One of the most important things I have learned about having sex with chronic vulval/vaginal pain, is that it is IMPERATIVE to be able to tell your partner when sex/sexual acts HURT.
I’ve already lectured in previous posts about why you should NEVER fake your way through pain, but I’ll say it one more time. DO NOT fake your way through pain during sex! When you do this you’re constantly reinforcing the connection between sex, and pain and it will only make it that much harder to achieve pain free sex.
When you’re in a sexual/intimate relationship you need to be able to communicate, and listen to each other. Not only that, but to listen and communicate effectively. We need to be able to listen to our partners, and adjust accordingly. For example, if it hurts to have one side of your labia directly stimulated you need to be able to say, “This hurts could you try avoiding touching here, and touch here?” or “Could I move your hand here where it feels better?”
In a relationship with good, clear communication it is easy to provide each other with feedback. If your partner listens to you, but takes you’re communication as criticism then you both need to talk more, and work it out, or part ways. There’s no reason to get upset when your partner shows you how they would prefer to be pleasured and vice versa. We’re all different and we each like to be touched in different ways, and that’s OKAY! We can’t learn to be better spouses and lovers if we don’t listen to each other and work at it.
For the longest time I was afraid to tell my spouse how I preferred to be touched based on my pain locations. I had a previous negative relationship in which my partner didn’t want to have sex with me other than in the way he wanted to, and if I preferred to be pleased/touched in a different way he perceived it as a personal attack. It is not healthy, and is damaging to have a sexual relationship with someone who doesn’t care about how you feel, and whether or not they’re hurting you. Sex should always be consensual and about MUTUAL pleasure.
Sometimes even the most gracious partners can get a little frustrated. Sex with vulval-vaginal pain can be VERY frustrating and sometimes take many adjustments. There were times in my own life where it seemed like there wasn’t a single space on my vulva that didn’t hurt like hell, and it made intercourse pretty much impossible, but because my spouse and I can communicate well we could stop in the midst of it all and transition to oral sex or other ways of being intimate.
So what is my take away?
- You need be able to communicate what you like and don’t like with your partner. Sex should always be MUTUALLY PLEASURABLE.
- Your partner needs to be able to not take what is being communicated as a personal attack, or criticism, but rather as you telling your partner how they can better pleasure you and vice versa.
- Be patient with yourself and each other. Sometimes no matter what position you try, or where you adjust your partners hand it still just doesn’t work, and that’s ok. Learn to be able to switch to a different intimate activity, or to be able to stop all together and try again another day!
It’s OKAY to tell your partner that sex hurts! A partner who cares will work WITH you to figure out what works for the both of you. XO
Fun announcement will be in another month or so!