Painful sex

Q: My girlfriend and I attempted to have sex not long ago, but she said it hurt her pretty bad, so we stopped (neither of us have had sex before). Since then, she always says she really does want to, yet she’s afraid of the pain and the “thought of something inside her.” I tell her in time it will be OK, but I am worried about it.

Dr. Klein: I don’t know how old you two are, or how much knowledge you have about sexuality or your bodies. That’s important, because you may be expecting perfect sex in imperfect circumstances. For example, are you spending enough time getting each other aroused with kissing, caressing, and whispering? Is her vagina really wet, and is your penis really firm, when you put your penis inside her?

Has she ever had a gynecological exam? The doctor or nurse could check to see if there are any health problems preventing pleasurable sex, and also explain a few things about bodies. If you can’t afford a private physician, go to Planned Parenthood or the County health department. Go together–it’s a way of being close and learning about sex together. And since we’re on the subject, make sure you use contraception *every* time you have intercourse.

Finally, keep in mind that “sex” is far more than intercourse. In fact, when people are first getting to know themselves and each other sexually, other forms of eroticism, particularly hands and mouths, are much easier to deal with than intercourse.