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Most people experience pain during sex at some point in their lives and it’s not always obvious why.
We usually expect sex to be fun, so it can be very confusing if sex is painful or uncomfortable. It can even be upsetting if it affects sex you usually enjoy, your relationship, or how you feel about yourself.
Pain can be your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong or part of you needs some care and attention – but it’s not your fault and doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. Painful sex is actually very common, but it isn’t supposed to be, whether it’s your first time or not.
We all deserve to have enjoyable sex that doesn’t hurt and if you find sex keeps being painful, it’s important to get help with this.
A lot of this article talks about sex with a partner, but sometimes masturbation can be painful as well and this information will be helpful for that too.
It can help to understand why pain can happen during sex:
Here are some practical tips for when you’re worried about pain:
Take your time, be kind to each other and listen to your body. It might take a while, but most people that experience pain during sex get past it and go on to have great sex lives.
A lot of people believe that first time sex (be it anal or vaginal) will always be painful, or even that this is what is supposed to happen and if it doesn’t, you’ve not done it right.
Sex is never supposed to be painful, whether it’s the first time or the 100th. There’s nothing special or different about the first time – except that you might be feeling very nervous (especially if you’re worrying about pain) and this can make it harder for your body and your mind to be ready for and excited about sex. When you feel aroused and get wet/hard, sexual touching is usually easier and more likely to feel good.
If you’re hoping to have sex (whether that includes penetration or not) for the first time, here are some useful tips:
Rachel, 21, shares her experience of masturbation and why taking things at her own pace was the right decision.
Zoi, 21, shares her story of how body disassociation has affected her relationship with masturbation and sexual intimacy.
Charlotte, 20, shares her journey of becoming comfortable with masturbation and understanding what pleasure means to her.
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