When sex hurts her – Better Sex in 2012

Woman afraid of sex © Piotr Marcinski | Dreamstime.com

Q) What do you call a woman who has never had discomfort or pain during sex?

A) A virgin.

That’s not a bad joke; rather it’s a sad truth – and I’m not just talking about “first time” pain. Because their sexual tissues are more delicate than ours are, women suffer far more discomfort and pain from both foreplay and intercourse. We think in terms of how relatively tough the skin of our penis is, and touch her in ways too rough for her to enjoy. Unfortunately, some women decide pain is just a necessary part of having sex. Or she gets tired of mentioning it and just “put up with” the discomfort and occasional pain their husband unknowingly causes them.

The obvious message here is you need to talk with your bride and find out if she is dealing with any pain or discomfort during sex. If she is, please don’t get upset she has not told you in a way you heard. Realise her reasons for not saying anything, or giving up on trying to communicate it, are rooted in her fears, self-worth, and bad teaching about sex. You are both victims here, so rather than looking to place blame, start to communicate so you can make sex all about pleasure in the future.

To help you with this:

  • Her body needs time to be ready for sex. Even if her brain is all “take me now,” her body may need a bit more time for penetration to be comfortable. Start touching her above the waist – preferably above the neck, and work down. You want her genitals already swelling when you get to them.
  • Lubricate early and often. This is the number one thing you can do to remove sexual discomfort and pain. Several recent studies have shown use of a lubricant significantly increases women’s sexual satisfaction and pleasure for both intercourse and manual sex. Even among women who felt they lubricate sufficiently, many found it made a positive difference. Some women don’t need a lube (yet) and some only need it for part of their cycle, but try anyway and see if it makes a difference. After menopause, lubricants are a must. (For more see lube article on The Marraige Bed.)
  • Enter her slowly. No matter how you feel about the size of your penis, her body has to open up a good deal to receive it. Go slow, and use an in and out movement going deeper each time. A bit of lube on the tip just before entry can make a huge difference. Once fully inserted, wait a little before you start to thrust. This gives her body time to adjust, and it can help you last longer. Besides, it’s not a bad thing for her to ask you to “start moving already”.
  • A new OTC treatmentNeogyn is a new product proven in double blind studies to reduce pain in the vulva. The cream, which is non-medicated and contains no hormones, promotes healing of thin and/or irritated skin. Benefits are seen after six to eight weeks of treatment. The cream is suggested for, and found to help with, pain associate with menopause, Lichen Sclerosus, vulvodynia/vestibulodynia and changes caused by hormonal birth control and breast cancer treatments. From the research I’ve done, I know this product has helped reduce pain for a number of women, and it could be huge help if your bride suffers vulvular pain.
  • DO NOT ignore her pain. It’s easy to decide some degree of discomfort is inevitable. Maybe that is true right now, but it’s still something to be dealt with. A trip to the Ob/Gyn is always the place to start, but much of what causes problems is not going to show up in an exam. The Marriage Bed article on Painful Intercourse will help her prepare for an exam, and provide ideas for what to do if the exam does not give you clear direction. 
  • Don’t let her “take one for the team”. Some women decide they are doomed to hurt when they have sex. This should not be an acceptable outcome for you. Find ways to have sex that gives you both pleasure, with as little pain as possible. If intercourse is painful avoid it, or do it only occasionally when she is well aroused or maybe when she has already climaxed. If having you inside her is important to her, then doing it in spite of some pain may be good – but make sure it’s for her, not for you. With practice, she can give you more pleasure than you can imagine with her hands and/or mouth. Don’t let your pleasure be at the cost of her suffering.

Sexual pain and discomfort happen to all women at times, but you can learn to eliminate the pain and greatly reduce the frequency and intensity of discomfort.

A request: If your bride has used Neogyn, or starts using it and keeps doing so for a couple of month, I would really appreciate feedback. The studies have proven to me this product is useful, but I’d like to add some first-hand real life information; the more we know, the better we can help. You can use the contact form and enter a fake email of you want to remain anonymous. Thanks! 


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11 Comments on “When sex hurts her – Better Sex in 2012

  1. The only time it hurts is when he first enters, and just a little tiny bit. Oddly, I sort of like it, but DON’T take that as all women enjoy it. I just like to pretend that he’s a bit too big for me, ha! (Which he’s not, he’s about 5 inches perhaps.)
    Sometimes I get hip pain, but that’s another thing altogether.

  2. I just wanted chime in a bit. After nearly three years of painful sex with my husband, I’m finally taking a step towards actively changing that instead of being resigned to a dull, painful sex life. Part of that step was being able to be open with Christian women. I poked in on this site to see if it would be helpful to share with my hubby (so far looks good ;), really liked your article on the female orgasm…I actually learned a few things! Thanks!)

    Something that has been bugging me, though, is a lack of addressing circumcision and its negative affects on the normal functioning of the penis in sex. You mentioned the “tough the skin of our penis”. The irony here is that the head/glans is not supposed to be tough. It’s supposed to be a smooth, internal organ with a mucous membrane providing lubricant from itself. The constant rubbing of clothing on the extremely delicate, exposed glans causes keratinization and makes the skin “tough”.

    I don’t mean this to come off as “it’s all the man’s fault”, but for me, it was SO freeing to finally learn that the pain wasn’t just my fault, that there wasn’t something wrong with me. Because that is a very heavy burden to carry, especially as a young married. I have friends who’ve spent years in a depressive state over their sexual pain. Once they learned about the circumcision link, it freed them! One friend in particular, her husband worked to actually restore part of his foreskin and she said within months the pain has drastically reduced.

    There is just such a lack of talk and knowledge on this issue, and so much misinformation spread despite new research, that it’s frustrating. I invite you to read these two informative links on the matter. :)

    [Links contain or link to images of medical nudity]


    Functions of the Foreskin: Purposes of the Prepuce

  3. M.A. – You are right in what you say, and it goes beyond that. The foreskin provides a gliding action during intercourse which reduces vaginal friction for the woman, including at the entrance to the vagina where irritation is a common problem. Several studies have found that all other things being the same, a woman has less discomfort and more pleasure if the man is uncircumcised.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever addressed that here. In part it’s a long since done deal, so it’s not much help. Given that men here will have some say in what happens to their baby sons it’s worth mentioning. Of course it could erupt into a war, but oh well.

  4. Yes, exactly re: the gliding action. When I learned about that (and the 20,000+ specialized nerve endings) my husband lost, I was greatly saddened for both our losses, but choose not to dwell upon it and move on and do what we can (and spare our future sons).

    I’m sure there’s a way to be very respectful about addressing it, but I totally know what you mean about wars. I’ve witnessed TOO many mommy wars on the internet. They get MEAN. *sigh*

    It would seem just educating on “here’s what the foreskin does” could be a nice, neutral, start if you did choose to address it. I’m sure there are some intact men that read your site, too, that may have no idea what they’ve got. And for their partners too. I doubt any Christian sex book actually addresses in detail the proper functioning of the prepuce (heck, modern medical books don’t even have pictures of the intact penis). But since the circumcision rate has dropped to 32% this year, the educating needs to start somewhere.

    And there are ways to either “grow” back part of the foreskin or at least reduce the callousing/keratinization within a rather quick period of time. As I mentioned above, I have friends who’s husbands have done this and have had noticeable benefits – for both of them.

    I actually have a resource list of info on my blog: http://aberfamilyblog.blogspot.com/p/circumcision.html

    But all in all: it is a VERY sensitive topic for some and has to be addressed with care. :)

  5. I have seen pictures and research that it is possible to stretch whats left back into a foreskin, though of course not exactly how it’s supposed to be. Maybe you could research it, as I don’t want to look for it, ha! (I’m a married woman.)

  6. As to foreskin restoration, I’ve read about it. It seems it takes a good deal of dedication to get good results. I’d love to talk to (email with) any men who have tried it.

  7. I’ll send a memo to some of my friends and see if their husbands would be willing to contact you :)

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