At least once every couple of days, someone posts or writes into Scarleteen reporting that vaginal entry -- usually intercourse or manual vaginal sex, and usually (but not always) with male partners -- is painful, uncomfortable, or unfulfilling for them. Whatever sort of vaginal entry we're talking about -- with fingers, a penis or a dildo, with partners of any gender -- not only doesn't have to be painful, it really shouldn't be. More than that, any kind of sex shouldn't be about a lack of pain, but about the presence of pleasure.
There's a reason for taking things slowly, for putting off intercourse, or taking it away from center stage that often gets overlooked. I'm not talking about slowing things down for religious or moral ideals or social pressures. Not slowing things down to prevent STIs and pregnancy. Not even slowing things down for legal reasons or because of your age. I'm not talking about Just Say No, and I'm not talking about not having sex at all. I'm talking about PLEASURE.
There are certain physical, hormonal and psychological mechanics that come into play when it comes to human sexual response, and understanding those is essential to lay the foundation for understanding how sex works for ourselves and for our partners. Once we understand how our bodies work when it comes to sexual response, we've won half the battle of learning how to enjoy that and incorporate it as a healthy part of our lives, both alone and with others.