Take things slowly — very slowly. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, but if you start having sex before you're adequately turned on, you might feel pain , especially when it comes to penis in vagina intercourse. The latter can stretch from four inches long to a fully aroused seven inches. Herbenick recommended 20 minutes of foreplay to adequately prepare your body. Be sure you're using enough lubrication.
Vaginal dryness is common. Shutterstock Although you still need to be sure that your body is ready for sex before your partner enters you, vaginal dryness can occur even if you're fully ready to go. This is where lube comes in, so you'll want to snag a silicone- or water-based lubricant, particularly one without harsh chemicals or fragrances so that you won't risk irritating your genitals or skin.
There are no shortage of great lubricants for sex out there, but after you've found the one that works for you, you might want to look into the reason you're feeling dry down below. Dryness can be caused by a slew of medications, including birth control pills , allergy medications , antidepressants , and even over-the-counter cold medicines , as well as soaps , and even smoking cigarettes , so check with your doctor.
Everyday Health also noted that vaginal dryness can happen due to a drop in estrogen levels , which happens at certain points of your menstrual cycle, if you've recently given birth, are breastfeeding, or are going through menopause. Also, if you're bathing in hot water pre-sex , you could be inadvertently drying out vaginal tissue. Checking with your doctor about any discomfort due to dryness is always the best option.
Check for allergies or other health conditions. You could have a latex allergy. An itchy rash or hives can be symptoms of a latex allergy, as can vaginal irritation or burning. As Jonathan Schaffir, M. That would be rare, but needs immediate medical attention.
Still, pain, itchiness or irritation can be signs of other health conditions, including a yeast infection, STIs, vaginismus , vulvodynia , or an ovarian cyst, so paying a visit to your doctor is never a bad idea. Try a different position. Some positions may hurt more than others. Positions that allow for deep thrusting such as doggie style are often more painful for women, while those that allow the woman more control of the pace such as woman-on-top, missionary, or side-by-side spooning are often helpful if you're experiencing painful sex.
Experiment with different positions to see which ones feel the most comfortable for you and your body. Change things up completely.
Props are your friend. Pillows are great to help align your body in a more comfortable position, and there are no shortage of sex toys and props out there to help alleviate any tension or stress in your muscles and joints. Getting a bit creative can help you explore new options while also helping to reduce pain. Create a relaxing, sex-positive environment. So doing some things to help yourself feel connected in the moment is a great way to have more pleasurable sex. Relaxation looks different for everyone, but some helpful tips include keeping a space free of clutter and mess, so you won't be worried about getting cozy on top of a pile of clothes.
Playing relaxing music, lighting candles, and keeping a comfortable temperature and linens might sound like a scene from a cheesy romance novel, but these things can all truly help you feel more at ease and able to be more present in the moment. Trying out different mindfulness techniques can also help, and MindyBodyGreen reports that plenty of people enjoy meditation or breathing techniques to help their brain stay present and connected.
Most of us lead such busy, hectic lifestyles that it can be hard to truly disconnect and enjoy sex, which could unknowingly be causing you pain or discomfort. Meditation is a proven stress reliever, and research shows that when your body is producing too much of the stress hormone cortisol , it can be hard to get aroused. When you meditate, you're naturally lowering the levels of cortisol in your body, which can help your mental health both in the sheets and outside of them.
Take a break from intercourse. There are other ways to have intimacy. Alloy Entertainment It might sound obvious, but pain can often be a signal that your body needs a break, so it won't hurt to listen to your body and explore other options for a little while. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy other forms of intimacy — if you haven't enjoyed a makeout session in a long time, it can be a surprisingly fun way to keep the spark alive without the worries of pain down below.
Sometimes, all it takes is a little exploration of your bodies to figure out what works best — without pressure to climax or have a full-on sex session. It's entirely possible you're trying to have too much sex, which is especially common in the early stages of a relationship. You should never push through pain or something that doesn't feel right — forcing yourself to do something you're not enjoying is not okay, so taking notice of your body and brain during sex is crucial.
Communication is key, so you'll want to speak openly with your partner. When you talk about it, you can take some of the scariness away. No one deserves to engage in sexual activity that makes them feel pain or discomfort, so sitting down with your partner is a good way to brainstorm solutions to help you both feel great.
Maybe it's a matter of changing up the speed or pace of sex, or you're hoping to try new things. Experimenting and giving honest feedback is never a bad idea, but it's especially important if things haven't been feeling right. Also, if you have experienced sexual abuse of any kind, it can be understandably difficult to enjoy sex. It's entirely up to you whether you discuss your feelings with your partner and when, but know this: Be honest with yourself about what you want.
It may not be sex. People of all genders are entitled to the sexual experiences they want, but it's also OK if you're not interested in sex right now or ever. Pop culture might have you think that people want to have sex all the time, but there are plenty of reasons you might not want to, and they're all perfectly valid.
New moms are often given the green light for sex around six weeks after giving birth , but not all people who give birth are ready right away, thanks to a drop in estrogen levels and healing scar tissue after giving birth.
If you're simply not ready for sex, there's nothing wrong with that. If you're recovering from illness or trauma, or simply don't enjoy sex and think you might identify as asexual , you have every right to explore your feelings without forcing yourself to have painful sex.
Talking with your partner can help, as can seeking the advice of a doctor or therapist you trust. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do sexually, no matter what movies or porn might suggest to the contrary.