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Hello! I'm kinda in an unfortunate situation at the moment and I'm hoping you could give me some tips. I've been with my partner for over 8 years now and I love them more each day. We have always been very sexual. In the past year I've been diagnosed with a condition that makes vaginal sex very painful. My partner is so very supportive and loving but it makes me feel so guilty. I feel scared often which makes me avoid intimacy. Not because I don't want to. But because I'm worried about the pain and disappointment of not getting to a satisfied conclusion I guess. I want to get back on track. I love your website and I keep up weekly. Any input is greatly appreciated.

-Anonymous

Thank you for your question! I’m sorry you're dealing with some health conditions that are causing you pain and discomfort. However, I think there are some modifications you can make to your current sexual habits that may accommodate these new adjustments.

First off, let’s talk about your body and your new limitations. When you mentioned vaginal sex, I’m inclined to think you mean internal sex like penetration. There aren’t many conditions out there that I’m aware of that cause external stimulation of the vulva to be painful. If this is the case for you, you have many other options to experience pleasure, including the power house that is your clitoris. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to spend some time masturbating and figuring out ways that bring you pleasure, not pain. This could be external stimulation of the clit, but also could be or include stimulation of other erogenous zones like the anus and nipples. There are many toys out there for external stimulation only that range in types of stimulation and can be used on many areas of the body. My recommendations would be the Satisfyer Pro Plus Vibration, the Dame Fin, the Noje W3 mini wand, and the Fun Factory Volita.

Once you have this ‘road map’ of what feels good for you now, you can communicate this to your partner. It can be very intimidating having a partner who experiences pain during sex because our society hasn’t normalized that this is a sexual reality for many people. You partner may be empathetic to the point of being scared to hurt you so sharing the information about your body that you discover during masturbation can help rid them of that anxiety.

The next part of the discussion is how you can incorporate your pleasure with your partner’s pleasure. This includes rethinking what your sexual ‘goals’ are during each encounter. Maybe oral sex becomes the main course, anal the leading event, or mutual masturbation the new favorite. Remember, using the toys that get you to climax solo with your partner is also an option. Maybe your partner invests in a toy they like that you can use on them. Pushing the boundaries on what you consider sex can help open to up to more avenues and hopefully more orgasms! Don’t get me wrong; this can feel weird or uncomfortable at first. If you’ve been having sex for many years one way, it can feel unusual changing the rules, but try to view it as exploration you’re participating in together. It may actually make your sex life more exciting!

Living with chronic pain is hard, especially when it changes the habits you were accustomed to beforehand. However, habits can be unlearned, changed, and eventually replaced. A open mind is a must but this exploration and redefining of sex can strengthen your bond with your partner and may lead to more enjoyable sex for both of you!

 

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