Sex is meant to be about pleasure and not pain, right? The American survey, the ‘National Survey of Sexual Health and Behaviour’ described as the ‘the largest national sex survey ever published’, found that one in three American women experienced some pain the last time they had sex. 75 percent of women have experienced pain during sex at some point in their lives, according to the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians. Painful sex happens for a whole range of reasons, including endometriosis, adenomyosis, pelvic floor issues, and the list goes on.
Does this concern anyone else? It is one of the reasons we do what we do. The wall of silence around women’s sexual wellness, pleasure, and quality of life need to be taken down.
Why are we still living in a world where these figures exist? If a third of men found sex painful, it would be a major public health issue (the figure for men was5%). That is after all how Viagra came to be……….
What is being done? It’s everyone’s right to experience a healthy, satisfying, safe, pleasurable and fulfilling sex life, which includes enjoying fun, pain-free sex.
Yes, there is more information around about this topic than ever before. Yes, there are some health professionals and support groups that are very helpful for women but there are still a lot of misconceptions, myths, etc around about this topic. It is a passionate topic for us here at Bliss and so we have a few tips that could be helpful;
1. Quality Lubricant is your friend
Not enough natural lubrication can be a major cause of pain and discomfort during sex. The amount of natural lubrication your body produces is long - stress, tiredness, the time of the month, medications, and the list goes on. A quality lubricant is a good thing, it makes everything move together a whole lot better and won’t unbalance your vaginal eco-system. The goal is to provide you with a smoother more pleasurable experience. We recommend, YES Water based lubricant, Hydra by Intimate Earth or a long-time product in our catalog Astroglide Natural. For more information on the different types of lubricants, you can download our free guide.
2. See your health professional
If you have pain with sex it is worth getting a check-up to rule out medical or physical causes of painful sex such as infection or endometriosis. See a doctor you trust or a pelvic health specialist such as a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Your GP or Gynaecologist can also give you information on sexual health clinics, support groups, and specialists health professionals who may be more able to help you.
3. Slow down
Women do not get aroused as quickly as men do. Women’s arousal naturally builds quite slowly, but that time is very well spent. The more aroused you are, the more relaxed and in the mood, you will be. It can help to get in the mood if you warm up slowly with your favorite vibrator, spend more time kissing and cuddling before you move to the penis in vagina sex, and remember foreplay in all its forms is not a rude word,
3. Check your protection…
Condoms and dams are important safer-sex supplies, but if you have a latex allergy that can cause pain during or after sex. Some of these products also have lubricant or spermicide already on them and that can be irritating for some people. It is something to keep in mind.
4. Communication is Key
Pain with sex is not always an easy topic to discuss and it can bring up a lot of emotions in both you and your partner, but it is important to talk. No one is a mind reader so please keep the lines of communication open. It is worth discussing before you get hot and steamy. Sit down with your partner when you are not likely to be interrupted and you have time so you can work out what you need to do to keep sex pain-free – from trying new positions, what could help get you in the mood more or buying lube, the Ohnut or toys.
6. Empower yourself with knowledge.
Even in today’s day and age, we are not taught some of the most important things about their bodies – but the information is out there! You can have an education session with our resident sexologist Jodie, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org that can help you understand and work with your body. We also have a stock of great educational books.
7. Practice and know your body
It’s important to take time to look after yourself and understand what brings you pleasure! Try to find a quiet time for yourself where you won’t be interrupted, and you have spare energy just for you. Try exploring your body with your favorite vibe, or dildo.
You are worth it!
The goal isn’t about pain-free sex it is about doing what brings you pleasure and what you enjoy. Once you know what brings you pleasure when you are playing solo it’s much easier to involve and share with your partner in play.
8. You are not alone
The stats do not lie, you are not alone! It’s not a topic that we talk about much, but many women experience painful sex, or other sorts of vulval (side note word says vulval is incorrectly spelled with no suggestion but there is an autocorrect for Viagra…….)pain/pelvic pain.
You are not alone.
You can contact a GP, a support group, specialist, counselor, or whoever you feel you need. Don’t be afraid to go out and ask for support.
That is a brief guide from us to you. If you have any questions or want to discuss anything we haven’t covered, please do email us in confidence. As with any kind of pain or health issue you should speak to your health professional to get checked out.