Here's how to avoid getting injured while getting it on.
by Reem Khaleel March 1, 2023
When it comes to having sex with your partner, the last thing you want is an injury. After all, nothing can be more of a buzzkill than accidentally pulling a muscle while doing the deed, or worse, landing yourself in the ER with bruises and a twisted ankle. But as it turns out, sex mishaps are pretty common, with 42% of more than 1,000 adults having sustained an injury during sex, per a recent survey by Lovehoney. To make matters worse, the poll reveals that your favorite position might be the culprit.
Although it should never come into question how you and your partner choose to get it on, your choice in style could mean the difference between playing doctor and a visit to your primary care physician. According to the Lovehoney survey, doggy style is the most hazardous sex position, with 42% of respondents reporting injuries. Of them, carpet burn is one of the most common (31%). “If you feel a bit of a burn coming on, change positions to remove friction from the area,” says Melbourne-based psycho-sexologist Chantelle Otten, who suggests also being mindful of your knees on hard surfaces (opt for the bed or couch) and steadying yourself against something solid when standing to avoid slipping.
Coming in second as most dangerous is missionary, with 32% of respondents reporting injuries, including pulled muscles (25%). Although this often comes as a shock, with missionary having a reputation as being a “safe bet,” Otten says the position can lead to niggling pain if you’re not mindful of your back, elbows, and wrists. Regardless of who’s top and who’s bottom, she suggests choosing soft surfaces and changing positions anytime either party feels uncomfortable.
Reverse cowgirl might be deemed as the third most hazardous, according to the survey, but it doesn’t compare to good ol’ 69 when it comes to the number of injuries. Nearly half of individuals with penises reported ailments while giving or receiving oral compared to the 17% of individuals with vaginas, while 10% of total respondents reported neck or leg cramps as well as back injuries (13%). Simple fix? Change positions regularly to avoid muscle strain in particular areas, says Otten.
Despite position choice, sex injuries aren’t uncommon. Bruising (33%) can occur as a result of hickeys, rough sex, and spanking, to which Otten suggests incorporating a “safe word” (indicating wanting to stop due to discomfort or pain) and discussing boundaries before engaging in sexual activity, especially that involving bondage equipment. UTIs (29%) can also be a painful post-coital ailment, which Otten says can be prevented by peeing immediately before and after sex. As far as tearing is concerned, a solution for penetration of any kind is patience and a ton of lube. After all, the wetter, the better.