In Spring 2017, casually drinking coffee and reading the newspaper alone, I came across an article written on women experiencing painful sex. A feeling of sick anxiety rose in my stomach along with the reminder of my own ‘I can’t have sex’ issue. Staring in shock at the big '25% of women' in the title, I searched frantically for an answer. I only needed to read the term ‘short vagina’ amongst other explanations, before running to the doctor. Sobbing inconsolably, I poured out the truth of who I really was. A 38 year old virgin, neither penis, tampon, smear device or finger had ever penetrated the realm of my forbidden vagina.
My body had spoken, from a place of eternal silence. I had woken up for the first time in my life. After assessments and examinations I was diagnosed with vaginismus and other trauma related conditions. I began an incredible 5 year journey of healing through Psychosexual and Psychotherapy.
My vagina closed up at around 11 years old on a Christian Bible camp when I was told to promise God I would never have sex before marriage. I was taught through fear mongering, negativity and shame that sex was evil, wrong and dirty. A series of trauma related events led to disassociation from myself. I never developed a sense of autonomy, assertiveness or body ownership. I had no idea my female reproductive system is a powerful source of life, beauty, healing and pleasure, it is strong and magnificent.
I’m now 43, I’m still a virgin and have not had penetrative sex, I have experimented with about 50000 tampons and failed, but I have managed to insert the 2nd size from the smallest dilator into my vagina.
I am constantly in search of new ways to try and I will not give up, but the biggest win is that I have reclaimed a sense of ownership of my body and my life.