Thursday, 2 June 2011

Vaginismus is a nasty word...

When assigning a name to this bizarre, barely-understood condition, they couldn't have really thought of an uglier name than "vaginismus". When I first heard it, a few years ago, I thought it sounded clinical and at the same time utterly lacking in substance. What on earth does it really tell us about the condition, except that it is a bit to do with someone's vagina? I suppose that is the point. From what I have learned about Vaginismus it seems that really people aren't really sure what it is. It is a complex condition, it doesn't necessarily have any obvious origin, but then again it could have come about through a horrific series of events, it might happen at any time in a woman's life and leave again with relative ease, it might be a long term, traumatic battle. There is very little material available to a woman interested in finding out more about it.

I was diagnosed with vaginismus about 9 months ago, but the road even to diagnosis was a difficult, emotional and often humiliating one. I've decided to write a blog about it, not because I think I am in any way an expert on the subject, but because it is such a huge part of my life, and the lives of so many women, and it is barely spoken about. Few people even know what it is.

I consider myself to be a feminist. I am a passionate, excitable, neurotic, often ridiculous but nevertheless entire human being. In our society however, to be "sexless" in any way - and as a woman unable to undergo penetration in this society seems to be considered sexless - is to be in so many ways worthless. I fight not only with this condition, which I have through no fault of my own, but with society's opinions about what a young, single twenty-something woman living in London should be like.

I want to write this blog because I want to share all the stupid, embarrassing, heartbreaking, hilarious things that happen to me on this journey. I want to support other women who are going through the same thing. I want, in some small way, to draw attention to the struggle we go through. I have called the blog "La Matadora" not only because I am dreadful at naming things, but also because as Vaginismus is to be fought and conquered, so too the prejudice that says I am to be defined and lessened by it.

I want to live, and not be brought down by something beyond my control.

If you are reading this, thank you.


  1. You are awesome, lady! Thanks for shining light on a hugely overlooked condition and finding the humour in something that is obviously affecting your life deeply. I'm sure other sufferers will be grateful for a wise, funny, unembarrassed voice on what you rightly point out is a really important subject. Keep up the fight! x

  2. Hi Julia, thank you so much, what a lovely first comment! You've got to laugh at these things haven't you? :) Thanks again. x