Dear V

Dear V: Options remain despite penetration pain


My girlfriend and I have been together for two years and we currently live together. We are very happy together and our social life is not the problem. The problem is with our sex life. Let’s just say I am well endowed and she is a tiny, skinny girl. It seems that no matter what we do, my girlfriend is always in pain after sex. She enjoys it during the act; however, sometimes it hurts so much she cannot be touched for several days. It has gotten to the point where we can only have sex twice a week (a difficult task when sleeping in the same bed!) and even then, it can only be missionary or forward cowgirl because any other position hurts. We have tried everything I can think of and we have been tested for STDs so we know this is not the issue. Any advice?  

-Large and Confused

Dear Large and Confused,

It stinks that there is so much hype about the ‘bigger is better’ stigma, especially when you’re at the short end of the stick. Or long end. But at least your relationship isn’t doomed simply due to this fact. Let’s size up your problem in more detail (I promise that’s the last pun in this article).

I know you mentioned that you’ve tried everything, but it’s worth going over it again. Make sure she is really aroused before penetration. And by “really aroused” I mean that it could take up to an hour for her to get there. Using a vibrator can be a sexy and effective way of gauging whether or not her body is as ready as her mind is. Plus, it’ll give her another size to compare to and another way to decide if it’s actually your size that’s the problem, not another medical reason other than STDs.

Lube is also another major component of intercourse for most couples, with or without size issues. If you haven’t fully discovered the joys of lube, now is the time. And don’t forget to reapply during the act. 

Lastly, there are products you can buy at sex stores for people with extra length. They are called “limiters” and are basically a thick ring of soft rubber that you put at the base to prevent the deepest penetration. It might seem kind of silly at first, but if the thought of one thrust too deep causes anxiety, then the freedom they allow is wonderful.

Best of luck!



Please send probing inquiries to

September 11, 2008



Advice Columnist

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Dear V: Options remain despite penetration pain”

  1. Melissa says:

    Dear Large and Confused,

    It sounds to me like your girlfriend might have what is called Vulvodynia, specifically Vulvar Vestibulitis. It is not an STD, it is a disorder that causes pain during intercourse. Please suggest she go to a gynecologist, but specifically one who is familiar with this problem.

    Good luck.

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