Painful fingering

My boyfriend and I were feeling very heated last night, so he decided to finger me. I was fine with that, obviously, because he asked if I wanted it and I said yes. We've decided we want to have sex but are both worried about the pain. And last night, he wanted to explore, and I told him go ahead. He tried to stick his finger in "the hole" and it hurt, very badly. I'm a pretty tight girl, and he had trouble getting even his pointer finger in. Now, it's the next morning and it's still a little achy. Did I get my "cherry popped"? Is my first time with him going to hurt badly because I'm so tight? I'm nervous, help!
Heather Corinna replies:

You know, it's not often going to feel good to anyone to have someone just stick a finger into the vagina.

There really aren't "tight girls" and girls who aren't tight. The tightness of your vaginal opening and vagina is mostly to do with how sexually aroused and relaxed you are, and if what someone is doing with you sexually feels good. It isn't any one way all of the time: it changes, based on that arousal and that relaxation.

And generally, to get to that space, most people with vaginas can't just be sitting around watching the telly then have someone just jab a finger in there. Rather, for that to feel good, and not painful, you will probably need plenty of time to get sexually excited, and then other sexual activities that aren't about your vagina first and also often during vaginal sex of any kind, be it with fingers or with a penis.

Did you or your partner, for instance, first make out for a while, have some whole-body interaction, and then also spend time with your clitoris directly, or even indirectly (such as rubbing around your mons and/or outer labia for a while before vaginal entry)? Was he using any lubricant? Being very, very gradual in introducing that finger? Paying attention to the contours of your vagina (hint: it's curved, not straight) when he was introducing the finger?

Truth is, if you're unaroused next time, not relaxed, and aren't incorporating other kinds of stimulus -- other sexual activities -- then it's likely that yes, intercourse is not going to feel very nice and may be painful.

And that's not about "popping cherries." That term is a bit of a misnomer: there's nothing that needs breaking or popping inside the vagina. That term usually either just is a euphemism for someone doing something new for the first time, or a pretty whack reference to the hymen.

The hymen isn't really even inside the vagina: it's a very thin membrane that -- when present, fully or partially -- covers the vaginal opening, right AT that opening. But over time, it gradually wears away -- from hormones, vaginal discharges, menstruation, general physical activity, masturbation, and yep, vaginal sex. But if you're menstruating already, using tampons, etc. then you know for certain that at best, you have a partial hymen, and that tissue is pretty flexible stuff. So, while vaginal sex participates in gradually wearing it away, it's also thin and stretchy -- and without nerve endings -- so pain from vaginal entry is more often due to roughness from a partner, lack of lubrication, and lack of arousal.

There's no need to be nervous about any of this, so long as you're both taking the time that needs taking, communicating about all of this, and paying mind to what your body needs and what you earnestly feel up to doing, not just emotionally, but physically and sexually, too.

I've included a couple of links for you to look over, both to really figure out if you are in a ready-place for more sex - intercourse or otherwise -- as well as some links to better understand your own anatomy and your sexual response cycle, as well as the why of vaginal pain with vaginal sex. Have a read, and you should find yourself in a better place to know what you need and want.

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