Several years ago, I opened up about my vaginismus at a regular weekly dinner gathering with a group of friends consisting of both men and women. It seems like a very odd time and place for this topic to come up, but this group is a little different from most in that discussions about sex aren’t taboo, and we’re generally very open in our discussions. During our after-dinner conversation, one of the people in the group was talking about a friend of hers (who she didn’t name) who was having some problems with sex. The symptoms she was describing were very similar to my own, so I decided to share my story with the group in the hopes that it would help my friend’s friend. I remembered how freeing, in a sense, it was when I finally found out that there was actually a name for what I was going through, and that I wasn’t weird. I was nervous about opening up about something like that in that setting, but there were a couple of reasons why I decided to do it. One, if I could help another woman by giving a name to what she was going through, it would be worth any potential embarrassment to me. And secondly, women aren’t the only ones who need to know about this condition. Men especially need to know about it so that they can potentially recognize it if they see it, and hopefully steer clear somewhat of those feelings of rejection that vaginismus can cause in men.

Fortunately, all of my friends reacted with compassion and curiosity, rather than negativity. All but one, that is, and my friends and I rallied against him and told him in no uncertain terms how wrong he was about his supposed “cure” for vaginismus, which I won’t go into here. I didn’t pay his words much heed either then or now. I’d done my research at that point, and I knew what some of the common treatment options were. At any rate, with the exception of that one person, I now had a group of people I could confide in if I needed to. I even came out soon after to a slightly wider group of friends on my LiveJournal account (a blog of the olden days) because more people needed to know that this is a thing that exists and that it affects more women than you realize. There too, I was met with compassion. I have to say that I am truly blessed with a very good group of friends.