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You Asked: Is Sex Supposed to Hurt in the Beginning?

Dear POPSUGAR

I just recently lost my virginity and my first time hurt a lot. I thought things would get easier after that but my boyfriend and I are still having difficulties. The subsequent 4 or 5 times we've tried having sex since have all ended up with me telling him to stop because it hurt so much. I always end up feeling really sore afterwards too. Is it supposed to hurt at the beginning like this? What can we do to make it less painful? We've tried with him on top and me on top both with the same disappointing results. Help!

— Sore-From-Sex Sally

Dear Sore-From-Sex Sally

Since you are new to sex, it's going to take your body a while to feel comfortable and for your muscles to relax. I'm sure you were a little nervous the first time, and because it hurt, you were probably worried about the pain the next few times you had sex which made you tense up all over again. After a while, your body will adjust, but in the meantime, here are some tips.

  • Get yourself some personal lubricant. When you have sex for the first time, you're so busy wondering what the hell you're supposed to be doing that it can be hard to get aroused and produce the natural lubricant that helps make sex feel good. If you are not creating your own, there's nothing wrong with getting it from a bottle. You can find some at grocery stores and pharmacies right near the condoms. Put some on him and some on you, and it will decrease the friction and make things feel a whole lot smoother.
  • Remember to still have foreplay. I know you are all excited to finally be doing it, but don't forget about all the other intimate things you did before you had intercourse. All the kissing and touching will help to relax and excite you, which will make the sex feel all that much better.
  • I would also stick to you being on top. That way you can be in charge of how fast and deep the movements are.
  • If you are feeling burning or irritation, you may be sensitive to latex condoms or to Nonoxynol-9 spermicide. If that's the case, get yourself some polyurethane condoms that are latex free or condoms without spermicide.
  • If you are on the Pill or taking allergy medication, it doesn't really matter how excited you get — your lady business can still be dry but it's nothing a little personal lube can't take care of!

I hope these tips help. Don't get too frustrated and keep up the communication with your boyfriend. Nobody tells you that sex isn't as magical as you would hope and expect it to be in the beginning but the truth is it takes a while to work everything out, but trust me, it will be well worth it in the long run!

— Additional reporting by Alexis Nordby

Image Source: Shutterstock
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Join The Conversation
alisaaaa alisaaaa 7 years
hey.i recently had sex with my bf and it didnt hurt that much, only when i was on top. later that week we had sex again but while i had my period, susprisingly it really hurt. i had to ask him to stop cause it hurt so bad. is this because i had my period ? because i dont know why it hurt so much this time then it did our first time.cheers.
alisaaaa alisaaaa 7 years
hey. i recently had sex with my bf and it didnt hurt that much, only when i was on top. later that week we had sex again but while i had my period, susprisingly it really hurt. i had to ask him to stop cause it hurt so bad. is this because i had my period ? because i dont know why it hurt so much this time then it did our first time. cheers.
jchristinee jchristinee 8 years
I would recommend talking to a doctor. A couple years ago, I had painful sex no matter how much lube I used. I finally found a doc who told me that the Pill was making my skin down there really thin and sensitive. I went off the Pill and used a prescribed topical hormone cream for a couple months, and I don't have pain anymore! I guess my point is that women's bodies are very complex, and so it is difficult to say what is wrong by reading a brief post. But do not give up on good sex! Talk to a doctor and try different things until you pinpoint what is wrong (it took me two years and seven doctors before I found a competent specialist on sexual disorders)! My husband and I are very glad that I was persistent with my doctors.
jchristinee jchristinee 8 years
I would recommend talking to a doctor. A couple years ago, I had painful sex no matter how much lube I used. I finally found a doc who told me that the Pill was making my skin down there really thin and sensitive. I went off the Pill and used a prescribed topical hormone cream for a couple months, and I don't have pain anymore! I guess my point is that women's bodies are very complex, and so it is difficult to say what is wrong by reading a brief post. But do not give up on good sex! Talk to a doctor and try different things until you pinpoint what is wrong (it took me two years and seven doctors before I found a competent specialist on sexual disorders)! My husband and I are very glad that I was persistent with my doctors.
Safety-Pin Safety-Pin 8 years
After many months reading your words of wisdom I thought I would join to say thank you. You really helped me and you made her laugh. We have recently just tried to have sex which ended up with my partner finding it a little, actually a lot painful. We have both had previous relationships, she has never experienced this before. I have but to not such a severe degree. After reading your Advice I decided to investigate and invest. Then last week when we tried again, the situation reared it's ugly head once again. This made her very emotional as it is not usual for her. After we calmed down I mentioned what I had read on your page and even joked using the phrase "LUBE LUBE and more LUBE!!". I stressed that sex is only part of relationship and that I was more interested in her as a whole. Well to cut a long story short you set her mind at ease, we are part way there and I didn't try the usual man thing of getting us both drunk and taking it from there. Her favourite phrase is now LUBE LUBE and more LUBE!! (thanks OliviaAnn)
Safety-Pin Safety-Pin 8 years
After many months reading your words of wisdom I thought I would join to say thank you. You really helped me and you made her laugh. We have recently just tried to have sex which ended up with my partner finding it a little, actually a lot painful. We have both had previous relationships, she has never experienced this before. I have but to not such a severe degree. After reading your Advice I decided to investigate and invest. Then last week when we tried again, the situation reared it's ugly head once again. This made her very emotional as it is not usual for her. After we calmed down I mentioned what I had read on your page and even joked using the phrase "LUBE LUBE and more LUBE!!". I stressed that sex is only part of relationship and that I was more interested in her as a whole. Well to cut a long story short you set her mind at ease, we are part way there and I didn't try the usual man thing of getting us both drunk and taking it from there. Her favourite phrase is now LUBE LUBE and more LUBE!! (thanks OliviaAnn)
minaminamina minaminamina 8 years
I second a possible visit to the gyno if none of these tips help you in the future. You could also have a much less serious issue - like your hymen didn't break! That does happen, it can merely stretch a bit... but your gyno can fix that right up for you if you keeping feeling pain during sex.
junebrug junebrug 8 years
Yes, perfectly normal. It def hurts not only the first time, but several times after. As my older bf at the time said, very shortly, he won't be hurting you, you'll be hurting him. :)
Random2 Random2 8 years
My first time hurt so much it took us about 4 tries before it could actually be considered sex (my guy is rather large, which didn't really help at the time). Lube works wonders! Even after it stops hurting it doesn't hurt to keep it around :P
blondie3 blondie3 8 years
I think it hurts, when the you know what sometimes gets in the way.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Yea, my first few times hurt a lot too! We could barely even "do it"! Definatly go for the lube though, that stuff mmmmmm it works WONDERS!
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
If it doesn't stop hurting after following ALL of these suggestions then see a gynaecologist. It could be that you have an actual gynaeocological reason for sex hurting - such as endometriosis, a tilted womb or an inability to lubricate properly. So get checked out if it doesn't go away.
creepupmytee creepupmytee 8 years
yeah you need lubricant for sure. :) good luck!
Yvette-Wang Yvette-Wang 8 years
iunno, I was real horny when my first time came around but it still hurt like a bitch. he was real big and we didn't have lube...so yeah, like everyone else, use some lube. Like KY or something.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 8 years
I agree with everyone else...LUBE. Also, take it SLOW. I'm assuming that you're of age, so the first couple of times probably will be uncomfortable. I know that you get caught up in the moment and you just want to get into it, but you have to have foreplay or lube to get your body ready. Sit down and talk with your bf about it, and if it still hurts after all that, then go see a gyno.
nessabum nessabum 8 years
it hurt for me when i first had sex. it just felt raw and numb at the same time. the second time around, it didn't really hurt at all. that was all because of a lubricated condom. yay!
thunder_kiss thunder_kiss 8 years
Or maybe your boyfriend carries a big package... lucky you.
tamberly tamberly 8 years
Its normal. I was the same way
lorenashley lorenashley 8 years
my first time hurt but not terribly. i was with someone that made me feel safe and comfortable. there was LUBE present! LOL. get yourself some lube.
elmendoa elmendoa 8 years
you NEED TO USE LUBE. soooooooooo important!
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