If you’re finding sex painful, you’re not alone: a whopping 30% of women reported pain during their last sexual encounter, according to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behaviour. Here are the main reasons why it happens, and how to reduce it:
1. Vaginal dryness due to lack of arousal
We’ve all been there: you’re not in the mood and simply aren’t getting turned on. Lack of arousal is an extremely common cause of painful sex. Petra Boynton, social psychologist, sex researcher and agony aunt at The Telegraph says that lack of arousal is by far the most common reason for painful sex.
“I’m asked about vaginal dryness and pain due to lack of arousal every single day. Not a day goes by that I don’t get asked about it.”
When you’re not getting turned on and you don’t produce enough fluid for lubrication, the rubbing will cause friction, heat, and burning. This pain can last for hours, or sometimes days. Petra explains that women may get wet during foreplay but they don’t necessarily stay wet during penetration, and on top of that oral sex could even bemaking things even worse:
“Oral sex can cause even more irritation and often people find that strange as they think saliva can be used as lubrication. In fact, it’s not very good because it just dries and makes it sore. But the penetrative sex, either the rubbing of chaffing, dries you out. Or all the things that got you wet have stopped and although it may be enjoyable it may not necessarily be what women want.”
So what’s the solution to something that so many women experience? Petra suggests doing the things that you enjoy more, which may not be the penetration.