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Author Topic: My penis doesn't fit?
Connor
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Hi,

I've been dating my girlfriend for 14 months now, and we are both virgins. We have tried to have sex 7-8 times, but every time we have the same problem. I can get as far as my penis head in, but then she says it is way too painful and we have to stop. She is worried because my penis is too wide for her vagina. She has never had sex before, and we only started fingering about a month ago. She started using tampons about 4 months ago.

Is there anyway that we can loosen up her vagina? I can get two fingers in side by side up to my second finger joint, and she doesn't feel any pain. My penis is just over 6 inches long, and is just over 2 inches wide.

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Heather
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The vagina isn't "loose" or "tight" in a static way like it seems you're thinking. Rather, how flexible or inflexible that opening or canal is is mostly situational and changes all the time.

before you're attempting entry, have you covered the usual basics? making sure she feels relaxed, not nervous, that she's very turned on, maybe in part because of plenty of time spent with other sexual activities she enjoys first? Using enough extra lubricant, etc?

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Connor
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Yes, we do plenty of foreplay and we communicate between each other very well. I always ask her if she's ready, and she says she is turned on and wants it to happen but she doesn't know why it doesn't work. She is on the pill so I don't use any condoms -- but I don't think lubricant is the problem cause she is very wet when we attempt it.
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Heather
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Okay, but for instance, you say with your finger, she isn't feeling pain. But is she feeling pleasure? Is she really, really enjoying that? If not, are you doing things she has really enjoyed, maybe even reached orgasm from first, before trying intercourse?

Also, if you're not using lube, that likely is part of the issue, especially if she's on the pill (one of the things it does to work is to thicken vaginal secretions, making them less fluid).

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Connor
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When I use my fingers we are mainly doing it to try to stretch her vagina (not in a forceful manner) because we thought that would be one way to solve the issue. She tells me she doesn't feel anything though - no pleasure or pain. I have given her orgasm many many times though using the clitoris, and I always make sure to involve it in foreplay before we try anything.

I never knew that about the pill though, so I'll tell her about it next time I see her [Smile]

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Heather
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Have you seen these two pieces yet? If not, they might help inform our conversation well:
• From OW! to WOW! Demystifying Painful Intercourse
• Let's Get Metaphysical: The Etiquette of Entry

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Connor
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I read over the articles and we are doing everything just as it says, except for the lube I suppose. Also, she did experience some pain the first time I attempted entry because we went too fast and she was no where near wet enough. So what do you recommend?

Also, every time we fail she gets very upset. I try comforting her and telling her that it is normal etc, and that it will happen eventually. Is there anything in specific I can say that would make her feel better?

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Heather
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Well, if she gets very upset every time this is happening, one thing I'd say is that it seems awfully unlikely she's going into this relaxed. When your expectations are like that, and a given sexual activity not going as we'd like = "failure," we can be very sure we're going to feel apprehensive before and throughout, not relaxed.

So, I'm feeling a little dissonance with the idea that everything in both those pieces it's actually going on, besides the issue of lube.

I asked before about sexual activities she really, really finds pleasure in and doing those first, perhaps to orgasm before trying intercourse. You didn't answer me, so it'd be helpful if you could now.

How about her solo sex life? With her own masturbation, is she engaging in that to your knowledge? If so, is that something she's been very much enjoying?

I feel like it's easy for people to get caught up in a pain/no-pain frame rather than a frame/pain narrative (or better still, a pleasure/no-pleasure framework), if you get me. After all, most people don't aim for sex to just not be painful -- I'm sure you don't -- but for it to be pleasurable, physically and emotionally.

I keep hearing things about her either experiencing pain or not, but what I'm not hearing is anything about what she really likes and enjoys so far. And that really matters.

It might also help to know why she gets so upset around intercourse. Have you two talked about what you both are looking for from it and expecting, and about why it not 'working" so far -- especially with so few attempts -- feels so upsetting to her?

[ 01-15-2012, 03:00 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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(Btw, don't mean to drop off in the middle of our talk, but I'm way late on a day off this week, so I need to bug out for the rest of the day. However, I'll be back tomorrow and am happy to keep talking if you'd like.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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I'm back around if you want to talk some more.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Connor
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She enjoys it when I give her orgasms with her clitoris (I don't know the term for that though), so I tend to do that before hand. However I usually stop right before the orgasm to ask if she wants to try having sex again. If I don't ask, I always bring her to orgasm. That is what I mainly do to her. I have "gone down" on her a few times but her experience while I am doing that varies between uncomfortable to pleasurable so now whenever I ask her she passes. I told her she could guide me (we are learning from each other together), but she thinks its not worth the trouble.

As far as I know, she doesn't masturbate.

We talk about sex and she knows it isn't going to be pleasurable for her. She mainly wants to do it as an act of love. I think the main problem is that many of our friends had sex the first time with no problems, so she is worried that there is something physically wrong with her vagina.

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Connor
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And sorry, I didn't know it was your day off! Thanks for your help so far.
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Heather
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Oh, no worries! No one can really know that and if I'm here, I'm here to work. [Smile]

There's something you've said here that I think is REALLY important to talk about, and that's this:

quote:
We talk about sex and she knows it isn't going to be pleasurable for her. She mainly wants to do it as an act of love.
That, right there, is probably a HUGE part of why this isn't feeling good for her or working out. Sex isn't about sacrificing things, or enduring things that don't feel good for someone else. But if and when someone goes into it that way, it's way more likely that it WILL be that way for them.

So, why do you think she thinks that? have you talked about why she thinks that? And why she clearly doesn't feel that way about other kinds of sex, but thinks that way about intercourse?

Also, why would she think you learning any kind of sex with her per having it be something to feel good for both of you is "not worth the trouble?" heck, for that matter, do you have any sense of why she thinks the process of learning IS "trouble?" usually, it's fun and exciting and intimacy-building for sexual partners to spend time exploring one another, not a chores.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Connor
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Well she knows the first time isn't going to be pleasurable for her because of the penitration and stuff. She knows it will get better eventually though. She doesn't feel that way about the rest because there is no pain from the penitration.

I'm not too sure to be honest why she said she'll pass - I'll bring that up next time that it is worth it if it makes her feel good. I think she just doesn't feel comfortable with the whole idea of it all, and once she said she prefered it when I was next to her so she could hug and kiss me.

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Heather
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So, it sounds to me like she -- and maybe you -- have some misinformed ideas about vaginal entry, intercourse and first times. For instance, there is no physical reason that first-time intercourse has to be unpleasant or will be. (Nor is there a guarantee that having it more and more will mean it becomes pleasurable, and that certainly won't happen just because of having it more times.)

I'm still not sure I get where the idea that doing something that doesn't feel good is about an "act of love" is coming from for her. Are you?

Maybe you can also give me an idea of what kind of sex education you have each had in your lives and how good you feel it is for both of you? Sometimes when we've gotten wrong information, or no good information, it can really mess up our sex lives and our ideas about them.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Connor
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Sex education wise I've had the basics = I know how sex works, I learnt about the seperate female and male organs in biology, I've had group talks from teachers about sex. I feel we are fairly well informed, although I had always assumed that it is painful for virgins the first time because that's what I really hear a lot.

As for the act of love - sex is basically an action that two people do when they love each other. She wanted to do it the first time knowing it might be painful because we thought it would get less painful over time as her vagina stretches.

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Heather
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So, it sounds like you have had the barest basics, but probably very little about the realities of all kinds of sex and sexual relationships. For instance, the assumptions you're making around first intercourse make clear there's a lot of information you or she haven't had yet about what makes entry painful and what makes it pleasureable.

When you say sex, do you only mean intercourse? If so, can you both recognize that ANY kind of sex can be about or involve love and any kind also cannot be or may not be? And that people don't have to be in or go through pain for something to be loving?

The vagina doesn't "stretch" over time, also, just so you both know, like I talked about in my first response to you. Were you able to read those pieces I linked you to so you now know that's just not true? Sounds like you're still holding on to that idea, so we can talk more if those pieces still left you holding on to misinformation.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Connor
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By sex yes I mean intercourse. I understand now that it doesnt stretch, thanks to the articles, so I think what we'll try is using some lubrication as you stated being on the pill makes the substance less lubricant-like. Also I'll talk to her about how it isn't always the case that first-time sex hurst, because I think the article said that if it hurt the first time, it will be an instinct that it will hurt again.

And we know that we dont have to go through pain for something to be loving and such but it's just something we want to experience together.

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Heather
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Okay, but how about this: would you prefer that intercourse, or any kind of sex, is something you experience together as pleasurable for both of you, or as painful for one or both of you? How about your partner?

Personally, it sounds to me like another past of this might be moving too fast, before you both have time to kind of unpack some misinformation and problematic frameworks around this. I think lube will help, but I think taking more time to get to intercourse might help even more, especially with some changes made along the way.

Do you think she might want to come here and join this conversation or have her own? If so, I'd certainly be happy to include her, and think it might help.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Connor
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While it might help I don't think she'd be too keen - she doesn't like it when I research things on google instead of trying to figure it out with her (but I felt in this condition some expert advice would be good). I would prefere, and I'm sure she would too, sex that is pleasureable for both of us.
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Connor
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I think one thing that would help if you cleared up would be is it possible for a penis and vagina to have too great of a difference inside that penetration never happens?
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Heather
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Okay, just thought I'd check. What about her reading some articles or a book about these issues?

So, here's the good news: there is NO reason that you two cannot have intercourse in a way that does NOT hurt and is pleasurable for both of you.

But I think in order for that to happen, at the very least, she's going to need some more time, education and messaging about her ideas around it so far so that she comes to it very differently. Like, without the idea she has to be in pain or the expectation she will be. Certainly without the idea that being in pain is some kind of needed sacrifice "for love."

It also sounds like she's going to need to adjust some of her sexual attitudes in general, like the idea you learning what pleases her with things and does feel good is "trouble."

And even just those two things are going to likely take some serious time, and not be able to change in a week or two, maybe not even in a month or two.

So, can you invest that kind of time and patience so that this IS more likely to be something that really feels good, physically and emotionally, for both of you? You sound pretty dedicated to that, but figured I'd ask. Do you think she'd be willing to do the same? That might sound like a silly question, but sometimes people really want to hold unto ideas that aren't serving them, and sometimes people even WANT something like intercourse to be bad for them but good for a partner to try and prove something. It happens.

[ 01-16-2012, 03:21 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Connor
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Ok that sounds like a solid plan - I'm not in a rush anyway.

I'll send her a few of the articles just so that she can go over them if she wants. I'll also talk to her about how it can work so that it is pleasurable for both of us (which would hopefully start to change the pyschological side of it).

Thank you very much for you're help [Smile] I know I've taken a fair amount of your time so I really apreciate it.

I'll try to come back in a few months just to tell you how things have worked out!

[ 01-16-2012, 03:28 PM: Message edited by: Connor ]

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Heather
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Glad to help, and I think it's great how dedicated you are to everything feelings and being good for both of you. That's the most basic earmark of a great partner. Go you! [Smile]

Would you like me to add some links besides the two I already shared -- which I think would be great for her -- I think would be good for you both to read and talk about?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Connor
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Thank you [Smile]

Yes please that would be great if you could share a few links.

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Heather
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You got it!

So, on top of those two pieces I already gave you links to, I'd suggest:
• 10 of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self (at Any Age)
• An Immodest Proposal
• With Pleasure: A View of Whole Sexual Anatomy for Every Body
• Sorting Maybe from Can't-Be: Reality Checking Partnered Sex Wants & Ideals
• And this would be, I think, a GREAT one to go through together after you've both read and talked more about the stuff in those other links: Yes, No, Maybe So: A Sexual Inventory Stocklist

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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