Pain and bleeding after fingering – is it normal?

Fingering should never cause bleeding or pain. The golden vagina rule is, if something hurts, change what you’re doing or how you’re doing it because sex – including fingering – is supposed to feel good.

If you have never put anything into your vagina before (tampons, fingers, hairbrush handles, carrots) then it is possible that your hymen tore or stretched during this first time. If this is the case, it shouldn’t happen again. Read about the hymen here.

If you don’t think you have a hymen anymore, fingering is more than likely being done poorly.

Dealing with the damage caused by fingering

Any damage done by fingering by an inexperienced or poorly-instructed fingerer will heal – it might be painful, uncomfortable, swollen and may bleed, which is normal when you consider you’ve just had your vagina thrashed by stabby fingers. Almost certainly not your own.

If the bleeding continues for more than 48 hours, becomes more profuse or the pain is excruciating, you may have another problem – these can include undiscovered anatomical abnormalities, vulvodynia and vaginismus – and you need to be examined by a doctor.

If you have cuts and tears that you can see and feel, you can use some vulva and vagina-friendly cuts cream to soothe and facilitate healing.

How to avoid fingering damage

Your vagina and vulva are delicate, and if you weren’t turned on, wet, and swollen with blood (vaginal tissue engorges with blood the same way an erection does) then the cushion of aroused flesh doesn’t exist, and it is very easy to damage the vaginal tissue.

You must be very turned on before anything goes into your vagina. Your vagina must be lubricated sufficiently (with lubricant, saliva or your natural vaginal lubrication) so that anything going into it slides deliciously, and doesn’t ‘grab’ at the sides, pinch, rub or hurt.

When you are inexperienced, you don’t understand the mechanics of sexual arousal, there is a tendency to go in for the kill way too early, which is easy for a guy to do with his penis, but absolutely not the way women’s bodies work at all. Slow and steady wins the race, and the vagina is the very last place to touch when turning on a woman.

It should already be wet and swollen when you get to it; not dry and ‘needing work’. Penises and vaginas are completely different, and you can’t touch one the way you touch the other. Guys tend to touch women the way they want to be touched, which is to grab the penis and jerk it off furiously until they ejaculate. It is a lady’s job to teach a man that women’s bodies are designed, by nature, to work differently. 

Women are designed to be discerning in their sexual arousal, since a woman consenting to sex has a very good chance of resulting in a pregnancy (in biological terms). Female arousal is complex, and female sexual cues are more many and varied than men’s, which is why men think women are so complicated: we are, but there is a method to the madness.

The female body is not an instant sex machine until you know how to work it, which mostly means getting the brain involved in a big way – being horny is a mental activity that triggers off the body, not the other way around, and learning how to do this can take many years of sexy practice, learning what you like and what you don’t like. Every woman (and man for that matter) is different in what they like, so learn about the person, and don’t generalise.

Teaching guys what to do is essential

You must teach your gentleman callers how to touch you, to make sure he knows what feels good to you and what doesn’t, because he doesn’t know.

Most young ladies starting out on their sexual adventures don’t know how to touch themselves either, so are clumsy and shy when it comes to speaking up about it, which results in this sort of damage. You may have no idea what ‘good’ is supposed to feel like, and this fumbly fingering might be your first sexual experience ever.

Your lover would never want to deliberately hurt you, so if he is hurting you, you need to either ask him to stop what he is doing, or redirect him, “Let’s try this instead” and give him positive feedback when it feels good even if it feels awkward.

Never, ever keep doing something that hurts or feels like it is damaging you – it’s completely fine to say stop, or to try something else for a while, so practice talking while you learn about each other. It’s the only way to get it right.

Read this guide for men on how to pleasure a woman using fingers and send the link to your gentleman caller (and here for how to pleasure a woman using your mouth). Fingering a complicated business, and is actually a poor way to start off your sex life – it hardly ever feels good, and is not the ‘stand-alone’ right-of-passage activity people make it out to be.

Dealing with feeling awkward

School every gentleman caller you have on how to touch you, so every girl he ever touches after you can thank you for it. Once you get a bit older, you will meet men whose previous girlfriends have never taught them how to touch them. Always leave someone better off than you found them – always.

Forget the awkwardness – it comes with the territory. Sex is weird, awkward and can be utterly hilarious, so embrace the awkward and teach each other how to be great lovers. Consider it one of your many contributions to the world.

Being a good lover means talking. Lots.

Everyone wants to be the world’s greatest lover, but you can’t become a skilled lover until you learn how to talk about what you like and how you like it, and find out what he (being the gentleman of your choice) likes and how he likes it.

You could end up one of those girls always faking it because you were too scared to speak up. Don’t be that girl. It’s a dull life.

He is fingering you because it is supposed to make you feel good, not because he likes it.You’ll find that he likes it if you like it. If you don’t like it, what’s the point? His finger isn’t any better off. 

How to find out what you like

There are two ways to find out what you like: touch yourself, and get someone else – under direction – to touch you. It’s fun, weird and educational to do both. Be the student and the teacher and learn about the human body, remembering that the human body is complicated, sex is complicated, and above all else, it is supposed to be fun and feel good. Always.

Read about hymens here, check out the vag basics and examine some diagrams to see what your insides look like, and look at our sexuality section.



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