As a consequence of women being on the receiving end of physical penetration in the most common sex acts, for them “Love Hurts” is sometimes literally true. In spite of wince-worthy stories like Kevin Smith’s first encounter with his eventual wife (you might understandably shout “TMI! TMI!”), few men would — or could — continue having intercourse if it gave them significant pain (in the absence of a kink in that direction, anyway). Even if sex was only intermittently uncomfortable, that old Pavlovian process might eventually diminish one’s enthusiasm. “Punishment” can more quickly extinguish a behavior than intermittent rewards can establish one.

You’re probably pretty sure that your wife does not suffer any discomfort of any kind during sex with you, because if she did, you would have heard about it, right? Not necessarily. It is an odd truth that women can be very verbal and forthright about every other irritation or problem in their lives while remaining completely silent about their sexual dissatisfactions.

Part of this, strangely enough, is because thinking of themselves as a good or at least adequate sexual partners is still important, even to the most objectively “frigid” or disinterested woman. This culture tells them that normal women Should enjoy every minute of every sexual encounter, and being A Great Lay means they should be able to take it all the way! harder! deeper! faster! — as all the really HOTTTT women of porn (supposedly) can.

You would be surprised at how secretly embarrassed many of today’s women can be about their sexual “inadequacies” in relation to the wildly enthusiastic Cosmo Girl ideal. So a woman will sometimes tell herself that she doesn’t want to ruin your fun because of a “minor” amount of pain.

I always have to laugh when I see those SPAM emails that offer to extend the length of my penis by 3 or 4 inches, so that I can wield the equivalent of the Scimitar of Scaramouche in bed. Depending on their internal architecture, the time of the month and the state of their arousal, for many women deep penile penetration can hurt — a little or a lot — and the penis doesn’t even have to “hit bottom” (strike the cervix) for this to occur. In any case, most of us would put more lover length way down the list of desirable qualities, and a lot of us would much prefer a can of chili to a javelin, ifyouknowwhatImeanandIthinkyoudo.

There are a couple of ways to minimize the possibility of this kind of pain: make sure she is very aroused when you want to go very deep (the vagina extends in length as she grows more excited) and, be especially careful when you’re going in from behind. An ideal doggie position (at least for older women or those whose ligaments are looser than average) is the elbows-and-knees, raised bottom version, with the head lower than the hips, so that the uterus can settle downward a little toward the stomach — but this takes a moment, so go easy at first.

There’s another reason to wait until she’s more aroused before you try to, er, knock on heaven’s door. It seems that some neural pain pathways are blocked by sexual arousal, so that as sexual excitement increases, stimuli that would be painful under other circumstances doesn’t hurt at all — or can actually enhance sexual pleasure. From a cold standing start, many things will hurt a woman that she might actually enjoy when she’s really worked up. While this phenomenon can’t be counted on to completely fix all discomfort problems, it’s something to keep in mind.

The reason most women appreciate a can of chili more than a spear is not only because vehement penetration can be painful under some circumstances, but because their pleasure is largely felt in the vaginal vestibule, its environs (the “G” spot), vulva and clitoris. The cervix and upper reaches of the vagina are actually relatively poorly supplied with sensory nerves, and that’s a good thing. Otherwise childbirth would be the equivalent of stretching your penis over a baby’s head.

Okay, okay, sorry for that image, but I wanted you to get the idea.

The interior of your wife’s vagina is essentially a direct route to her bloodstream, and its surface is subject to some microscopic wear and tear during every act of intercourse. This is perfectly normal, of course, but it means that a certain amount of care is necessary to minimize problems. If a woman’s urinary, vulvar or vaginal mucosa is suffering from some kind of infection, hormonal imbalance or irritation, intercourse is likely to be less than optimally pleasurable for her. The three crucial factors for preventing pain AND ensuring her pleasure are: lubrication, lubrication, and lubrication.

Even many women don’t realize that it is very common for natural lubrication to be inadequate for optimal protection and pleasure, even when a woman is very aroused, and this is especially true as she grows older. Your wife may not associate some vague discomforts during intercourse (a “rubbery” sensation, for example, or a feeling of the interior tissues being bent or pinched) with a lack of lubrication. Most of the time inadequate lubrication can feel like “enough,” because it doesn’t prevent intercourse, and unbelievable as it may seem, some women have never gotten wet enough “naturally” to optimally enjoy intercourse. They will usually assume that the more-or-less uncomfortable friction they have been experiencing all their lives is what they Should be enjoying!

Even if a woman does suspect that she is not producing enough lubrication, she may not want to admit it to herself or to you, since being able to get “dripping wet” in 3 seconds flat is another cultural ideal of “normal” erotic womanhood these days.

Insufficient lubrication is most problematic outside the vagina, in the labial folds and around the clitoris. While there is little more swoon-inducing for most women than a slippery-slidy stimulation of the clitoris, all too often men attempt to massage it when it isn’t much wetter than a wrung-out washcloth. Although you may still be able to bring her to orgasm under these circumstances, she may not be getting the fullest possible pleasure from the experience — and you want to ensure that each experience with you is All It Can Be, right?

The bottom line is that supplemental lubrication (Astroglide, K-Y, etc.) is almost always welcome, even for young women and those who seem to have enough natural fluids. It can’t hurt to try it, and it might make an enormous difference.


The other “Details” pages are Disgust and Distraction.

Original blog comments on the Discomfort post (leave a comment of your own via the link below):
Hear, hear.  

I’d prefer a can of something a little less spicy than chili, though, just in case of leaks. 😉




Julia Grey

Are MEN welcome here??? Remember the movie, “Good Will Hunting” where Matt Damon implores Minnie Driver (I paraphrase from memory) “Comm’on let’s have sex. It won’t take long and you’ll barely feel a thing.”
Or, from my Junior High School daze, the old joke, “What are the three words men least like to hear during sex?” A: “Is it in?”Why do these lines seem to stick in guys’ minds? I know that my sexuality(read manhood) is not defined by the size of my
dick(no we don’t call it a penis ? I mean never) and I’M pretty sure I’M not hurting MY wife ifyaknowwhatimean. But really – and this is true (I swear) – when having sex, when she moans “That’s really deep…” almost always is succeeded by a ?Big O?. We’ve been together almost twenty five years and I don’t think she’s fakin’ it – way too much for way too long. And a plus, we still like each other.But really, thanks for legitimatising us ?average sized? males. I feel special for not hurting my mate!!! And remember, some of us couples are still having a lot of fun.   

Love your bogclit. Keep it commin. Men CAN learn ya know.

rich pure&simple

To follow up on the discomfort angle, I am female and my guy has a favorite position that I absolutely can’t take for very long, we’re both older, it’s probably just wonderful for him, I could bear it if he would just NOT move the pillow from under my neck I have damage from a fall and often experience discomfort there, and sex is supposed to be enjoyable right? I once was so angry with him for in the middle of the act takeing away my pillow abruptly that I really got angry. He wondered what he’d done. I told him, and he still did it several times. My advice to men is not to ever make that mistake. If something really is painful for a woman don’t do it. There is other fun you can have together.
Nur • 10/23/05; 9:23:25 PM

21 Responses to “Discomfort”

  1. LnddMiles Says:

    Great post! I’ll subscribe right now wth my feedreader software!

  2. Julie Says:

    Do you talk about male circumcision on this blog? It can really have adverse sexual consequences for both genders. See the website or book “Sex as Nature Intended It.”

  3. Mirna Benning Says:

    Good blogpost, thanks a lot!

  4. Please Don't Forget Says:

    It is very common for women to frequently experience urinary tract infections resulting from sex. It very much became a Pavlovian thing for me when I became doctor-worthy sick four or five times a year. No matter how clean the both of us stayed, something about intercourse just tweaked my urethra the wrong way and triggered a horrific UTI on a fairly regular basis. Not every woman is plumbed the same and some women may find that their anatomy can be real inhibitor when it comes to sex. I wish the men in my sex life made a better attempt to sympathize with this.

  5. curious george Says:

    A rather odd comment from a woman – “I always have to laugh when I see those SPAM emails that offer to extend the length of my penis by 3 or 4 inches, so that I can wield the equivalent of the Scimitar of Scaramouche in bed.” You have a penis?

  6. inlapna Says:

    “This culture tells them that normal women Should enjoy every minute of every sexual encounter, and being A Great Lay means they should be able to take it all the way! harder! deeper! faster! — as all the really HOTTTT women of porn (supposedly) can.”
    Can about it more?

  7. Hyolee Says:

    My boyfriend’s penis is just TOO f*** big. It always hurts. Once the pain is gone, it’s time for constant discomfort. I always bleed after sex (ok, a few drops of blood is not exactly “bleeding” but still…). Nothing helps because he’s too big and I’m too small.
    And that actually makes me quite depressed… I’m totally put off by the sheer idea of having sex and I’m afraid our relationship is coming to an end.

    • Brian Says:

      I am afraid that I am in the same boat. My relationship will not come to an end because of sex, but the situation will have to eventually.
      There are kiegel exercises that can be done and extended foreplay can help, but open lines of communication about it and try to make it a fun adventure for the two of you to share. It is not just your problem.
      My wife and I communicate about everything else but this and have a very successful relationship because of it, and somehow we will break this one barrier in communication and find that this will work too.
      By the way, I am not huge (as far as I know) but there is a certain amount of pain involved which has caused her to lose interest.
      Good luck.

  8. Jaime Says:

    great post

  9. Jamie in Wisconsin Says:

    This whole website has been eyeopening & helpful to me. I’m writting this for everyone who has long suffered in a marriage like my wife & I did. My wife & I married @ 22 & have been married for coming up on 16 years. We have always been friends, but to say the least , sexually its been more than a struggle. We had decided to wait for sex until we got married & also to say the least I had great expectatinons of a dream married sex life. Our wedding night reality hit home, when our first encounter was passionless & cold. 4 day honeymoon, no more sex. This was the way it went on for our first 16 years. Sex once a week if lucky, I know thats doing pretty good for some people, but not me. A lot of unhappiness & frustration that for me eventually turned into distrust, dislike & a general sense of my wife entraping & betraying me. Generally she could go through the motions, even O. But there was absolutely no sound out of her, no movement; and immediately following intercourse she would bolt for the bathroom. No afterglow, no laying in a feeling of love & being loved & fulfilled. Lonely & cold. Position wise, it was almost always her on her back; if it was any penetration from behind it was very short lived and she definately didn’t enjoy it. Frustration. In that time we had 5 great kids (now ages 3 – 10) which of course turned on the mommy button. Endless cycles of a mandatory 7 day wait for sex followed by, “Come on, you’ve got 10 minutes.” Oooh. What a turn on… This is all very understandable in light of how she felt- in ALOT of pain. She said sex was always like I was stabbing her in the cervix, and pushing on her bladder, even if I wasn’t.
    -Here is how it got better. My favorite positions have always been her least favorite, entering from behind. She had made it known, “I have a tilted uterus, and when you take that position, it hurts…” Frustrating, not much I could do, except she would on great occasion let me get off if I didn’t fully penetrate, she still didn’t enjoy it at all. Keep in mind that she would always bolt for the bathroom after sex; she CONSTANTLY felt like she had to pee, was going to pee & after having our 2nd & 3rd kids (twins), she did pee a little when she sneazed. That killed her letting me go down on her, something I greatly love. I prayed about it all for years, seemingly to no avail. This July 1st (ironically my birthday is the 2nd), she had her yearly physical. She tells her doctor about the incontinence issue, and pain. The Dr’s advice is that she have a hysterectomy. I was totally blown away. Immediately my hopes were raised through the roof, best b-day gift ever. She tells me she was hopeful, but not to get her hopes up. Surgeon tells her in his appointment that he will put her bladder in a sling to get it into its natural position. So the surgery was August 2nd. Long surgery, very long. Dr. tells me he removed the uterus, had to remove an ovary (also caused her alot of pain), when he removed the uterus the bladder fell back into position, but he put a sling on it so it would stay in that position. Here is the BEST part (for me). He was very thorough. Because of bearing the 5 children, the muscles of her vaginal opening had become a mess. He said this alone was enough to cause her incontinence. So he did a vaginal rejuvination as well. WAAAAAAAHOOOOOOO!!!! I don’t mean to sound like a pig, but I felt as if I had just won the lottery. So of course there is the recovery. Initially the Dr. had said 6 weeks. 2 weeks in he raised it to 8- but he said only if after 6 weeks the pain is still bad. Sometime during this wait for the first time in 16 years she expresses sexual frustration. That was new. So 46 days into the recovery (last saturday), she says, “I can’t take this any more” (6 weeks, 4 days). Foreplay was explosive, it was like she went from black & white without sound to full blown HD. An absolutely incredible experience. Her vagina was/felt absolutely amazing, was like being 17 again & best of all she had no bladder pain/pressure at all. That bed was ON FIRE!!! Wonderful. Afterwards she says that she did have some pain from the surgery, so we both agree it was amzing but we should wait to do it again at 8 weeks. Last night, she couldn’t take the wait any more (6 days)…. Love it. If your in a situation that sounds familiar, know that there is hope, and things can get better. We are VERY optomistic & thankful for our new marriage bed. James in Wisconsin

  10. Trevor Says:

    Tried all of that — got some new lube… but she feels nothing, and tries to be as uninvolved and as far away as possible.

  11. Jim Says:

    Funny how it didn’t hurt/wasn’t painful BEFORE THE RING GOT SLIPPED ON.

    So what changed since then? The act of marriage increases biological pain in a woman?

    Guys, stay away from marriage. This coming from a former mangina

    • Anonymous Says:

      yep i agree with jim…

    • Anonymous Says:

      Have men ever even thought maybe they’re the issue? Maybe you have changed. The huff after the hug could be discontentment in the relationship. Marriage doesn’t directly impact sex life in a relationship. Actions in the relationship do though. Maybe you’re not listening to her or she isn’t comfortable enough to talk about something thats bothering her. A womans emotions directly relate to her sexual appetite. Keep a woman emotionally happy and she’ll blow your mind in bed.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Yes, if nothing else fellas, take the iron clad law of the universe to heart: no matter what, it is ALL YOUR FAULT

  12. Anonymous Says:

    well they had sex after marriage he said

    • Helgan Says:

      Wow! Same here, before marriage sex was awesome, she came so hard once she soiled the bed. We enjoyed each other even now we are great on dates and everything except sex. Once the ring went on it slooowed. Then after our child, it came to a screeching halt. Excuse after excuse and it’s getting worse. I can’t hug her without her huffing.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    i agree with thelast comment as well

  14. keekee Says:

    yal dont know how an inserted penis feels expecially if you never tried i hope …. lol…. i know men like to experiment and be common so yal stay on yal side of the fence and keep something that you have no knowledge or slightest idea of about women out your mouths… thanks and use ur mouths only for pleasure.. sometimes words do hurt depending on who its from guys ,,,

  15. keekee Says:

    i agree with her hottie

    • the all time Says:

      I am a man and i am against hysterectomy and o vary and or you tore us re move all. I know friends that struggled in the sheets too and had female parts removed and they got divorced… Every time. I love my wife and i hate the notion of a lot of the junk floating around the web suggesting all sorts of notions and I’ve tried nearly all of them religiously. Good Guys know what I’m talking about.. All the notions that its all our fault as men being boys and ect and shine of that be true but idk final fantasy all under way

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