pain

Love hurts…but sometimes sex hurts more

Article: Love hurts…but sometimes sex hurts more

For the past few weeks we’ve been talking about sex that hurts — and not in a heartache kind of way. Two weeks ago we published an excerpt from When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain. Then last week we published a basic overview of the causes of painful sex. So many women still don’t admit to having this problem — they may write in to an anonymous advice column like ours, but they won’t necessarily admit it to their gynecologist. Today we present a Q&A with Dr. Caroline Pukall and Dr. Andrew Goldstein, coauthors of When Sex Hurts, addressing some of the most common questions they hear about painful sex.

What is the most common cause of sexual pain?

There are many causes of sexual pain, the most common being vestibulodynia, the most common type of vulvodynia, which is chronic vulvar pain which has no known cause. Vestibulodynia is characterized by a severe burning pain at the entrance of the vagina during activities that involve vaginal penetration; the most common complaint of women with this condition is dyspareunia — pain during sexual intercourse. Women with vestibulodynia may also have pain during nonsexual activities, such as gynecological examinations.

Why sex hurts…and we don't mean heartbreak

Article: Why sex hurts…and we don't mean heartbreak

Last week we talked about when sex hurts, and why so many women still don’t admit to having this problem. It’s something that we, as sex writers, hear about constantly — it’s a sad but true fact that many women are more open with sex advice columnists than their own gynecologists — so we thought that focusing on this topic for a few weeks would, at the very least, prove that there’s a certain comfort to knowing you’re not alone. And knowing you’re not alone may give you the courage to speak up — to your partner and to your doctor. This week, the authors of the new book When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain, give a basic overview of the causes of painful sex. For more information about any of the below, you can check out their book or talk to your doctor. Actually, whether you buy the book or not, please, for the love of sex, do talk to your gynecologist if sex hurts. It’s their freakin’ job to fix it, okay? No matter what you may have been taught.

When sex hurts…and we don't mean heartbreak

Article: When sex hurts…and we don't mean heartbreak

We’ve been writing about sex for more than ten years, and when we started out, the topic that our female readers wanted to hear about most was orgasms — how to have them (either solo or with a partner), how to have them more often, how to have different kinds, how to have them simultaneously with a partner, how to stop faking them, and so on. Well, the Big O is still a favorite topic, but these days it practically ties with another topic: painful sex. (And we’re not talking about the attending heartbreak, though consistent physical pain during intercourse can itself be heartbreaking, of course.) We don’t necessarily think that sex is suddenly more painful for women, but rather that it’s becoming more acceptable to talk about the fact that, for women especially, sometimes sex can hurt like a motherfucker…not to put too fine a point on it. But too many women still fail to speak up. So we were thrilled to hear about a new book that focuses on this topic: When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain, by Andrew Goldstein, MD, Caroline Pukall, PhD, and Irwin Goldstein, MD. We definitely don’t have nearly enough letters after our names to adequately address the issues involved here! The authors were kind enough to allow us to publish an excerpt from the first chapter of their book, which you can read below. Check back in next week for their summary of the various causes of painful sex, and the week after that for a Q&A with the authors, in which they address some of the most common question they hear about painful sex.

Happiness hat

Article: Happiness hat

happiness hat from Lauren McCarthy on Vimeo. Don’t let the cutesy knit warmth of Lauren McCarthy’s “Happiness Hat” fool you. It is actually “a wearable device that detects if you’re smiling and provides pain feedback if you’re not” and is a dream come true for any dictator or tyrant attempting to enforce a smiling spirit…