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What Can I Do

Dear Rachel and Claire,
My girlfriend and I tried vaginal fisting. We worked up to it slowly, taking a couple of months to get from four fingers to a thumb in to beyond the knuckles to past the wrist. And it was intensely pleasurable for her -- she said it gave the most amazing orgasms she ever had.

The trouble came several weeks ago, pretty soon after we achieved actual fisting, maybe the fourth or fifth time. I think I spent a too little time on the buildup that night, and may not have completely trimmed my nails. Despite that, once I was in she got really into it and begged me to move my hand back and forth roughly. When I came out, there was a trickle of blood. We were both terrified at the time, but it stopped quickly and she declined going to a doctor.

It turns out not to have been anything permanent. But since that episode she is absolutely terrified, and won't let me put even a finger in her vagina. She's worried about something happening. I certainly don't want to push her, and perhaps she just needs time, but she seems to be so worried and sensitive that to provide any reassurance or give any information might seem to be pressure.

What can I do?

A:

Dear What Can I Do, Information isn’t pressure, unless it is presented with expectations that the info will lead to some immediate result. You and your lover will probably be relieved to know that slight vaginal bleeding from penetration is not uncommon, and if it stops quickly shouldn’t be worrisome. It could be from a micro-tear, or from breaking a previously intact section of her hymen. The genital area is full of blood, especially when the person is aroused, and small tears can release more blood that you might expect from a similar nick elsewhere on the body. Large objects and rough fucking increase the chances of such tears, but they can happen also from smaller objects or fingers if the angle causes rubbing on untorn hymen, from rough surfaces, or a lack of lubrication. One way to keep things smooth is to swath your hands, toys, and dicks in latex, and to use lube. For fisting try gloves to protect delicate tissue from rough manicures. Latex also prevents transmission of STDs.

Women don’t have the same sensitivity in our vaginas as on our skin, so little tears can happen without a feeling of pain. Endorphins released during sex also reduce our pain sensitivity, so it’s possible to experience vaginal bleeding from a wound we can neither see nor feel, which is scary.

Hopefully the draw of the pleasure she experiences from sex will outweigh the fear your lover is feeling. Give her some time to relax.  Sometimes feelings are expressed through our bodies as an unwillingness to open up. Pressure from you is likely to make her shut you out more. Show your concern for her by sharing the information, and trust that she’ll open up to you when she’s ready. You may also need to discuss the “I went too fast, and my nails were too long” issue- if she blames you for being careless, that will increase her reluctance to open up.  She needs reassurance that you’ll take care of her when she’s being vulnerable.

Let her know that she is so hot and sexy that you may have gotten carried away, but that after a scare like that, you’ll be sure to be careful in the future. And both of you should know that a little blood does not mean a major injury. If the bleeding were heavy or recurring then medical attention would be called for.

Good Luck!