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Hi ella2021 – thanks for your post, this is a really interesting topic. Speaking as someone who had vaginismus for about 6 years before ever learning about it, to me this sounds like a GOOD problem – if you spend much time on these forums you’ll see story after story from women who suffered for years and assumed their pain was either a normal part of the sexual experience or a totally unique situation to them that no one else would ever be able to relate to. The result is women who suffer in silence, often for years, before finally learning their symptoms have a name.
I think it’s amazing that awareness of vaginismus has spread in these ways to younger women, and to me going to the gynecologist and learning more, even if they maybe don’t have vaginismus, would be a good outcome. The deep underlying problem that has made vaginismus so insidious to get rid of is that women’s sexual pain is rarely taken seriously, so women often have one or more visits to gynecologists in which they’re told to “just relax” even though there is major muscle contraction happening that means no amount of relaxing would make penetration possible.
I think this is a super interesting dilemma and I completely agree that one part of the solution is for women to be better-prepared for what kinds of issues/sensations sex can bring by sex education/their parents. I find myself very pulled in two directions about this – because it IS true that first-time sex often hurts because of muscles needing to stretch/hymens being intact/partners being inexperienced, but it’s so important to convey those facts while ALSO changing the message that women should just “accept” pain during sex as a normal thing, as that can often continue undiagnosed for years.
I’m glad to hear more women are questioning their pain more – I’m hoping this means the pendulum of silence and ignorance is swinging hard in the other direction and that we’ll eventually arrive at ways of conveying correctly and specifically what sex should – and shouldn’t – be like.