Story from Denmark (and a question!)
July 16, 2021 at 7:05 am #45344kiadenmarkParticipant
This is Kia writing from Denmark. I thought you guys would be interested in hearing how vaginismus patients are treated over here. Plus I’ve got a question. So why not combine them both 🙂
I don’t remember exactly where I read it on this board, but someone mentioned the fact that Europeans usually have no issues with nudity (topless sunbathing, nude sauna’s, nudity on tv, etc, that is all pretty normal here), and I think this is true for my country as well. As a teen, I’ve not only seen my parents naked, but also lots of friends. We generally know how normal bodies look like, we know there are different types of breasts, we know how pubic hair looks like, we know everyone has cellulite, that kind of stuff. But when it comes to the INNER part of our genitals, that’s a whole different story and I think the same arguments were used in that topic as well: touching yourself on the outside is okay, but the rest… that’s “not done” for one reason or another and I really don’t know why. It’s just like that, and it’s not a bad thing either, since most women enjoy clitoral stimulation and not stimulation inside our vagina. The outside is more important to us. But still. Tampons are hardly used, vibrators usually only when you’re an adult, internal exams are only done after you’re sexually active… there is, well, “less interest” in putting things inside.
I was 20 when I had sex for the first time – which is a normal age here. Sex was not entirely impossible, but it hurt so much I’d do anything to avoid penetration. I’ve read others mentioning this “trick” before on the board as well: in most cases I made sure I manually gave my BF an orgasm before he had the chance to ask me if he could penetrate. I knew that after an orgasm, he wouldn’t ask for more. My second boyfriend wasn’t that patient and he insisted I should talk about it with someone, but it still took me many months before I took action.
When I finally found the courage to consult a pelvic floor therapist, I heard that I was one of the few women who actually tried to do something about it. Apparently the majority of women here who suffer from vaginismus, either don’t have penetrative sex, or they simply think pain during sex is normal and they suffer in silence (something I’ve read here also, we definitely need to educate women more to be sure they know pain IS NOT normal). The fact so many women don’t want or dare to seek help is something I found incredibly hard to hear. We still have a long way to go.
Therapy with my pelvic floor specialist consists out of education (talking and also showing, she uses her fingers inside of me to let me feel certain muscles) and manual therapy (using fingers and a dilator set). There are also sessions together with my partner and a psychologist. Although I’ve been told most men aren’t too keen on this, my current friend doesn’t seem to mind.
My therapist also told me that relaxation techniques can help me getting the dilator in more easily, and after a few weeks she also advised combining it with clitoral stimulation (this relaxes the muscles even more apparently). I’ve never masturbated before, so that part itself was also quite a discovery (I’m not sure if there is a big difference between Europe and the States here, but I have the idea this is something most Americans start to do when they are teens, whereas I have the impression most women are older here when they start doing it).
My partner works in another town. He leaves home for work early and he returns late, so I usually do my exercises in the morning and before he gets home. Before I insert a dilator I try to get as close to an orgasm as I can, without actually getting one (I read others got the same advice from their therapist), and I’m slowly making progress. I’m not using the largest dilator (yet) though. The problem is that whenever I do have an orgasm, I’m 100% sure I can’t insert a dilator anymore without feeling pain, even several hours later. This is normal it seems, and it’s also the reason why my therapist told me it’s better to avoid orgasms. So that’s what I’ve been doing for a few months now.
So here comes my question. You’ll probably all laugh when you read this, but after holding back a few orgasms I start getting this weird, unpleasant feeling in my lower abdomen – probably because I’ve held back my orgasms the entire time. It’s a frustrating feeling. Is there anything that can be done about this? My therapist suggested a cold shower might help, but I can hardly shower twice a day. Anyone who recognizes this feeling?July 17, 2021 at 10:38 am #45360
Hi Kia – thanks so much for sharing your story! As an American, I’ve been really surprised to read the accounts people from European countries that all corroborate what you said – that Europeans generally do not insert anything into their vaginas but also have less hangups with nudity and seeing all types of bodies. It’s really interesting because the parts about having a more healthy and balanced idea about what bodies look like seem great (as so many teens and adults too have negative body image and unrealistic standards for themselves here). But it seems like your culture has the same struggles with communication around sexual issues that the U.S. does, and it’s similarly hard to seek treatment for vaginismus because it often takes awhile to learn of its existence or be proactive and seek out the answers. I hope there are things that European and North American cultures can take from each other to give women a better experience overall.
As to your question, that DOES sound normal for someone who is getting close to an orgasm but not actually having one. Would it be possible for you to give yourself an orgasm AFTER you’re done dilating for the day? You’e right that most women’s vaginas stay tightened for several hours after having an orgasm, but once you’ve finished with your dilation routine for the morning or evening, that might help you appease the unpleasant feeling (and could also even be a sort of reward for doing your dilation!)July 19, 2021 at 7:13 am #45391TheresaParticipant
@recessivegenequeen I’m in a similar situation as Kia and I’ve noticed when I have an orgasm in the evening, that STILL has an effect on my exercises in the morning. I’ve also found out that it’s not as easy anymore to get to the level of excitement I need in order to be relaxed enough to insert my dilator. In my case, I’ve tried everything I could think of but having an orgasm always has a negative impact on the dilation process.
@kiadenmark I had this too and the feeling goes away after a few weeks. I can now approach an orgasm several times a day and not have that weird feeling in my stomach anymore. If it really bothers you, you could give yourself an orgasm but that will have an impact on your next training sessions. I’ve also read here that not doing the exercises for a few days can give you a backlash…July 21, 2021 at 2:04 pm #45512kiadenmarkParticipant
Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to answer my question!
@Theresa: I have the same, when I orgasm in the evening that still has an impact on my dilation exercises in the morning, so that’s why I avoid having one. Let’s hope the feeling gets less annoying during the next few weeks.July 25, 2021 at 9:31 pm #45658
Thanks so much for your direct insight into the problem, Theresa! I’m impressed that you guys dilate twice a day too; when I was dilating I did it every day but usually just once a day if memory serves (and would VERY occasionally sleep with a dilator in, in which case I’d dilate before be). Do you find it extra effective to dilate multiple times a day?July 26, 2021 at 2:32 am #45716TheresaParticipant
My therapist always said “the more the better”, so that’s the reason I started dilating twice daily, and I really think it helped.August 3, 2021 at 12:18 pm #46227
That’s good to know – I think different things work for everyone and it’s cool that it seems to make a difference!
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