Alex's Answer

How can sex be pleasurable when it sounds so painful?

Your Question

What is the pleasure in sex? It honestly seems painful and I just want to know the pleasure of it


Hi and welcome to Ask Alex, 

Thank you for being brave and asking this important question.  

The experience of sex varies wildly for people. For some, there’s no pain whatsoever; for others, sex can be uncomfortable. Some people experience pain when they have sex for the first time, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes you may not be aroused or you’re feeling nervous and it might feel uncomfortable for the first few tries, and then it will start to feel better.  

There are lots of ways to help make your first time more comfortable and pain-free. Discuss with partner how you are feeling and make sure you both consent, try different positions, use a safe lubricant if need be, set realistic expectations, take it slow and make sure you are in a place that you feel relaxed. The experience of pleasure can lead to feelings of intimacy, a sense of safety and feel-good sensations in body and mind. 

Sex can be fun and feel good, but it’s not true that sex just feels good any and every time and in any situation. If you’re not ready or you’re doing it in the wrong relationship, with the wrong person or for the wrong reasons, you’ll be worrying about it way too much to enjoy it. But if you feel totally comfortable and cared for, and you feel ready then yes, it can be an amazing experience! With that said, for some people it can still be a little painful or awkward the first time, and that’s totally normal too. There’s a lot of pressure and it might take you a few times to figure out what you and your partner enjoy.  

In general though, if you’re experiencing a lot of pain during sex, talk to your doctor or a trusted adult and ask for advice. Also, if you are researching for answers to questions around sex, please use reliable sources such as leaflets in the doctor’s office or trusted websites. Avoid using porn sites for this advice as they are not always a good or accurate source of information, especially for young people.  

The important thing to remember is that no one has the right to pressure you into something you are uncomfortable with and neither of you should feel exploited or intimidated. You might find this article on the website helpful as well:   

Of course, you are always welcome to talk with Childline about this too. The Childline team are here to listen to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can contact us at any time. We are available by web chat through: or by free phone on 1800 66 66 66. The services are free, confidential, non-judgmental and we offer a safe place to talk about anything that is going on for you.  

Stay safe,  


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