How to navigate painful sex using the Lioness Smart Vibrator | Lioness
Join the newsletter to save $20 on the Lioness ✨ Click here to learn how to save $20 on the Lioness Smart Vibrator ✨

An artist navigates painful sex with the Lioness Vibrator

Artist sitting

Understanding pleasure through data

By AM, 31, artist
 
[[ Lioness Editor Note: We're introducing stories shared by members of the Lioness Pride — people who own the Lioness Vibrator — as a space for people to share their experiences, get a broader perspective of pleasure, and learn how people use Lioness in their everyday lives. ]]

How long have you had Lioness?

I've had Lioness since summer 2017 (I was one of the early Indiegogo backers!)

What initially piqued your interest about Lioness?

I was really attracted to the data-tracking, particularly with regards to muscle contraction. At the time, I was struggling with pain during intercourse and was diagnosed with vaginismus, so I wanted to see for myself what that looked like.

Woman listening to something in a dark room with a few lights

What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned since getting the Lioness?

I thought I was fairly open-minded around the topic of sex, coming from a progressive family and having access to fairly robust sex education, so I was surprised how little I actually knew about myself and how I experience pleasure. Through using Lioness, I learned what my orgasm pattern was (Wave buddies, where you at?), that quick orgasms and multiple orgasms are quite easy for me to achieve, but they will never be the exploding-fireworks-then-body-goes-limp orgasms I had read about or seen in novels, fanfics, tv and movies (not that I'm complaining!).

2017 Lioness Session

You mentioned that you’ve been able to use Lioness to help address painful sex. Could you talk a little more about that?

About two years into my relationship with my boyfriend, sex suddenly became painful. It was like my body would not let him in, and I couldn't understand it: I want to have sex with my boyfriend! Why is my body betraying me this way? No matter how much I wanted it or how much lube we tried, I couldn't get through sex without crying or gritting my teeth. My boyfriend was so patient, but just as confused as I was, and at some point we barely had sex anymore.

After a few years, I went to my doctor and she diagnosed me with vaginismus. Candidly speaking, her first question was whether I was being abused, explaining that patients with vaginismus are often victims of trauma or abuse. This was not the case with me, but it did shed a light on how mental sex can be. We likely had one example of not-so-great sex at some point, but it was enough to send my brain into an ever-escalating cycle of "It's gonna hurt", "No it's not, calm down", "It hurts!", "Because you're not calm!".

My doctor was empathetic, but ultimately the only thing she could suggest was to relax. In a way, it was reassuring to be told that there wasn't something "wrong" with me, that other women experience it, that it was all in my head...but also just as frustrating to be told it was all just in my head.

Doctor with stethoscope

Fast-forward to getting the Lioness. Using it on my own really helped me relax and familiarize myself with my body again, but it also empowered me to be open about my needs. I realized I was still keeping a lot to myself about what my body needed, that I was scared to come off as demanding or high-maintenance (despite being the biggest demand-your-pleasure advocate to my friends).

Opening these conversations also revealed that my boyfriend was surprisingly shy and inexperienced talking about sex, as he did not have the same comprehensive education I had; he had been looking to me for initiation and guidance.

Couple at nature sunset

I'm happy to report that after 5 years of painful sex, Lioness has helped me enjoy intimacy pain-free for the last 2 years! Not only has the data enabled an open dialogue for us that was instrumental to my healing, but the wealth of knowledge that Lioness shares on social media/blogs/newsletters has emboldened me to suggest new things to try with him, such as Foria Awaken and Ohnut.

2019 Lioness Session

What about birth control and pleasure?

I had been on NuvaRing for about 9 years, but switched to the Mirena IUD in 2017 for convenience and because I had a history of migraines. During my consultation, I mentioned that I felt my sex drive had dropped off considerably in the last few years - obviously, the pain was a big factor, but my doctor also suggested it was possible switching to Mirena would help, since it was a progestin hormone rather than the estrogen/progestin combination found in NuvaRing.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pre-IUD data with Lioness, as I had it inserted a few months before my Lioness arrived, but I found these changes to be obvious enough:

  • Before NuvaRing, I would always feel heightened arousal and sensitivity in the days just before my period. In general, it was pretty easy for me to get in the mood on any day.
  • While on NuvaRing, I didn't feel this as much, and it disappeared in the last few years on the ring. It took longer for me to feel aroused and ready overall - the desire was there mentally, but I felt like what used to happen very naturally in my body suddenly needed to be supplemented with more and more lube. I also found it harder to achieve orgasm with a partner in the last few years on the ring, but that could largely be because of the pain.
  • About two months after inserting Mirena, despite my period pretty much becoming non-existent, I began experiencing those pre-period "thirsty days" as I like to call them. 😏 In general, it feels like my drive has returned since making the switch to Mirena. I don't know if my experience is common, but it was a pleasant surprise!
Woman with fire torch

Anything else you’d like to share?

I'm really grateful for the how Lioness has changed my sex life for the better, and for this chance to share my experience in case others have felt the same thing. It's so common for stigma and shame to push us into silent suffering, but it does not have to be that way. The data Lioness provided helped me understand my pain, but the stories and knowledge shared within the Lioness Pride illustrated for me how to work around and beyond it, that I was not doomed to painful sex (or no sex) forever. I can't wait to learn more from the Pride, and I'm looking forward to exploring more with myself and with my boyfriend!

===

Ready to explore yourself? Literally *see* your arousal and orgasm with the Lioness Vibrator


Lioness vibrator and app

Lioness is the first and only vibrator that helps you improve your orgasms.

The world’s most advanced vibrator. Precision sensors let you literally see your arousal and orgasm. Experiment, understand yourself, and have better orgasms—after all, as the saying goes, “never measured, never improved.”

Intrigued? Click here to learn more.

Related Posts

I measured my orgasm to see what makes the Magic Wand so magical
The Magic Wand wasn't deemed one of "The 50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time" by Time Magazine for just any ol' r...
Read More
I measured my orgasm to see if dosist Arouse actually made me more arouse(d)
At first I reached for dosist’s arouse pen as a distraction. I had been apart from my girlfriend for a time (not long...
Read More
Crave Vesper makes me feel fancy while having orgasms
When experimenting with Lioness, I’ve sometimes given the suggestion of trying different sensations with different ex...
Read More
}