Help me avoid pain during my honeymoon
June 2, 2008 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Newlywed here. First-time sex question inside.

My husband and I got married a few days ago. We were both virgins and we had sex for the first time 2 days ago. It hurt a lot (for me)...but no blood. We've now had sex a few times and it still hurts every time. My husband tells me he felt some "resistance" at first, but not anymore, just a lot of tightness. I read a few of the past questions with this topic, with a lot of suggestions of going to the doctor. I'm NOT going to the doctor (at least during the honeymoon), so is there anything someone can tell me that could help at this time?

I'm guessing my hymen tore a little on a side or something (it hurts more in a specific area) and part of it is still tight around the edges/entrance. What can I do do make the pain stop? Should we take a break for a day and maybe let it heal? Or just keep on so that it doesn't "close up" again? I have no idea what to do. If it helps, I've got some anti-inflammatory meds here that I usually take for different types of inflammation.

Any suggestions?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (25 answers total)

lube! are you using lubricant? and lots of oral. an orgasmed vag is a much easier to enter vag. :)
posted by citystalk at 8:45 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Lube helps a lot.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 8:49 PM on June 2, 2008

Take a few days off from penetration, and explore... other things. You know. Use your imagination. Also, make sure you are good and ready before penetration occurs. Think of it as exercise- if you pulled a muscle or felt painfully sore upon starting a new exercise routine, you would take a few days off and let yourself recuperate. Same goes here, even though you may disappoint your exercise partner. He'll get over it.
posted by MadamM at 8:50 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Lube. You can get KY at any drug store. You don't mention if you are using birth control, but if you are using latex condoms, you must use a water based lube (like KY), and not an oil based lube (vaseline or baby oil) or else you will weaken the integrity of the condom.

And like every one else says... explore and have fun. There are lots of things you can do that won't give you pain.
posted by kimdog at 8:54 PM on June 2, 2008

You might have torn more than just the hymen. Take a look at yourself in the mirror and see if you can see any tearing near the bottom of the vaginal opening. You might have torn yourself a bit there, or simply caused abrasion. If so you'll probably need to take at least a few days off from intercourse. At the very least, next time go very, very slowly, both before and after penetration. Men often want to go as fast as hard as they can, so you might need to remind him several times about his pace. Good luck!
posted by bluejayk at 8:59 PM on June 2, 2008

make sure you are good and ready before penetration occurs

Absolutely. My main question for you is: when he penetrates you, are you turned on? It hurts like hell even for non-virgins when someone tries to enter you and you're not moist already. Lube is a good suggestion and will definitely help, but what you say makes me worry that you're not producing natural lubrication which might mean you're not excited enough. This is the reason people recommend a lot of foreplay leading up to sex - it gets you hot and bothered and most of the time generates enough natural lubrication to make entry smooth.

Not always, though. Menstrual cycles and personal body chemistry can mean that it's not always easy to get wet first. In that case, use lube - but still make sure you are really turned on before penetration. Take a lot of time and encourage him to spend time touching and teasing you with his hands and mouth. Don't rush it. The foreplay is sometimes the best part, and definitely prepares the way for the intercourse.
posted by Miko at 9:01 PM on June 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

I remember being sore a lot at first, and not being as naturally lubricated as I was able to become later, with more experience.

I'd definitely get some lube, and I'd also take the advice above to go slow, explore all your possibilities, and act like you have all the time in the world to figure it out.

And congratulations!
posted by padraigin at 9:06 PM on June 2, 2008

Honey, your first time hurt and it sounds now as if you've approached each new attempt with enough anxiety to leave you feeling pretty tense. If your husband isn't just saying that you're tight, but even tighter than the first time, this supports that theory. A broken hymen doesn't make you feel so tight that intercourse causes pain, although it's possible that you may be slightly abraded in one area. This should heal soon if you don't attempt penetration with anything, even a finger, for a couple of days.

You are not going to close up again if you avoid penetration for a few days, or even for weeks or months (although there's no need to wait that long!)

Now someone may come along with a technical term or a link or two that may make you feel as if you've got some real problem to worry about, but the last thing you need is to worry and judge yourself. Right now, it hurts because you remember the hurt of the first time, and each new attempt maintains that tension.

Don't take a break from cuddling, teasing, outercourse, and orgasms, but approach penetration in stages. You and your husband will have to take things slowly. Very slowly. Deliciously slowly. Play around with your hands and mouths but don't try penetration until you're really aroused, then just try a finger or two or a small toy to start. Have fun, please each other, treat vaginal intercourse as a highly anticipated dessert.

(Lube is good. Lube is excellent. But simply taking it slowly and playing, working up from finger to fingers to penis, should provide you with lots of your own natural lube. Sure, keep some lube around if you want to augment your own, but please don't think you're some kind of exception who needs lube and will always need lube.)

IF you take things slowly, but you haven't been able to move back to intercourse within, say, a month, then consult a doctor. But it sounds as if you have pretty typical virginal anxiety, leading to tension and pain. You should be fine soon.
posted by rosebuddy at 9:07 PM on June 2, 2008 [8 favorites]

Grapeseed oil is also good if you're scared of rocking into a store and buying a big tube of KY. Unless you're allergic or something, in which case, er, no.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:07 PM on June 2, 2008

If I were you, I'd take a break from penetrative vaginal sex for say three days, just to give anything a chance to heal. Maybe try heaps of oral (for both of you) and mutual masturbation. It's possible too, that your husband has a large penis which takes practice at taking. So, as everyone else said, very slow, lots of lube. Just in case you're as clueless as I was at the time, it's fine if orgasm doesn't occur for anyone. It's all about growing closer, and learning about each other.
posted by b33j at 9:16 PM on June 2, 2008

but please don't think you're some kind of exception who needs lube and will always need lube.

Also don't think you're some kind of exception if you do need lube and always need lube. For some of us that's just the way it is. A small dab of KY can be the difference between an amazing sex life and ongoing unpleasantness.

Just keep in mind that you really don't need much. A small dab will go a long way. If you add too much things can become overly slippery (particularly as you'll likely, um, add to the wetness once things get going) and that doesn't feel as good for either of you. So start with a small amount, see how things go, then add a bit more right before penetration if necessary.

Actually that's what you should be doing over all. Start small, keep things slow, then let it build naturally. It can take a little while to really work things out but it's totally worth it once you do.
posted by shelleycat at 9:29 PM on June 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

Time heals all wounds. Sometimes, though, you need to keep the train out of the tunnel for a few days and make sure the tracks are well oiled when it goes back in. In the meantime there are so many other ways to transport yourself to satisfaction with each other. Oh, with all this action, you might want to drink a lot of cranberry juice and keep yourself very well hydrated to fend off any urinary tract infections. Congratulations, by the way.
posted by caddis at 9:42 PM on June 2, 2008

The first many times are hard. Pain, discomfort, awkwardness, etc are all very, very normal. It will likely get better, feel better, hurt less, etc very soon.

I'll echo all the folks advising you to explore other sexual activities. If you do want to keep having vaginal penetration, could you rely on some other form of sex to help your honey get off first (he could masturbate, you could masturbate him, you could give him oral sex, he could get off between your legs or breasts) so that when you do then have penetrative sex, there isn't so much pressure on that act? I'm thinking then you two could have penetrative sex more slowly, for less time, so you could get used to it without him feeling the need to climax and therefore pay less attention to how you're doing.

Likewise, doing other sexual activities that focus on your body - you masturbate, he masturbates you or just plays with your breasts, puss, butt, whatever you're into, he gives you oral sex, maybe its simply him whispering sexy things in your ear while he kisses you, whatever it is that you feel comfortable and turned on by, doing this stuff for a long, long time is very fun on its own and is also likely to make the penetration part more fun for you.
posted by serazin at 9:42 PM on June 2, 2008

Take a break. Your body isn't used to this type of activity yet. Two days or so will help. Lube is also important but it won't help much while you're torn.

Meanwhile try mutual masturbation.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 10:13 PM on June 2, 2008

If you can get liquid lube like Astroglide (they sell it in Safeway in the US) get that. It's nicer than KY.
posted by w0mbat at 2:56 AM on June 3, 2008

If you use condoms, don't use the grapeseed oil suggestion above. Oils degrade rubber -- including the latex of condoms.
posted by lleachie at 3:53 AM on June 3, 2008

Honey, your first time hurt and it sounds now as if you've approached each new attempt with enough anxiety to leave you feeling pretty tense.

Seconded. This is very common. I prescribe more foreplay (and perhaps a glass of wine, if you drink.)
posted by desuetude at 6:22 AM on June 3, 2008

You've had lots of good advice above. One other tip that might help is to try different positions the next time. If you are on top, you have a lot more control over things like positioning and pace, and it can help you relax to know that nothing's going anywhere until you're ready to make it so.

I've been where you are, so if you want to MeMail me for more details in private, please feel free. :)
posted by oblique red at 6:40 AM on June 3, 2008

KY is a pretty marginal lube that drys out and needs reapplication. Astroglide is a lot better. Or, if you aren't using condoms, coconut oil (which is semi solid at room temperatures) is a divine lubricant.

The Marriage Bed in general is a good resource for these kinds of issues. They have lots of advice presented in a friendly way. Though Christian there is little preaching. They have a whole section devoted to your question.
posted by Mitheral at 6:46 AM on June 3, 2008

When I was 1st having sex, the book to read was The Joy of Sex. Looks like it's been revised. You're going to keep having questions, and it would help to have the manual. Lubricant & patience should help a lot, a little wine/relaxation would be nice too. Your body will adapt, and you will learn how to please each other and yourselves. Sex is one of the few things in life that is not overrated.

While you're adapting, try to pee after having sex, as that helps avoid urethral irritation, called "honeymoon cystitis" for good reason.
posted by theora55 at 7:20 AM on June 3, 2008

Perhaps there is some inflammation from your hymen tearing. Take ibuprofin or Advil to reduce inflammation and pain/soreness.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:04 AM on June 3, 2008

A number of other people have brought this up, and I think it's key. How much foreplay went on before penetration and how good did it feel? Were you both vaginal penetration virgins who'd done other things, or are you totally new at all kinds of physical intimacy?

Did he use his tongue and fingers to get you warmed up, stretched out, and ready first? You didn't address foreplay etc. in you post, possibly because it didn't happen and possibly because it totally did happen, was great, and obviously wasn't the issue.

If this is just leftover irritation from a broken hymen, then time, lube, and advil will resolve it. If it's a lack of fulfilling foreplay and exploration in favor of sex that's all about the penis in the vagina and little else, well, that probably won't get better on its own; you'll need a bit of research, a lot of willingness to play around with your own bodies and your pleasure.
posted by mostlymartha at 11:59 AM on June 3, 2008

Rosebuddy is right on. Seriously, as a newcomer to the wide world of sex myself, foreplay is a must! Just as mostlymartha notes, did he get you warmed up, stretched out, and ready first? It makes a HUGE difference. And another thing: relax. Sometimes you just need to convince yourself to relax your muscles. When you're tense, it's more difficult. You know like when you go to the gyn and you have to relax during your exam? Same deal, just sexier and with a person instead of a metal apparatus. Take a couple of days off from actual intercourse, fool around a good amount, and then try to relax after some long foreplay. It'll get better.

(And don't forget to pee afterwards to avoid the icky UTI.)
posted by cachondeo45 at 12:38 PM on June 3, 2008

Slow, slow, slow. With my ex we had sex so infrequently that when we did, it seemed like the first time every time. (can't imagine why he's my ex, right?) Lots of foreplay as everyone has said and even then make him enter really slowly so you have plenty of time to adjust, relax and breathe.

Don't sweat it girl. You're completely normal. Good luck to you guys.
posted by CwgrlUp at 3:07 PM on June 3, 2008

I wouldn't normally add to a thread with so many good answers already, but nobody seems to have mentioned one easily-remedied problem that commonly causes this feeling of tightness: yeast.

Obviously, as you say, no visits to the doc on your honeymoon. However, if you just cannot get it to feel comfortable, no matter how relaxed you are, it might be because of a minor yeast infection. If all else fails, check with your doctor when you get back.

As everyone above has said: don't stress out over it, you just need to play around a bit to find out how to make things most comfortable (and exciting) for yourself. Just because it's not yet pleasurable doesn't mean that hope is lost!
posted by voltairemodern at 8:44 PM on June 3, 2008

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