I recently wrote about sexual pain for Tabu (I'll link when it's published!), and I thought it would be useful to have a product and book guide, as well as some recommended posts and further resources. I'll be adding to this over time, and I also hope to write a more inclusive resource with more information for people suffering from pelvic pain, but that will have to wait for me getting to talk to some experts and bringing some more books into my library. Please feel free to comment or email if you have further questions or suggestions for things to add here!
Silicone dilators like the Soul Source set pictured to the right are some of the most commonly recommended products for various kinds of pelvic pain. A set of silicone dilators like these are easy to clean and easy to use, and allow you to gradually work your way up from very small to large. They're recommended for "pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, vestibulodynia, and other conditions that are sometimes called 'vaginismus'. Dilators can also help regain vaginal flexibility, resilience, and openness after radiation therapy, surgery, or hormonal changes."
You can purchase single dilators or different sets depending on your needs by clicking on the button to the left, or clicking here.
The Nectar Products acrylic insertable toys are creat for both therapeutic and pleasurable purposes. The Crystal Wand Deluxe, on the left, has a very thin, firm shaft that makes it perfect for dilatory use - many people find that harder, smooth materials like acrylic and glass are more comfortable because they provide less friction during use. This reduced friction is often ideal for those with inflamed and sensitive tissues, and the gently pointed ends on both products make them much easier to insert comfortably. These products are "often recommended for vaginal renewal or prostate massage by health and wellness professionals."
Lubricant is another important part of any pelvic health kit, and if you're using dilators or similar products, oil-based lubricants can be ideal: they're long lasting, moisturizing, and don't interact with silicone products the way some silicone lubricants can. The only big drawback with oil based lubricants is that they cannot be used with latex or polyisoprene barriers. Oils can cause small tears in latex and polyisoprene, making these barriers inneffective in preventing the transmission of STIs or prevention of pregnancy. If you're not planning on using barriers for these purposes during or after using an oil based lubricant, they're an ideal option. My favorite brands are Coconu Oil and Southern Butter. If your tissues are irritated or inflamed, I'd recommend using the fragrance free Southern Butter.
The She*Pak is something I got really excited about when I saw it for the first time while visiting the Smitten Kitten in April. Ideal for helping sooth vaginal inflammation from the inside, these can be great to soothe chronic pain, recover after surgery (you should definitely talk to your doctor before using it, though!), or even for relief after marathon sex.
Healing Painful Sex is definitely one of the most well known and inclusive books on painful sex, covering a variety of pelvic pain issues and helping anyone with a vulva (though it is heavily marketed towards 'women') with with confronting their pain, preventing misdiagnosis, and finding effective treatment.
Painful sex isn't just an issue of the vulva; pelvic pain can also effect anal pleasure and some people might be recommended to undertake therapeutic prostate massage. Anal Pleasure and Health comes recommended by me from anyone looking to overcome a pain in the ass (sorry, I had to).
Joan Price's Naked at Our Age is an important book regardless of it's discussion of pelvic pain that can come with illness and age, but it is also an indispensable resource for older people who are experiencing pelvic pain that can come with menopause, erectile dysfunction, and other issues that can come with age.
Other books to read on the subject:
Although only people who, as of this writing, live in Colorado or California can purchase Foria Pleasure cannabis-infused spray or suppositories, I'd definitely recommend them if they're a resource you're able to access. Products like these have been proven to provide immediate pain relief, and I hope they'll become more widely available to medical marijuana patients. If you already have access to legal cannabis or have a medical marijuana clearance where you live, Dangerous Lilly has a guide on making your own suppositories, and a lot of good things to say about them! Note: these products won't "get your vag high" - but they will help relieve pain. Not everyone's cup of tea, but definitely worth mentioning!
I will continue to add to this list as time goes on and I find more resources and products to recommend - keep an eye out in the future for more in-depth information about pelvic pain when I'm able to get my hands on more books for research!
Aside from the Amazon links and images, all images in this post are courtesy of The Smitten Kitten and the links to those products are affiliate links. Please clear your cache and cookies before clicking - if you click on a link and purchase something - even if it's not that product - a percentage of the sale will go to supporting this work and more resources like this one.
Thumbnail image is a section of a painting by Istvan Etienne Sandorfi.