Virginal bleeding

Q: Me and my boyfriend (we’re 17) have been going out for a year. We had sex after a few months, the first for both of us. The first time we did it it hurt, but I didn’t bleed at all. Since then we’ve been doing it a lot, but it doesn’t feel good to me like everybody says it should. I enjoy foreplay much better than sex. Could the problem be that I didn’t bleed the first time?

Dr. Klein: Your difficulty has nothing to do with whether or not you bled your first time. If you like foreplay better than intercourse you should have more foreplay and less intercourse. You and your partner need to get a lot more comfortable with your bodies, with being sexual together, and with talking about what feels good. Common reasons for not enjoying intercourse include not being excited enough before you start, and not using contraception and therefore being nervous. Also, you should know that very few women have orgasms from intercourse alone; most need stimulation from a mouth, hand, or vibrator in order to come.

I hope you and your boyfriend will talk more about what you like, rather than doing what you think is “normal.” A book that you can read together to help you talk is my “Ask Me Anything,” available from my website or