YEP Crew Blog Post – Julia Morgan: What to do if Sex Hurts

There’s one reoccurring question the seems to pop up whenever I go out and do a workshop. This is “should sex hurt?” The answer is pretty much, no (unless that’s something you’ve discussed earlier and are happy with). Regardless if it’s oral, anal or vaginal sex, sex should be something fun and enjoyable. If it’s hurting, you may need to make a couple of small changes to make it a bit easier.

So here’s a list of some reasons why sex may be hurting, and what you can do to fix this.

  1. You’re not using any/enough lube.

This is probably the most common reason people have pain during sex. Imagine going down a waterslide with no water, it’s kinda the same thing for sex. Lube helps to reduce friction or pulling and regardless of whether you’re having sex using a toy or penis.

In particular, you should always use lube during anal, as unlike a vagina the anus doesn’t self-lubricate. So one of the first things to do if sex is hurting for you or your partner/s is use more lube.

  1. You need more time to work up to it.

Another reason might be that you’re jumping straight into sex and skipping foreplay. Sex can be a really passionate thing and in the moment you might just wanna skip straight to it. But sometimes it takes a little longer to relax and get into the moment.

If this is the case, spend a little more time doing foreplay. You’ll learn to pay more attention to you body and feel when you’re ready. It can also be a fun way to get to know more about what you and your partner/s enjoy!

  1. Maybe it’s too rough for you.

A lot of porn can be pretty rough, and whilst some people might like this it isn’t necessarily for everyone. We sometimes have an idea that sex is always going to be quick, rough and incredibly passionate. Some people really enjoy sex this way but if you’re not into it, it can be a bit painful.

If you think this might be you, ask your partner/s if you can go a little slower. It’s always okay to ask!

  1. It could be something else.

For the majority of people, if sex is painful it’s likely one or more of the three things above. But if you’ve tried these and still have pain during sex it might be time to go to a doctor as it could be something else (e.g. an STI). Sex should be something you enjoy and look forward to, not something you’re worried about feeling pain from. Going to a nurse/doctor is going to be the best way to find out if there’s anything else causing you pain. But don’t worry, you’re not alone and there’s nearly always a way to sort things out.

I hope this helps if you or your partner/s are currently experiencing pain during sex!


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Vanessa Vlajkovic

Hi! My name is Nessa and I’m 20 years old. I’m studying Journalism at Edith Cowan University, with a Public Relations minor. I am an avid reader, writer, traveller and cheerleader. I’m also a passionate advocate for the deafblind community, and for other types of disability. I’ve been on the committee of the Youth Disability Advocacy Network (YDAN) at YACWA for a few months, and through them have developed a desire to become a YEP volunteer, as I want to expand my horizons.

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