img_7326Raise your hand if you were made to believe that the first time you engaged in penetrative sex it would be painful… and that, unless you wanted to be a “virgin” forever, you’d have to push through it because eventually it’d get better (looks around the room and slowly raises hand).

We’ve been conditioned to believe that in order to have what you want there needs to be some level of discomfort. I mean, how many times have you heard the expression, “No pain, no gain?” Well it doesn’t have to be that way and, honestly, it SHOULDN’T be that way when it comes to sex. Unless of course you want it to, which in that case, you do you!

Clients of mine almost always seem shocked when they hear that pain shouldn’t be an expected part of sex. They usually laugh at me like I’m out of my mind and are eager to hear my reasoning. So let’s back up and think about pain more generally. What is the point of pain? I like to compare pain to the fire alarm system in your house. When the alarm goes off we know there is likely smoke somewhere and we need to find the source and do what we can to put it out, right? Well, pain is the same way. Pain is like an alarm to tell us something is wrong. If we didn’t have pain we wouldn’t know we sprained our ankle or cut our finger or ate some bad seafood. Why then, if we know pain is something we need to address, would we continue to have sex if it hurts? Well, because of some bullshit misinformation that gets passed down to us from generation to generation, kind of like when you were told not to make a funny face or the wind will change and your face will be stuck like that forever (or maybe that was just my family? Hmm.). Either way, it’s wrong and you deserve better than that.

So here’s what you should know:

Vulva Owners: if you are having penetrative sex and it hurts. STOP. Try to figure out why you are so uncomfortable. Is it because you haven’t engaged in enough play before hand? Your vagina is more like an oven that needs to be pre-heated, rather than a microwave: you need to make sure you’ve engaged in enough sex play and that your vagina is lubricated enough before penetration begins. So play around until you are wet enough and if you still need a little help, consider using a lubricant. The next question I like to ask is whether you are feeling relaxed? When your muscles tense it’s going to make it harder to “get it in”. However, if pain is a continued issue and you’ve tried different steps to address it without any luck, I would suggest contacting a local sex therapist in your area and discussing different techniques to address the chronic pain you are experiencing during sex.

Anal Play/Penetration: Similar to vaginal penetration, anal sex should also be pain free. But I would say it’s even MORE important to listen to your pain signals when it comes to anal sex. Unlike a vagina, your rectum has little “give” when it comes to stretch and it doesn’t lubricate on its own. So paying attention to what your body is telling you can keep you from injury. The key to anal sex is staying relaxed. The more relaxed you become, the easier it is to enter. And if you’re concerned that inserting a large toy or penis will be too painful (and will increase your anxiety/tension) try something smaller, like a finger. Remember, you’re hopefully doing this to have fun and increase your pleasure, so take your time and try new things!

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