Thursday, October 6, 2016

Savage Love: Is bicycling destroying your vagina?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge savagelove_595_1_.png

I have a question about biking and female genitalia. I’m a woman in my forties and I love biking! My husband and I often go for long rides on the weekend. Unfortunately, this makes various parts of my crotch sore, especially the clitoris. Certain bike seats are better, but none eliminate the soreness.

Two years ago, we had a baby, which not only made my crotch more prone to soreness but makes it a lot less likely that we’ll have sex except on weekends, often after biking. The sore clit makes sex more painful, but it also increases sensitivity, so the whole thing can be an alternating experience of “Ow!” and “Wow!”

Am I causing my clit any permanent damage by the biking and/or the post-bike poking? Any suggestions for decreasing crotch soreness?
Bike Related Injury To Clit; Help Ease Soreness

“I love biking, I love vulvas, and I love babies (mine, and I’m sure I would adore BRITCHES’s baby, too!),” said Dr. Herbenick [the same research scientist and sexual health educator from yesterday's Savage Love], “so I appreciate being asked to chime in on this question. That said, there’s not a ton of research on female genital health in connection with cycling.”

There’s far more research on men and cycling, due to the risks of bike-seat-related erectile dysfunction specifically and our society’s tendency to prioritize boners generally.

“The few studies that have been conducted on women and cycling — generally cisgender women as far as I can tell — found that cutout seats are linked with a higher risk of genital symptoms, as are handlebars that are lower than the saddle,” said Dr. Herbenick. “So broader saddles and higher handlebars may be the way to go. Some of the research notes higher rates of genital symptoms among people who go on longer rides, spending hours in the saddle.”

To decrease your risk of un-fun genital symptoms, BRITCHES, Dr. Herbenick recommends mixing it up.

“Go biking some weekends and try other activities on other weekends — maybe hiking or swimming? You might also take Dan’s ‘fuck first’ Valentine’s Day advice and apply it to your weekend rides. And if you’re prone to post-intercourse semen leakage (and, really, who isn’t?) use a condom or have him come elsewhere pre-ride so you don’t have the semen seepage issue to contend with on a long ride. I hope this helps!”
Follow Dr. Debby Herbenick on Twitter @debbyherbenick.

YOU CAN HELP: Wherever you fall on the debate about sex work — it should be decriminalized, it shouldn’t be decriminalized — everyone agrees that women who engage in sex work shouldn’t be punished. Yet thousands of women are incarcerated for prostitution or prostitution-related crimes. The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) has launched a pilot program to help these women. Go to to send a book to an incarcerated sex worker (books are in great demand), become a pen pal, or donate a book to a prison library. Since everyone agrees sex workers shouldn’t be punished, everyone should be able to get behind SWOP Behind Bars. I donated a book to an incarcerated sex worker today — it was easy! — and you can, too.

On the Lovecast, Dan talks guns and spit with the “Liberal Redneck” Trae Crowder:
@fakedansavage on Twitter

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Dan Savage

Dan Savage

In addition to being a nationally syndicated sex advice columnist and author of books, Savage can also lay claim to being the only person at his home paper to have actually converted his sexuality into a profession. He has a boyfriend and a child. He is also wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice and cheats at racketball... more

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