I have been having really great sex with someone for a couple of years now, but I find that the sex is often painful or too much for my vagina. My partner's penis size is a bit on the larger side, however I have had sex with larger penises both in the past and more recently and have never had this problem. I find my vagina getting tired/irritated quickly with this person almost every time and having to take breaks. The only times it is not painful is with missionary or when I'm on top. So: what might be the cause of this? Is there a way to make it more enjoyable/ comfortable/ less painful or is it possible that our bodies are just not compatible?
Thank you for your time,
Thanks for submitting this question - I’m happy to flex the Worked In A Sex Store muscles that I’ve been building up these past few years! Luckily, none of the sex stores I’ve worked in have ever made me sell on commission, they’ve never had store-branded products that they wanted me to push, and I’ve always been encouraged to research, ask questions, try products out and learn from my own experiences and the experiences of my customers. The reason I mention this is because lots of sex store chains that are sales-focused can use a person’s inexperience or discomfort with sex to sell products that just make things worse (I’m looking at you, Horned Deer Store!). That’s not what I want for your vagina - so let’s get back to that, because your vagina is really the star of the show here.
There are many ways to come at this (heh, come), which can seem a bit intimidating, but it’s actually pretty great news! More options means there’s a high probability that you and your above-average partner can figure this out. The first and easiest option is to keep taking breaks and doing the positions that feel good! Don’t get too down on yourself if sex has to look a certain way for a little while. You’re not doing anything inherently wrong, and it’s always okay to take breaks and do positions that work for you! The next easiest thing is lube - are you using a new or different kind of lube? Are you using lube at all? If you are using a new lube, that could be the source of your irritation. Your lube could be drying up too quickly, or it could have ingredients that are causing your skin to inflame. If you’re not using lube at all, this could be a good time to start! There’s a common misconception that if you’re having good sex you don’t “need” lube, but alas, this is not how the human body works. Lots of things can get in the way of your body’s ability to provide lubrication - hormonal fluctuations, diet changes, being too tired, etc! Lube can be a great fix or a nice supplement to use when you are experiencing a sore vag. If you are choosing a new lube, or if you want to read about why your current lube may not be doing it for you, here is an incredibly comprehensive resource from wonderful, Ontario-based sex-store co-op Come As You Are.
Next up on the docket is *~lifestyle and relationship things~*! Have you and your partner fallen into a sexual schedule? A sexual schedule is a term I just made up to describe that thing that happens when your life gets really hectic, and your sex life is kinda pushed into the spaces that you have left for it. I often see this in that exhausted, just-before-bed sex that folks have because there just wasn’t any other time for it. You mentioned that your vagina gets tired - it’s possible that your vagina as well as the whole human attached to said vagina is tired as well! It can boost your sex life to take control and Schedule the Sex instead of letting the Sex Schedule you. In the same way that your body can fail to provide wetness when you’re turned on, you can also exhibit the physical signs of sexual readiness without being all the way turned on in your mind. If you take some time to intentionally plan sex when you and your partner are both fully recharged, well-rested and without work or home stressors hanging over your head, that can provide a little boost! Pick a day where you can drink a bunch of water and eat food that makes you feel good and recharged, wear something that makes you feel sexy, and tease each other in the time leading up to it. Having sex when you’ve gotten all ready for it can give you a bit of insight for future sessions - you might notice that what you do beforehand does make a difference, and you can build those positive things into your lifestyle. To be honest, you may not always be able to just not be tired before sex, but if you have that scheduled sex and are like “wow, I really noticed that talking about what we were gonna do all day made me excited” or “whoa, drinking a bunch of water made my vag feel better” you can build in the little components that work into an already hectic life, or you can just keep scheduling sex for times that work for both of you.
You can also try Kegel exercises to help with a tired vagina! There’s a misconception that Kegels are just for tightening the vagina after giving birth, but practising Kegels is really just a way to control your vaginal and pelvic floor muscles. With Kegels, you clench and release your vaginal muscles, and when you exercise those muscles, you’ll start to notice when you’re clenching and when you’re releasing during sex. In time, if you’re having sex and you’re starting to feel weary, you may be able to be like “Oh, I’ve been clenching the heck out of this penis here, but not releasing those muscles! Owie!” and with Kegels you can do all kinds of cool clenching and releasing patterns that’ll feel great for you and your partner. Here’s a nice page of info to get you started on those.
Alright, I’ve been rambling, so I’ll wrap it up (heh, wrap it up) with this - if you’re just noticing this with your one partner, you might have to ask him some questions that are kind of awkward to have to ask an adult man. I didn’t want to come out of the gate assuming that you’re dating a baby man, but people are...continually surprising. Is he washing his penis and under his foreskin (if he has foreskin)? Is he drinking water and eating veggies? Is he using protection with other partners (if y’all aren’t exclusive)? He could have a yeast infection, he might be not washing off whatever he uses to masturbate with (some penises can handle stuff like vaseline, body lotion, hair conditioner etc that will mess up a vag!), his cum/precum could be throwing off your vaginal flora (which is the balance of good bacteria, bases and acids in your vag), or he could have an STI or fungal infection. Maybe get tested together, or book a visit with your gynecologist.
So there ya go, a nice bucket of options to throw at your problem! I hope that there’s something in here that resonates with you. I’m just gonna bottom line once more - go see a doctor if all of this gets worse or continues! Apparently Worked In A Sex Store is not a medical qualification these days!
(P.S - Oh! You could also have a latex allergy/sensitivity. Those can come with increased exposure to latex condoms or gloves. Try a box of non-latex, Japanese latex or vegan condoms! Those can sometimes do the trick.)