Does it hurt the first time you have sex?

Post by Boiling

My research on this topic started when K got engaged. She shared that she was scared of getting intimate and having sex with a guy she had not interacted with much. “How the hell is one supposed to do that with a guy we have known only for a few weeks?”,   she asked. I did not have much knowledge in that area so I could not offer much advice. On top of that, I had the same fears and doubts as her and was not sure how I would work out in the whole arranged marriage thing. All I knew was that it hurt the first time and because it is such a taboo topic nobody talked about it much.

  • K confided in another friend who was married: J. J said that her husband waited a week to have sex and one day when they were finally about to have it, she started crying due to sheer nervousness and he got angry. She felt sex the first time was quite painful and slightly painful for her husband as well. She empathized with women who were raped after that because if consensual sex was so painful, rape would be even more painful. J also mentioned another of their friends whose husband forced her every time into having sex.
  • I asked another married lady and she told me they had sex on the first night. All her relatives gave her only one piece of advice: “Do whatever your husband wants you to do.”  She said sex per se was not painful but she could not walk properly for a couple of days after because her legs hurt a lot.
  • Another lady told me that she felt off colour the next day and she walked a bit differently and her relatives were smirking because it showed what happened on the first night.
  • I searched online and a lady had similar fears as K. Many ladies told her it would be painful the first few times but “after pain comes pleasure😉
  • Other sources like books and movies seemed to indicate the same thing – that sex was painful for women the first few times at least. Take for example,  ‘Fast times at Ridgemont High (1982)’. There is a scene where two girls are talking and one of them said it kinda hurt her and the other girl tells her it will get better with time. The girl just seems to be a passive participant in sex and doing it because everybody seems to be doing it.

Basically, every source I turned to told me that first time sex was painful and this made me dread it so much. I was scared of having sex because I was afraid that my vulva would hurt real bad. When I had sex for the first time, I closed my eyes in anticipation of the pain that would follow and laughed loudly when I did not feel a bloody thing. I waited for my legs to start hurting or see if I walked differently and I did not feel or see any changes. Life went on as normal. Not being a virgin did not seem like a big deal at all.

Everybody said it was painful because saying it was fun the first time would make them seem like loose characters. Another common thread I noticed was lack of arousal and adequate lubrication for the female. People just rushed into it even when they were tired after the wedding with expectant relatives giggling and asking questions indirectly the next day. Also, in most cases, no contraception was used on the first night.

I did not get why everybody made such a fuss about how painful it was or maybe I did. This was just a way to control women, their bodies and their sexuality. Sex is not painful the first time, if the woman is aroused and properly lubricated.

P.S: I hope this helps someone who was searching for answers like me. 

Readers, did it hurt the first time you had sex?

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28 thoughts on “Does it hurt the first time you have sex?

  1. Yay first comment! Well, my story’s a bit unusual, but I promise you it’s true (even though we are on the internet). Anyway, when I got divorced, I was still a virgin (yeah, everyone makes the same face you just did). My first time was almost 2 years after that. For me, I really wanted to do it, plus I was really aroused. So, no, I don’t remember it being painful. Yes, I am Indian.

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  2. If there isn’t adequate foreplay, or if you aren’t turned on enough, then yes, sex will hurt. For me and most of my friends, it was slightly uncomfortable, but that’s it. I don’t understand how people go right into sex without oral or manual stimulation first, particularly if both are virgins. Surely this will ease tension and provide lubrication? At least in my circle, it was common for us to stay at “third base” with our boyfriends for quite a while before properly losing our virginity–this is also because there is such a stigma associated with PIV sex compared to other such acts.

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  3. My first time was when I was 18. It didn’t hurt but it wasn’t particularly good either because inexperience didn’t help me figure out how to feel. There’s also a very, very sad lack of material on sex, and sexual education in schools is abysmal. A 27-year-old friend told me she badly wanted to know if women have “three holes down there or two”, and which one “is for sex”. It made me sad that a grown woman really didn’t know and was too embarrassed to type in those search strings on Google.

    This sounds very graphic but I just mean that it’s depressing that this entire thing is so taboo until the act itself happens.

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  4. I never had sex (still a virgin..yes I admit it and I don’t care if anyone tsk tsks me LOL), but I def learned a whole lot from just talking with others.

    It’s funny this topic is brought up because I was in a discussion with some peers about what the “normal” age is for having sex the first time is (looks like 17) jand if it’s abnormal to wait and have it til your’re ready. But it was briefly mentioned that sex is usually painful because the hymen is broken that time (cherry pop anyone?), but like you said, lubrication can help. However, makes me think since you think Indians don’t lubricate themselves, is it possible it may be something cultural?

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  5. I can’t quite relate to the ‘pain’ during/after intercourse as mentioned by the writer. Sore maybe. If there’s sufficient foreplay, we could just do away with lubricants. Talk things over and let him know the importance of foreplay. And remember, men need guidance too.

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  6. High time this was discussed openly, especially when total strangers are about to be married off and forced into the experience. Personally, it didn’t hurt at all.

    Like you said, arousal and lubrication–whether resulting automatically from arousal or applied externally, are key.The most important, though, is being comfortable with your partner! If you have even a shred of doubt or fear, the experience can be so less than what it should be–exhilarating and calming (post-coital calm, anyway😉 ).

    To men & women & any other gender in between wanting to have sex – make sure you are comfortable with the person you are about to have sex with. The least you can do is talk. Ask how you feel about each other or the act that you are going to participate in. Say your fears out loud and be considerate of the other’s feelings as well.

    This is easier said than done in a society like ours where these things ‘happen’ but are never discussed. However, as we evolve into more mature species and a society, we need to educate ourselves and be open about these things, because they matter. Especially Indian women and men spend a whole chunk of life preparing to get married and stay married. Then they’re expected to pop kids out in the first few years. The least we can do is talk about how those ‘vansh ka diyas’ or ‘ghar ki laxmis’ are conceived in the first place.

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  7. Nope. No hurting etc. But we didn’t jump into the act at once either.
    You are right. Lubrication is very important either natural or artificial. And both need to be active participants. Talk when you want to stop or if it gets uncomfortable.

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  8. Yes…but not because I was not ready…I was (am) hopelessly in love with the husband. Poor fellow had to proceed with incredible caution for weeks before we could finally do it fully. If any, I was the one getting frustrated.
    So…it is a very real. You were lucky.

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    • I agree with you. I didn’t have an arranged marriage and I had sex before my marriage with the guy I loved for so long. He is my husband now. It took us several tries before we could actually have it. It pained me alot. We even went to gynecologist, thinking something is wrong with me. she suggested I must try exercising, it’s just coz I am too tight. I am in an interracial marriage, if that makes a difference. My husband is a white and I am an Indian. He didn’t force me. I was lucky that when I said no, it hurts, he used to stop and not force. I always wonder how women do it on first night and specially with a stranger.

      It varies person to person if it hurts or not. Some women have their hymn already ripped, some are too tight, some men are too big. We can’t generalize that sex doesn’t hurt. Apart from that, when one has sex for the first time, they don’t know which position will be comfortable for them, which angle would be good. These also play an important role.

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  9. Thank you for this post!! I know of so many girls/ women having the same question.
    My sil has been (love-) married for 2+years now and they havn’t had sex yet because she is scared it will hurt!!! (Face-palm)

    i too was anticipating a lot of pain, blood etc. but thankfully no blood but a little pain. But as mentioned, no change in walking etc. Seriously, what was the fuss all about???

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  10. Please be wary of generalizing your experience. Many people with hymens experience pain when they have PIV sex for the first time. There is often pain even when the sex is fully consensual and there has been lots of foreplay and even when there is adequate lubrication (naturally or from lubricants purchased). There is nothing you can do to 100% guarantee that the first time will be 100% painless. It just depends on what your body is like. The pain is not simply a myth just because you happen to have a body which did not experience pain the first time.

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    • Yes, this is what i wanted to say too…everyone’s body is different. Some experience pain and some dont. There is no general rule for this…do such and such and you wont have pain. Now, being comfortable is a completely different thing. That is something you can control. And yes, being aroused is a part of being comfortable.

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    • Agree that it may be individual and some women may have thicker hymens. However, I still feel that perpetuating the myth that it WILL pain is wrong and this topic is still taboo. No woman told me that it does not hurt. Instead they feed you that it is going to hurt real bad and you can’t even walk properly after that.

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  11. Dear LW,

    You are so right about it. I also had the same fears when I got married 5 years back and everyone I went to including the gynecologist I consulted told me the same story about how it depends, how it hurts etc… I had a boyfriend before I got married to my husband but apart from fondling there was no sex involved and so I had no bloody clue about it. To make matter worse few of my married friends told me how they bled so much the first time that the entire bedsheet turned red and that bleeding is normal. I freaked out when I heard that and dreaded the so called “first night” more so because I was having an arranged marriage. I had sleepless nights and panic attacks. Finally much to my surprise nothing like that happened with me. The reason I did not have a horrible first time was because:
    1. My husband did not force me. Though we had an arranged marriage, my husband understood my fears and we did not have any sex at all during our entire honeymoon which was for a week. Instead of focusing on sex, my husband would talk to me about everything under the sun and he made me also talk and asked me my opinions and generally made me feel very comfortable. He assured me that I need not worry about sex and that we can have sex only when I want it. and so I had sex for the first time 30 days after I got married that too only when I told him that I am ready.
    2. My husband did not penetrate till I was fully aroused and ready. This meant that a lot of foreplay and generally making me feel at ease.
    Because of the above two reasons, my first time was amazing and not at all painful except for a little discomfort. I thoroughly enjoyed sex and over time my husband and I understood each others needs and bodies and we both enjoy it till date. Also I did not bleed at all though it was my first time.
    Please understand that its not 100% necessary that every girl should bleed and not bleeding can be due to a variety of reasons. It has got nothing to do with being a virgin or not.
    In India, nobody is there to help young girls and women with questions related to sex. The doctor I went to told me on my face that men will be aggressive and that as a woman I must learn to enjoy the pain and go with the flow. The reason so many women have horrible first sex is because there is no foreplay involved as the man just wants to penetrate and have his needs fixed. So sadly a majority of Indian women don’t know what good sex is and would have never experienced a good orgasm so they think that sex is painful and that one must get used to the pain. To add to this is the whole Indian concept of “women should not enjoy sex” because good Indian women are there just to serve the men and must not enjoy or derive any pleasure in life and if any woman enjoys sex and expects good sex from her partner or husband then she is a slut. So a lot of women just accept this BS and go on with life foregoing a wonderful experience.
    For men, sex is a means to control women so no Indian man will put his manliness at stake and concentrate on giving pleasure.
    To all the young girls and women out there reading this, please understand that SEX is a wonderful experience when done in the right manner with the right person. A good sexual life will strengthen the bond with the partner and will create trust. Talk to your partners about any fears or apprehensions and if your partner calls you a slut or looks disinterested then please think about moving ahead in the relationship. It is not wrong to think and talk about sex as sex is a basic human need.

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    • With the size of population India has I keep wondering why Sex is such a big deal in this culture? May be ignorance is bliss so we are beating China in this number game.

      Pain or no pain basically depends on why, when, where and with who a woman is having sex.

      Why: Feeling obligated- a duty enshrined by culture, “first night,” “honeymoon” or peer pressure.
      When and Where: On the wedding night when whole clan is outside the door waiting to see you walk out; lack of privacy finding a seedy motel or back of the car
      With whom: Lawfully wedded husband who you have never seen naked before; pushy boyfriend;

      If women could answer the question, “why am I having sex with this particular person, am I ready or I just want to do it and get over with it?” they’ll find the where lies the pain or pleasure.
      https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/desi-dilemma-to-get-laid-or-not-to-get-laid/

      Peace,
      Desi Girl

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    • “The doctor I went to told me on my face that men will be aggressive and that as a woman I must learn to enjoy the pain and go with the flow.” – I could not believe that a doctor told you this!!

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  12. Most certainly did but it was still enjoyable because I was doing it with the love of my life. So many women I know have no idea that one needs to have engaged in foreplay(or masturbation) to be lubricated and thereby have pleasurable sex. An even smaller minority knows anything about lubricants available in the market to help those(like me) who’re naturally dry. There is also the ability to be relaxed . When you’ve been conditioned to believe that it’ll hurt and when it is with someone you don’t even know, your body naturally tenses up causing pain.

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  13. Frankly, I dont think foreplay/lubrication/being comfortable with your partner is the cure to the pain. The pain is caused dues to multiple reasons, IMO – breaking of hymen, lack of lubrication, forced penetration. I have a friend who was super comfortable with her hubby, they used lubrication and yet it was painful for her like crazy. It depends on the structure of the opening too, as per her doc (she consulted her doc after the first time). So yes, things like comfort level and proper lubrication/arousal do contribute to the good experience of having sex, but not necessarily prevent the pain.
    For me, it was very slightly painful. We did not jump into it. In fact we took our own sweet long time to actually have PIV, not because we were waiting for any occasion or anything, but because it naturally came at a much later stage. And yes, we were properly lubricated/aroused/super comfort level, having known hubby for years before getting married.

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  14. Yes, it can hurt the first time, for some women – it depends on the things you mentioned – comfort level, feelings toward partner, willingness, arousal – but it also depends on the woman’s body, the rupturing that happens is different for different women, and so is the pain threshold.

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  15. It ranges from no pain to sharp pain. Go with the flow, marry someone you love , be with someone who loves you, you love and like. talk, explore and learn and it will be fine. discuss what you find pleasurable and what pleasures the partner and learn. It just improves over time. keep an open mind. and for gods sake dont let enyone rush you or force you into it. EVEN if its your husband…and dont do the forcing either, there is no set day and time frame after or before marriage that it should happen.

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  16. Thanks a lot for writing about this topic. In my group of friends from school and college only 3 are married and 3 got married this month. I am one of the married girls. The kind of questions that these girls were asking me and my other married friends was an eye opener to me on how uneducated we Indians are (both men and women) as far sex is concerned. All of us including my friends are very highly educated and working in MNC’s earning six figures but our basic lack of knowledge as far as sex is concerned is shameful. It also took me back to my time when I was going to get married and how clueless I was about sex.
    I would sincerely appreciate if anyone from this group can take up this topic and write more about it as it would really help lot of young girls, parents to youngsters or adolescent children and maybe the few boys/men who read this blog.
    Thanks.

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  17. My first time hurt really bad and there was blood everywhere.. on the sheets, running down my legs, on his hands. But prior to it, I had trouble wearing a tampon. I checked down there with a mirror and flashlight and saw that my hymen was really thick with a tiny opening. I made a visit to the gynaecologist. She said my opening was small but it’s not abnormal; I would probably be able to manage intercourse without surgery. So I decided to just go ahead.

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  18. When my first boyfriend and I got intimate, we simply could not have sex. A visit at my gynaecologist’s surgery solved the riddle – my hymen was extremely thick and she actually had to fix it. But afterwards my sex life got better and better. So yes, there can be anatomic reasons why it hurts to have sex for the first time. But I can only agree with the others: first and most important thing is to feel comfortable with your partner, to be aroused and lubricated, and to really want it. If all this is the case and there are still problems, consult a doctor.🙂

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