Your Call: How Can I Enjoy Sex When I Was Taught Not To?

photo via flickr

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

Dear Em & Lo,

I am a 26-year old-woman who lives in a country where women are under much more pressure, where rape rates are quite high, and street harrassment is common. My parents are very nice people and not that close-minded, but still — I have been raised with myths like sex hurts, you bleed, you become a wh… etc, etc. Still, I have to hide that my boyfriend sleeps over from my mom & from the neighbors.

Well, my problem is, I tried to have sex for the first time when I was 19, and it hurt soooo much that I couldn’t do it. I realised it was called “vaginismus” and I tried to get over it, trying to have intercourse attempts with different men (all end up with pain and tears), going to doctors etc. Recently, I discovered feminism and their sex tips, I bought an external vibrator, and had my first orgasm. I also could insert (once) a dildo with lots of lube. But only once you see. And I still have this problem where I even can’t insert a tampon.

Now, my problem is, I have a boyfriend who is really nice, but he is a really big guy, and he is a little bit hyperactive and impulsive, even when I say that what he does is hurting me, he sometimes doesn’t stop. He’s very keen to show his physical strength or whatever. Knowing I have lots of sexual dysfunction issues, that leaves me very angry and frustrated and closes me up even more.

On the other hand, maybe I could enjoy his enthousiasm if I was able to have sex. I really, really want to have a fullfilled, regular, good sex life and I know that deep inside, I can be that grown up girl who enjoys sex in every way. And I love this guy, so I want to continue my sex life with him. But you know, it is so ridiculous to ask this seeing I am 26, but I am afraid of his “size” and, more concerningly, his “rapey” manners.

How can I get myself to be normal and get rid of these issues? Thank you, and have a nice day!

— Love Hurts (But Sex Hurts More)

What advice do you have for L.H.B.S.H.M.? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.



  1. I am married since last 4 mtnohs but whenever we try to do intercourse it is so painful that I push him aside. My husband thinks that I don’t want to do it but it is so painful even if he inserts his finger. It is affecting my married life. Can someone advice me what should I do? Do I consult a gynecologist?

  2. If your boyfriend does not slow down or stop when you ask him to, he is not a good boyfriend. You don’t want someone who doesn’t respect your boundaries and doesn’t care if he’s hurting you.

    Most women, even without issues like vaginismus, need a lot of time to warm up before actual insertion, foreplay, etc.

    I would suggest getting comfortable with giving yourself pleasure on your own – without a dildo, and then working your way up with different sizes after you are relaxed and wet through orgasm.

    Your mind is in the right place, but I hope you can find a partner who can take things very slow with you, be patient, use lube, and make sure you are fully aroused and comfortable before trying to force himself inside.

    None of your questions are ridiculous. And I didn’t even start having sex until I was around your age now, so don’t worry about your age. But I would leave this partner, practice pleasure & insertion on your own, and get comfortable with that, and finding a partner who cares about you and knows your situation, so that together you can make sex pleasurable.

    If it continues, maybe consult a OB/GYN doctor about it. You may not find a helpful doctor right away.

    I don’t think trying anal now is the best idea, especially with a partner who doesn’t stop when you say things hurt. that could get very bad.

  3. first off, good for you on trying to explore! Awesome sauce! You seem to be making great strides in a very difficult situation so definitely pat yourself on the back!

    Ok, if someone does not respect your boundaries or pay attention when you say something hurts, that is a big red flag. I am not digging this guy you date. (If he is even real) So, think on that relationship in general.

    Only thing I could add would be to ask have you tried anal? Normally, women would complain that it was too tight back there, but who knows? Might be easier for you with that. Also, anal sex can be awesome! I love stuff up my butt. It’s great!

Comments are closed.