Tag Archives: Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights

7 Ways to Reduce Pain During First Time Sex #WednesdayWisdom

Taylor Carson | Temple University 
5 minute read

It doesn’t matter who you are ––sex for the first time is a huge deal. Whether you’re preparing to lose your virginity (or have sex with a new partner for the first time), at least a little discomfort is inevitable. After all, everyone is different and sex is a learning process!

So, how can you reduce the amount of pain you feel? We’ve enlisted the help of Laura-Anne Rowell, a sex coach at Primitive Balance, to dish seven secrets on having a more pleasurable experience during your first time.

1. Lower your expectations

Take some time and evaluate your own expectations. What are they? Be wary that popular culture often depicts intercourse as sensual and hot when, in reality, your first time is more likely to be sweaty and uncomfortable.

Believe it or not, unrealistic expectations (even if you don’t consciously realize you have them) can negatively affect your first experience. Go into the act with a clear mind and understand that what you’ll come to define as “good” sex is going to take time, practice and patience to establish.

While you may want to lower your expectations on how the experience will physically feel, you should absolutely have high expectations in terms of a caring partner and consent. Make sure you’re absolutely sure that you’re emotionally ready! You should never feel pressured by your partner, friends or society into having sex.

2. Find a peaceful space

Everyone is anxious prior to having sex for the first time, so the last thing you need is for the process to be disrupted by outside noises. It is extremely important to feel comfortable physically, mentally and emotionally if you want to maximize pleasure. Create an environment where you and your partner can feel safe and open –– and where you’re sure no one will accidentally barge in.

3. Talk about sex with your partner

Often times, the pressure associated with sexual performance makes the experience more disappointing than it has to be. To combat such pressures, take the time to have a sex talk with your partner beforehand.

We get it: you might feel like talking about the mechanics of sex will make things unromantic or just plain awkward. Make the conversation fun and relaxed. Start with openers like “I like when you do this…now let’s try this,” or “this hurts…maybe this will feel better!” Learn each other’s pleasure zones. What makes you both feel good? What are your boundaries? Knowing your partner is turned on will inadvertently turn you on more, too.

Communicating beforehand will make you both feel more excited about the experience and, in turn, reduce pain.

4. Start with foreplay

For sex to be enjoyable, you have to be turned on. If you aren’t lubricated (either naturally or with some extra help), it’s going to hurt. Foreplay is a great and extremely fun way to get things started!

It’s important to note that foreplay is different for everyone. “The main reason for women to engage in foreplay is not only mental stimulation (getting more in the mood) but for biological reasons (to get wet),” Rowell says. “When a woman is turned on and wet, this makes sex more enjoyable and easier for penetration (less painful).”

Anna*, a sophomore at the University of Maryland, lost her virginity this past summer. “Because my body was so new to penetration, my boyfriend did a lot of fingering to prepare me for, well, the final act,” she says. “Easing into things via foreplay helped to make first-time sex virtually painless for me.”

Keep in mind that not all women get turned on by the same things. “Some women get turned on just by kissing and that is enough foreplay for them to have sex,” Rowell says. “Others take longer and want oral play, breast play and soft (or rough depending on your style) caresses before wanting sex.”

Before penetration begins, make sure you feel aroused by engaging in foreplay with your partner. Otherwise, you’re going to feel slight pain and discomfort.

Related: What First Time Sex is Like For Guys

5. Take it slow

To help ease into things, make sure you indicate to your partner that you want to take it slow. Be patient with each other, take your time, communicate during the act and learn what feels right ––and what doesn’t.

Kelsey*, a junior at Florida State University, knows just how important it is not to rush into things. “The best thing you can do to reduce any pain is just to be relaxed,” she says. “Don’t push it or do it when you don’t really want to. Your nerves and hesitancies might make it harder to be “turned on,” and that can be painful!” We couldn’t agree more.

If you’re having trouble relaxing, try playing soothing music, focusing on your breathing, or simply laughing with your partner. Keep in mind that you can stop at any point if it hurts too much. Never think you have to just “get it over with” or “suck up the pain,” sex should be enjoyable for both partners.

6. Experiment with different positions

Once sex is underway, don’t be afraid to experiment with your body positioning. Just because one thing doesn’t feel good doesn’t mean everything won’t feel good! Switch things up (within your comfort zone, of course!) and find what makes the experience most pleasurable for both you and your partner.

According to Rowell, there are three basic positions for starters that provide the most pleasure to the female: missionary, girl on top, or doggie style. “Depending on if you want clitoral stimulation (girl on top) or if you want to feel more relaxed and find it better for g-spot (missionary) or if you want deep penetration (doggie),” she says. “In all these positions, you are able to control and communicate with your partner easily.”

Rowell adds that, while there is no right-or-wrong first position, missionary is a good starting place if it’s your very first time. If missionary is causing you pain, try placing a pillow under your hips to ease discomfort. “Once you have mastered these, then you can try the variations and learn all the fancy terms,” she says.

7. Try again later

Remember, collegiettes: it’s not unexpected for your first time to be less-than-extraordinary. If you’re struggling to get lubricated, your partner can’t maintain an erection or neither of you are reaching orgasm, take a break. You can ––and should–– try again later! The most important thing to do is laugh off the experience and learn from it.

If you find that you have a painful time during your first time, don’t beat yourself up. Take the time to discover what you enjoy sexually, don’t put pressure on yourself and try again when you feel ready! Trust us, when it comes to sex, practice makes perfect.

*Names have been changed.Curated from Her Campus
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Here’s Why You Keep Getting UTIs (& What To Do)

Mary Hilliard
4 minute read

If you find yourself dealing with frequent urinary tract infections, know you’re not alone.

UTIs are the second most common infection, according to Everyday Health, and account for millions of doctor visits annually. If you find yourself dealing with multiple UTIs—specifically, more than twice in a span of six months—this is considered a recurrent UTI. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates that one in five women have a recurring UTI. So, how are you supposed to deal with what seem like non-stop infections? We’re here to help.

First of all, what is a UTI?

Essentially, a UTI is when bacteria enters the urinary tract, resulting in frequent trips to the bathroom or burning feeling when you pee.

“A UTI is an infection of the bladder or kidneys,” says Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine. “When healthy, neither of these have bacteria in them, so an infection occurs when bacteria gets into the urethra, which connects the outside of the body to the bladder, and proceeds up the body into the bladder or kidney. UTIs are more common in the bladder, and more common in women.”

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, symptoms of a UTI include:

  • Frequent urgency to pee
  • Burning sensation when you go
  • Pee that is tinted or has a strange odor

Why do you keep getting recurring UTIs?

1. You don’t pee when you should

A key factor in preventing a UTI is peeing. Basically, peeing is part of your body’s self-cleaning process (another reason why you shouldn’t be using hygiene products besides simple soap and water). It’s meant to flush out your urinary tract and get rid of harmful bacteria, like the kind that causes a UTI. Trying to hold it when you really have to go can result in a UTI.

2. You don’t drink enough water

Dehydration means infrequent trips to the bathroom, and then your body can’t execute its self-cleaning process. Drinking enough water everyday will keep harmful bacteria from infecting your urinary tract by keeping your peeing cycle regulated.

“Staying hydrated is always a good idea,” says Gillespie.

3. You don’t pee after sex

Again, peeing is a cleansing process!

“One of the easiest ways to prevent UTIs is to always urinate shortly after intercourse,” says Gillespie. “Since UTIs happen when bacteria travels up the urethra and into the bladder (and the bacteria can be introduced with intercourse), think of this as a way to ‘flush out the bacteria’ before it has a chance to settle and create an infection.”

Related: 5 Myths You Probably Still Believe About Your Vagina

4. You use scented feminine hygiene products

Since your body has its own self-cleaning plan, douches and deodorants are unnecessary. If you do use those products and they are scented, they can actually do your body more harm than good because they can mess with the balance of healthy and harmful bacteria. Plus, the fragrances can cause irritation.

5. You wipe from back to front

This can transfer harmful bacteria towards your urinary tract instead of cleaning things up—so make sure you wipe from front to back.

6. You wear the wrong kind of underwear

Cotton underwear can help prevent recurring UTIs because it’s a more lightweight and breathable material, so it isn’t super sweaty and gross down there.

7. You use the wrong kind of birth control

Sometimes the pill can be preferable to other forms of contraception. “Consider a new method of birth control if you use spermicide, particularly if you also use a diaphragm, as that may increase your risk of recurrent infection,” Gillespie advises.

Treating a UTI

As soon as you experience any symptoms, head to your doctor to get tested so you can be prescribed an antibiotic.

“One thing I see is that women mistake another infection (such as a yeast infection or other condition) for a UTI, since they may have similar symptoms,” Gillespie says. “However, they have very different treatments! So, especially if you have not had a UTI before, it’s important to see your doctor to get tested, so you can get treated appropriately.”

Recurrent UTIs can occur when the first one isn’t treated soon enough. Your usual family doctor or healthcare provider can treat a UTI. Do NOT wait to go to the doctor—UTIs can quickly progress into bladder infections. Regardless of what the internet tells you, cranberry juice will not cure your UTI!

Preventing a UTI

Essentially, drink lots of fluids throughout the day to keep your urine flow consistent and flush out your urinary tract, so when you gotta go, go. Keep things clean down there with soap and water—nothing scented. Taking a probiotic can help regulate the balance between good and bad bacteria by boosting healthy bacteria that can then kill off any harmful bacteria. According to Women’s Health Specialists of California, eating acidic foods such as berries, citrus, and apples can also help prevent an infection.

And that urban myth that cranberry juice can prevent or treat a UTI? Not so much.

“When it comes to cranberry juice and cranberry products, there is not strong evidence that they help,” Gillespie says.

UTIs may be uncomfortable to talk about, but they are even more uncomfortable (and even painful) to deal with. Taking precautions to keep your urinary tract healthy now will save you in more ways than one. If you’re frequently dealing with UTIs, try the preventative measures suggested and try to determine the cause. Gillespie advises talking with your doctor if you continue to deal with a recurring UTI, as it may actually be something more serious, or you may be put on a preventative antibiotic.

Curated from Her Campus

4 Reasons They Might Be Ghosting You

Dajin Kim | University of Texas at Austin
3 minute read

When it comes to modern day dating, there’s no question that things aren’t the way that they used to be. Instead of meeting people the old fashioned way, Platforms like Tinder and Bumble have taken over the dating world. Although convenient, the use of apps and texting communication has caused a rise of of ghosting. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, “ghosting” refers to when a person that you’ve been romantically chatting with simply ignores you without any explanation. No matter how great you think the date may have gone or how much chemistry is there, you could totally still get ghosted. Not sure why? Take it from the people who have done the ghosting:

They’re scared of hurting your feelings.

One of the main reasons that people get ghosted is because the person doing it simply doesn’t want to deal with having to hurt your feelings. Although we may think that sending a rejection over text is much easier than doing so in person, not responding altogether is even easier. Especially if it’s someone that you wouldn’t necessarily run into on a daily basis, ignoring someone’s text doesn’t seem so bad. Whether it’s gradually texting less and less or completely ignoring them altogether, this is definitely a big one.

Joshua Keys, a senior at the University of North Texas, explains that “sometimes it’s just easier than trying to think up a formal rejection, even if it is through text message. I feel like it would’ve been better than giving a straight rejection.” Not everyone can be as brave as we want them to be, right?

They found someone else.

Although this may sound like one of the worst reasons to ghost someone, some say that the reason for their ghosting is because they simply found someone better for them. This may not make you feel the greatest, but it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean that they found someone more superior than you, they just found someone with better compatibility for their needs. Most ghosters say that they started to ignore the person they were talking to because they found a bae that they truly wanted to invest in.

M​egan Dibbern, a grad student at the University of Texas at Austin, says that this is a big reason why people go ghost. “I just don’t find it necessary to continue to talk to someone when you know that it’s not going to last,” she explains. “For me, it’s not necessarily that I chose someone over someone else, but I just think of it as going with the better choice for myself.” That makes sense, right?

They don’t feel like it’s worth discussing.

One big reason for ghosting that most people don’t consider is that the relationship didn’t seem serious enough to require an explanation. We know, it’s hard to tell how invested in you someone is, but without communication there’s no way to truly know where your “almost” relationship stands.

Holly Brookshire, a graduate from the University of North Texas, explains her reasoning. “For me, I didn’t think that we were talking long enough for it to require a formal ending,” she says. “I feel like if we’ve only been chatting a little bit for a short period of time, simply not replying anymore sends the message across.”

It’s important to remember that sometimes it’s not always about someone being a jerk, but just differing mindsets. Something that seems okay to one person may not be the same as yours.

Related: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Date Someone New 

They’re not motivated enough to keep it going.

Now here’s the big one: Although it may seem like one specific text or message may have ruined the budding relationship, the answer may be a lot simpler than you think. Most people, whether they’re experienced or not, can often lose interest for no reason at all. We all know that the feeling of butterflies in our stomachs and fast heart beats don’t really happen all that easily.

Joe Lee, a sophomore at the University of Texas at Arlington says that this is a main reason he ghosts people. “With my busy schedule, when I’m not super interested in the girl I’m talking to, I just don’t feel motivated to keep it going,” he says. “Honestly, most of the times I just forget to reply.”

It’s hard to find someone who truly makes us feel like we are in love. More often than not, two people feeling that way about each other is very rare, but that’s what makes it special, right?

Curated from Her Campus:

Campus Conversations: Timeline Review(Jul 14 – Oct 6 2017)

Here is a timeline of the series of panel discussions entitled #CampusConversations that have been running from the 14th of July and  will end on the 3rd of November 2017. #CampusConversations are an initiative of Campus Moments in partnership with Sexual Rights Center Bulawayo.

View story at Medium.com