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Pain during sex   

  • Pain during sex for a woman (Written by Yvonne Fulbright MS.Ed)  
  • Pain during sex for a man (written by Yvonne Fulbright MS.Ed.)
  • Pain during sex (written by other sexperts)

HTHGS:  Pain during sex for a woman (Written by Yvonne Fulbright MS.Ed)

Ask Yvonne,
I am an 18-year-old female college student.  I recently tried to have
sex, for the first time ever, with this guy and it hurt even before he was all the way in so I had him stop.  The kind of condoms he was using were ribbed as well, I was wondering if the ribbed condoms made it hurt worse or the fact that it was my first time?  I would also like to ask about oral sex, I never have given it before and I am quite concerned about it, are there any risks of swallowing?  Also, any tips on giving good head would be appreciated. Thanks,

Dear Heather,
The pain you experienced during first intercourse is most likely due to it being your first time, and not the condom.  The next time you try to have sex, however, try using a regular lubricated condom, and have extra lubrication, like KY jelly, on hand to make the insertion of his penis smoother and more comfortable. 

 You have good reason to be concerned about oral sex.  In performing fellatio (oral sex on a man), a person puts him/herself at risk for contracting a number of sexually transmitted infections, namely gonorrhea, Chlamydia, herpes, and HIV.  As far as HIV goes, the risk in the transmission is based on any infected fluids coming into contact with cuts, sores, and tears in the mouth (which could be due to something as minor as brushing your teeth a couple of hours before giving head).  The risk of HIV transmission with swallowing is not of as much concern because the stomach acid can kill the virus. Yvonne K. Fulbright, MS.Ed. 

HTHGS: Pain during sex for a man (written by Yvonne Fulbright, MS.Ed.)

 Ask Yvonne,
I am a 21 year old male who suffers considerable pain during sex. I am not circumcised so the head of my penis is covered by foreskin most of the time. However, when I have an erection the head becomes exposed and it is extremely sensitive, tender and painful. As a kid I rarely exposed this part of the penis so I believe this is the reason why it is now so sensitive.

What can I do? About six months ago, the doctor told me to pull the foreskin back and wash under there in the shower but this hasn't helped the problem at all. I want to desensitize it as quickly as I can because it is painful and prevents me from having sex. What is the quickest way I can desensitize it? How long will it take? When can I start enjoying pain-free sex? Thanks for you help. It's a great service. 

Dyspareunia is a condition men can experience during sex for a number of reasons, either when they’re erect or as they ejaculate.  First, any lesion, due to unlubricated masturbation, rapid intercourse, an STD, or an infection on the penis can make intercourse painful.  Second, conditions like Peyronie’s disease – a curvature of the erect penis that causes scar tissue to build up inside the penis so that the tissue doesn’t fill with blood - may also make sex painful.  Third, if you’re uncircumcised, dyspareunia could be the result of a snugly fitting foreskin that may painfully retract during sex.  Other reasons why you may experience pain during intercourse include exposure to spermicide or an inflammation of the urethra or prostrate.  All of these conditions are medically treatable.  It would be best to check back with your doctor or to get a second opinion about your condition. 



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The Founder: "Alex" Caroline Robboy, LCSW, QSW, CAS

Ms. Robboy is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Growth Inc and How To Have Good Sex Inc.  Alex practices marriage and family therapy and sex therapy, and also conducts periodic seminars about human sexuality throughout the northeastern United States.

Ms. Robboy graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Masters degree in Social Work, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality Education and a Post-Masters Certificate in Marriage Counseling & Sex Therapy. Through the American Board of Sexology, she is a board certified sexologist and through the American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists a certified sex therapist.  Additionally, she is a licensed clinical social worker and a member of the American Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.


  Our Philosophy sex is like dancing, it changes every time. It depends on culture, atmosphere and mood. Sometimes it is done alone, with a partner or in a group. It can be fast and hard or slow and soft. Sex is a combination of non-verbal negotiation and verbal cues: a scream, a twitch of the toes, or a flush of the face. There is no one 'right' way to move, only what feels good to all those involved. 
     The purpose of this site is to share information. Thus, if you have any ideas, thoughts or information that you believe others might benefit from, please e-mail your tip to and I  will be sure to include it on either our weekly newsletter or here on the actual website. 

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