Try These Positions If Sex Is Painful for You

We all want sex to be pleasurable, and not only orgasmic, but pleasurable and painless. But unfortunately, this is not always the case for some vulva owners. Dyspareunia, pain that occurs during or after sex, can occur for several reasons. Pain during sex can be the result of endometriosis, cysts and fibroids, a tight pelvic floor caused by trauma, or even hormones, according to certified sexologist and pleasure coach Tyomi Morgan .

“A number of physiological and mental conditions can be accompanied by a symptom of painful sex, and when sex is not enjoyable, there is simply no desire to engage,” she says. “When health needs to be controlled, sexual satisfaction takes a backseat.”

If you experience pain during sex, Morgan advises seeing a doctor when painful sex becomes constant and interferes with your communication with your partner and your sense of self. “It is not recommended to engage in self-diagnosis and self-treatment until the root cause of the pain is known,” she says.

But should sex stop altogether? Penetrative sex can be avoided if the pain is chronic, Morgan says, but sex doesn’t have to be stopped. “Sex and oral sex are still viable options to participate in the process of identifying the root cause of painful sex,” she says. “Kissing, massage, engaging in fetishes or kinks, mutual masturbation, and playing with non-penetrative toys are just a few examples of sexual interaction that doesn’t have to involve penetration.”

Expanding your understanding of what sex looks like is extremely helpful in maintaining an enjoyable sex life, Morgan says, which is why she recommends the following positions that can help minimize pain during sex.

  • Spoon Position: “ Both partners lie on their side, with the receiving partner positioned in front of the penetrating partner with their back to them, mimicking spoons lying in each other,” says Morgan. “This position is great for cuddling and encourages gentle strokes during penetration.”
  • Plank Pose: “ The receiving partner lies on their stomach with a pillow under their pelvis and spreads their legs slightly for easy penetration,” says Morgan. “The penetrating partner has straddled their partner’s legs and strokes gently while their partner lies comfortably. The partner on top can use their hands to lift and support their partner’s pelvis to gently push deeper into the vagina.”
  • Face-to-face: “Both partners face each other: the receiving partner is on the bottom and the penetrating partner is on top,” says Morgan. “The receiving partner’s legs may be raised, wrapped around the partner’s waist, or placed with the knees bent. A closer look and synchronized breathing can help you relax and connect more deeply.”
  • Oral Sex: Oral sex does not require penetration, so oral sex is a great option for those who find it too painful to have sex. There are several positions you can try, including everything from missionary oral sex to 69s. You may even be open to anal oral play. You can experiment with your partner and find out what works best for you.

When penetration is not possible, Morgan recommends using sex toys with a partner, especially those that stimulate the clitoris. “Whether it’s a sucker toy or a noisy vibration, clitoral head stimulation is like a cheat code for arousal,” she says. “Direct stimulation of the clitoris from outside causes swelling and deepens arousal, bringing the user closer to orgasm. Pleasure is the ultimate goal of sex, and using toys on the outside of the vulva can be a great pleasure. The same vibrations can be used on the nipples as well.” In addition, she suggests using sex pillows or sex furniture for easier positioning, which can also help relieve pain.


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