Ever wonder if what you experience between the sheets is “normal”? You’re not alone. Few my my girl’s followers asked me their personal questions on some common sex concerns we’ve heard from women. I tried to answer them from my knowledge & experience. Might be next time I will try to take more questions from guys too.
Question 1: “SOMETIMES, WHEN I’M HAVING SEX WITH MY HUSBAND, I START OFF AROUSED AND THEN LOSE INTEREST. I WANT HIM TO FEEL GOOD AND TO ‘FINISH,’ BUT I FEEL AWKWARD AND WOULD RATHER STOP. WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN? IS IT NORMAL?”
My Answer – Don’t worry—you don’t have some undiagnosed sexual dysfunction just because you lose interest, occasionally, during sex, “The key for you is to figure out what is working the other times when you participate equally”. “Perhaps your husband makes certain moves when you don’t lose interest that you find pleasurable. Knowing your body and communicating your wants, needs and desires are paramount when it comes to connected and satisfying sex.” But what to do in the moment when you lose interest? “Let him know how you want—or don’t want—to be touched. “If and when this does happen in the future, don’t be hard on yourself. You can stop having sex, and tell him you want to satisfy him in other ways. After all, switching things up may be the pleasure prescription to keep you engaged.”
Question 2: “SOMETIMES I FEEL EMOTIONAL AFTER SEX AND ACTUALLY CRY. IT’S EMBARRASSING, BUT IS IT NORMAL?”
My Answer – Absolutely normal! “Sexual behavior can trigger a range of intense emotions, from euphoria to sadness to anger,” Every woman experiences a sexual encounter through her own lens and attaches personal meaning and context to it.” For instance, she explains, you may be asking yourself questions like: Is our love as strong as it once was? Will I ever have a baby? Am I truly satisfied with my sexual life, my marriage? “All of these ‘wonderings’ can trigger intense affective experiences,” In addition, the physiological experience of orgasm releases neurochemicals, such as oxytocin, dopamine and norepinephrine, in the female brain that can activate a host of unexpected, powerful emotions.” However, if sex or the thought of sex makes you feel emotional or the type of emotions you face after sex are severe and debilitating, speak to your doctor or a certified sex therapist.
Question 3: “I FEEL LIKE I HAVE A VERY STRONG VAGINAL SCENT. THERE’S BEEN NO CHANGE IN DISCHARGE OVER THE YEARS, BUT I WORRY THAT THE SMELL ISN’T NORMAL. SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?”
My Answer – “Probably not, especially if nothing has changed. Many women are self-conscious about their vaginal scent and are probably much more focused on it than their partners are. In fact, she adds, many women who believe they have a strong or offensive odor are surprised to hear that their husband or boyfriend is either unaware of a scent or finds it appealing or erotic. Evolutionary research shows that scent is a key factor in erotic response and that ‘blocking’ natural odors actually interferes with evolutionary efficiency and long-term sexual satisfaction. Still, if you or your partner notice an obvious change in vaginal odor or discharge, consult your physician to rule out infection.
Question 4: “SOMETIMES AFTER SEX, I EXPERIENCE BLEEDING—NOT MUCH, JUST A LITTLE. IS THIS NORMAL?”
My Answer – It’s best to talk to your doctor about any post-sex bleeding, even light spotting. “Bleeding after sex—or postcoital bleeding, as it’s called in the medical world—can often be a sign of something abnormal, most commonly an infection, but sometimes something more concerning. But sometimes such bleeding turns out to be nothing—even natural. “Occasionally, women, especially teenage women or pregnant women, notice light bleeding after sex, which is due to normal developmental changes of the cervix.” Still, any bleeding should signal a visit to your doctor to rule out any underlying problems.
Question 5: “IS IT NORMAL TO EXPERIENCE CRAMPING AFTER INTERCOURSE—EVEN WHEN YOU’RE NOT EXPECTING YOUR PERIOD?”
My Answer – Yes. “Cramping after intercourse can be normal, especially if the cervix—the bottom portion of the uterus—has been jarred at all during sex, through contact with a penis, fingers or a sex toy. A cramping sensation can also, sometimes, be the result of discomfort in the bladder or urinary tract. To reduce cramping during and after sex, try emptying your bladder before and after sex.
Question 6: “IT’S SO EMBARRASSING, BUT SOMETIMES I PASS GAS DURING SEX. I CAN’T HELP IT! WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN, AND DOES IT HAPPEN TO OTHER WOMEN?”
My Answer – It’s normal and natural. “This happens to a lot of people. The female reproductive organs—the uterus, ovaries and vagina—are located in very close proximity to the colon, the largest portion of the gastrointestinal tract. During intercourse, any movement of these organs can also provoke movement of the colon, which is then able to release trapped gas.” And sometimes an orgasm can even trigger gas, thanks to relaxed muscles right before climax. Embarrassing? Yes, but it’s great to know that we’re all in the same boat here.
Question 7: “ONE OF MY VAGINAL LIPS IS BIGGER THAN THE OTHER. I’M WORRIED THAT MY HUSBAND THINKS I HAVE AN UGLY VAGINA! HOW DO I KNOW IF MINE IS NORMAL-LOOKING?”
My Answer – Every woman’s vagina is unique, and many are asymmetrical. “There aren’t any ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ vaginas. Still, if you do notice that your vagina has changed—for example, if there’s a lump on or a change in color of one or both of your vaginal lips—see your health care provider for an evaluation.” But if one side has been bigger since puberty? It’s just your own normal variation, Embrace it!
Question 8: “I’M WORRIED ABOUT THE FACT THAT I FREQUENTLY HAVE PAIN DURING AND AFTER INTERCOURSE. IT’S NOT INTENSE, BUT IT’S BOTHERSOME AND I CAN’T HELP BUT WONDER IF OTHER WOMEN EXPERIENCE THIS TOO.”
My Answer – The good news? You’re not alone. “Many women have pain during sex only in certain positions, with certain partners or at certain times of the menstrual cycle. This is often normal, though severe or persistent pain should be evaluated.”
Question 9: “WILL MY VAGINA LOOK DIFFERENT AFTER I HAVE A BABY, AND WILL IT MEAN LESS-SATISFYING SEX?”
My Answer – No one goes through labor and delivery without vaginal changes. But it’s not all doom and gloom. “It is totally normal for your vagina to stretch during a vaginal delivery. “The vaginal tissues are extremely resilient due to their elastic nature. Many factors can affect the healing process including the size of your baby, how long you pushed and how well your tissue has healed after episiotomy or laceration repair.” To help the process, do Kegel exercises regularly and give it time—at least 6-8 weeks. “Your sexual relationship can be healthier and happier than ever before.”
Question 10: “I’VE NEVER HAD AN ORGASM DURING INTERCOURSE—IS THAT NORMAL?”
My Answer – You’re not alone! According to research, only 29 percent of women report having consistent orgasms during sex—that’s a whopping 71 percent of women who either never have an orgasm during sex or only sometimes. “Many women require more direct clitoral stimulation during intercourse to achieve orgasm”. In other words, don’t feel bad if you just can’t climax from plain old intercourse—many women simply can’t, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. But, if you’re interested in a little sex homework, grab your husband and try this suggestion: “Some women will be able to have an orgasm with intercourse if they have had a clitoral orgasm just prior.
Question 11: “I HAD UNPROTECTED SEX ONCE IN COLLEGE. I’M HAUNTED BY THIS, EVEN YEARS LATER. I’VE NEVER HAD SYMPTOMS OF AN STD, BUT SHOULD I GET AN HIV TEST?”
My Answer – Should you freak out? No. Should you get a battery of STD tests? Yes. “Your cause for concern is valid as anyone that has unprotected sex, even one time, can get a sexually transmitted disease. For peace of mind, you should see your gynecologist for STD testing, including HIV.” It’s important to note, that some STDs remain symptomless for many years. “Chlamydia, for example, is a sexually transmitted infection that can be silent while scarring your reproductive tract, which can lead to infertility,”
Question 12: “I REALLY FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE WITH ORAL SEX—BOTH GIVING AND RECEIVING. IS THIS NORMAL? HOW CAN I GET MORE COMFORTABLE WITH IT?”
My Answer – Sexual preferences, and likes and dislikes run the gamut. There’s nothing wrong with being uncomfortable with a certain position, including oral sex. But instead of keeping your concerns to yourself, I would encourage you to discuss with this with your husband/boyfriend/partner. “Have a conversation with your partner about it might find with some self-exploration, that a disinterest and dislike of oral sex could stem from pre-conceived ideas about sex. “Many women grow up feeling that it’s dirty down there thus depriving themselves of the full array of sexual pleasures. Just know that it’s normal for men and women to enjoy giving and receiving oral sex—so might you!”