How to mitigate size problems in sex?
March 4, 2008 12:34 PM   Subscribe

Anatomy/sex/size-compatibility question. nsfw

My last boyfriend told me that he wasn't able to get the friction he needed from missionary-style sex, and so always and only orgasmed from a rear-entry position. He said that this was because we weren't a good "fit"--either I was too big or he was too small or I don't know what. I didn't think much about it as things were generally good for us in that department. But now we've split up; I have a new bf who is slightly smaller in all areas; and in our first encounter he had trouble finishing and seemed to prefer a from-behind position as well. I'm panicking that I'm doomed to not satisfy any man ever. So the question is: are some women just too "big"? If so, is there anything to do to mitigate this problem, short of some kind of crazy surgery? I know about kegels. This is ridiculously embarrassing even anon, so please be kind. All parties are in their late thirties/early forties.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (39 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I've read that exercising your kegels and then USING them during intercourse can help tighten things up, even after childbirth. Give it a shot!
posted by bonheur at 12:40 PM on March 4, 2008

Hmm... you're probably not too big. He's probably too small.

The question I have for you is, what's wrong with sex from behind, if that works to get both of you off? (Or even if it just gets him off, as long as he's satisfying you in other ways.)
posted by limeonaire at 12:40 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hate to be that guy, could try the OTHER "from behind"....
posted by Grither at 12:47 PM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]

You should talk to him about his masturbation. He has probably been jerking off since he was 11 with a death grip on his penis. No hole is as tight as a fist and he should work on his sensitivity with a looser hold.

That said, experiment with different positions where you feel comfortable (you don't seem to enjoy getting it from behind) and he is able to get off.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:49 PM on March 4, 2008 [6 favorites]

I wouldn't base anything on a comment from an EX and one encounter with your new beau. If you see this as a problem after a few more encounters you could bring it up. You can't have good sex with out good communication. But from a male perspective there is many reasons why it is easier to orgasm from a rear entry position above friction, so I wouldn't be too worried. Relax and see what happens down the road.
posted by Silvertree at 12:50 PM on March 4, 2008

I'm going to second kegels. Even if they don't tighten up your vaginal muscles enough, you'll still probably get more intense orgasms.

Also, I found this. Looks like kegels are key.
posted by Solomon at 12:51 PM on March 4, 2008

and in our first encounter he had trouble finishing and seemed to prefer a from-behind position as well. I'm panicking that I'm doomed to not satisfy any man ever.

Hey, hey, you're obviously a little nervous about the new relationship. You think maybe he was nervous too, and that's why he had trouble finishing? You don't need crazy surgery and your body is probably completely normal.

You're putting a lot of energy into worrying about whether your body is shaped right to satisfy men. Of course it is. But it sounds like maybe you might consider asserting your needs and wants. You get to pick how you like to do it sometimes, too, and if from behind is getting a) routine or b) making you feel bad about yourself in bed, then you can certainly point out that you'd like a little variety.
posted by desuetude at 12:52 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

That is to say, the only satisfying sex doesn't have to be missionary-style or even girl-on-top—from-behind or rear-entry is completely acceptable as long as it's satisfying!

There's also a missionary-like position I can recommend that might work in your situation, though: Face each other as you would in missionary-style, but put your legs over his shoulders. Then he thrusts as he would in missionary-style sex, only holding onto your legs for balance. That should make you more accessible to him, and also stretch things a bit down there so they feel "tighter." That plus a lot of lube may well work wonders.

And if things from behind are difficult in the standard doggy-style position (with both of you on all fours on the bed) because he falls out, try this: Bend over the bed, your legs shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent so you're at his level, leaning on your forearms for support. He should be able to enter you and stay in more easily while still being able to thrust. You can also pull your legs up under you on top of the bed and lean forward on both your knees and your arms while keeping yourself accessible to him as he stands at the edge of the bed.

Also, think about this: It may just be that the men you're with happen to be more turned on by the view from behind—and perhaps you have a particularly good ass! That may even be one of the things that attracted them to you in the first place.

In short, it may have absolutely nothing to do with either your size or his size, but rather his preferences!
posted by limeonaire at 12:55 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm panicking that I'm doomed to not satisfy any man ever.

Well, in point of fact it *does* seem like you're satisfying them, but you appear to not be satisfied with the method of delivering said satisfaction. It's not entirely clear to me from your question why you think that it's more desirable to have the man orgasm in missionary position over some other position, but to me it would seem that as long as you're being satisfied at some point too I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Indeed, I think this is a common occurrence and it's is not just you.
posted by rooftop secrets at 12:58 PM on March 4, 2008

I'm a guy and from behind is pretty much my only way to finish. I wish it were otherwise. The afformentioned lifelong tight grip definitely didn't help.

I just wish women didn't think it was something about them. Honestly, there is something really amazing about seeing a woman from behind that way. Her turning her head and looking back...pretty awesome.

I need a certain amount of speed...and it's a lot easier that way.

Do you enjoy it? There's nothing wrong with you and I'd just try to forget what your ex said.

Oh also, whenever I'm with someone new I'm really nervous and it's basically impossible for me to finish. I'll just pound away and nothing will happen. It's pretty awful. It takes me a while to get comfortable...also a new relationship means quitting wacking off, so you have two bad things happening at once.

Give it sometime, see what happens.

Did you enjoy the new guy? New sex is so weird sometimes. I find it really freaky. Except when it's awesome.
posted by sully75 at 1:01 PM on March 4, 2008 [6 favorites]

Can I just say this: when a woman smiles and lays her head down on the bed and looks really relaxed and happy in that's pretty fun.
posted by sully75 at 1:03 PM on March 4, 2008

I'm no sex-expert or gynocologist, but here's my opinion (speaking as a male)

The difference in "tightness" between missionary postion and doggie style is negligible. That is to say, if a guy tells you "I can only get off from behind"... he's probably feeding you a line of bull. (as it relates to "tightness").

I will say however.. that the sensations are different between those two positions. (those two positions stimulate the penis in different areas) ... so if a guy was saying "I like this position more because it stimulates me in a way that is more intense."----then I would totally believe that. (speaking personally, I've found doggie style is more intense)

"Also, think about this: It may just be that the men you're with happen to be more turned on by the view from behind—and perhaps you have a particularly good ass! That may even be one of the things that attracted them to you in the first place. In short, it may have absolutely nothing to do with either your size or his size, but rather his preferences!"
posted by limeonaire at 1:55 PM


Also.. (assuming) you've only had 2 sexual partners to base your experience on... you might have just hit 2 guys in row that like it doggie style.
posted by jmnugent at 1:04 PM on March 4, 2008

Size does vary from woman to woman. I remember seeing a chart on that one penis size website, but can't look it up at the moment. I don't remember it varying as much as penis size however. He may too small for you, he may not be too small for someone else. In any case it doesn't sound like something that can't be worked around.

First, he may have had trouble simply because it was your first time together. He may also prefer doggy style because of the view or the angles involved. Doggy style and other rear entry positions place pressure on the base of the penis and prostate which can feel quite good. To increase friction you could try any number of positions that involve keeping your legs together. I really enjoy doggy style in the prone position because I can be really close to my partner compared to traditional doggy. He should easily be able to kiss your neck and whisper in your ear in the prone position.
posted by robofunk at 1:15 PM on March 4, 2008

remember that men tend to be much more visually stimulated than women (which is why so many more men look at porn than women (yes, i know, plenty of women enjoy porn too)) when it comes to sex. so if they enjoy the visual show from behind, that's a big part of what is making it easier for them to climax that way, rather than any particular physical aspect of it.
posted by modernnomad at 1:17 PM on March 4, 2008

I'm unclear as to 'too big'. Are you too stretched out or too fat?
posted by pieoverdone at 1:21 PM on March 4, 2008

Moratorium on penetrative sex for a while, says I. And jacking off. Be bold! Try out a sex life where the only way he's getting off is under your control. It could be a very rewarding experiment. And do 100 10 second contractions a day just to know that you're fit in your PVC muscles.

I know how insecure you're feeling right now. Your body is how it is, in any case, and it is good enough and sexy enough right now. Try to love it. Get your head in the game on your own behalf!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:21 PM on March 4, 2008

I dont't buy the whole "it's more tight from behind" stuff either. It's far more probable you have a shapely behind, and it's very satisfying to have sex with you that way. I prefer sex from behind too, as a man, just because I really like the view. Men are very visual animals when it comes to sex.
posted by Nightwind at 1:36 PM on March 4, 2008

Look up "lingam" and "yoni," go ahead, I'll wait... OK, now you see all sorts of kama sutra references, many of them will tell you all about how to resolve the issue where the woman is a "mare" and the man is a "hare" aka "low union."
posted by Pollomacho at 1:52 PM on March 4, 2008

The difference in "tightness" between missionary postion and doggie style is negligible.

I don't agree -- some positions create a lot more tightness than others. Even just changing a few things, like the angle of hips, legs, etc, can make a big difference. If you want missionary to work, but the "regular" way isn't working for you, you might want to try keeping your legs together (so his are outside of yours, if that makes sense), or lifting up your legs towards the ceiling while keeping your legs together, or pulling your legs way back against your chest together or apart. All of those can make things tight and intense. Similarly, on your knees, you can have your legs together or apart, be down on your face or up on your hands, lay flat or kneel upright, and so on -- and all of those will feel different.

But my real guess is that it is mostly first-time nervousness. That always happened to me -- come in 30 seconds or still plugging away after 30 minutes, both getting sore and wanting it to end but can't finish. And try different condom brands (if you are using them) -- better condoms can make all the difference in the world. Maybe less lube, if you are using it, but not so little that you end up sore.

Kegels are almost always a good idea for lots of reasons -- a woman who can work those muscles is pretty awesome in my book.

All that said, he may just be a guy who needs rear entry to finish -- maybe because of the visuals, maybe because of the tightness and intensity, maybe because of how he can move or how your bodies fit together. And as long as sex is good for you, too, there's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, when I am tired or stressed, we have to switch to rear entry for me to come -- something about it will work when other positions won't. If it is painful or unpleasant for you, however, then you need to switch things up or find a new partner. But if it is good, enjoy the ride.
posted by Forktine at 1:56 PM on March 4, 2008

There are crazy surgeries for this. However, they have a high risk of causing nerve damage, vaginal pain during sex, and the effects usually don't last more than a year or two. They're also completely untested and unproven--a few gyns just decided to try them out.

You say you know about kegels--have you tried kegels? Have you tried a kegel exerciser, like Betty Dodson's vaginal barbell or others of its ilk?

While it may be the guy is feeding you BS, I don't think it's that impossible that women will be of different sizes. And as you age (especially if you have kids) the muscles down there tend to relax. Anyway, there's no reason to not try kegels. Healthy pelvic floor muscles have no downside.
posted by schroedinger at 1:58 PM on March 4, 2008

I forgot to add this (darn no editing "feature"):

are some women just too "big"?

Those tired old jokes about throwing hotdogs down hallways aside, not in my experience (although I've only once slept with someone who had given birth, which might introduce a lot more variation). There is a lot of difference in how one woman feels inside compared to another, but unless you are way out on the far end of the bell-curve, and he is out on the other end, things should be more or less ok. But in addition to differences in size, there are differences in texture and lubrication, which make a lot of difference for how much friction there is.

Add in all the variables like brand of condom, oral contraceptives, time of the month, and so on, and there is way more going on than just size, yours and his.
posted by Forktine at 2:01 PM on March 4, 2008

Just FYI, it is extremely common that men get off easier in the from behind position. To the point that (IVE READ) prostitutes often encourage the position because it gets things finished so much quicker and they can get outta there. So don't worry about this, it is true of most people.

Since you didn't say how big your partners actually were, which would seem unfortunately to be an important piece of information for the question, we can't say whether their size or lack thereof is a factor. But hey, does it really matter what position they get off in?
posted by Justinian at 2:02 PM on March 4, 2008

Some of you guys may not "buy" that from behind is tighter. And that's okay.

That being said, I have observed said phenomenon as recently as this weekend. It seems to trigger more contractions, more squeezing, etc. It's not my favorite but I can see exactly why some people say it can be tighter.
posted by crunch buttsteak at 2:09 PM on March 4, 2008

One of the few plotlines in the book of The Godfather that didn't make it into the movies concerns a girl (who is a minor character in the first movie - the girl that Sonny is screwing during the wedding reception) who has this problem. I don't know if this information is really helpful to you. I think she ends up getting an operation. In the book, Sonny is incredibly well-endowed and they are a good match. It's a pretty cheezy subplot, but maybe there are people who really do get operations for this.
posted by thomas144 at 2:10 PM on March 4, 2008

Honestly I think it's because they control the movements to the greatest extent and with the least extertion in this position and that means they can easily pound away hard and fast. Which seems to be the only way some guys can get off. (Can you tell I'm not a fan?)
posted by loiseau at 2:20 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

nthing there's nothing wrong with you. Also nthing kegels. My only concern is that it's not clear from your question whether *you* are getting off. Even if your guy needs a certain position to finish up, make sure you get plenty of whatever you need to orgasm before that.
posted by happyturtle at 2:23 PM on March 4, 2008

Try the magic stick* and see if that increases his ability to finish in positions other than from behind. If so, it is possibly a size issue. If not, then it possibly just preference issue.

*I've never tried this, so I don't even know if it works, thus it would probably be unwise to use this as the sole determining factor.
posted by necessitas at 2:46 PM on March 4, 2008

The Magic Stick is a variation on the old alum trick. (The things you learn from reading Victorian porn!) Alum doesn't actually tighten the muscles, but it pulls out moisture from the vaginal walls. I don't think this would be very pleasant at any time, and especially not during sex. Google found this page, which confirms that alum is the first ingredient in the Magic Stick. The second ingredient is tannin, another astringent. I'd skip this completely.

Pay no attention to the third ingredient in the list. I'm sure it doesn't mean what you think it means.
posted by rosebuddy at 3:03 PM on March 4, 2008

There probably isn't anything "wrong" with you. It is possible that your uterus is tilted a bit, and maybe his penis is at a certain angle that make the penetration feel loose...speaking from experience. That limits you to certain positions, but there are so many that you probably won't get bored.

Definitely do the kegel exercises and make it fun...nothing wrong with either of you.

Interesting to read the guys' responses about liking the view from behind (noted, thanks). I think a lot of women have this idea that guys only do ugly girls from behind!
posted by kenzi23 at 3:37 PM on March 4, 2008

I find this interesting too. I'm wondering if this is also common with lesbians and bisexual women. One of the biggest reasons why I can't get turned on from watching porn is because I see hot women bending over exposing their buttholes, I find that a turn-off. I would like to imagine that women do not have them. Because, you know what comes out. :(
posted by sixcolors at 3:56 PM on March 4, 2008

One guy's point of view.

The number one thing on the list should be "he needs to leave himself alone for a few days". 2-3 should be enough. Also, he should really work on his physical stamina. If he pleasures himself a lot he needs to really be able to keep up an intense pace during intercourse. Some things that might help him along are dirty talk (as dirty as possible, maybe embarrassingly dirty for you depending on the guy, some prior communication would definitely be in order... honestly a good performance might stick in his head even into future encounters with you), whatever shoes or clothes he prefers you wear. If you can truly turn him on mentally he'll have a much easier time. Though the physical stamina and holding-off of masturbation should be his top priorities in this matter.

Also, sex as a chore is a major turn-off (unless you are literally the image he thinks of when he takes care of himself, and that's a VERY tall order no matter how hot you are, guys are just built like that). Any comments/actions that suggest you are wondering "if he's almost there" including flat-out asking "are you almost done?" is akin to asking him how his grandmother is doing... not productive in this situation.

Unless the size discrepancy is so great that his penis cant touch both sides of your vaginal walls at the same time, I can't see how you being "too big" is really an issue. You can always vary the position to increase friction. Tightness isn't the critical variable in the equation, just one of many that can contribute to climax. Good luck to you.
posted by high0nfire at 4:18 PM on March 4, 2008

there is also a decent chance that the bf's don't really know how to get just the right amount of friction out of sex. you know, when you touch yourself, it's easy to do it just the way you like it. it takes a bit of experience to get the hang (npi) of it.
posted by krautland at 4:19 PM on March 4, 2008

Tightness isn't the critical variable in the equation, just one of many that can contribute to climax.

This is only true if he isn't one of those guys who screwed himself up with the "grip of death". Yes, it really is possible to masturbate too hard. I mean it won't make it fall off or anything but it messes up your sensitivity to friction.
posted by Justinian at 4:26 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

oh oh. durex condoms. for me, the one in the red box. um...I think I might be a teensy bit bigger though. But for me they made all the difference. Like, amazing.

If he's using some crappy trojans or something, he's missing the whole thing. Find the Durex that fits him. Amazing difference.
posted by sully75 at 4:51 PM on March 4, 2008

I hardly imagine that this has the slightest thing to do with size. Certainly, the case could be made that different combinations of pussy and dick sizes might increase the amount of pre-orgasmic pleasure for one or the other party. However, I don't think that has a damn thing to do with whether or not a healthy male can reach climax. The reasons offered above seem to cover many of the possible causes of his need to take you from behind.

I should point out that when I've been banging away for a while, we're both tired, and I still want to come, I flip her over and take her from behind. I favor it, as do many, many other men and women out there. For me it's three things: 1) domination/animalism, 2) the smell of her cunt which now has the opportunity to waft upward to my nostrils (pheromones?), 3) the view.

If everybody enjoys themselves, what's the problem?

That said, sometimes I really can't physically get enough friction to come in any reasonable timeframe regardless of position. At such times, I work to remove lubrication.

The easiest one is for him just to pull out and wipe himself off.

However, depending on how wet you might be, he might find it helpful to gently wipe away the excess pussy juices from the opening of your vagina. I'm not talking about swabbing deep in your sniz with a washcloth on a finger, just sopping up the pools that form between the lips. Obviously, you should only do this if you find your current levels of lubrication at least adequate. If sex afterwards causes you discomfort, just wait a little while before going back to vag-pen. You'll pretty quickly relubricate, as long as you stay sexual.
posted by Netzapper at 5:26 PM on March 4, 2008

I'm with the people who think this probably isn't really a mismatch problem at all.


... on the off chance that it is, and provided that you really prefer the missionary position, then he needs to kind of raise himself up on his knees such that the friction he needs is in the right place.

Another option is to switch positions from behind to missionary when he's close to orgasm. He'll probably be close enough to finish in the position you like, and for that matter if he's getting less stimulation that will prolong things a bit (delay is usually good for male orgasm quality, he should thank you).

Anyway, it sounds as though you're taking all the responsibility here for providing him with whatever he needs to get off, but the "problem", whatever it is, is his too, and if he actually likes you, he should be just as keen on finding something that works for BOTH of you as you are.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:35 PM on March 4, 2008

I have had sex with one woman who was indeed too big. She had never given birth; that was just her personal size. She was also someone who lubricated quite a lot, and because of these things, sex with her just was not enjoyable. Doggie style didn't change this in the slightest. I remember once, on top of her, thinking to myself that it was like entering a gymnasium. For reference, I was using my standard issue 6" penis at the time; it has been a good fit with most of my other 20 or so sexual partners. Only two girls complained I needed to go slow because it was bigger than what they were used to (both East Asian, for what it's worth.)

I've also slept with several women who've undergone natural childbirth, and things were fine, so that isn't it.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Sockpuppetry at 6:55 PM on March 4, 2008

I forgot to mention this earlier.

Do not get surgery.

Repeat. Do not get surgery.

A guy needing to finish himself off my hand or doggy style is WAY preferable to surgeons butchering your perfectly fine vagina. I think him coming with methods that work is much preferable to risking side effects from unnecessary surgery.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:12 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

i dunno. i won't be surprised if there's a pile on (even though people have implied you need work, or it's you or something), and i'm seriously not a generally gleeful "size matters!" sort of queen girl, but for a certain point, ehrm, size does matter (in the specific realms we're talking about, ie vaginal sex in certain positions). i've been with people who rarely orgasmed with me and, while i had warm fuzzy feelings from sex and a broad sense of "glow" from the experience of being intimate with them, i didn't see stars with, and i thought for a while my body wasn't good for boys in the ol' fashioned way and that i was going to have to always dedicate myself to being more creative intimately in order to be happy with a partner. which can be fine. but it just so happened that then i got with someone who's by no means hung or anything, but was just larger enough for me to go "eureeka! all this time i just needed a little more." and while i don't mean to discount troubleshooting when the standard supposed storybook way we're all supposed to fuck doesn't cut it--indeed, imaginative problem-solving in the bedroom can bond people more intimately than some cinema-worthy mutual orgasm--i will say personally i was pretty floored it was all suddenly so easy. we did "just fit." and that can be great too. and that's ok to admit. the reason it's ok is because relationships as we all know are about more than just vaginal sex. there's communication, there's just darn liking each other as people to help you along, and there's other fun ways to get off together. but the thing is. your specific question is about vaginal sex, and even more specific than that, comparing positions of vaginal sex with regard to size. and if you wanna be that specific, then yes, sometimes people mesh equipment-wise for the specific no-frills blunt reasons you speculate on. it just doesn't have to be the end of the story, that's all, if it doesn't happen to be the case for you. others above have given all sorts of examples of ways to deal with it, and it doesn't mean either of you are doomed or anything like that. and i also think people are onto something with stating behind is just a visual-guy-thing. but as for your essential question, yes, there are probably others who "fit" better with you. but that doesn't have to matter.

sorry if that was a meaningless and wordy post. i'm struggling to find a way to coherently say the truth about it, a simple truth really, without seeming like it's throway/negligable. size can matter if you're fixated on basic strict parameters for doing it. yes. but luckily most people don't limit themselves to those parameters. that's not to say there aren't theoretically people out there with whom it would all be much simpler and easier with sex-size-wise. (shrug) it's pretty lovely when you happen to collide with said people. but it's hardly essential in these days of open-minded communicative sex.
posted by ifjuly at 8:38 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

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