Making Intimacy Playful Not Painful

Eileen Bailey Aug 14th, 2015 (updated Dec 21st, 2016)
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If you are suffering from vaginal atrophy, you might have vaginal dryness, causing intimacy to be painful. You might try avoiding being intimate or putting up with the pain once in a while to keep your partner happy. The following slides provide some tips for putting the playfulness back into your life.

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Change the focus of intimacy from orgasm to pleasure
Change the focus of intimacy from orgasm to pleasure

There are a lot of things you can do to one another that don’t involve the act of intercourse. Some experts call this outercourse. Focus on cuddling, passionate kissing, touching and giving each other pleasure. You might find that without the pressure of painful intercourse, you bring intimacy back into your relationship.

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Flirt with your partner
Flirt with your partner

Intimacy, or outercourse, doesn’t need to start the minute you get into bed together. Start hours earlier, sending your partner a flirty email or text or leave a note that you are looking forward to spending time together in their car in the morning. Enjoy the build-up and anticipation throughout the day.

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Set the mood
Set the mood

Start your foreplay by setting the mood. Put on your flirtiest underwear (and let your partner know you have it on), light some candles, put on sensual music. The more you set the mood, the more your desire increases, which helps lubrication and enjoyment.

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Use extras
Use extras

Some women find watching erotic films (there are films that are erotic but not porn, for example, Last Tango in Paris help to increase desire. Others enjoy adult games (search online to find one that suits you). Some women prefer extras such as vibrators. Adding extras to your intimate life not only adds variety but can increase your desire.

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Experiment with lubricants
Experiment with lubricants

One of the main symptoms of vaginal atrophy is vaginal dryness. Lubricants help make intimacy more comfortable. Look for a water-based lubricant but experiment with different types, some of which add an extra zing to intercourse, to find out what works best for you.

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Pleasuring side by side
Pleasuring side by side

If intercourse hurts, try pleasuring yourselves side by side. You avoid the pain of having intercourse but can derive pleasure not only through your own touch but by seeing your partner’s pleasure.

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Take your time
Take your time

Revel in the foreplay before the act. To make it more interesting, set a time limit and say “no intercourse until…” If you have vaginal dryness, longer foreplay is a must.

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Spend time together outside the bedroom
Spend time together outside the bedroom

Intimacy comes in many forms, including sharing a special day together. Bring back the feeling of closeness by spending quality time together. If you have been avoiding intimacy, you may have also been avoiding spending too much time with your partner. Make sure to set aside “together” time every day.

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Try different positions
Try different positions

If intercourse is painful in one position, try a different one. Some women find it isn’t as painful when they are on top but that doesn’t mean that is the only position. Experiment with different positions to see what is most comfortable and gives you the most pleasure.

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Keep an open mind
Keep an open mind

Keep in mind that exercising your vaginal muscles will make them stronger. Instead of shying away from intimacy, talk to your partner about what he can do to make it more comfortable. Increasing how often you are intimate can actually help ease the discomfort.