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It is that little burning sensation, that tightness, or sometimes that pain we feel during sex. And it actually occurs to more than 50% of women throughout the world*. So, no need to call Dr House, there is nothing wrong with you. Sexologists we have worked with even agree to say that most of the time, pain during sex is totally normal in the sexual life of a woman.
A normal part of sex but that doesn’t mean we can’t deal with it! If you thought that feeling discomfort or pain during sex was yet another of the many burdens a woman has to carry for life -and you’d be part of a majority of women*, read on, we have explanations AND solutions!
Most of the time, discomfort or pain comes from one fact: the vagina is not moist enough. Lubrication is a natural phenomenon that prepares the vagina for penetration, and when this process is not working properly, the penetration movement rubs on the dry membrane, which will cause itchiness or pain. So why would your body NOT do its job?
Two main types of causes: physiological and psychological/environmental.
If you feel that this is your case, it means your body is just asking for a little help, and the help is here: outercourse and intimate lubricants.
Outercourse is THE basis for smooth (and fun!) sex. Outercourse, which includes all sexual acts that are NOT penetrative, basically covers 90% of the options on the menu. From sexting to strip teases and mutual masturbation. It builds up excitement and can also lead to orgasm(s). All this is also great to trigger vaginal lubrication. So, if when you start penetration, you feel that your body is not ready for it, keep on exploring other pleasure spots and techniques. You are not lacking options in this field!
Lubricants, if well chosen, are here to support us when we need that extra glide in bed. They are the perfect accessory for your bedside table, to be used alone or with a partner.
First of all, intimate lubes are a great way to make outercourse more fun (hint: using fingers, yours or your partner's), and will add extra glide if your vagina is having a lazy day. If you feel discomfort during penetration, that outercourse is not helping with lubrication and you really want to proceed, apply lubricant on your partner's penis/your vibrator and re-apply any time you need.
This extra help might actually lead your body to relax and lubricate more! If you are using a condom, make sure your lubricant is condom-compatible.
We have a full article on the topic of anal sex, with a sexologist's tips to make it a great moment, but before we leave our paragraph on tips to avoid pain during sex, it is worth mentioning that no matter how much outercourse you enjoy, the anus will not lubricate because it is simply not a function that comes with our behind... Outercourse will still have a positive effect, just not that particular one!
So, if you want to go for anal penetration, we HIGHLY recommend using a rich lubricant for an easier insertion. Go slowly, breathe, and re-apply lubricant as often as you need.
Of course, if pain is a recurring issue for you, talk with your gyno. The female body has such an amazing pleasure potential when it comes to sex that it'd be a shame to miss out on! So, lube up and enjoy yourself!
Upgrade your sex life: read more sex tips for women on our blog!
Maybe sex is painful for you. Or maybe you used to have a high libido and now you barely want to have sex with your partner and you don’t know what has gone wrong?
Cheesy puns aside, a lot of people associate using lubricant with sexual dysfunction, a sign of ageing or some kinky sex play.
According to Debby Herbenick, professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health, good sex for women is the absence of pain, not the occurrence of pleasure. The scale we use to evaluate our sexual experience is telling.