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A hello

Hi. I know there are a lot of these sort of introductions on the forum, but I'm sure you all know how important it is to find other people like you.

I've been having trouble with sex for the past two years or so - it was always painful, it never felt "right," etc. I felt so discouraged and alone for a long time. I had never heard of anyone with my problems, in the media or among my friends. I had always had very high self-esteem, and succeeded quickly in anything I put my mind to. But this was different. It wasn't something I could push through. It made me feel really bad about myself. I began to develop so many negative feelings about that aspect of my life. I felt guilty and ashamed, helpless  and angry with my body and myself. Whenever I thought about it my self-esteem plummeted; I thought I was weak and childish, unable to force myself through the pain. I thought that if I could make myself have sex once or twice then I'd get over it. I described the feeling to my boyfriend, saying that it was like there was some magnificent dessert that you had been told all your life was the most wonderful thing you could ever experience. But one day you try it and it makes you violently ill. It is beyond disappointing, and beyond frustrating.

In the midst of this, I stumbled upon vaginismus. The first time I read about it, I started to shake. Everything about it was familiar. And, in a way, I had kind of seen it coming. I sensed there was a problem before we started trying to have sex, because I couldn't imagine what it would feel like. I had never used a tampon, and the first time I was told about a pap smear I freaked out and started to cry. It was encouraging to see that I wasn't alone, and I started to feel less alienated and freakish.

But my perceptions of the condition and of sex in general were still crooked. I still thought I could overcome it through sheer willpower, going from zero to intercourse with nothing but determination. Things got a little better, but there was never what I considered "full success."

Now that I've begun to research it more, I see where I was wrong. I see the importance of patience and gentleness with my body, and I've begun to take some pressure off of myself. I now understand the need to de-emphasize the "ultimate goal" idea, and am in the process of redefining success for myself. I bought my first set of dilators, and I'm looking forward to the process instead of the end destination. Strangely enough, this is happening right after my boyfriend and I broke up (for unrelated reasons). It is as if I knew I needed to rely on myself for this, and though he never pushed me or pressured me, I think it's good to start this process on my own. Now I'm not doing it for anyone but myself.

Wow Cen
it sounds like you found us at the right time before spiralling into a web of depression and self-hatred that a lot of women go through when they experience what we all did here.

Also, since you and your partner broke up,  there's also a chance that your vagina  kind of knew instinctively he wasn't the one to risk having children with,  so she stopped you.

Things may be different with a different boyfriend but I really like your attitude about not relying on someone else right now to "fix" this and start exploring the issues behind it on your own and take it as a sort of journey.

Well done, you sound very wise.

All the best and keep in touch Smile

Hi cen,
I would just like to say that even though it is hard, please dont let your self esteem go down because of this.

Even though you have vaginismus, you are still a woman and you are certainly not to blame for this condition.

If you can find out what caused your vagina to think it needed to protect you and herself, maybe you can fix it.

And if you cant fix it, or dont want to fix it, a relationship without intercourse can still 100% ABSOLUTELY COMPLETELY WITHOUT QUESTION be a wonderful success.

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