Should a wife always alert her husband at the first sign of painful intercourse? Or should women endure a certain amount of pain and hide this from their husbands? What about women who deal with chronic and un-treatable conditions that will always make sexual intercourse painful? How does the Bible say a Christian wife should respond in these situations?
Since the average person in America today is only capable of reading a title, and perhaps the first few paragraphs let me start off with what this article is NOT advocating for.
- This article DOES NOT advocate for men to have sex with their wives right after children birth or after she has had a surgery or when she is sick.
- This article DOES NOT advocate for sexual sadism (taking sexual pleasure from causing someone else pain).
- This article DOES NOT tell women they cannot or should never tell their husbands about pain during sex, nor is it saying men should never stop having sex when their wife indicates there is a pain issue.
The article is actually taking comments that were sent to me, one from a man and then multiple comments from two women discussing painful intercourse from a Christian woman’s point of view. This article discusses two types of pain – one that is caused by temporary issues that some of the women allude to below and others that are caused by chronic untreatable conditions.
STOP Reading this Article from this point if…
- You are unable to learn new things.
- You are unable to emotionally or intellectually process other points of view.
- You think sex is not a need and is only for pleasure and no reasoning to the contrary will convince you otherwise.
- You think men only want sex from their wives for pleasure and no reasoning to the contrary will convince you otherwise.
- You do not think any person should ever suffer even the smallest amount of pain in order to do something kind for another person and no reasoning will convince you otherwise.
- You accept that people may suffer pain in order to do something kind for others, except in the area of sex. You believe there is never a circumstance where a man or woman should suffer even the smallest amount of pain during sex for the benefit of the other person and no reasoning will convince you otherwise.
So if you are the person I just described. STOP READING. Go on and continue living in your safe space with your beliefs and presuppositions unchallenged. But if you are an open minded person, and are intellectually and emotionally strong enough to have your beliefs challenged and tested and perhaps even changed then continue reading.
But I give you this last warning. If you continue reading – you may be exposed to Bible passages and ideas that you have never heard in all your life. You may find truths in the Bible that are life changing. Truths that give us as men and women purpose for our lives. Truths that conflict with many values and ideologies that you have been raised with as an American, and even as a Christian.
You may find out that this is about a lot more than just women experiencing painful sex.
And with that said here we go…
The following comments were recently submitted on an article that I wrote back in 2016 entitled “The benefits of being a sexually obedient wife”.
The first came from a person calling himself JDMartin:
“Sex is actually fairly painful for my wife. She has never said flatout no, and absolutely never asked to stop before I am finished shes proud of that and basically wont let me stop or it would “ruin her record” lol. She has a saying or thing she says from time to time that “women have no idea what makes a girl good in bed is what she is willing to let her husband do, and how much pain she can take.”
After some other comments he sent that I blocked and did not approve I became convinced JDMartin was in fact a troll. But I decided to let his first comments remain because of the conversation it evoked with two women. Sometimes even some of the absurdity in comments by trolls can bring about good discussions.
The first woman, Alice, made this response to JD Martin’s comment:
“The idea that what makes a woman good in bed is “how much pain she can take” is not biblical, in the least. It is also repugnant. It has nothing to do with feminism, but with basic biology. If sex is painful for a woman, than something is wrong, either with her or with her husband’s treatment of her.”
A second woman called, Sunny, made this response to Alice:
“Alice I actually disagree with you on that. I’m not going to say if you should or should not continue sex if it’s painful (that is up to the individuals to decide). I will say from personal experience that painful sex doesn’t always mean there is something wrong. Sex can be painful at times with my husband. I’m not sure how else to put this but if a man is larger in the “southern region” then sex can and will be painful at times. Again, I’m not saying if a woman should or should not continue as that is a personal choice. Personally, for us there are times he will stop and other times where it doesn’t really matter or we will just change positions. That’s probably TMI but it’s true and I’m sure many women have dealt with it when their husbands are above average in size.”
Alice then responded:
“Sunny, my husband is also overly endowed. (and why on Earth do women think this is a good thing?!) He takes extra care and patience so that I very rarely experience pain. Not to mention, six babies have made their way through that passage and their heads were certainly much larger! I still maintain that if a woman is crying through the whole experience, the man is doing something wrong, or she has medical issues which should be addressed.”
To which Sunny made this final response:
“Alice. You must understand that all women are different. I have one child via c-section. After a c-section the muscles swell and tighten up, that is “normal” after a c-section. My friend had the same problem, she approached a doctor about it and even her own doctor wasn’t concerned about the pain during intercourse. Basically, she told her that is going to happen. I did cry the first time I had sex after my
c-section as I became virgin tight again.
Yes, there are times that painful sex is link to medical conditions or reason for concern but most certainly not in ALL cases.
If my husband and I are not intimate for a few weeks sex does become painful for me. This might not be the case for you, but you must understand that our bodies are not the same. If a woman waits longer periods of time between sex things tighten down there. Add in larger male size the act of slipping it in even hurts. I actually have been on the verge of crying because we waited two months in-between sex. According to a medical professional that’s actually normal.
Maybe your case is different because your sex life is more active and you’ve had children naturally but this is NOT the case for many women (myself included).
I’m also in pain sometimes after exercising that doesn’t mean there is something wrong, you kinda just use logic and deal with it if it’s not a reason for concern.”
I really do enjoy sometimes just letting people hash things out a bit before I respond and I actually think it is a great thing for women to speak to each other in candid ways like this. There are things that women need to hear from other women and this is an excellent case of that.
However, contrary to popular belief today, women can also learn about sex from men. God divinely spoke his word through men and he also assigned fathers, husbands, pastors and other male Christian teachers the responsibility to teach both men and women his word regarding sex in marriage.
So, what is the answer to this question of painful sex for women – should a wife endure any pain during intercourse with her husband?
The answer can be found in applying several principles found in the Bible.
Seven Biblical Principles That Form the Christian Philosophy of Sex
Principle #1 – God created man to bring him glory by imaging him. (I Corinthians 11:7)
Principle# 2 – God created woman for man, not man for woman. (I Corinthians 11:9)
Principle #3 – God created man to desire beauty and pleasure to image God’s desire for beauty and pleasure. (Psalm 45:11, Isaiah 46:10, Revelation 4:11)
Principle #4– One of the reasons God created woman for man was to be his source or his “well” of sexual pleasure. God equates a man’s need for sex with his need for water. (Proverbs 5:15-19) The New Testament tells us that sex is “the natural use of the woman” by man. (Romans 1:27)
Principle #5 – A man may only engage in “the natural use of the woman” after he has entered into a covenant of marriage with that woman. (Hebrews 13:4) All sex outside of a marriage covenant (such as prostitution or pre-marital sex) is condemned by God.
Principle #6 – God also created woman with a need for sex and he equates a woman’s need for sex with that of her need for food and clothing. (Exodus 21:10-11) But why did God plant this need in woman? Why did God give woman the desire to have sex and the ability to experience sexual pleasure? For this we must refer to back to Principle #2. This tells us that a woman’s desire for sex and her ability to enjoy sex was not given to her for own sake, but rather for the sake of her husband to compliment and enhance his sexual pleasure. And when a man enjoys the sexual pleasure of his wife, he images the pleasure God receives in his relationship with his people.
Principle #7 – All Christians, both men and women are called to emulate Christ’s endurance in the face of suffering and pain especially for the benefit of others. (1 Peter 2:21-24)
So, when we tie all the above principles together the answer to whether a Christian wife should endure painful sex with her husband is YES.
Should a wife seek out help from her doctor if she experiences painful intercourse? Absolutely yes! Some causes of pain can be helped with medication or sometimes even surgery. But other types of pain experienced by women during intercourse may have no cure and a woman may have to learn to endure and cope with such pain.
Still other types of pain may be temporary as Sunny alluded to like when a wife has not had sex in while it may hurt the first few times afterwards and she may need to very regularly have sex (which is a good thing for her husband and herself) in order to avoid this kind of pain.
Might some types of pain be avoided simply by the husband making some changes in his methods? Of course. And wives should find respectful and gentle ways to direct their husbands in this regard.
Should a woman hide her pain from her husband?
Some women might use visual cues of pain to help their husbands understand what hurts and what does not. This can be used, but should be used carefully. If it used to help improve sex, and not shame her husband then it can be a good thing. It might also be warning to the woman herself that she needs to see a doctor.
However, what if after seeing a doctor the doctor tells her that source of her pain cannot be cured and there is nothing that her husband can do differently to make this pain go away?
The answer is clear, even if it is not easy. A wife who suffers from chronic and untreatable dyspareunia (painful intercourse) must find the strength to endure such pain and not only endure it but hide it as much as possible from her husband.
The reason she should hide this is for her to do her best to fulfill one the purposes for which God designed her and that is the sexual pleasure of her husband.
There is another general principle that applies to all Christians, both men and women and that is that we are to set aside anything that hinders us from fulfilling the purposes that God has for our lives. And when it comes to this issue of painful sex, I encourage wives to truly mediate on this passage from the book of Hebrews:
“1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Are you willing to lay aside your pride, your discomfort and even your chronic sexual pain and to endure such pain to fulfill one of the purposes for which God created you which was to bring sexual pleasure to your husband? Are you willing to do this without an attitude, without trying to pass your suffering on to your husband in order to make him not want to have sex with you?
If a Woman is Crying Throughout Sex is the Man Always Wrong to Continue?
Alice made the following statement in regard to JDMartin’s statement about his wife crying during sex:
“I still maintain that if a woman is crying through the whole experience, the man is doing something wrong, or she has medical issues which should be addressed.“
But is it true that if a woman is crying through the whole sexual experience that it is automatically the man doing something wrong? The answer is no.
In the case of JDMartin I think from his own admission of being rough with his wife he may be doing something wrong. But it really does depend though on the woman. What is rough? Some women are like china dolls and any amount of friction or thrusting during sex may be considered rough to them when it really is not and they simply need to endure and strengthen themselves.
For me personally since I have been married to two different women (I divorced my first wife for adultery) I can say I saw this difference play out first hand. My first wife was telling me to be rougher and my second wife was telling me to be gentler. So every woman really is different in this regard.
Husbands and wives both need to adjust to one another when it comes to sex. Sometimes a man may have to make some changes for his wife, but at the same time a woman might have to endure some things for her husband.
So when a woman cries all during sex could it be that the man is mistreating her? Absolutely yes. But from a Christian perspective we must realize that sometimes it could be the woman who is in the wrong for crying throughout the entire sexual experience. If a woman is crying to manipulate her husband because she simply did not want to have sex or to make him feel bad for wanting sex when she did not then the sin lies with her.
Even a woman who suffers from true painful intercourse whether it is from a temporary condition (like some of the examples Sunny gave) or if it is from a long term chronic and un-treatable condition that causes painful intercourse might be in the wrong for crying throughout the entire experience.
The point here on a woman crying during sex is this. It is not always the man that is in the wrong when this occurs. It can sometimes be the woman who is in the wrong for crying. And in some rare cases neither neither one may be wrong in what they are doing. The husband may not be in wrong for continuing and finishing and the wife may not be in the wrong for crying.
The Practical Benefits of a Wife Enduring Painful Sex
Now I want to move from the Biblical reasons a woman should endure painful sex with her husband to the practical benefits of enduring such pain.
My wife, like many women I know, loves flowers. Each year we plant flowers in our front yard and we also get hanging baskets. These flowers need two things to survive. They need sunlight and they need water.
If they get sunlight but no water they will die. If they get water but no sunlight they will also die.
In the same way a man’s affection and his passion for his wife is fueled by two things. Sex and Respect. Sex is like water for a man’s affection and respect is like sunlight for a man’s affection. If a woman gives him both in most cases, she will find that her husband’s affection for her will be strong and healthy. If either of these are missing his affection for his wife may wane and die.
So even aside from spiritual reasons there are very practical reasons that a woman should gladly endure painful sex with her husband in order to “water” his affection for her.
Will you as a woman set aside your pride and unlearn the selfishness that our society has taught you? Will you be strong in the way God meant you to be and not the way the world tells you to be strong? The world tells women that for them to be strong they must stand up for themselves and stand up to men. But God tells women that they were made for men (I Corinthians 11:9) and they are to submit to their husbands in everything (Ephesians 5:24). The Bible also tells us that strength is not always demonstrated through resistance. Sometimes strength is demonstrated through joyfully exercising patience, endurance and longsuffering.
“10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”
So, what will you do with your pain? Will you use it as a selfish excuse to hinder your husband from fully exercising the image of God in him? Will you pass your suffering on to your husband and thus hinder what God designed to be a primary driver of his affection for you?
Or will you demonstrate true Christian strength and with joy endure painful sex for the betterment of your husband and your marriage and thus fulfill one of the most important purposes for which God designed you as a woman?
The choice is yours and the consequences of your choice will be yours as well.