Sex is more than penetration

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    I guess I’ve spent too much time in kinky queer spaces, because I honestly forgot that a lot of people don’t realize this. I see women on this forum bemoaning how vaginismus means you can’t have sex with your SO, and I just feel like I really need to make a PSA that there’s so many other things you can do! Sex doesn’t have to involve a penis inside a vagina!

    You can finger each other. You can do oral. You can get a sex toy and penetrate him with it. You can get him to penetrate you, with a toy or his dick, in the other hole. You can have one of you lie blindfolded and tied to a table while the other drips body-safe wax on them. As long as you’re both into it and you know how to do it safely, you can do pretty much anything. Sky’s the limit!

    To get started, you can both fill out a quiz like MojoUpgrade or WeShouldTryIt. It’ll show you the things you’re both interested in, and you can start exploring stuff to do right away instead of putting your relationship on hold until you can handle a big enough dilator. And you’ll probably end up having more fun than most women who don’t have vaginismus!


    I agree, vaginismus does not have to equal no sex life! It can be a little more challenging to find things that you like but there are lots of options.


    It’s definitely important to remember that sex and intercourse don’t mean the same thing, but I also think a lot of women with vaginismus are fed years and years of mainstream portrayals of sex since they’re young so that by the time they reach a sexually active age, they associate being able to have intercourse with the very fact of being a functional woman. Everything from Disney princess stories to romcoms either implicitly or explicitly underscore the responsibilities of women as getting married and having babies (which necessitates having intercourse).

    Part of treating vaginismus is deprogramming ourselves of that shame and that limited conception of “sex” which often makes us feel less like valid women. It sucks that so much of how sex is talked about is in these terms, and it’s something I hope our society does better in future generations, but it’s a reality of a lot of the emotional baggage women bring to the treatment process.

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