Dear Alice,

My partner says she does not care for the "doggie" position because it causes her pain. I, on the other hand like to experiment and want to try everything. I guess I want more than just vanilla and she says if vanilla is great, continue to go for it. I guess I'm trying to sort out facts first. First, I know that only about 8 percent of women engage in this position. I guess I want to try it occasionally because the position gives me sight sensory as well as feeling. Anyway, I tell her I'd do anything she wants, anything to satisfy her in exchange for having sex in this position. I guess it's an obsession which becomes more of an obsession when it is denied!

Back to what she says. First, is that the angle is painful. She says the position is against the normal "curve" of the penis as it would enter in missionary position. Now on to the emotional side. What happens is that she will eventually consent but then because I feel guilty I jackrabbit and I can't enjoy it! What can be done to stop the pain she says is there? Is some of it emotional?

—Barking up the wrong tree

Dear Barking up the wrong tree,

First of all, your statistic regarding the percentage of women who engage in the "doggie-style" position seems to be an underestimation. Regardless, your dilemma involves just you and your partner. Pain during intercourse can be related to actual physical pain, or it can have some emotional or psychological component to it. Since your partner has stated that she is in physical pain during this sexual position, there are a few things you can try to make her more comfortable. How about using a water- based lubricant to make it easier for your penis to move inside of her? Tried moving gently, as opposed to hard thrusting. You may also want to try variations of the doggie position, with you entering her from behind while lying down next to each other on your sides, instead of attempting it on your knees.

Ask your partner if anything besides the painful angle bothers her. Some women may feel as though the "doggie" position is something being done to them, as opposed to something in which they are participating. It is also a position in which some women feel distant from their partner because they are not facing them. If your partner feels this way, try touching her body while you are having sex with her, or wrapping your arms around her. You can also stimulate your partner's clitoris while having sex in the doggie style position, a technique that helps to ensure a woman's pleasure in addition to the man's. If your partner finds no relief in any of these changes, then you may want to take a break from your obsession with the doggie-thing. Not forcing an issue can give you both the time to relax, explore your sexuality together in other ways, and potentially come back to the doggie position naturally at another less stressful moment.


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