Advice

On hurting the first time.

I am nineteen. I am dating a super guy. He is twenty-eight, but the age difference isn’t the thing. I feel like we both know what the age difference means and doesn’t mean, and are ok with it. I’ve only had one serious boyfriend before this, and he was really hung up on sex before marriage being wrong. I don’t feel that way at all: I really love making out and have always been comfortable enjoying sexual things. I assumed that I would love actual sex (as in vaginal penetration) but the one time we sort of half-heartedly (on his part) tried, the penis wouldn’t go in. I don’t think he really tried, as he was in the throes of Raging Erection vs. Angry Jehovah, but it definitely didn’t work and sort of hurt.

The current boyfriend is more experienced than I am, and things have been really great (hey, he knows where the clitoris is! etc.) but we haven’t actually had sex. We take baths together and make out and bring each other to orgasm, all of which is fantastic, but actual vaginal penetration has only kind of taken place. I think. We tried actual sex about two months ago, and it really hurt me, so we stopped. I decided I was just being a wimp, and so a week or so later, I said I wanted to try again, and this time I felt him inside me a little bit but OH MY HOLY GOD IT HURT SO MUCH. I broke my jaw in a bike accident a year ago, and I would rather break it again than feel that again. I mean it REALLY FUCKING HURT. I couldn’t help whimpering a bit and he asked if he should keep going. I said yes because I just wanted to get it over with now that we’d started, but he stopped like a minute later because he could tell it was really hurting.

It hurt for like a week, so much that I couldn’t sit cross legged or even poop. I was afraid it would get infected too, and it still feels like when you scrape your elbow and it gets sort of tender to touch. It bled a bit, but not a whole lot, which makes me think maybe we didn’t get it the whole way. We tried again about a week later, and it *really* hurt then, I think because it was tender from being torn and healing back together.

I tried talking to a nurse that the university had come and talk about sexual health, but she seemed to think the boyfriend was pressuring me and told me I should wait until I was ready to have sex. I was pretty mad over how sexist this was- assuming that I didn’t really want to have sex. Boyfriend is NOT pressuring me. He’s been really sweet and patient and says that although vaginal sex would be nice he is satisfied right now too. It’s just that I *want* to have actual sex, and am nervous now that this may never actually happen unless I get like, passed out drunk or something. I’m worried that it’s not supposed to hurt like this, and seriously, if it hurts like this I am afraid I’ll eventually give up on vaginal sex forever. Which would be sad. I was so looking forward to this!

Most of the women I know are really religious/conservative, and I can’t really ask them, but the two girls I have asked have said it didn’t hurt at all for them their first time. I know it normally hurts a little, but I don’t think I’m a wimp, and this was excruciating. Like if that’s the only way, I don’t think I can do that.

I am 5’2” and pretty small, and boyfriend is pretty well endowed (from my research), so I don’t know if that is it. Also, I orgasm from grinding on things, not penetration (so far, anyway) and it hurts when I even try to penetrate myself with my fingers, if I go in very far at all. I tried going into the local Planned Parenthood clinic a few months ago for contraception, and they weren’t very friendly. I don’t know how I would even start to ask them this sort of thing. Also, I am a student, so I am typically pretty broke, and I wouldn’t want to sacrifice a week’s gas money to go to the doctor just so he/she can tell me “It’s normal. Wait until you’re ready.”

Is this normal? Am I being a wimp? This is just really excruciating and not enjoyable at all.

Afraid that I may remain technically a virgin forever,

D

You sound like a good kid. I’m really sorry that you’re surrounded by crazy christians. Those bible thumping, vagina hating bastards really know how to shame, confuse, and miseducate a young girl. They are fundamentally wrong and woefully unreliable about pretty much everything, but especially sex.

Based on your description of the situation, my best guess is you’ve got a hymen like a Jersey Shore bouncer. Breaking the seal is notoriously unpleasant, and it sounds like you’ve got it worse than most. Thing is, I’m not a doctor, and I haven’t dealt with this situation since hammer pants were in fashion.

Everything you’re saying makes sense up to a point, but then you start talking about things “healing back together” and that you’re walking around with pain for a week. That makes me nervous. It think you need to check in with a medical professional on this, and I don’t mean some university lecture circuit nurse with a political agenda.

I want you to find a real doctor, preferably a female gynecologist with no crosses on the wall. Get a full pelvic exam. Tell her everything in detail, and ask her what’s going on. Hopefully, she’ll tell you that everything is fine, and she’ll give you some Astroglide and a stick to bite down on until the pain goes away and sex starts feeling good.

Best of luck, sweetie. I promise, it gets much, much better.

* I got a note from a well-informed reader who suggests that you may have a condition called Vaginismus. All the more reason to go to a gynecologist.

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