Tune into your body and end Painful Sex

Tune into your body and end Painful Sex

Sex is not meant to hurt, not ever!

It’s time to talk about painful sex. Sex is supposed to be a pleasurable interaction but all too often it’s something to be dreaded. If you are someone who is experiencing pain, then this article is for you.

I’m not talking about the pain you may choose through safe, sane and consensual play. I’m talking about unwanted pain. It’s very difficult to get a handle on the definition of this pain because so little research has been done on the subject.

This combined with society’s reluctance to talk about sex leaves us without anything to compare it to. If I talk about tooth ache we all know what I’m talking about, but not so with the pain that could be caused by sex.

Next we have to talk about what we mean by sex. Are we talking about oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, masturbation and everything in between. Let’s for the sake of this article agree that anal sex can hurt and not include it in this discussion but leave all other genitals and genital interaction in the equation. So let’s start again – sex involving genitals should not hurt!

I’m also not talking about occasional discomfort which can be rectified with lubricant or a change of position. I’m talking about really sore.

There can be a range of reasons why you may experience pain. They fall into two main categories: Physical or Psychological pain. You may be suffering from one or the other or a combination and often the hardest part is identifying the reason.

The most common reasons for physically painful sex are: Pelvic Inflammation Disease, Vaginismus, Vaginal Dryness, Tight Foreskin, Urinary Tract Infections, Endometriosis, Vulvodynia, Peyronie’s Disease, some Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Thrush.

These are all mostly treatable. If you suspect that you suffer for any of these causes, you MUST see your doctor immediately. Do not be embarrassed, these issues are more common than you will ever imagine. It’s because we have not normalised talking about sex that suffering in silence is common place. You don’t have to suffer and let’s face it, life is far too short for awful sex.

Psychological causes for painful sex are often much harder to diagnose and treat.

By far the most common is a coercive sexual experience. This could be as a result of sexual assault, abuse or some other sexually related trauma while you were growing up.

An extremely conservative, anti sex upbringing does so much damage and is often responsible for sexual dysfunction. If your parents instilled fear of sin, pregnancy, disease and disgrace into you or if your first sexual experience was not consensual or of your choosing, the damage caused can affect you forever unless you do the work to rid yourself of the demons.

Anticipating pain is another common cause. We’ve all read stupid authors that describe loosing virginity as this painful and bloody experience when in truth it really isn’t and doesn’t have to be. You may also have experienced pain during an interaction and now anticipate that it will always be painful and so it is. If you think its going to be painful, your body is tense, which makes the whole experience difficult.

You may just need lubricant and more foreplay. If you think sex is going to be painful chances are you are anticipating the pain and not getting fully aroused. So the vicious circle continues.

If you recognise yourself in any of these scenarios try to figure out what is going on and see a sex positive doctor or sexologist to help you with your journey towards pain free sex.

Keep track of what is going on in your body and really listen to it. Record the answers. Think about when the pain starts. Is it during penetration or orgasm or is it during foreplay? Where is the pain, be specific. How long does it last, for a couple of seconds, minutes or during the entire play? Does the pain continue afterwards, if so for how long? The answers will all help your health care professional with identifying treatment.

Is there anything you can do to minimize the pain, different positions, lubricant, tons of foreplay or medication? What works and what doesn’t ? Tell your doctor!

One of the ways to come to terms with psychological trauma is to come to terms with yourself. Come to terms with your body and change the internal dialog. There is nothing wrong with loving your own body and enjoying all its gifts, including perfectly normal biological functions.

Explore your body in private. Learn to masturbate and enjoy the experience.

Talk to your partner about what is going on and get help. Today!

For more information, comments or questions email Sharon@lolamontez.co.za

This article first appeared in The Saturday Star.

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