Intimacy in Marriage

Encouraging Christian Women toward Healthy Sexual Intimacy

Penis Size and Painful Sex. What’s a Wife to Do?

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I have heard from a few readers who have courageously asked me to address an issue that most women wouldn't even want to discuss with their closest girlfriend.

I also happen to have a friend who experiences the same struggle and has talked to me about it (I guess this is the benefit of having a friend like me who will talk about anything sexual).

Here is what they are wondering:

What can a wife do when the large size of her husband's penis makes sex painful for her?

For all the locker room bravado that would lead us to believe that "bigger-is-better," if you spend any amount of time listening to what wives think on the subject, you will discover that we as women are not nearly concerned about penis size as men seem to be.

But when the largeness of a penis is actually getting in the way of an enjoyable sexual experience for a wife, then size ironically becomes more of a detriment than an attribute.

Sorry guys.

I'm just calling it like it is.

I should start by doling out my standard disclaimer -- I'm not a doctor, counselor or sex therapist.

I'm simply a wife trying to offer good insight and encouragement.

I also want to add that sometimes what is going on during painful sex is that a wife and/or couple has unresolved issues with past sexual abuse, relational betrayal and so forth.  If you think the real root cause of your physical pain is that you have yet to heal from past struggles, please seek a professional counselor and resources to be able to move forward in your intimacy.

Let's say, though, that there aren't abuse or relational issues.

When a husband's penis size is causing pain for his wife, what should a married couple do?

Here are five things to consider:

1. Sex isn't supposed to be painful.

Sure, most women will attest that the first time she has sex, and maybe even for short while thereafter, sex can be painful and uncomfortable.

BUT, a general rule is that God designed the penis and vagina to fit together, regardless of size. With proper arousal, the vagina is designed to secrete fluids that aid in lubrication and the muscles are designed to stretch.

If sex is painful, it could be that a couple needs to engage in more foreplay to better ready her body for receiving her husband's erect penis.

If pain still seems to be an issue even with plenty of foreplay, consider...

2. Different positions and/or artificial lubricants.

A change of positions may make sex more comfortable, such as the wife being on top where she can have more control over the pace and angle of movement.

A husband entering his wife's vagina from behind may also be more comfortable (some wives think this position is more arousing as well).

As a wife, you may need to coach your husband on how to move within you.  If he is thrusting too hard or too fast and you are simultaneously experiencing pain, it will be almost impossible for you to not tense more, which just will lead to more pain.

If lubrication seems to be an issue, there are great over-the-counter lubricants that you can purchase at places like Walgreen's, Wal-Mart, etc.

I think Astroglide is one of the best, but KY has a variety of ones as well. If you are using condoms as birth control, be sure to read the packaging on any lubricant to see how it may affect the effectiveness of a condom.

What if even with plenty of lubrication or a change of position, pain is still an issue:

3. Definitely talk to your gynecologist and possibly even a urologist.

There can be actual physical conditions that make sex painful. It may be difficult for a wife to discern if the pain is because of her husband's penis size or because of something else entirely.

Don't just guess or suffer in silence.

The only way to find out for sure is to have an open and thorough conversation with your doctor.

If your doctor is not taking this seriously or seems to give you over-simplified answers that really offer no solution, find a different doctor.

I cannot emphasize this enough...

4. Be your own advocate.

Research and explore all possibilities.  No question is off limits when talking to your health care professional, even if you feel embarrassed to ask or embarrassed to describe what you are experiencing.

In addition to speaking with your doctor, consider exploring the websites of The Centers for Vulvovaginal Disorders and the National Vulvodynia Association.

These sites are dedicated to helping women who experience vaginal pain, particularly during sex.  There are actual conditions that can cause pain, and these sites may point you to valuable resources.

Your doctor may also be able to talk to you about vaginal dilators, which aid in stretching the vaginal opening.

At any rate, I highly encourage you as a wife to remember this:

5. Do not carry this burden alone.

If you are suffering pain during sex, your husband needs to be part of the solution, not a bystander on the sidelines waiting for you to dole out information to him.

Husbands, please go to the doctor with your wife (if she is open to this).

Please read the information she is finding.

And by all means, please communicate to her that you are lovingly committed to helping her enjoy sexual intimacy.

She may be feeling like she is failing as a wife.  She may think she is to "blame" for the sexual struggles.   She needs your reassurance.

If you are a wife who has resigned yourself to simply enduring painful sex, I implore you to not get stuck in that mindset.  Satan would like nothing more than for you to have a marriage that is marred by mediocre, dreaded or non-existent sexual intimacy.

You, your husband and your marriage are worth finding resolutions. You may think his large penis is the cause of the pain, but the issue may be more complex.

If you want to read more insights on this, consider this incredible post on pain and pleasure.

If you have personal experience in this area, please comment to share your insights and encouragement.

Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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February 23rd, 2012 by