Q: I am a 32-year-old woman. For almost a year I’ve been receiving treatment for a medical condition that can make penetrative sex painful. This makes it difficult for me to relax, and enjoy, sexual intercourse. Most painful is deep penetration, so I am always tense and concerned that my partner might get carried away. This is putting a strain on my relationship. Is there anything I can do to overcome this depressing situation?
A: More than 70 per cent of women will experience pain during sex at some time in their lives, but painful sex is never OK. If sexual intercourse is causing you pain you need to seek medical advice at once. There are a wide range of conditions that can result in sex being painful, including endometriosis, fibroids, hypertonic pelvic floor dysfunction, and vaginismus. Not all of these conditions can be cured, so, in these cases, pain management is necessary.
One of the activities that can be particularly painful is deep penile penetration of the vagina, especially with thrusting. It can be difficult for the partner to judge this, and desire can cause him to get carried away. As a result, many women cannot relax into their pleasure, and neither can their partners. As you say, this constraint and worry can spoil a couple’s sex life, and take its toll on their relationship.
In the 22 years that I ran Bliss for Women I had innumerable requests for a product that could regulate the depth of penetration, but there was nothing available. However, thanks to an ingenious Kickstarter project run by Emily Sauer, a breakthrough product was launched in 2018 – the Ohnut (ohnut.co).