If you’re experiencing pain during penetration, your first and second stops should be your OB/GYN and a trauma-informed pelvic floor therapist who can help you suss out the underlying cause. Your third stop? A sex shop for a penis bumper, which is a sex aid that can be used on any phallus, including dildos, G-spot vibrators, and wands. It's designed to slide down a shaft of the person or toy doing the penetrating, thus eliminating some of its length to prevent as much from going inside the receiver's vagina or anus.
While a penis bumper won't address any underlying cause of painful penetration, it can "be incredibly helpful to vagina-owners who experience pain during penetration deeper into the vaginal canal, which is common in people with endometriosis, adhesions, ovarian cysts and prolapse,” says Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in sexual dysfunction and incontinence and author of Sex Without Pain: A Self-Treatment Guide to the Sex Life You Deserve. Penis bumpers can also be helpful to those who've recently gotten a vaginoplasty, surgical procedure in which someone who doesn't have a vagina is built one, she adds.
How to introduce a penis bumper into the bedroom
Ultimately, how you introduce the tool depends on where you are in your sexual relationship with your partner and how much your partner knows about the pain you’re experiencing, (FWIW: sexual-wellness expert Emily Sauer, CEO of penis-bumper manufacturer Ohnut, recommends talking to your partner about the fact that penetration can be painful for you, no matter your relationship structure).
With a partner who knows penetrative play has been painful for you, you might say: “I just found a solution that might our sex feel less painful for me. Can I show you?” Or, “I just read an article about toys the penetrating partner can wear to lessen the length of their shaft during intercourse. Can I send you the link?”
“For those who don’t understand the extent of your pain, it can be helpful to emphasize how this product will benefit you both,” says pleasure expert Carly S., founder of Dildo or Dildon’t. You might say: “I love when you fill me, but in certain positions you get so deep that I’m not able to have you inside me as long as I’d like. Would you be open to trying a penis bumper? I think it’ll let us have sex for longer.”
You can also take a more matter of fact approach, says Carly S. For example, “I have X condition that can make penetration painful, so if that’s P-in-V is sex act you want to try, I’m going to ask you to wear a penis bumper. Can I send you info about them?”
Now that you’ve had the conversation, here are 5 bumpers to try.
1. OhNut, $65 for set of 4
The OhNut is arguably the most user-friendly, sophisticated penis bumper on the market. Unlike other bumpers that are one-size-fits-all, the OhNut is customizable. “The wearable has a linking design, which gives users the ability to stack one, two, three, or four soft rings onto the penetrating partner or toy,” says Sauer. Best part? It’s also compatible with all types of lube and can be worn over external condoms.
Shop now: OhNut, $65 for set of 4
Made out of ultra-stretchy SilaSkin, the Perfect Fit The Bumper Thruster Buffer slides down the shaft and is held in place through a second hole that holds the testicles. The bumper itself is just 1.8cm (.7 inches) thick. But multiple can be stacked together. So, people looking to eliminate more length than that can purchase multiple to best-suit their depth desires.
Shop now: Perfect Fit The Bumper Thruster Buffer, $30
This vibrating cock ring can double as a bumper “Most cock rings are quite thin, but the Atom is not,” says Carly S. It’s thicker in order to accommodate the two large motors, which allow it to deliver deep, rumbly vibrations to the wearer and receiver. “For the wearer, it feels like having a wand vibrator wrapped around your penis,” she says.
Depending on how and where on the shaft you position the toy, it can reduce penetration by anywhere from a half-in to a full inch. Woot!
Shop now: Hot Octopuss Atom Plus Rumbly Vibrating Cock Ring, $99
The VeDO Roq is “really bulky because it has two motors, which helps eliminate some of the length,” says Carly S. The C-ring-cum-bumper also provides really strong vibrations down the wearer's length, essentially turning the shaft into a vibrator. More buzz for one partner, less (ahem) bone for another? Talk about a win-win.
Shop now: VeDO Roq Rechargeable Silicone Cock Ring, $54
5. Play Zone Xact-Fit, $30
Don’t let the fact that this adult product looks like a toddler toy throw you off. The stack of 10 rings allows you to choose how deep you want your partner (or toy) to go and how girthy you want them to be. Just don’t use these silicone toys with silicone-based lube.
Shop now: Play Zone Xact-Fit, $30
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