When you're getting it on with your partner, I bet the last thing on your mind are injuries that can occur during sex. There's certainly no time, when lying down sexily next to a fire, to consider the dangers of rug burn. And no one ever bothers to calculate the risks involved with shower sex when suddsing up their partner's hot bod.
And yet, it's pretty common to get at least a little bit injured during sex. A bruise here, a scratch there, and maybe even a pulled muscle or two. It's usually not a big deal, but there are ways to avoid sustaining too much damage should you be interested.
The funny thing is, most of these injuries occur during regular 'ol' sex. So it's not even like skipping the kinky stuff is the answer. "Most intimacy injuries actually come from the routine 'regular' romps," marriage and family therapist Shadeen Francis tells Bustle. "Repetitive motions like thrusting cause friction, [and] folks can wind up with burns, tears, or cuts to their skin. This can happen during penetration, rubbing over or under clothes, or through repeated skin-to-skin contact."
The best way to avoid the most common sex injuries, like scrapes, is to use lots of lubrication. Francis tells me lotion for the body and lube for your genitals and other entry points should do the trick. Below are some more examples, as well as a few tips to keep yourselves safe.
1. Rug Burn Everywhere
If you're about to leave the comfort and safety of your bed to do it on, say, the floor, then injuries like rug burn are bound to happen. "Surfaces matter," Francis says. "Sex on the carpet, on hard surfaces, or against ledges or corners can ... lead to pain like carpet burn, swelling, or bruises." Ouch.
2. Muscle Spasms
If you've ever stayed in one position for too long, then you likely know all about muscle cramps and spasms. These occur when your muscles get too tired or fall asleep, and it can be momentarily painful. "Some ideas to avoid this experience are to stay hydrated, switch positions more often (even if it is a momentary pause), or increase your overall flexibility by adding stretching into your daily routine," Francis says. "If you need to do other things to address the cramp, you can ice the area using ice cubes, or add heat by moving into the bath or shower."
3. All Sorts Of Skin Irritation
There's a lot of rubbing and gyrating going on during sex, so it's no surprise other kinds of skin irritation can occur. As Sasha Auran, editor-in-chief of Psychnsex.com tells me, chaffing most commonly occurs on the labia, clit, in the vagina, or on your partner's penis. To avoid scrapes and burns, try using lots and lots of lube.
4. Vaginal Tears
While this one sounds scary — and is making me cringe — slight tearing of the "posterior fourchette" of the vagina can occur during sex. It can happens if you aren't wet enough or don't use enough lube, or if your partner's penis is too large. As women's health expert Michael Ingber, MD says, "The best way to avoid this is to use plenty of lubrication, take it slow, and if you experience pain, tell your partner to slow down or stop."
5. Pelvic Floor Injuries
Your pelvic floor muscles surround the pelvic organs, including the vagina. During sex they can get injured, just like an other muscle. "What I tell patients is that if they experience 'penetrational dyspareunia,' or a soreness with deeper penetration,' they should see a a specialist in these conditions," Ingber says. He or she can help teach you how to relax your muscles for more enjoyable sex.
6. Urinary Tract Infections
While not an "injury," per se, UTIs can crop up after sex. This is all thanks to bacteria being pushed around during the act itself, which can then find its way into your urinary tract. "The best way to prevent this ... is to make sure to urinate right after having sex," Dr. Steve McGough, DHS, tells Bustle. "This is important for both men and women, but particularly for women." It'll help flush out the bacteria so you can keep infections at bay.
7. Yeast Infections
Just like UTIs, yeast infections can result from the various goings on during sex. If you seem to be prone to them, avoiding oral sex can help. McGough says it may also help to eat more foods with healthy probiotics (like yogurt) to keep your vaginal area balanced. You might also want to avoid spermicides, as they have been known to change the normal bacteria in the vagina.
8. Slips And Falls
It's possible to slip and fall in a variety of sexual situations, with shower sex being the biggest culprit. To keep yourselves save, survey the area before getting busy. "The main points ... are to not have any soap or shampoo on the floor ... and if you use a lubricant make sure it doesn't get on the floor, either." These preventative measures should keep you both safe.
9. Kinky Mishaps
If you're into kinky stuff, you might have a swing or harness in your room. While fun, it is possible to fall out — especially if you don't set them up right. "If you're going to take a walk on the wild side, make sure you have the basic carpentry worked out or you and your partner might have a very unpleasant trip to the ER," McGough says. Not fun.
10. Pulled Muscles
Some sex positions require you to be a bit more... bendy than others. If you find yourself in an interesting position, it's common for pulled muscles to occur. To keep yourself safe, McGough suggests doing some legs stretches in advance. If you make stretching a habit, you'll be able to try all sorts of new or tricky positions — without tearing a muscle.
11. Items Stuck In Orifices
OK, so this one may not be the most common sex injury. And yet, it does happen. "There are frequent ER reports of people not being able to get items out of their anus or vagina," McGough tells me. It can be a scary (and kind of embarrassing) experience, so do your best to use common sense.
Or at least a lot of lube.
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