I've never been one to be coy about sex.
There isn't much that I won't try and nothing I'm afraid to talk about when sex is involved. I wouldn't say I'm a sex advocate but I'm absolutely for women experiencing just as much, if not more, pleasure as men in their sexual exchanges. However, I'll admit there have been times that my desire for adventure has led me to suffer in silence.
As a result, I've had men that equated being 'd*cked down' to 'smashing' and 'beating the breaks off the p*** ' considering that a challenge instead of seeing it for what it is—the mistreatment of women's bodies.
I can recall a very painful sexual episode years ago, where a partner I had was kind enough to ask me if I was okay.
I told him that I had been experiencing pain but I wanted to be able to take it all. Yes, those were my exact words. Back then, in lieu of wanting to please my partner, I wasn't being very considerate of my own body in those instances. While he admired my ambition, he made it very clear that hurting me was not fun. As a result, we approached sex differently; he made sure I was relaxed and comfortable, we made sure there was lots of foreplay for natural lubrication. The passionate kisses and him just making sure that I knew I was wanted, desired, and that I felt aroused made all the difference in the world. We took our time in the beginning to find the right rhythm for us both.
Unfortunately, that's not usually how these stories pan out for other women experiencing painful sex.
I recently had a conversation with a girlfriend about her terribly uncomfortable sexual encounters with a love interest. The only way she could describe it was to say that she could feel it in her chest. I was shocked to learn that she was literally running away from him in bed. Having been there, and done that, I know what it's like to have your muscles tense up, to anticipate discomfort, cry out in moments of distress, and to painfully endure in order to please your partner.
But sex is about more than just stroking the male ego. And it most certainly should not be painful.
I spoke to Dr. Renee Matthews, M.D., Chicago-based Professional Health Educator and renowned Health Correspondent, about what painful sex really means, and what to do if your partner is too big.
"The vagina is elastic and will accommodate different size penises. The problem is that when a woman is not ready for a very large penis, this is where sex becomes painful and possible vaginal tearing that will need to be repaired at the hospital. I have also heard of some horror stories of other things happening not quite as drastic as tearing but still quite uncomfortable," Dr. Renee said.
That being said, it's important for women to be able to communicate when sex has gone from feeling good to painful.
Dr. Renee elaborates, "You shouldn't do anything you do not want to do so if you are in pain and want to stop, then stop. If this happens all the time, please visit your OB/Gyn. Painful intercourse is referred to as dyspareunia [and] there are several reasons people experience dyspareunia."
Dr. Renee's final words for women who may be concerned about the repercussions of painful sex: "I don't really think there are any, besides lack of desire to have sex. If he has a larger penis for your vagina, because we come in different sizes too, then I suggest you use lubricants and take your time to try different positions to figure out what works for you two. Women may also want to try masturbation, because this will allow them to understand how to achieve orgasm and they can let their partner know exactly what to do and where exactly to go. Also make certain there is plenty foreplay before the main event."
There's so much energy that goes into having intimate exchanges with another person, it would be unfortunate to spend those moments in unbearable pain.
A conversation about how it can be enjoyable for both you and your partner, what your concerns are, positions that would make sex more pleasurable for you, and ways to make sure you're as lubricated as possible before penetration.
It's important to be able to listen to your body and respond attentively. Your body will thank you for it.