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Improve your sex life by getting that burning question answered by one of the world's foremost experts on sex, Dr. Debby Herbenick of Indiana University's Kinsey Institute. Submit anonymously here!

I have been having really bad lower back issues after a work injury. Problem is that not only is sex painful but maintaining an erection is tough because of the pain. What medications/positions should I try?

Sarah: I’ve been looking up medical traction and sex swings side-by-side and I’m seeing negligible differences with my admittedly untrained eye. Do with that information what you will.

Debby: I am not a medical doctor and cannot recommend medications, so the best course of action is to talk with your healthcare provider. As for sex positions, it depends on the kind of lower back pain and injury you have. However, a recent study from researchers at the University of Waterloo that was published in Spine looked at how men’s and women’s spines moved in common sex positions - depending on the kind of difficulties you have, different positions might be recommended. My advice is to check out the study and bring a printed version to your healthcare provider or physical therapist. Based on the kind of pain and injury you had, he or she may be able to recommend specific safer sex practices. You can also, of course, continue to explore a fulfilling sex life through types of sex that aren’t dependent on you having an erection. Try sex toy play, oral sex, role playing, sensual massage, or whatever else you and your partner find fun, playful, and sexy. The book “The Ultimate Guide to Sex & Disability” is also a fantastic resource for creating pleasurable sex regardless of ability/disability or chronic pain. 

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