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Is sex supposed to be painful?

Painful sex is a major cause of sexual avoidance, frustration and disappointment. Sex is supposed to feel pleasurable at least, and at best orgasmic. Is sex supposed to be painful?


It is common for some people to experience some discomfort during sex from time to time, like if we change position too quickly or use a speed that doesn’t feel great. Perhaps we started penetration a little too soon and our body wasn’t fully aroused. Pain though, should only be experienced if you’re asking for it as part of your sexual tastes.


Many women and vulva/vagina owners may experience painful sex during intercourse. For some people it can feel like a tightness and constriction. For others it can feel like a dry grating and course roughness.


There are many physiological reasons for someone to experience painful sex, for example – starting penetration when not properly lubricated – Ouch! There are also some psychological reasons for someone to experience painful sex, clenching in fear for example. Our body and brain are so thoroughly connected, that often we experience bodily responses to thoughts we hadn’t even realised we’ve had yet.


It is possible to have pain free and pleasurable sex. Through sex therapy we can explore the reasons for your experience, give you tactics to re-train your mind/body connection to once again feel pleasure sexually.

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