How I Use Sex Toys to Help Manage My Chronic Pain

Cartoon drawing of different sex toys that I use to manage my chronic pain

A big reason I started this blog is because I wanted to talk about how I use sex toys to help manage my chronic pain. Sex toys are actually one of the only things that have helped bring me any relief in regards to some aspects of my chronic pain. As many people with vaginas have discovered for themselves, the medical world is largely shit to us. You’re dismissed, belittled, told you’re making things up, lying, clueless, and so on. I have been experiencing pain off and on since I was an early teen, and the pain has become quite debilitating in the last twelve years. Now, in all that time, you’d think I would be able to get somewhere with a diagnosis and treatment, but no. Does that mean I’m magically not in pain, and my problems aren’t still my problems? Unfortunately, also no. I personally believe I have endometriosis, and fibromyalgia, but today I will be mainly focusing on the pain in my pelvic floor, and the surrounding pain that comes from it. 

I am in no way a medical professional, and my advice is not a suitable replacement for medical help and treatment. I know how terrible the medical system can be first hand, but if you have the means to seek help and treatment, please do so. You know your body and what you’re experiencing. Never stop advocating for yourself. You deserve treatment, care, and compassion for whatever is ailing you. 

Since I have been in pain for so long and not received any professional help in regards to it I have had a lot of years to research and experiment. My various pains cause me to be bed-ridden most of the day for 15-20 days every single month, and I know how isolating, miserable, and boring it is. I know I’m not alone in this and I want to do everything in my power to help others any way I can, because we all deserve relief and to live a more comfortable life. I do not have vaginismus, nor have I been diagnosed with any other vulvar/vaginal conditions, but some of the methods I will discuss here are similar treatments for those conditions. Even though what I am describing sounds similar to treatment for vaginismus the difference is I can insert things into my vagina without the same type of pain. My vaginal muscles do not clench up and make insertion of objects super uncomfortable, painful, or flat out impossible. My pelvic pain does cause pain in my vaginal canal, yes, but it’s hard bundles of pain, and they radiate out to other areas the longer they’re around. I’m specifying the difference because what works for my pain management, may not be great advice for vaginismus, and I don’t want anyone to think that they’re doing something wrong if they can’t do the things I’m describing. Again, you know your body best, and what works for me won’t work for every single person on this planet. None of the things I am going to suggest are a permanent fix, and they will not cure you but hopefully they will allow you to uncurl from a ball of pain, and maybe even find some peace in your day.  

Like I said, I will be focusing mainly on the pelvic pain I have, that extends to the right side of my body, as well. This affects my hip, leg, knee, and back. Since I am in pain most of the time, I don’t always feel my pelvic pain as soon as it starts, so the methods that I do vary in intensity based on how bad the pain is when I start. My pelvic pain is present most days of the month, but its intensity can swing wildly from day-to-day. With all of these suggestions I highly suggest you use lubricant. My body already struggles with producing enough of its own fluids, so when I’m in pain that’s pretty much canceled entirely, so lubricant is definitely a staple in all this. Using lubricant allows my body to relax more, knowing that there aren’t going to be any uncomfortable, dry situations that can cause friction, irritation, or catching/snagging of skin.

During the times I catch it at its earliest stage–when my senses tingle that I’m barely starting to feel it– I can often delay it best. I say delay, because no matter how on top of managing it I am, the pain will eventually just have a full flare-up regardless of what I’m doing. My course of action during this stage is to do like you’d do for many pelvic, or vaginal disorders, and that’s to dilate, basically. Now, I don’t use a traditional dilation set because they’re mainly very straight shaped, and I need something that can apply side-to-side pressure on my vaginal walls, pressing toward my hips. So I use vaginal plugs instead, because their shape widens out, giving the stretch in the areas I need it most. The plugs I currently use for this are the Squarepeg G-Squeeze in the small and medium size. I insert the small and allow it to work for as long as I can feel it putting pressure, which is sometimes as short as five minutes, and sometimes as long as thirty minutes. Now during this, sometimes it feels best to lie back, sometimes best to sit up, but no matter what I’m doing I try to breathe and coax my body into some semblance of relaxation. Once I feel I’ve gotten all the relief I can from the small I move to the medium size. I often have to find a task that really distracts my brain from focusing on the pain and the plug inside me in order to allow it to work best, otherwise I feel too hyper-focused on the problem to relax properly. During this time I will play a video game, or find a really engaging TV show, or movie. I have to use the medium plug for a minimum of twenty minutes, and sometimes an hour or more, to coax my pelvic floor muscles into relaxing enough to get any relief. If I do this soon enough to the pain starting I will get relief for several hours, and sometimes even an entire day without it flaring back up. 

When I don’t catch the pelvic flare up soon enough, or if it’s just an angry day for it, I will use the method above to start, and then I will move into using vibrators. Now, this is often a non-sexual thing for me because I am just looking for pain relief, but sometimes it moves into a sexual energy. There is no right or wrong way to find pain relief, and regardless of if these methods feel completely sexual, completely non-sexual, or anything in-between for you, it’s perfectly fine. 

After I have used the vaginal plugs I will use a more broad vibration sex toy that’s insertable. This is when I will pull out vibrators with deep, intense, powerful motors because I need them to penetrate into deep tissues. Some of my favorites for this are the Swan Wand and the Pillow Talk Sassy. Both of these vibrators have powerful, rumbly motors that penetrate deep enough to bring me pain relief. The reason I usually wait until after using the vaginal plugs to bring vibrators into the mix is because when I’m using vibrations externally, on my vulva and clit, my muscles will often clench in response to the stimulation and that can be counter productive to what I’m actually trying to achieve. Once the medium plug is out, I insert my vibrator of choice (with plenty of lube!), and just hold it still inside me for a few minutes. I do my best to not clench any of my muscles; now is not the time for kegel exercises. Then slowly, I press the broad head of the vibrator into different areas that feel the most sore. I don’t use the toy in the same way I would while masturbating. I don’t thrust it in and out really, and I don’t aim for the most pleasurable spots inside myself. Instead, I basically do the opposite and massage the tense bundles of nerves that insist on keeping me in pain, and it’s usually not a super pleasant experience in the moment, but I know it can bring some relief. Sometimes those spots hurt too much for direct work, so I will just hold the vibrator inside for 15-20 minutes and allow it to help ease some of my pain. 

Now, just as many people have discovered masturbating can help relieve period cramps, in some cases, this is pretty similar. The choice of rather to end with an orgasm or not depends entirely on the type of pain I feel like I am in. Unfortunately, this is an area you will have to explore on your own and figure out when the right times for your body are. Sometimes ending with an orgasm can undo all of my work and make me cramp right back up and hurt, and sometimes the orgasm is the cherry on top and it relaxes me further and makes the relief even better. There are no specific clues I can really give you on how to gauge what is right for your body when it comes to this. After experimenting, and just living in this body for all these years, I can accurately gauge 95% of the time what path is right for me, but it took me practice to get here. Given enough practice and time, I am sure you will figure this out, too. 

During times when the pain knots in my vaginal canal are hurting, but my entire pelvic area doesn’t feel super inflamed I will use pinpoint massage. This is kind of similar to pelvic floor therapy, where a medical practitioner inserts a finger into your vaginal canal, and presses on an area until the muscles relax. One of the better toys I own for this is the Calexotics Pretty Little Wand Bubbly. I also use the nJoy Pure Wand, and a glass dildo for the same purpose. Any firm sex toy that’s on the thinner side works well for this purpose because I can press into the knot as firmly as I need to. If your arms and fingers are long enough, unlike mine, you could also just insert your own fingers and press on the spots until they relax. 

When my pelvic floor is too inflamed and angry feeling for the above methods, and I’m in so much pain that walking hurts I resort to more external toys, mainly wands. I own a mains powered (meaning you plug it into a socket) Doxy Wand that gets used for pain relief more than anything. I press the wand against any area that I think is going to deliver any sort of relief. Sometimes this is my mons pubis, sometimes it’s my hip area, other times I put the head of the wand against my vulva and close my legs around it, and let the deep vibrations spread to the general area. Once I’ve done this for thirty minutes, or more, I can sometimes incorporate one of the above methods to bring more relief to myself. Sometimes I will just give myself an orgasm with the wand and pray to the universe that it will do something for me. Occasionally just having an orgasm with a bullet vibe and a dildo inserted can bring me relief, without going through all the fuss, but again that’s just a judgment thing. 

Another method I use for managing my pain is what I call vaginal massages, which share some of the qualities of the things I mentioned above, but the biggest difference is it requires someone else. I will write a separate post about how to give this type of vulva/vaginal massage, because it definitely deserves a post of its own and this one is already long. 

I hope that by sharing my struggles and some of the ways I manage my own pain that more people are able to find pain management of their own. Opening these discussions up can really help normalize what so many of us are going through, and it allows us to have the knowledge and power to make changes. Even if you don’t use the exact methods I detailed here, maybe it can give you an idea for something that can help you. Once again, I want to emphasize that this is not a replacement for medical care and I urge everyone to see a doctor and get professional help, if they haven’t already. However, even with a diagnosis and treatment, that doesn’t relieve all of the pain all of the time, and I get that. 

No matter where you’re at in the journey of pain relief, or management of a vulva or vaginal condition, I sincerely wish you all the healing you need. This chronic pain stuff is really terrible. 

Artwork was provided by my partner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *