I feel so alien even amongst women with vaginismus.

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    Hello. I’m a 29 year old married female with a LOT of emotional pain and confusion over my body. I pray that I can at least find somebody who relates to me here because the loneliness and alienation gets unbearable at times. Initially when I started reading about vaginismus I felt a wave of comfort, like I had found my problem and that there really are other women with the same problem as me. But as I kept researching, I realised it wasn’t so.

    I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll just jump into it. I’ve never been able to touch myself without it just feeling incredibly… weird? I wouldn’t even call it painful as vaginismus is often described. The best way I can describe it is that touching even the surface of my vagina feels like touching the inside of an open wound, like it’s not something that is meant to be touched. It feels so awkward and repelling to me and I don’t seem to ever ‘get used’ to it. This is why I fear dilators won’t work, assuming I could even get the smallest one in. There is pain involved too, but a huge part of it to me is the general feeling of anything contacting that area. It feels wrong and my body screams ‘take it away’.

    Another backwards thing about me, is that I am able to be intimate with my husband… just. It’s always the initial touch that makes me tense up and I physically can’t control that no matter how relaxed I am or how gentle/slow he is. But as long as he gives me time he’s able to go in eventually. Despite this, I still can’t use objects of any sort or size (and I should note my husband is probably bigger than any dilator). From all that I’ve read, women with vaginismus start with inanimate objects and work up to real intercourse. With me… I can do intercourse (just) but not objects or even fingers.

    This problem has torn me up inside all my life, but even more so now we’ve decided we want to have a baby. I am absolutely petrified of giving birth, and by that I don’t mean so much baby coming out, but what people will do to that area of my body. Hands or tools going in… it makes me cringe so bad and I doubt they’d even have much success with how tense I’d get. It boggles my mind how other women can just nonchalantly let things enter them there. I wish I could be the same so bad.


    @lonelytears – thanks so much for sharing your challenges with us. You’re so brave for reaching out and I’m sorry that you are struggling.

    While many stories on this forum may sound similar, I promise you – you are not alone. There is nothing universal about sexual dysfunction because every person is unique. I understand that you feel “alien”. And that’s likely because we’re rarely encouraged as women to talk about our bodies! Our society seems to have it so backwards – we hyper-sexualize everything in the media, yet when it comes to real human issues, everyone is hush-hush. It’s so frustrating!

    I recommend you seek counseling from a provider who is well-versed in sexual health issues. Here at Maze, we offer both behavioral and physical diagnosis and treatment (because we know sex is never totally weighted to either the physiological or psycho/emotional). We offer free, 10-minute phone consults – give us a call and let us know if we can be of help!

    Helen Leff, LCSW

    I am so glad you posted LonelyTears because you are so not alone as Jennifer already mentioned! Many women who come to see us at Maze experience what you are talking about when it comes to touching/exploring our vulva/vaginas. Learning to be comfortable and feel safe in your body (especially when there’s been pain) is a process and can certainly be worked on. It sounds like you have made strides when it comes to partnered sex. Your body can learn to “relax” once you learn to interrupt the cycle of anxiety. Grounding exercises can be very helpful. It’s okay to ask for help! You can do this.


    Hi LonelyTears! I think you’ve done great finding this forum, and expressing yourself and your current struggles. You are so brave and you are safe here! I understand what you are saying, and at an earlier time in my life I didn’t like sexual activities or my vagina. It all grossed me out. I’m sorry you’re going through this but you’re not alone and it sounds like you’re more than ready for changes to be made! If you’re ready for change, you’ll get there with a little work 🙂 I really suggest a sex therapist. Someone who specializes in sex. And maybe preferably a woman, whoever you feel most comfortable with, it’s your choice! I saw one for quite a while and she made me see things differently, she brought me around to realizations I couldn’t reach on my own and she used cognitive behavior techniques to get me to my desired results regarding my body. Please don’t be shy and post here as much as you want, we will support you and answer your questions! You can do this!!


    Hi LonelyTears – welcome to the forum! What everyone has said above is totally true. You’re super brave for sharing your story and there is so much help out there to be gained. Sharing your feelings is the first step to seeking a solution, and the first step is often the hardest.

    It’s super natural, when sex is associated with pain and discomfort, to develop a revulsion toward it. As alien as you feel, there are a lot of women who have felt this way before and overcome that sensation by finding the right kind of help. I believe this is possible for you and also that there is so much mental healing you can do for your own sake if you do seek treatment. I hope you’ll find a sex therapist or regular talk therapist to help you through this because you deserve to be happy and not live in fear.

    Let us know if you have any questions – there is so much knowledge to be shared here along the way!

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