Dear Di,

I think I might have a physical problem “down there.” Whenever I have sex with my boyfriend I’m always left with pain in the vaginal area. As a result I’ve started getting a lot of anxiety whenever my partner and I are about to get intimate. Is this normal?

-Uncomfortable Lover

Dear UL,

Everyone experiences sex differently, and problems like yours are not that uncommon. There might be a few reasons why you’re experiencing pain during sex.

First of all, do you bring enough lube into the bedroom? Sometimes natural lubrication just isn’t enough, and that’s where the pain might be coming from.

You can always use artificial lubricants, which come in many different forms from oil to silicone-based. I suggest you play around with these different products to see what’s most comfortable for you.

Another reason why you might be experiencing discomfort is because your partner hasn’t learned how to “push your buttons” in the right way. Let them know which positions are more comfortable and which movements tend to bother you. You might not know what turns you on quite yet, in which case don’t be afraid to play around down there on your own time.

If you can figure that out, it’ll be a lot easier for you to guide your partner. Getting to know your body a little bit better will not only boost your confidence, but it’ll also help you deal with any anxiety that you may feel whenever things start heating up in bed. Your muscles tend to contract when you’re nervous, which could tighten your vagina even more, causing additional discomfort.

Having explored all those options, if you’re still experiencing pain you might want to consult with a doctor. Some people may have natural physical conditions such as vaginismus which needs to be taken care of by a physician. There’s no need to be scared or embarrassed about this, and you’ll be a lot more at ease once you get it checked out.

Love,

Di


Dear Di,

I’m starting to feel really self-conscious about my performance in bed because I can’t seem to last very long. This has really taken a toll on my confidence because I’m scared to disappoint my partner. What can I do about this?

-Quickie Expert

Dear QE,

Rest easy, you’re one of many for whom premature ejaculation is a constant struggle. According to the Mayo Clinic, one in three men experience this problem at least once in their lifetime.

Luckily, I have a few tips and tricks that’ll hopefully prolong your nights of lovemaking.

Try masturbating about an hour or so before having sex. This will most likely reduce your sex drive enough that you won’t be caught off guard mid-pump.

You can also try wearing thicker condoms. This might help reduce sensitivity, which would allow you to keep going a little longer without climaxing too early.

Also, remember that sex doesn’t just start and end with penetration. Foreplay not only allows you to enjoy an alternate level of intimacy with your partner, it also lets you stretch sexual intercourse over a longer period of time. Whether it be through oral sex or finger play, try exploring different ways to pleasure your partner before penetration. I guarantee it will most likely give you a boost of confidence in bed.

In the end, remember that the quality of your sexual experience significantly outweighs its quantity. People are, unfortunately, constantly held up to unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex.

Sadly, a man’s performance in bed has falsely become a marker of his masculinity. With that said, try to focus more on the act itself than on its longevity and be sure to have fun with it!

Love,

Di