When you think of sex, I’m sure the last thing you’re thinking about is pain *unless you’re into BDSM*. In any case, sex should still be a pleasurable experience for all parties involved. Pain isn’t often a characteristic associated with sex, and despite painful sex being more frequent for women, guys are still at risk of serious health concerns that could make penetration less than enjoyable.
There are a variety of reasons men might suffer from mild to severe pain during the act. It may sometimes just be a matter of a wrong entry angle or a lack of lube, but if it’s a frequent occurrence despite your best efforts to find the best angle or procure a handful of lube, it may be time to seek professional help. [Read: STDs 101 – the most common types and their symptoms]
Why does sex hurt for men?
Here are some common culprits associated with painful sex for men, and if you suspect you might have any of the following, seek medical attention right away.
#1 Prostatitis. A condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the prostate gland, which is located underneath the bladder, is known to cause burning sensations during urination. The condition can wreak havoc on your sex life because it also comes with pain during ejaculation, which could make you want to avoid sex altogether.
#2 Yeast infection. Yeast infections are not just something that afflicts women, and they are one of the more common culprits for a less than wonderful roll in the hay. These infections are usually caused by having sex with a partner who already has a yeast infection, ingesting some types of medications, or as a result of poor hygiene.
Yeast infections can cause a very uncomfortable burning and itching sensation at the head of the penis, and this could really take the fun out of the situation. Since a yeast infection is contagious, it’s always the best idea to refrain from sex and finish the prescribed round of antibiotics before jumping back in the sack.
#3 Dermatitis. This condition more commonly afflicts uncircumcised men and is caused by sensitivity to allergens in detergents, soaps, and other common chemicals. It usually causes swelling to the penile skin, which takes the fun out of penetration. It’s not usually too difficult to diagnose and treat, but it’s important to get it checked out in order to discuss your best treatment options. [Read: Sex with an uncircumcised man – Myths and everything else]
#4 Urinary tract infection. A UTI is commonly a cause of burning sensations during urination, and it is also associated with painful intercourse. These are serious infections that require medical treatment to prevent the infection from spreading elsewhere in the body. A UTI can become increasingly detrimental to your health if left untreated.
#5 Phimosis and paraphimosis. Both of these conditions are characterized by problems with the foreskin of the penis being unusually tight and unable to extend over the tip of the penis. It is also when the foreskin can’t be pulled back over the head of the penis. Circumcision is the most common remedy for this, but there are also other treatment options available if you want to remain uncut.
#6 Psoriasis. This common skin affliction can affect more than just the skin on your face or hands. Psoriasis can also affect a man’s penis and can cause dry, scaly spots of redness. Despite making sex painful and uncomfortable, this condition can be treated with over-the-counter medications to help lessen the discomfort.
#7 Herpes or gonorrhea. Untreated STDs are another reason for incredibly painful sex. Not only are genital herpes sores highly contagious and painful, they are also a serious infection that needs immediate medical attention. Sex should be avoided until the full course of treatment is complete. Otherwise, you could spread the disease or cause your condition to worsen. If these symptoms are ignored or left unchecked for too long, they could become potentially fatal.
#8 Superficial wounds. Damage to a man’s penis due to friction, swelling, or tearing during sex *or other intense physical activity* could cause severe pain during penetration. It is always a rule of thumb to avoid having sex until the wound has completely healed. Problems where scar tissue is still present from a previous infection or trauma to the penis could also contribute to pain during sex.
Continuing to have sex with unhealed wounds will only make the problem worse and delay the healing process even further. On top of that, your partner, kind as she may be, may be grossed out by the fact that you have open wounds on your package.
#9 Post-sex sensitivity. Some men’s penises can become hypersensitive after they ejaculate and reach orgasm. This could make sex after round one very uncomfortable and even painful without taking a necessary break in between. However, if your penis is still too sensitive long after the refractory period, then you may want to speak to your doctor about possible ways to lessen the sensitivity.
#10 Priapism. This condition is less common than the others, however it’s just as painful. Priapism is recognized as an erection that is sustained for long periods of time, even when not engaged in any sexual activity. While this might seem like a good thing, it’s almost like walking around with “blue balls” all day long. In this case, staying hard for a really long time can be considered a bad thing. [Read: Big blue ball facts every girl’s got to know about her man]
#11 Allergies. It is very possible for some guys to be allergic to chemical products such as lubricants, latex, or spermicidal ointment associated with some types of contraception. Even a woman’s naturally produced vaginal fluids can sometimes be acidic and cause an allergic reaction to a man’s penis. The reaction could cause the skin to become dry and cracked, or red and inflamed, making sex less than enticing.
If your experience pain during intercourse, you should be checked out by a medical practitioner as soon as possible, since you could have a serious infection that may even be life-threatening. Do not continue to attempt having intercourse until you have received treatment for any of the aforementioned illnesses. [Read: Healthy testicles – 7 easy at-home tests to keep your balls in check]
This is especially important if the cause of pain is due to a severe infection or an STD. It’s your responsibility to refrain from having sex in order to avoid spreading whatever infection you may be plagued with.
[Read: 10 ways to subtly ask your partner to get tested]
Sex is meant to be enjoyable, so if you experience any of the above causes of painful sex, you’ll want to address the problem before it affects more than just your sex life.
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