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How to Talk to Your Partner About Painful Sex

How to talk to your partner about painful sex, brought to you by Ohnut. You're having sex and—ouch!—something doesn't feel quite right. How do you bring it up with your partner? In public or in private? At the movie theater, over brunch, during sex, or while brushing your teeth? Do you feel like you want to… cry, keep it upbeat, or change the subject as quickly as possible? TIP: Treat it like a sandwich—positive, constructive, positive! (Ex. I really like having sex with you. Sometimes it feels a little uncomfy (and not in a John Mellencamp "hurt so good" kind of way). Wanna practice some more—work out the kinks? TIP: Take a deep breath and know that it's no one's fault—not yours, not your partner's! Try to share from the "I" perspective. (Ex. Sex and intimacy are important to me, and I've been feeling disappointed in myself lately because sometimes I hurts… but I'm not really sure how to bring it up with you.) TIP: You and your partner aren't alone in this experience—let them know that! (Ex. I was talking to my friend the other day about this thing called Ohnut. They said it really helped when sex felt a little too deep—I think we should try it!) TIP: Find a neutral and objective jumping-off point. (Ex. I read an article the other day about discomfort during sex—apparently 75% of people with vulvas will experience it at some point and I think I'm one of them.) TIP: Frame it in terms of what's positive and possible! (Ex. I bought something online that I'm excited about! You know how we sometimes have to switch positions because it gets a little too deep? Weeeell, this might help and I'd love to try it with you.) There's no wrong place or time to talk about it—it just has to be the right time for you.

It’ll never feel convenient—but you’re a human being and you’re not “supposed” to be convenient. In the end, a supportive partner (you know, one who cares about your growth and pleasure) is going to be on board—maybe more on board than you are!

Why is sex painful anyway? Learn about the reasons why in Why is Sex Painful  Pt. I!


Are we missing anything? If you have questions or ideas about something you’d like to hear more about, or even a story you’d like to share — let us know!

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