My dear vagina owners, there are plenty of reasons why you might find sex painful or uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be this way and you’re not alone. While trauma, physical conditions like endometriosis, big ole dicks and recovery from surgery can cause pain or discomfort during deep penetration, there are plenty of paths to unlocking your pleasure and products to help light the way.
It can be something you’ve always experienced, from the first time you tried penetrative sex, or it can develop over time. But, the only way to really know what’s going on down there, is to see a physiotherapist or specialist like a gyno.
Pain point #1: Vulvodynia & vaginismus
Like many vagina-owners, you might be experiencing vulvodynia (when the vulva is painful to touch), vestibulodynia (pain inside the inner lips of the vulva) or vaginismus (when there is pain in the vagina) – all conditions that more common than you think.
Tips and products to ease the pain
At Passionfruit, we see lots of customers who have had these conditions and we have so many wonderful products that can have a positive impact on their health. Physiotherapists regularly send their patients to us for these recommended picks:
Lube is not just for getting down and dirty. Whether painful sex is the result of vaginismus, menopause, age or medication, lubricant is your saviour. In fact we recommend it for EVERYONE because it makes sex, foreplay, and fooling around feel SO MUCH BETTER. But don’t take it from us, check out this explainer video by author and sex educator, Euphemia Russell.
I know. Telling someone to ‘calm down’ often has the opposite effect. But, hear us out. When the body and/or mind are tense, penetration can feel like hitting a wall and not the fun fleshy kind. Massage is our number one recommendation as a way to relax the muscles and more importantly, open the heart to intimacy. Our beautiful, organic massage oils and candles can be found here.
Yoni Massage is a wonderful book that teaches techniques to heal and relax the vulva through intimate touch. Carol, our resident workshop facilitator and tantric sex coach, offers vaginal and penis massage through her private practice. If your partner is willing, have them learn the art of massage. It is the most wonderful gift to bestow on others. Read more about Carol here.
When penetration of the vagina is impossible or painful, we often recommend considering dilators; a series of insertable toys that get gradually thicker and help to stretch the muscles and reinvigorate the soft tissue. Most of the medically recommended dilators are typically clinical in look and feel so that the pleasure aspect is removed. Bummer. But, we’re all about helping you to find pleasure when rehabilitating, so we recommend the Inspire Dilator Kit, which is beautiful to behold, soft in texture and smooth and warm to the touch. You can find all our dilators here.
A small vibrator is a great tool to help heal vulval, vaginal and pelvic pain. Vibration applied externally and internally can help draw blood into the tissue, aiding in restoration and assisting arousal. A vibrator also allows you to experiment at your own pace. Our top picks for beginners are:
The Diamond Silk
A smooth and slender, budget friendly vibrator with a slow speed that is perfect to help relax the vaginal opening.
The Mikazuki and Minamo
These two vibrators are the softest, squishiest toys on the market. Squeezing them feels like marshmallows! If you have vulval pain, these are the perfect toys to introduce to your body. Mikazuki is a tad more slender than Minamo.
Cici by Svakom
Being only about as thick as a finger with a soft bendable tip, the Cici is a wonderful way to introduce a slim vibrator into your body for both pleasure and dilation.
Crave Vesper Necklace
An unconventional toy, the Vesper doubles as a beautiful piece of jewellery as well as an external or internal vibrator. It's only as thick as a slim pencil so if your vagina is too painful for the smallest product, the Vesper is a great choice.
Pain Point #2: Deep penetration
Whether your partner is well-endowed (good for them) or their penis simply fits more snugly inside of you, deep penetration during sex can cause some serious discomfort (not so good for you). From abdominal pain to vulvar and vaginal soreness, going deep can end badly for both parties. So how do you remedy this? With a feel-good buffer.
Tips and products to ease the pain
Soft, stretchy and condom-compatible, these ingenious stackable rings are stretched over the penis to help you manage how much goes in. Not only is this more pleasurable for both parties, it can potentially reduce pain during sex by allowing you to control deep penetration without the ‘eep’ factor.
We’ve said it before. Knowledge is sexy. And because we’ve heard about painful penetration often, we’ve gathered our own collection of resources to help you navigate your way to pleasure again.
So what have we learned? Painful sex doesn’t have to be so, and that pleasure is something you can take charge of today – all you need are the tools.
Photo credit: Jenire Usategui