Sex Shouldn’t Hurt

Ruminations on painful sex, kink, disability and mental health

Content Notes: disability, kink, mental health

This is my own lived experience, not advice. I’m autistic, I have endometriosis, adenomyisos, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and a variety of weird immune system dysfunctions. Medical science cannot ‘fix’ me. This post is only about me. If you experience pain during or after penetrative intercourse, please see a doctor. If you are carrying around a lot of emotional pain, please seek whatever therapeutic support you can reach.

From my first dry, awkward fumblings curtailed by discomfort and a wrenching sense of failure, partnered sex was all about hurting. Throwing myself at anyone who showed the vaguest glimmer of interest, just to prove that though I might be odd, I wasn’t unfuckable…..was I? It hurt, but I wanted a touch of sweetness with it. Rejection sensitivity and rogue endometrial tissue; another set of invisible injuries to pretend away so as not to make other people uncomfortable.

Sex should not hurt. Who knew? Not me.

Shoving and grunting, staring at ceilings, walls, floors; torn open and pounded; clinging to a sullied sense of triumph, I am fuckable, I am getting the fuckings I wanted. It hurts; friction and impact, sore knees, aching jaw, thighs overstretched, a glacier of locked-in need between the surface of my skin and everything within. Bruised and bleeding from the unmentionables; nice girls don’t, so this is what I deserve. At least I am desired, this touches me deeper than any jabbing appendage can probe. I’m faulty; I can do the moves and the sounds but I feel nothing. Anything is better than nothing. Do me harder, nastier, be mean to me. Make an impact.

I never expected sex to be different, why should it be? Everything hurts me, and I must hide my fragility. That’s normal. That’s life.

Days of wrenching agony; fragile tissue stretched and battered, worth it for those fleeting seconds of connection when I was present in the moment with another; feeling together, moving together. Tiny snags of comfort in a whirling maelstrom of self-disgust and yearning and disappointment. I felt real. It hurt, and I was rewarded.

Sex should not hurt. But it does, for I am wonky and broken and screwed-up from the inside out. Yeah, go on girl; earn that pain, might as well take what I can. Thrust harder, squeeze tighter. Make me squeal, and writhe.

Sex should not hurt, but what if I’m so used to things hurting that I don’t feel like I’ve done it properly unless it leaves me wincing and doubling over?

What if my fucked-up religious upbringing leads me to equate suffering with virtue?

What if sex without pain is….just unfulfilling?

Do I enjoy being on the receiving end of sexual sadism because a) it’s exciting and fulfilling, b) pain is familiar territory which I can navigate with comfort, c) I’m gonna hurt anyway, might as well get some fun out of it, d) all of the above?

Sex shouldn’t hurt, but I want to be sparked or caned or flogged until the world is nothing but red and black; then fucked until I cannot walk straight, by someone who cares deeply about my welfare and happiness. Fill me with something.

Sex shouldn’t hurt but even the softest romantic-vanilla intercourse lays a trail of cramps and backache to be endured along with the deep-aching, hollow lack of fulfilment that non-kinky sex leaves behind. Where’s the benefit?

Sex shouldn’t hurt, but if it doesn’t, was I really there at all? If my choice is between no sex or unhappy sex; versus painful sex on my chosen terms, I’ll take the latter, every time. I’m okay with that.

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