Why does sex hurt?

Jay Dee

Why does sex hurt?

Oct 07, 2015

I got this question last night: On my wedding night I lost my virginity to my husband. I went on my honeymoon the following week and my husband attempted to have sex once and it lasted like a couple mins because it hurt me .

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Anonymous QuestionI got this question last night:

On my wedding night I lost my virginity to my husband. I went on my honeymoon the following week and my husband attempted to have sex once and it lasted like a couple mins because it hurt me . A month later we attempted a couple times but he would get frustrated that it still hurt me and he would try for a few min as he was hard and than it would go down and he would just walk away from me without trying more. I found journal entries that he had kept about being addicted to masturbating in the past.. I have never caught him masturbating but we were hardly having sex and that worries me when I would approach him he would say I don’t have sex with you cause it hurts you. As newlyweds we barely had sex and I found that weird. I ended up leaving him after 5 months of marriage because I was really scared he had issues and he would not address them. What do you think the actual problem is?

The actual problem?  I think the actual problem is that you didn’t communicate enough.  I may be wrong, I mean, I’m guessing based on a paragraph, but typically I find couples who have problems like these, the real issue is a lack of communication.  You didn’t mention anything about discussing how to make it better, talking about options, talking to a doctor, nothing.  So, that’s what I think the “actual” problem is.

However, I have a feeling what you’re wanting to ask is why does sex hurt.  And that can be from a number of reasons.

Lack of lubrication

The most likely is a lack of lubrication.  Often new brides go on birth control pills, which can cause a lack of lubrication.  So can anxiety and fear.  So can a lack of foreplay.  Whatever the reason, if you don’t have enough lubrication, then things are not going to be pleasant.  It’s going to hurt.

Inability to relax

Along with lubrication, it’s also good to be relaxed.  Of course, first time sex can be a difficult time to relax.  So, next time you try (assuming there is a next time), maybe ask for a massage first.  Use coconut oil, and have him massage EVERYWHERE.  That might help with both the relaxation and the lubrication.

Note: There’s no hard evidence that I’ve seen about whether coconut oil will degrade condoms or won’t, so be aware of that if you are using condoms.

Going too fast

Often both of these (lack of lubrication and inability to relax) are caused by going too fast.  Take it slow.  Start with a massage, like I said, move on to foreplay, then sex.  If you just jump to sex, many wives will not be happy campers.  Firstly, because it’s going to hurt, but also because women tend to take longer to orgasm, so just jumping into sex is a recipe for a huge orgasm gap.

Scar tissue, unbreakable hymen and other medical problems

And of course, there’s always the outside chance of needing medical intervention.  Sometimes there is scar tissue that causes pain, because scar tissue doesn’t stretch like ordinary tissue.  Also, sometimes women have a hymen that’s stronger than “normal”, and needs to be cut by a doctor.  There’s also conditions like vaginismus, which I’m afraid I know very little about, that cause a lot of pain during sex.  All of these need to be discussed with a qualified medical doctor.

The masturbation problem

And then we have the prior masturbation addiction, which again, is something that should be discussed.  But, it would not surprise me in the least that a failed sexual life with his wife made it easy to fall back into old habits and pick up his masturbation addiction again.  Just because you never caught him doesn’t mean he wasn’t doing it.  There are many many husbands who are never caught despite decades of being addicted.

So, what do you do?

You said you left him.  But, I’m not sure if you mean separation, or divorce.  In either case, if you want a successful marriage, you’re going to learn to communicate more and more effectively.  Talk about sex, talk about how it’s bothering you, talk about solutions and options, and talk to a doctor if necessary.  In short: start talking.

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17 thoughts on “Why does sex hurt?”

  1. Norah says:

    I hit the disagree button but I didn’t mean to. ? I agree with everything you said and I think it was also forgot to mention that he could have been addicted to porn which usually goes hand and hand with masturbation. I hope it’s not to late and they can reconcile their marriage.
    Ps can you delete the disagree vote your post was great

  2. LatterDay Marriage says:

    Another sign there was a communication issue was that she had to find out from his journal about his past. They should have discussed their past with each other in detail before the wedding.

  3. libl says:

    Sex hurt for me the first time, but I was determined and just muscled through. I could barely walk the next day, but soon enough I was used to sex and it didn’t hurt anymore. It was my choice to muscle through the pain, however, at the same time I was told that it was a shame to not let a man consummate the marriage on the wedding night. Yeah, was a rather misogynistic teaching.

    Sometimes sex just hurts. It sometimes has nothing to do with lube, hymen, scar tissue, or inability to relax. It just hurts. Even after all these years and several human beings exiting that same pipeline, it can hurt from time to time.

    1. El Fury says:

      I think libl is right… sometimes sex just hurts.

      Another element to consider is that the church teaches our kids to suppress all sexual feelings/actions until marriage, and then flip a switch on the wedding night to turn things on. One side effect is that our kids have a hard time communicating about sex when they get married. It can be hard to flip the switch and become sexual overnight.

      I teach my kids abstinence before marriage, but I do worry about setting them up for failure in their future marriages. How can we be sex-positive while still hammering home the “wait till you’re married” message?

      1. Jay Dee says:

        I think too often Christian kids are taught “Don’t have sex” at worst, or “Don’t have sex until you’re married” more often, but rarely “Wait until you have sex, and you’ll reap the benefits a million times over”

        1. Greville Constantine says:

          Well said brother JD!! Well said. More proof of western WASPIAN religious influence.

  4. Keelie Reason says:

    Wow, this is so disheartening that they ended the marriage after just a few months. There has to be more going on there than this email states. I know that J over at Hot Holy Humorous and Sheila at To Love Honor and Vacuum have written articles about vaginitus.

  5. Katie says:

    I had a similar problem to this when I got married. Sex did NOT feel good. Not even a little bit. I expected it to hurt the first time, but and I even expected to be sore the next couple of times, but sex hurt for a long time. I bled every single time (even with lube). Our sex life got off to a very rocky start because it wasn’t enjoyable to me because of that. But then I decided that I needed to muscle through it, regardless of whether it hurt or not, because it was important to my marriage. I honestly just think those parts just needed to learn to get… used, I guess. After regular sex for a week or two, I stopped bleeding every time I had sex. And then it became quite enjoyable. I just had to endure discomfort for a couple of weeks. I DO think in the beginning, it was the initial virginity/nerves thing, but when those things were gone, it still hurt, and because of that, I didn’t want to have sex with my husband, and eventually he stopped pursuing it that often. And a lot of times when we started, we didn’t finish. Then I put my foot down and decided I had to get over it, that if sex constantly hurt, people wouldn’t be doing it all the time, and I pursued my husband. I think my body just had to get used to friction that it wasn’t accustomed to.

    I hope this woman learns to communicate better with her husband, and not give up so easily. They are definitely lacking some serious communication.

  6. Gabriella says:

    I’ve been married for 10 years and it’s still painful and is NOT pleasurable, my ob/gyn checked me out she said she didn’t see anything wrong

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Perhaps get a second opinion. Not all OB/GYN’s are equal.

  7. Meko says:

    My husband is very thick and I am a small woman. Even oral is a challenge. We have learned to be patient and use lots of lube during intercourse and find the right positions. Yes, I am often on top. We also find playful and non-penetrative ways to give each other orgasms. Sex is a blessing not a punishment.

  8. Greville Constantine says:

    Hello JD!! Long time no hear. I am sending this via WIFI at my sister in law’s home. Months of financial pressure has stopped me from purchasing data on my smart phone. This is y the long silence. But anyway, my situation is not really about pain in sex but erectile distinction. For the past year (November 22nd was my 1st wedding annieversary), I have been having “clitoral slapping” sex with my wife. We still manage to orgasm and have very intense orgasms when we climax. But to be able to ” ” penetrate” her vagina is extremely difficult. I have managed to penetrate her about 9 times already, but only by holding my penis to keep it engorged so it can penetrate her inner labia. My wife, god bless her, has been patient and understanding but has complained to me that I am not physically attracted to her because of my inability to penetrate her. I have done so 9 times already so we are getting somewhere, but don’t think it’s enough. I attribute this to (yes I admit it) to personally masturbating for so long that my mind did not program itself for finding s real woman/wife. Also, because of chronic masturbation for so long I might have in some way damaged myself due to overindulgence. However, having penetrated my beautiful, sexy wife 9 times (& if you do ever see my wife, you will see y I am so determined to resolve this) , there is still hope. So I am planning to visit a well known sexologist in my country of Trinidad who knows of my situation because he had already recommended erectile rejuvenation procedures that can help. He is also notorious for promoting open marriage lifestyles, swinging,& wild fantasy enhancement for marriages. But he is the most qualified sexologist in the entire country and I believe he has the solution for me. But because he is so provocative in his sexual beliefs, my wife does not want to see him& is convinced we can handle the situation on our own (1 of her unpredictable moods as most wives get). So, I have made up my mind that I will go & visit the gentleman myself to get this situation resolved. If you want to respond to me do it tommorow because after I leave her home with the free WIFI, it may be months(& I mean months before we ever speak again).

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think it would be unwise to try and solve your sexual problems with your wife by going behind her back to try a procedure she is clearly not supportive of. What use an erection if you damage your relationship? Plus, it’s only been a year. It can take years to rewire the brain. He will always be there, but your relationship is not so easily repaired.

  9. JG says:

    For the first year/year and a half of our marriage, sex was not fun for me. It hurt really bad and I cried a lot. Just like the woman above, I lost my virginity to my husband on our wedding night, so I felt I wasn’t enough- he had been so patient and God-honoring about our relationship, I wanted to be able to bless him. We talked a lot about it. I prayed often for it to go away or for God’s help. My doctor said she thought it was both mental and physical.

    Much of my relief came when I decided to start looking in my husband’s eyes and saying out loud, “I trust you. You love me and won’t hurt me.” Usually he would respond in agreement, but mostly, speaking it out totally helped me relax and I actually enjoy it now. 🙂 it still hurts here and there but not nearly as bad or as often.
    I know it’s said a lot on this site that communication is big, which is 100% true, but I think it helped to communicate that not just with my husband, but with myself and God as well.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thank you for sharing. I hope it will encourage others, and I’m so glad you were able to get past this hurdle.

  10. Jimchristian says:

    Disheartening. As a man, however, I wonder why he married her, or she him. Why the surrender? Why is their church so empty that they have no one to talk to? The church needs a man’s man to advise young men how to treat and manage their wives and sex lives, perhaps. And also a lady that the wives can talk to about their problems. Instead, 5 months in, and the marriage is over. They each have a divorce on the way, or at least the split.

    Still and all, the man is the leader, he is supposed to initiate, to have the strength and sexual drive to crave the satisfaction of and deliver his wife her satisfaction. All of JayDee’s recommendations are wise and true, but STILL, her husband is a fail from where I sit. He was delivered into his life, a virgin woman who has no experience and is in need of his leadership. If her husband is off somewhere diddling himself instead of making love to her and making a life with his wife, she has no choice but to divorce.

    On another note and the more interesting for this girl’s interest going forward, I wonder if she isn’t still a virgin? I hope my curiosity isn’t inappropriate, but if there was no penetration, if these kids didn’t consummate their marriage, would she have to wait the 6 months or a year to complete her divorce, JayDee? And, in her church, in the eyes of God, could she claim/deny the violation of, her virginity in this marriage? It doesn’t sound as if she was ever penetrated.

    Well, good luck to them. I suppose free speech and all that applies and so there is porn, and the hubby was likely ruined on that, but it sure causes damage to the men that indulge in it. Shame on them. I just don’t consider “porn addictions” or masturbation issues as an illness, it’s sloppy behavior, it’s selfish and it can be broken.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Why he married her? Who’s to say, I don’t think the post gives any indication one way or another. However, it could be that he just can’t reconcile causing pain and sex, and so he’s choosing an “easier alternative” and going to masturbation. But, we don’t know. It’s all speculation. What they need is communication I think.

      As for any there is no one to talk to, that is a very common problem, and sadly, in my experience, sometimes when one does rise up and say they can be talked to about such things, their advice is more harm than good. I agree, it’s a huge need in our churches, but that’s a massive topic to try and discuss in a comment.

      Is the husband failing? Yeah, probably. The wife might be failing as well, most likely. We all fail, constantly, that is the nature of man. But, what’s the point in casting blame? Does it matter who’s fault it is? Why not instead work towards a better future, instead of trying to pin the past on one or the other.

      As for not being penetrated, sounds like she was on their wedding night, but even if she wasn’t, do you think penetration = sex, and without penetration, you’re a virgin in the biblical sense (not in the technical sense)? I don’t. I would rather see them both get some help and move forward together. Just because they are struggling now, doesn’t mean they can’t get past this.

      And then there is the issue of whether porn addiction is real or not. Medically speaking, it exists, one cannot deny the effects on the brain of some people in it. I don’t think it starts as an addiction, but I also think there’s a lot of room to grow for compassion in your stance. While we are called to judge other believers, we are called to do so with compassion and humility. I hear the judgement, but not the compassion. One without the other is just as much a sin as porn addiction 🙂 In either case, they’re outside of God’s will, and need to be repented of, and turned away from. That is to say, I agree, it can be broken, but it’s not always as simple as just deciding to.

      For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. – Romans 3:23

      We need to be quick to recognize sin, but just as quick to recognize God’s perfect creation that’s been deceived by sin. It’s a difficult line to walk, I know. To be compassionate, yet take a hard stance. Thankfully, we have Jesus as our example, and the Holy Spirit to guide us. It’s on us to read, pray and listen to that guidance so that we can turn away from sin ourselves, and hopefully be an example, a mentor, coach, guide, counselor, or whatever position God puts us in.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for your passion, and I’m encouraged by it, that there are people in our churches who want to stand up and fight this deception, but let us not forget that we are deceived every day, just as they are, even if not in the exact same deceptions.

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