Pain during sex is a common issue for women, which is why I discuss it so often in my work. Yet, I've never dealt with the issue myself until very recently.
For the last four months, I've been dealing with intense pelvic pain brought about by (cue the irony)...an intercourse injury!
Despite this deep discomfort, I've continued having enjoyable, pleasurable, weekly sexual experiences with my husband in which I feel comfortable, safe, happy, and connected.
How have I done this?
I'll get really vulnerable and share the specifics of my last experience with you to outline exactly what I did and what you can do too.
There are two critically important steps that absolutely, positively must be followed.
Trust Your Intuition.
I trust and follow my intuition to the letter. There is no way around it.
My intuition allows me to follow my pleasure and stay very connected to my body, which is critical when experiencing pain.
I'm in tune with what feels good and what doesn't. I don't continue with anything that doesn't feel good. I immediately adjust, reset, and try something different.
Lead the Experience.
I lead the sexual experience so that I am always in control of how I feel. I lead not only when I'm experiencing pain, but all the time.
As a woman, I have different needs and requirements in the bedroom than my husband. That's what equity is. Everyone gets what they need to feel safe and comfortable 100% of the time.
Equity is not 50-50.
Women have more sophisticated systems, which means our likes, dislikes, and requirements change frequently.
Why make our husbands read our minds? It's painful for them and painful for us.
It just makes sense for women to lead the sexual experience so we can create a container of safety and comfort for ourselves.
A real life example.
OK, time to get vulnerable. This is how our last sexual experience played out.
It was early Sunday morning, the day of our weekly scheduled time together.
I woke early and set my intention on my upcoming sexual experience, thinking about what would feel nourishing, delightful, and full of self-care.
Two things came to mind that have been helping me with pain.
The first is stretching. Being in certain yoga positions and stretching specific parts of my body provides me a little bit of relief.
So, I left my husband to sleep and I went to my office space to slowly stretch and allow my body to wake up and relax.
The second thing that's been helping me is heat. I passed my bathroom, noticed my tub and thought, "Ah ha, that would be fun!"
I invited my husband to join me for a bath. We sat at either ends of the tub. We talked. He held my feet. I touched his body. It felt wonderfully fun and playful.
The minute I felt like my body needed to move and get out of that tub was the minute I did it.
I tuned into my body to see how she was feeling. I was experiencing a little bit of pain but it wasn't abnormal so I was happy to continue.
We moved to the bedroom and I thought, "What do I want?"
Do I want to orgasm today?
My pelvic floor said, "No, we don't want any contracting today, but that heat sure felt nice."
I have a wonderful heat pack so I laid that on top of my body and kept it there the entire time.
I touched my husband's body. I did a lot of deep breathing. I was humming at one point because I love that sensation in my body.
My husband had an orgasm and I snuggled up next to him.
I felt so satisfied, as did he.
We drifted in and out of sleep together, feeling warm and connected.
So, there you go! I was able to have a sexual experience while still experiencing some degree of pain.
Seek connection and pleasure above all else.
You will notice that my perfectly legitimate sexual experience did not involve intercourse.
My body has not wanted that the last four months, which is totally fine!
Never force yourself to do something just because its the percieved "formula" of the way sex should look.
Connection and pleasure are the goals of sex, nothing else.
My custom-made experience was wonderful. It boosted my mood. I felt a lot more relaxed. It helped us feel connected as a couple.
And most importantly, I was comfortable the entire time.
I hope this has helped expand the possibilities of what sex can look like, especially when you are experiencing pain.
Listen to your body, respect her boundaries, and seek connection and pleasure above all else.