This year, Sh! marks Vaginismus Awareness Day with an online event providing support and advice to those living with painful sex and will give out dialator sets, donated to women on limited income, through our Pay it Forward scheme. To raise awareness about the impact of this condition, Sh! is gathering real-life stories to publish on the vaginismusawareness.com blog. The story below has been shared with us and the author has given us permission to share it with you.
Trigger Warning: SA
Please read the story with caution. You may find the content distressing or traumatic and if you do, please take a break and maybe call a friend, or engage in an activity that will help ground you. Love, Team Sh! xx
I read on your website that you’re looking for women to share their stories regarding Vaginismus. I don’t know if you’re still in need of contributions, but when I read it it touched me deeply because it’s been something I have had as far back as I can remember.
I was sexually abused as a child. I think I can say with certainty that this was the cause of my problem.
It was a great source of shame growing up. For example, I couldn’t use tampons, and because my mother didn’t know I was being abused she laughed at me and called me a baby and said “My daughter reckons she hasn’t got a hole down there”. That’s what I used to say as a child - that there is no hole to push something in.
It made me feel like an outsider, and I often cried because I felt abnormal, and it was a mystery to me how other girls could use tampons, how they managed to get them in.
I have never been able to have a gynaecological examination or smear test. As a result I avoided any kind of relationship that could have the potential to turn into a sexual one - I felt unworthy, alone, ashamed, unattractive and simply abnormal. How could something that so many people take for granted and enjoy be that painful and difficult? I felt like a complete failure.
Right now I’m happy to be on my own and have started to explore my own body sexually. I started acknowledging my sexual feelings about 6 months ago. Your store/website was recommended to me. It felt safe to have a look at different sex toys, and ways to be gentle with myself without having to force something into my vagina.
I decided to purchase the 30 Days of Orgasm course, and I’m so glad that I did. It has helped me so much to feel safe, to have such a well presented and informative source of information and inspiration available.
I don’t know if my story is helpful, but when I read the following on your website I felt inspired to write:
Penetrative sex is not the only thing women lose, but a sense of intimacy and self-worth too.
That’s spot on. It’s not even about sex at all. It takes away the ability to feel like a complete woman and connected with oneself on all levels. It’s a dark secret in a world that emphasis partner sex as the ultimate pinnacle of life experiences. It often still hurts and triggers me to see the emphasis on sex in the world around me. But it’s important to remember that it’s not about that. It’s about being able to find a way through all the internal blocks within us to reach a place where we can let go and trust.
Stories from women on limited income and who are in treatment will be entered into a draw to be awarded a donated dilator set. To contribute your story or find out more, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org