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October 15, 2018 | by  | in Talking With My Dad About Sex |
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Talking With My Dad About Sex

Sex has started to really hurt but I don’t know how to tell my partner because I know he’ll get upset. It only hurt a little at first so I didn’t mind. But now I’m avoiding sex and he’s getting frustrated. But if I tell him he’ll be mortified that he’s been hurting me. What do I do??

Lena says: I think firstly it would be great to figure out how you can talk to your partner. Even if you end up having to go through the medical system and look at physiological causes, you don’t want to be going through that without the support of your partner – or while you continue to be vague about your reasons for not wanting to have sex.

Emphasise that you know he never meant to hurt you and be honest about why you didn’t speak up (e.g. not wanting to spoil the mood, disappoint him etc). If he perceives your relationship as being caring and honest, he may find it hard to understand why you hadn’t spoken up sooner, so take time to explore what was going on for you with him. There are pressures you may feel around sex that he may not have experienced, so some time might need to be spent talking through those as well.
Your hesitance to tell him what has been going on is really normal, but it will likely only grow stronger the longer you avoid having the conversation. You could write out what you would like to say to him before you have the conversation, as this can often make clear to you what the key things are that you want to express. As well as having this conversation, it will be REALLY important going forward that you work on your ability to be honest in the moment about what feels good and what doesn’t, so your partner can feel confident that he will not hurt you again without realising it.

Dad says: So many women get into situations like this, and I’m assuming from this message that that is how you identify. If you are going to change this pattern you will need to talk to your partner about what’s going on. But in order to work out what needs to change, you have to try and work out the cause of the pain.
It is worth considering if there are physical reasons. Especially if you previously have had sex that wasn’t painful, try and work out what’s changed. Arousal and lubrication can be affected by many common medications including antidepressants, birth control pills, antihistamines and more.
If there’s nothing obvious like that, working out physical causes isn’t always easy and it’s really wise to see a specialist sexual health physician. Common causes can include untreated infections (thrush, herpes, chlamydia, UTIs, etc), endometriosis, scarring, eczema, problems or infections in your pelvis, uterus, ovaries, or cervix.
However before you go off to the doctor, consider this — the MOST common cause for painful sex is relational: Not waiting till you are really turned on and lubricated before penetrative sex. Rushing things is really common, especially if you feel your partner will be frustrated or impatient. Trouble is, if you are moving to intercourse on someone else’s timetable, you are likely to not be ready, and there’s likely to be friction, which hurts (and also is likely to cause microscopic abrasions that make you more prone to infections – meaning that a problem that started out as behavioural can turn medical).
The good news is this most common cause is the easiest to fix. Working out what you need to get really turned on and sharing it with your partner can be a really pleasurable outcome of a difficult situation.

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