“Having sexual dysfunction made me check out from my body. Now that I’m better I realize that I had checked out from life too.” – MCFS Vaginismus Patient (consent obtained for this quote)
Sexual satisfaction and self-actualization are very intertwined. Thus, when sexual dysfunction is in the picture, it’s no surprise that many women feel alienated from being their best selves. In the case of the above patient, as well as many others, resolving vaginismus is more than just ‘fixing’ the vagina. It’s about being able to reclaim your identity, reconnecting to the parts that were silenced by the pain of being isolated from yourself and others, and getting back to living fully.
Life is about connection. Sexual dysfunction causes a disconnect and that disconnect is experienced not only in the way you view your body, but in the belief system that dictates how you connect with others. For many women, having sexual dysfunction keeps their love life at a standstill. Whether you are looking to meet someone or you’re already in a relationship, the fears and shame of having sexual issues can present a glass wall separating you from the relationship you see in others but can’t have yourself. Your standards of the fulfillment you deserve both personally and professionally may wane. Perhaps you’ll stick with a job you hate or avoid meeting new people, figuring that you don’t really deserve better because you feel like you’re broken and less than everyone else.
This is why we can’t look at sexual satisfaction as an isolated component of one’s identity; it’s not just one piece of the larger puzzle of what it means to be you. Rather, it is a common thread, weaving through the tapestry of your self-esteem; at best it can add energy into all areas of your life, at worst it can drain you of all that you’ve got, making every goal and aspiration feel untouchable. Perhaps it is with this perspective that sexual dysfunction needs to be viewed. The more this is understood, the more women can recognize that feeling like they are on the sidelines of life due to their sexual dysfunction isn’t an exaggeration. It makes perfect sense. But thankfully, they don’t need to continue staying on the sidelines. We have helped many women get back in the game and as seen with the aforementioned patient, the victory isn’t just about sexual dysfunction; it’s about being connected to life fully.