Sex & Relationships

Pillow Talk: When bigger doesn’t mean better

Dear Katherine,

I just started seeing this guy and we recently had sex for the first time. The only problem is that he’s well-endowed, and it’s been pretty painful. What can we do about it?

— Bigger Ain’t Always Better

Dear Bigger,

I’d like for every guy insecure about the size of his penis to read this question. It’s evidence that — although our society might have you think otherwise — pleasure can’t be measured in inches. Sexuality is subjective and what one likes another might not.

But I digress.

First, let’s identify the kind of pain you are feeling. Is it more of an external one: a certain soreness outside and around the vagina caused by friction? Or is it more internal? If it’s the former, it’s likely an issue to do with lubrication. Are you fully aroused by the time he penetrates you? You might find that with a little more teasing, touching or clitoris rubbing you’ll be even more ready to go. Even if arousal isn’t an issue, you could still use a little extra lube to ease the friction. If you’re using a condom, is it lubricated?

If the pain is more internal, it might mean that his penis is hitting your cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects the uterus and vagina. It’s a pain I’m familiar with — especially when I was with a larger ex-boyfriend of mine — and it hurts. A lot. If this is what you think you’re feeling, try positions that make it harder for his penis to reach the cervix and easier for you to control the depth of his thrusts. For example: You on top or each of you on your sides, facing each other (a personal favorite). Rear-entry positions, though I’ve found them as some of the most pleasurable, are especially dangerous when it comes to cervix-bumping. It’s easy in positions like doggie-style to get too deep.

The more aroused you are, the further the cervix ascends while lengthening your vagina which makes it less likely for the penis to reach. So, again, arousal level could be something to consider to improve your comfort.

All in all, you mentioned that this is a new relationship, so you have time to explore what works best for both of you. The mere fact that you phrased your last question with “we” instead of “I” is a good sign. You see this as a challenge for the both of you to tackle. And a fun one at that. Keep the communication going. Keep it open. Keep it honest.

Have fun.


Follow Katherine Marrone on Twitter @kmarrone1

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Katherine Marrone

Katherine Marrone

Katherine Marrone is the sex and relationships writer for the Emerald. A feminist and activist, she likes writing about gender issues and social justice.