Everyone has to right to experience pleasure during sex, but for all too many women, sex is not only pleasure-less but painful. Pain during sex is an epidemic among women, with one in 10 reporting it in one study in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The causes of sexual pain range from medical conditions to inadequate stimulation, but no matter what's causing it, there are workarounds.
One solution that should help pretty much anyone experiencing pain during sex is to get super turned on before you start. "If the vagina isn't aroused enough, it has received insufficient extra blood flow to get as cushy and stretchy as it is likely to get during high arousal," Good Vibrations resident sexologist Carol Queen tells Bustle. "So [pain during sex] can happen to people who start intercourse sooner than the insertive partner is ready for." Make sure you don't feel rushed or pressured into sex; only do what you truly desire.
But since pain during sex can come from so many different sources, the solution isn't one-size-fits-all. The first step is to figure out where it's coming from. Once you know that, here are some expert solutions to each root issue.