Are We Bad At Communicating Pain During Sex?

August 2, 2015
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Are We Bad At Communicating Pain During Sex?

I can relate to this; there have been many times during sex that instead of feeling pleasure, I end up feeling pain. And not that good kind of pain, that really quite pleasurable sort, but the bad kind of pain, the sort that genuinely hurts and isn’t in any way pleasant. Did I speak up and tell him to stop? Not always. For the most part, I just ‘sucked it up’ and let it pass. Occasionally when l felt that the situation wasn’t changing anytime soon, and the pain was going to last a while, I spoke up.

So why don’t I speak up all the time?

There are a few reasons. It’s a combo of ‘not wanting to spoil to mood’ and ‘not wanting to hurt his feelings’. It’s silly and potentially dangerous, but apparently I’m not the only one that does this. Researchers from the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University, and the University of Texas, Houston, looked at data from the 2012 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior to find out how pain appears during sex and what people do about it. The data only looks at heterosexual vaginal and anal intercourse.

For the most part, it would seem that neither men or women feel pain during vaginal intercourse, with 93% men saying they feel no pain and 70% women saying the same. But 24% of women say they feel a little pain, compared to 6% of men and 6% of women saying they feel moderate pain, and only 1% of men.

Interestingly, up to 65% of men who did feel pain didn’t mention it to their partners, compared to 43% of women. For the most part, the reaction was to just ‘grin and bear it’, though 38% of the men and 25% of the women surveyed changed positions, and about 25% of both sexes took the time to add lube. But that’s still a large percentage that did nothing at all.

I would like to say, “If it hurts, speak up!” But then again, I would be a hypocrite because when the sex involved me, I didn’t say anything either.

I guess the question is, when do you speak up? If you know the pain is going to last for just a few seconds, then yeah, most of us will grin and take it. Though if there is genuine pain that lasts longer than the initial few seconds, then it is important to speak up. Not just for yourself but also so that your partner knows that what he/she is doing isn’t pleasurable.

As much as I think that I’m ‘embarrassing’ my partner by speaking up, I am really doing more harm by not doing so. If the situations were turned and I found out that I was hurting my partner and they never mentioned it that would really hurt! More than the few seconds it would take to just change positions so that both of us can have a good time during sex. What about you? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

Are We Bad At Communicating Pain During Sex? 1 vote

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