Many women who have been treated for vaginismus often experience a new set of emotions that they had previously never felt. A recent patient at Maze Women’s Health had a successful outcome in treating her vaginismus. She then realized that in a certain way, the vaginismus, pre-treatment, had served to protect her. How so you might wonder? It was one area where she had the power to NOT do something- in this case, to not have sexual intercourse. Before her treatment, she felt “incomplete,” however another part of her felt empowered to be able to say NO to penetration.
After she was able to have penetrative sex, she felt a huge sense of disappointment and experienced a time of reckoning. She recognized that she had little voice in what she asked for herself in her relationships. Curing her vaginismus is now getting her to think about how things can be different and to help her explore the journey of self discovery – “acknowledging emotions, owning them, being in touch with them, processing them.”
There is a broader issue at play. This woman, like all of us, has to evaluate what she wants and learn to ask for it. In the book, The Pleasure Gap, Katherine Rowland writes that “the Ask” is a “diagnostic tool for helping women assess how they approach their own desire. Do they treat it with curiosity? Or do they immediately label it as bad, selfish, or impossible and quash it? “
Giving ourselves permission to question what we like or don’t like, our interests and our limits, and to approach desire in ways that feel authentic and fun, is a great start. This is true whether you have vaginismus or are over it. For more information, contact us for a free consult. We’re here to help.