My back story/ worst thing about being single with Vaginismus
Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.
July 31, 2016 at 12:24 pm #19569ToReHo1Participant
I’m a 24 year old, single, Aussie girl with Vaginismus. I am currently receiving (very expensive) physio in order to achieve pain-free penetration. Well, penetration at all.
I could write a book on my failed sexual experiences over the past 5 years. The issue began when I was 14 and unable to use tampons. Woah, just realised that was ten years ago!
Longggggg story short. I had a light-bulb moment after another failed attempt at sex 2.5 years ago. Dr Google became my best friend, as I had previously never heard of this condition. I saw a sex therapist who pointed me in the direction of a physio specialising in pelvic pain. With their help I started using tampons (goal 1 achieved). Work commitments meant I was never in one place for very long, so my treatment was put on hold. Fortunately, I’m now in a position where I can focus on breaking my ‘curse’.
The hardest thing I’ve found about being single with Vaginismus is not having the option of casual sex. In this generation, most relationships start through sleeping with someone. So how am I supposed to find a boyfriend? How much longer can I lie to my circle of friends – they all assume I’m not a virgin. Just picky with guys. I’ve told two guys about my condition, one I deeply regret. He ghosted me straight after.
The more times I tried to have sex, the more times I failed, the lower my self confidence has got. It has got to the stage that when I go out – I feel like there is no point talking to guys, because I can’t sleep with them anyway (not necessarily that night, I have morals haha). But I don’t want to get their hopes up (or mine) if the deed can’t be done.
I would love to speak to someone of similar age and experience. Mentally, this is very hard to deal with. There is so much I need to talk about and my friends can only help to some point.
ex oh ex ohAugust 3, 2016 at 6:35 pm #19578Heather34Participant
Hi there. I just read your post and it is so, so, so similar to how I felt while going through vaginismus in my 20s. Please, please know that I’m here for you 100%. I met my boyfriend (now husband) at 25 years old. Prior to this, I casually dated and I would always hope that it would just be able to happen with each new guy and, needless to say, it never did. I wasn’t even able to insert the smallest tampon so reading that you have been able to makes me so, so, so, so happy and I get how awesome this is! Huge, huge CONGRATS. I, too, did not share this with my circle of close friends and they always assumed everything was fine when it was anything but. Please know that you have my as well as the rest of the Forum here for support!!! Physio specializing in pelvic pain sounds like it has helped. Have you used the dilators as part of this treatment? If you are able to travel to the states, I would definitely think of visiting Maze outside of NYC. They have a specialized program for out-of-country patients to treat vaginismus and they provide support and follow-up after you return home. I was treated using the Botox program back in 2011 with Dr. Pacik and he trained the group at Maze. For me, this treatment was the cure that we had searched for as I was finally able to insert the tampons, dilators, and later my husband as I no longer had the wall of resistance/pain that had always been there in the past. Ok, sending you big hugs and lots of support today!!!September 30, 2016 at 2:06 pm #19801Heather34Participant
Hi there, You wrote “Mentally, this is very hard to deal with. There is so much I need to talk about and my friends can only help to some point.” Please know that we are here for you on the Forum. Sending you support today!!!!March 27, 2017 at 9:45 am #20724FlorenceParticipant
Hey, I know this was 6 months ago, but I wanted to say two things – firstly that I feel you! Today I just opened up and told two of my best friends and they were both so supportive. Between my last relationship and my current one I decided to play the dating game a bit for once and managed to side-step the first date sex successfully every time – I’m a pretty reserved person so I’m not into that anyway, but if after a few dates I allowed a guy into the bedroom I made it clear that that thing wasn’t going anywhere near me until I got to know him better and surprisingly they were all cool and really respectful of that and were willing to wait which reassured me that they were actually interested in getting to know me and not just getting their leg over and vanishing into the dust. So having this shouldn’t prevent you from being around guys – if they’re going to be dicks about it then you’re better off without them, but I think you would be surprised at how many men are actually pretty decent – as long as you’re clear with them about the speed you want to progress.
Vaginismus is a curse, yes, but in a way I find it is also a blessing. Because of it yes, I’ve had fewer boyfriends than most and I haven’t had short term relationships because I’m picky anyway but I’ve had to be picky with guys – I’ve had to develop a strong instinct about people and make sure I trust them before I let them close to me because I was so embarrassed about my condition and this- with one exception of my very first boyfriend- has led me to have three long term relationships in the last ten years with three exceptionally kind and caring men. I have never been cheated on, I’ve never been treated with anything but the utmost care and respect, and I have no regrets to look back on and cringe about either. This instinct has also on the wider scale acted like a BS filter so I don’t have any friends that aren’t utterly lovely, caring and supportive human beings. So while I hate this thing and can’t wait to get rid of it, I am also very grateful to have had it.
I guess it also depends on what you want from a relationship – I’m not someone who is interested in casual hookups anyway, and I look for old-fashioned gentlemen to stand by my side, and bizarrely Vaginismus helps me find them (even though it doesn’t really help me keep them). I guess what I’m saying is try to look beyond this as a curse and use it to your advantage to hone your intuition about people and let it filter out the ones who won’t treat you with compassion dignity and respect. Just ‘more’ won’t necessarily enhance your life, but ‘better’ will 🙂March 27, 2017 at 6:20 pm #20725Rachel Hercman, LCSWParticipant
Florence, thanks for sharing all of that!July 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm #21175recessivegenequeenParticipant
I know what Florence is talking about as well–it was so much harder when I was in the throes of vaginismus, but looking back post-treatment I realize it has given me valuable perspective. Nobody likes being rejected–it only further solidifies the feeling that we aren’t normal–but looking back on all the people who stopped being interested in me when they learned I couldn’t have sex with them, I realize that they were people who wouldn’t have fully respected me anyway. In some ways it helps us dodge bullets and land on the people who are worthy of our time and attention.October 5, 2017 at 11:30 am #21933Sks823Participant
I totally relate – I’m your age and had the same exact issues before I went to treatment for vaginismus.
What I would do in my situation (this worked well for me but I understand everyone has different personalities, opinions, situations, taste in men, etc. and it isn’t exactly being completely honest) was:
– if I was just starting to talk to and hook up with a guy, I’d let him know that I didn’t have sex with people I’m not dating, or serious about, or something to that effect (I realize this is kinda a lie – or omission – since I couldn’t have sex with anyone at that point). Guys I encountered were totally cool with this and sometimes even (at least acted like) they respected it. If they aren’t, like others said – totally not worth your time, but I luckily never encountered anyone like that
– if things started to get more serious, I’d eventually say things leading to the truth. To make it easier, I kinda downplayed it at first (“I have this thing – I’ve tried sex before and it hurts really bad for me, so that’s why I’m hesitant”) before eventually letting them know it’s a medical thing/involuntary contraction of the muscles that makes it basically impossible without treatment/etc..
– by the time I was getting treatment, I had a (supportive) boyfriend – but I’d let a boyfriend or potential boyfriend know that this is something that you’re getting treatment for! and that it’s common and you will be able to have sex after treatment (you will!)
Hope this helps and hope all is well 🙂October 22, 2017 at 1:28 pm #21975recessivegenequeenParticipant
I think Sks823’s strategy is a good one – as much as we’d like to live in a world where we can be totally open about this stuff with a potential partner and not fear judgment or rejection, it often takes time to help the most understanding people understand what the situation is and what it entails to have vaginismus. A helpful friend once reminded me that people choose not to have sex right away in relationships for lots of reasons–religious, emotional, moral, and so on–and that even if society strongly suggests that relationships turn sexual quickly, this doesn’t at all have to be the case for everyone. When I was dating with vaginismus I always had this subconscious feeling that men would somehow be able to tell what was going on with me, but of course it’s not so obvious. I think if you have a good feeling about someone and think they would understand it eventually, then it’s fine to get to know them a little better before bringing it up.
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