Wait.... hold up. When sex hurts?
I'm not sure these two things go together no?
And yet the reality is there are thousands of women who struggle. These women struggle with painful sex, or pain trying to have sex, or pain after sex, or all of the above!
But let me be clear.
Sex. Should. Not. Be. Painful.
If it hurts when you try to have sex then please stop. Why? Because it's hurting you!
And two, because guess what? It's impossible (unless you are a new kind of human) to have an orgasm or any kind of pleasure when you are experiencing that kind of pain.
Instead, I want to encourage you to do two things.
1. Take your pain seriously.
Did you know that there are TEN medically recognised conditions that cause pain during sex?
First a little education. Dyspareunia is the medical term that refers to sexual pain - no matter what the cause.
Common conditions that cause dyspareunia are as follows: Provoked Vestibulodynia (PVD), Hypertonic Pelivic Floor Muscle Dysfunction, Vular and Vaginal Atrophy, Vulvar and Vaginal skin disorders, Interstitial Cystitis, Endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain, Generalized Vulvodynia, Gastrointestinal conditions, Infection, Pudendal Neuralgia.
Second. A lot of generalised GP's or your local doc won't know a whole lot about these (they might! But they probably don't).
So put your big girl panties on and prioritise finding a doctor who does specialise in these areas (on my resources page I am compiling a list of doctors and clinics who DO understand and treat sexual pain disorders).
2. Stop having sex and start prioritising pleasure.
What the? Yup. Stop having painful sex. You are doing way too much damage to your body and to your mind. Start having sex, when your doctor tells you to. This will most likely be once they've figured out what's going on and have a proper plan in place to tackle and treat your pain.
Now do. Do start to explore the crazy amount of pleasure you CAN experience without penetrative sex. Try sensual massages with your partner. This is a great thing to do - especially when your body is so used to tensing when sexual play is on the cards. Sensual touch exercises help to train your body to enjoy touch again. Maybe even for the first time.
Try an exercise where you try and find all the erogenous zones on your body. Each person is slightly different. Does nibbling your neck feel good? Does trailing a finger around the back of your knees feel good? Do your feet enjoy sensual touch?
This one lady tells her story of Dyspareunia - she overcame her pain. Be inspired to do the same!
Make sure you listen and watch out for new episodes on The Orgasm Lab podcast about sexual pain conditions and disorders. Hear from the experts themselves (!), and get back on the pleasure town express where you belong girl!