Why does sex hurt? Is it because I’m nervous about sex?

Question:
Well hi there. This is my first time writting to you, I’m only 15 and I have already had sex several times with my boyfriend. There are many questions that I would like to know about sex but at times I tend to get embarrased to ask my mother. She also doesnt know that I’ve had sex before. The last recent time that I’ve had sex I wanted to, but while it was happening I felt really nervous and it hurt. I know sex is not supposed to hurt, it’s supposed to be enjoyable but that’s not my case. Why does that happen? I hope you can answer my question.

Answer:
Thanks for your question. Fifteen is pretty young to be having sex – that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be having sex, but it probably means that you don’t have a lot of people to talk to about sex because most of your friends will have either not had sex yet, or will have only had it a few times and may not have very good, reliable or accurate information about sex.

Talking to your mom about sex can be very important for a few reasons. First, it lets her know what your needs are as her daughter. If she knew that you were having sex, she might want to do “mom” kinds of things to help you and to take care of you, like offer to take you to the gynecologist (which is important for  women of all ages who are having sex, or considering having sex). She might want to share with you some stories about her own life, and her own values and beliefs about sex.

Since you have so many questions about sex, your mom is a very good place to start. You also can visit a healthcare provider, either at a private clinic or doctor’s office or at a local family planning clinic, such as a Planned Parenthood. Your mom, an aunt or a friend can often go into the exam room with you if you would feel more comfortable. If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel comfortable talking to your mom about sex, you can call a local clinic and ask them about their confidentiality policy (in many states, teenage girls who are older than 14 can see a healthcare provider without the provider telling their parents). But because state laws vary, you need to ask the healthcare clinic itself. And again, I would recommend talking with your mom or an aunt or another trusted adult about your decision to have sex.

It’s also worth thinking about how you feel about having sex. Sometimes girls think that everyone is having sex or that they have to have sex to keep their partner interested in them or happy. Having sex when you are feeling nervous, uncertain, afraid or scared can make sex feel uncomfortable both physically and emotionally. Physically, it may mean that the muscles in your body are tense or that your body is not able to lubricate naturally, and that can make sex feel more comfortable. It really can make a difference to wait and to have sex only when you are feeling not only ready – but also excited about having sex – and confident that you have done everything possible to have safer sex (e.g., that you and your partner are using reliable methods of birth control and/or ways to reduce the risk of infection). You can learn more about sexuality through teenager-focused web sites such as Teenwire and Scarleteen.

Learn more in Dr. Herbenick’s book, Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction, and follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor

Related MSP Posts:
- Why Does Sex Hurt for My Girlfriend? (Click HERE to read it)
- How to Finger a Woman: Safe, Pleasurable Techniques (Click HERE to read it)
- Non-lubricated condoms and bleeding after sex (click HERE to read it)

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.

  • Pingback: Bleeding during or after intercourse: Vaginal tears and other problems | My Sex Professor: Sexuality Education

  • Lilly

    Hi, i am 17, i currently have had two sexual partner, i have just come out of a long term relationship with my first partner, and am currently seeing my second. i am wondering, is it normal to have pains during sex? my doctor says its just thrush, but i have had that before and this feels different, and i have had it for a while and none of the thrush treatment has helped. my garnochologist hasnt helped much either. im not sure who else i can talk to.

  • Lilly

    Hi, i am 17, i currently have had two sexual partner, i have just come out of a long term relationship with my first partner, and am currently seeing my second. i am wondering, is it normal to have pains during sex? my doctor says its just thrush, but i have had that before and this feels different, and i have had it for a while and none of the thrush treatment has helped. my garnochologist hasnt helped much either. im not sure who else i can talk to.

  • dylan

    Hi. I’m 15 and when I have sex. My boyfriend doesn’t go deep enough.

  • dylan

    Hi. I’m 15 and when I have sex. My boyfriend doesn’t go deep enough.

  • papu

    my penis doesn't open will it hurt during sex. I've never sex it's before.. please tell me

    I feel shy when I ask about it my friends

  • Guest

    Hi, I was wondering if it is possible for the average Joe, such as myself, to make extra money by mass producing a dildo of my penis? I am not sure if I support the correct size that women would buy. I measure about 7.5″ long x 5.75″ circumference, is that a good size for making a dildo? Thanks, bigjake48

  • the un-ready girl

    hey,
    im 15 and me and my boyfriend, 16, are both virgins. and we've been talking about sex lately. he knows hes ready but hes says he'll wait until i am. so theres no rush. but i do have some questions. should we get tested first? does it hurt for me? am i gonna bleed? if so, usually how much? is there any other things i should be worried about? i know he has condoms so thats covered. but should we do anything else of that nature? please help.

  • stonefemme

    Its because he's too big for you… plain and simple. Been there!

  • Pingback: Bleeding During Sex: Common Causes and Solutions | My Sex Professor: Sexuality Education

  • keisha

    in that case scream HARDER !!!!!!!

  • Vancha

    hi. i never done anything like this before everytime i hve sex, it hurts wayy too much……………… is there sumate wrong with mw