Painful sex is something that a lot of women struggle with. My friend Sue was one of those women. Sue experienced pain during penetrative sex as soon as she was sexually active.
Sue tried to get help for the pain. She tried:
Even after all of that, Sue had no relief...
Unfortunately, Sue’s situation is so common. This is a story that I hear again and again from the participants of the Wanting It More program. They’ve received lots of medical interventions, yet no relief.
There can absolutely be physical causes for painful sex (which is why I would never discourage you from seeking medical attention), but pain isn't just physical.
Here are three things that actually worked to relieve Sue's pain after the medical world left her disappointed:
Culture has done a pretty great job of giving you terribly wrong information about how your body “should” work. The beautiful thing about the Wanting It More program is that you break down those cultural standards and learn to recognize misinformation. You acknowledge that media has had an effect on your sex life, and then you commit to making sure it doesn't define you moving forward.
This shame can be related to so many different aspects in your life. Maybe it’s around a religious upbringing and feeling like sex is not spiritual. It might be around a childhood message you were told. Maybe it’s a sexual secret that you are holding onto - that was the case for Sue. But when Sue spoke it out loud to someone she could trust (her husband), her path to healing began.
Shame loves secrecy. It can delight and grow and thrive in that environment and we want you to bring it out into the light so it can stop growing. Shame isn't helpful for your physical or emotional, spiritual pleasure in the sexual experience.
You might already know where you feel shame related to sex and why. But if not, a simple journal exercise of asking the question, “Where am I feeling shame?” and waiting for the answer to come, is a great place to start. Once you have explored where it’s coming from, you can begin taking steps to eliminate that shame. I know this can feel daunting, but I have seen so many women confront their shame and then have such relief in their pain symptoms. It makes sense. The body wants to protect. If the body is not feeling open and able to be vulnerable in this intimate experience, it will shut down.
You have to stop harming your body and doing things just because culture tells you that's the acceptable way to have sex. When did sex become synonymous with penetrative intercourse? That's just absolutely ridiculous. Sex is about connection. It's about mutual pleasure. It's about coming together and having that intimacy heartbeat in your relationship. And it should never include pain, ever!
Once Sue was able to give herself that permission and feel confident and courageous in having a voice, then she began to truly enjoy sex. And later on, wouldn't you know, she was able to have penetrative sex. And that wasn’t the pinnacle of success for her. It was now just another one of the many options of a satisfying, fulfilling sexual experience.
Once you allow that and accept that and you're not pushing yourself or wondering what's wrong, and why you're broken, you begin to realize that your body is capable of tremendous amounts of pleasure.
I hope you take these simple (not easy) steps and put them into action.
I am in your corner,