that a rainbow kiss is a happy accident that occurs when a woman coincidentally gets her period while her partner is performing cunnilingus. However, in order to achieve that all-important “rainbow kiss” shade, a little planning goes a long way.
For instance, it seems pretty crucial that both partners are ready and willing to hold the respective blood and semen in their mouths after performing oral sex, in preparation for that magical kiss—which is something that might not happen if you’re not planning for it.
Fima explains, “The trick is for you and your partner to finish at about the same time, so that neither of you has to hold the blood or semen in your mouth too long. You’ve really got to know your body and know your partner.” Basically, timing, communication, and consent discussed beforehand is key.
Why are people into it?
Sadie Allison, PhD and TickleKitty.com founder, explains that giving a rainbow kiss is one of the ways people can enjoy period sex.
Allison adds, “Like the hundreds of other fetishes out there, this ‘unique’ activity is perfectly okay to do so long as it’s agreed upon by two consenting adults.” She also encourages couples performing the rainbow kiss to try using flavored lube to “add a new dimension to their sensory play.”
Wendasha Jenkins Hall, PhD, also points out that “orgasms can actually help relieve menstrual cramps, so rainbow kisses may not be a bad idea for those who are adventurous and kinky.”
Meanwhile, Fima describes a rainbow kiss as “the pinnacle of showing comfort with and respect for your partner’s body and your own.”
Are there any rainbow kiss variations?
A quick look at the all-knowing Urban Dictionary reveals that rainbow kisses are usually described as a heteronormative sex act. But presumably, a less heteronormative kiss would involve mixing menstrual blood with other bodily fluids. Because a rainbow kiss should be inclusive, above all else, right?
What else do I need to know before I engage in a rainbow kiss?
Hall says it’s important to take precautions when performing any sex act with a new partner. She explains, “There is nothing wrong with giving or receiving oral sex when you or your partner is menstruating as long as both are comfortable doing so and have taken the necessary precautions, such as getting tested for HIV and other STDs.
It is possible to perform cunnilingus and not come into contact with any blood if you focus on clitoral stimulation.”
As for limiting any potential mess, she says, “Try doing the act on dark color sheets or towels or use latex or non-latex gloves, if there happens to be some fingering going on.” Anything that makes you feel more comfortable and ready to get off is worth doing.
Ultimately, whether or not a rainbow kiss is something you want to include in your sex repertoire is totally up to you. But hopefully now you are a little more prepared should the opportunity arise!