Vaginismus on “Sex Education”
February 10, 2020 at 10:13 pm #26789
I recently watched the British TV show “Sex Education” on Netflix (which now has two seasons out) and was pleasantly surprised to see vaginismus represented in a side character! It’s a show about a teen whose parents are both sex therapists who decides to start running a sex advice clinic at his school. One of the young women he talks to experiences pain when she tries to have sex and the main character, Otis, does a pretty good job of explaining the effect of muscle tightening that causes the pain. It isn’t a perfect portrayal (a scene of dilating standing up???) but also shows dilators on TV and puts the word vaginismus into conversation in a widely popular tv show. I’m excited that this show can be a touchpoint for people that could help me to explain my vaginismus in the future – and which might help women who don’t know yet that they have vaginismus recognize it in themselves.February 21, 2020 at 11:50 am #26871Leslie Turner, WHNP, CNMModerator
Yes, it’s great that we’re hearing about vaginismus in mainstream media. About time! Hopefully this episode will lead to increased awareness, which will lead to more open conversations and women with vaginismus getting the support they need. As they say, awareness is the first step…February 25, 2020 at 8:15 am #26899
It certainly is! I hope people will recognize their symptoms as a result of the program and do more research – I think the episode does a good job of indicating that treatment is possible. And seeing dilators shown onscreen was a totally new – and exciting – experience at the scale of a widely-watched TV show.March 25, 2020 at 5:27 pm #27118Jackie Giannelli, FNP-BCModerator
Now that we are all social distancing, has anyone else had an opportunity to see this show? I’ve heard only great things! I’d love to hear others opinions and am hoping to watch as well. Take care everyone!March 25, 2020 at 5:27 pm #27119Jackie Giannelli, FNP-BCModerator
Now that we are all social distancing, has anyone else had an opportunity to see this show? I’ve heard only great things! I’d love to hear others opinions and am hoping to watch as well. Take care everyone!May 2, 2020 at 9:20 am #28574Sks823Participant
Oh my gosh, I recently started this show (what haven’t I watched during coronavirus haha…)! I was hoping there would be something about painful sex or vaginismus in it! I just finished episode 2, I’m excited to get to this episode!
I’ll update you Jackie when I see the episode. Very cute show so far 🙂May 15, 2020 at 8:36 am #29318Sks823Participant
I finished both seasons! *KINDA SPOILERS BELOW LOL*
When they brought up vaginismus at the end of season 1, I thought it was nice but at that point her character was kinda portrayed as a weirdo and I secretly wished it was someone more normal who had vaginismus HAHAH 😛 what if people think only weirdos get vaginismus and not tons of normal, average people?
In season 2, I got to know the character better and liked her more and really liked the portrayal of vaginismus and the dilators!
Maybe unpopular opinion, but I had no issue with her dilating standing up – while the vast majority of my dilating was lying down, I found it helpful to try to dilate standing up a handful of times. In my mind, since sex has lots of different positions, it made sense to dilate in other positions! Also you put tampons in standing up, so getting used to that could potentially make dilating standing up easier.
I did a quick google search to see if dilating standing up might be reasonably common, and I found a reddit thread where a few people discussed dilating standing up in the shower because the OP was having privacy issues – it was discussed that dilating in the shower (before the shower) is a good idea, with lube, so that they could clean up the lube and everything right after in the shower.
Anyway that’s off-topic but I really enjoyed the vaginismus portrayal in such a popular show! I was wondering whether it was Otis, his mom, or Lily doing her own research that got her to buy the dilators (correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t say). And the show was awesome, although the last scene of the last episode of S2 kinda killed me (IYKYK).
I’m not sure they will, but it would be veeery nice to follow her dilator progress in S3! <3May 16, 2020 at 9:49 am #29365
Sks823, that’s a great point, I hadn’t thought about the dilating in the shower/privacy angle! ALSO a good point about tampons – in fact even though I’ve been able to have sex for more than 3 years now, I still have to be lying on my back to put a tampon in just because I never really got the hang of that, so there’s definitely something to be said for testing your comfort with the dilators in the same way you would while wiggling around a dilator while it’s inside you, taking it in and out repeatedly, etc.
I loved that vaginismus was covered in a popular show, and I think season 2 does a better job of evolving Lily’s portrayal as a more dynamic character (rather than just a weirdo) and in beginning to explore dilating. I really hope they’ll keep going with it in season 3!
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