Tuesday, 1 May 2012

How not to cure vaginismus

Hi Vaginistas,

Back before I had been diagnosed with lady-zip, I was going out with a young fella who I quite liked at the time, but who in hind sight was a bit of a knob-end. Sorry, is that a bit mean? OK so he wasn't a bit of a knob-end, but he wasn't right for me (*cough* total knob-end *cough*). We'd been together for a little while, and hadn't managed to have penetrative sex, or as he liked to call it - ACTUAL sex. (I don't know what he thought all the things we did do were, but apparently they didn't count as proper sex. Really, as he was that ungrateful I should've just saved my energy and watched re-runs of Dr Who instead. Much more fun. And less sticky. And easier on the knees) ANYWAY. Obviously, we didn't know then that I had vaginismus, but we knew there was something wrong, a matter compounded by another problem. 

He was a big boy.

When I say big, I mean it was enormous people, it would easily eclipse the hubble telescope; in fact it would quite possibly eclipse the moon thinking about it. It was a huge pillar of man flesh. A manaconda. It was the nelson's column of penises*. IT WAS BIG, is what I'm getting at here.

Now, believe me, I am not bragging. Bigness is not something that us lady with clamps are impressed by. We are scared of it. We see bigness and we run away covering our faces and screaming "DEAR GOD THE HUMANITY!!!!" 

"There is no WAY that you are getting THAT in THERE"

But on the plus size, his bigness meant that he was prepared for tricky sexual situations. It had been difficult with past girlfriends, he told me (not without a touch of pride), and that what I needed was practice with other, smaller phallicy things.

Now, he wasn't far wrong in some ways......but without any knowledge of vaginismus, the sort of practice he had in mind was really not what I should have been doing. Not what I should have been doing at all.

I bought myself a big, plastic, pink vibrator that had 20 different speeds and rotating ballbearings, a happy face on the tip (seriously) and rabbit ears (Side note - why the bunnies, why?! The bunnies are innocents, they don't need to be a part of this! Leave the poor bunnies alone!) The thing was bloody terrifying. It was like some sort of a hellish "barbies first torture chamber" set. I proceeded to torture myself with it. 

I thought, in true British stiff-upper-lip style that what I needed to do was stop being so ruddy silly, and of COURSE it was going to hurt, until I just pushed through the first bit of excruciating pain and then things would be fine. But of course I was wrong! You see, as I've explained in other sections of this blog, the muscles need to be taught that penetration shouldn't be painful, and this takes time and various sized implements, a lovely therapist and patience and no qualms about dignity whatsoever. I set about proving to myself quite the opposite.

I forced that stupid thing against the shrieking and protesting of my muscles, and let me tell you it really, really hurt. Really. It also in no way helped to cure me. Please, please don't try this if you have or think you have vaginismus, it will really only reinforce the psychological conviction that penetration is painful, and won't help in the long or short run. It'll just convince your muscles that they are right and should continue to do everything they can to keep that thing out, out, out. It hurt, and I felt more ashamed and freakish, and overwhelmed with panic.

Having carried out this self-torture a few times, Mr (Not a) Knob-end and I decided, unsuccessfully, to attempt sex. As I lay teary, hyperventilating, shaking and humiliated, he did his best to comfort me, but couldn't resist saying "You're just not practicing enough!"

It wasn't his fault of COURSE, because he had never heard of vaginismus, and didn't know how it should be treated and thought that what I was doing was the best thing. That's why we're here today, dear vaginistas, because people DO need to know these things. But if I had never been diagnosed I wonder if I would still be trying the same thing now, hurting myself because I thought it was the only way to be cured. 

We split up eventually, without too much fuss on either side, and unsurprisingly we never did manage penetration through these methods. In fact, as I stood on his porch and we said our final goodbyes, he smiled ruefully, without irony and said:

"It's such a shame we never actually had sex". 

You know what? I don't think it is actually. I really don't think it is. 

*are there too many references to the napoleonic war in this blog? 


  1. *No, there are not :)

  2. i've NEVER understood the 'haven't had actual sex' thing with penentration - when there's soooooo many other delicious things that can be done for pleasure.

    That said we're all primed to believe that a good 'shag ' is the natural culmination of it all. I'm really impressed that you've chosen to write this (semi) humorous blog, about what for many of us is a distressing subject.

  3. Hi,

    I just found your blog by reading through some articles on Vagenda. I'd never heard of vaginismus before but it started to sound very familiar. Thankyou for your candid account of your own experiences. I hope you can help to raise awareness of this condition for other sufferers as I'm sure there must be many who simply have no idea what they're dealing with when they experience these symptoms. For myself, you've given me something to think about.

    Please do keep up the good work :)

  4. Kikilola - Excellent. TRAFALGAR! KISMET!

    Anonymous - TRUFAX. Sex is lots of things, many of them very very fun!

    Anonymous2 - thank you so much, I'm really glad! :)

  5. thank you for your posts, I've found your blog now and I can relate, except that fortunately for me the boy I chose to start this new journey with is much more understanding than the one you speak of, I'm sorry that you had to find such a selfish one... I was wondering if you had any tips for someone who is still in the cranky and grumpy phase of "whatever, it will always hurt and I don't want to think about this anymore, I wasn't made for this and I'll just convince myself that I don't need nor want to be penetrated for now and for a good while" as I am now? :p (seriously, it just frustrates me more and more even though my boyfriend is the sweet and understanding treasure he is, the lack of time to do the things to get over this makes me very depressed and willing to quit too...) thank you very much!