Vaginal pain is the number one reason marriages are unconsummated. When your vajajay has an invisible Do-Not-Enter sign posted above it, you feel oddly, painfully awkward. Shame borders on freak-dom. Discussing your pubic hell in polite conversation is verboten, and so you suffer in silence, head down, legs closed, heart torn.
At least, that is what I thought and did for over a decade. Now I know it didn’t have to be, and I’m committed to sharing my unconventional path towards healing sexual and relationship wounds, inspired by nature, so no one else has to spend years and years in pain, yearning for meaningful intimacy, disappointed by traditional therapies, pills or surgery.
There is a name for what an estimated twenty million American women suffer from – dyspareunia.
When did it start? By the time I was thirty, vaginal pain had hijacked my orgasm and sex life. It wrecked havoc with my self-esteem and marriage. After my husband and I separated, I cried to my therapist that as far as I was concerned, nothing bigger than a Q-tip was going to go near my tender parts ever again. My body was destined to perpetual skin-hunger.
Healing was a few orgasms and ecstatic dances away, but I didn’t know that for a long time.
First, however, I had to understand the etiology of my diagnosis, vulvar vestibulitis which is just one a form of dyspareunia (pain upon penetrative sex). Sex that hurts for whatever reason is more prevalent than once thought – three in fifty adult women worldwide will be diagnosed – making dyspareunia almost as common as diabetes (8.6 percent), though you are pressed to find many open discussions about the causes, treatments and cures of sex that hurts.
The challenge we face is this: talking about sex is often taboo. When it comes to sexual dysfunctions, confessions are rarer still.
This was the hardened terrain that stymied me from seeking help. When I wasn’t grimacing during sex, I’d yelp, push my husband off of me, and learned to live without affection, tampons and tight jeans. For six years, shame silenced me, though really, I’m a lucky one. Most women’s private hell lasts an average of 10 years before they find answers and relief.
Remissions are common, causes are speculative at best — sexual assault, pelvic surgery, guilt and allergies are all implicated culprits — and through it all, the agony is very, very real.
I might have endured life with VV until my labia withered, except on a lark — a rare sexual encounter — I got pregnant and could no longer avoid the speculum or the fact that something was very, very amiss with my body.
My doctor diagnosed me with the q-tip test (This involves using the sterilized tip to gently touch the vestibular glands just past the opening of the vagina. These glands produce vaginal lubrication, and just touching them with a q-tip can recreate the pelvic inferno). This was the start of a slow recovery that included buying sex toys (doctor’s orders!), and learning to be honest with myself, and future lovers.
Most importantly, my yoni was whispering something to me, one vaginal clench at a time, and it was time I paid attention to my secret erotic self if I ever wanted to experience bliss again.
Rare are the medical voices who acknowledges how little medicine knows about painful sex or that the common treatments offer limited help.
The scariest part of that journey was acknowledging that my body knew something long before I did — my relationship was toxic. Fear and resentment were the wrong bedfellows for any viable marriage, though these two had taken up residence before VV came knocking on the door. Spiritually speaking, I was bankrupt, and if my brain refused to acknowledge the obvious, my hooch was keen on setting the record straight. Move on, my dear, she was saying, to loving pastures.
In a world that separates the soulful from the sexual and heaps on piles of guilt for enjoying the latter, it’s understandable that for many women, one common denominator is often some form of sexual wound, shame or guilt. Pleasure that should be normal and natural is warped by experiences and triggers that activate the patterns holding us back.
Over the years, I’ve spoken to a number of women, many of whom were healed almost ‘magically’ by discarding a relationship that no longer served them. In many cases, these are women who, like me, developed an, ‘allergic emotional reaction’ to an intimate partner.
Once the relationship was dissolved we found of inner wantonness, and learned to pay attention to our bodies, knowing that pleasure is a corporal blessing.
Honor our bodies, honor ourselves could be the motto for any woman post-diagnosis seeking to keep VV in remission. I cannot imagine how difficult it might be for women whose experiences with painful sex are a result of sexual assault, violence, abuse and surgery; though Borg points out that regardless of etiology, sexual wounds can all respond to conscious love.
It sounds cliché yet it’s true. Vulvar vestibulitis launched my erotic journey from sexual starvation to satisfaction. Listening to what my body was aching for helped me rediscover how important a robust sexuality is to emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Against the backdrop of a culture that thrusts sex upon us, and glorifies physicality at the expense sometimes of real intimacy, VV helped me connect my natural needs with the sacredness of sexuality.
Now I’m helping others do the same.
If you’ve become of sexual age in the United States, chances are you’ve got sexual battle wounds. The numbers are staggering: 35% of men and 43% of women have been diagnosed or will be diagnosed with some form of a sexual disfunction.
You are not alone.
There is an epidemic of sexual dissatisfaction and dysfunction in otherwise healthy individuals. It is estimate that 35% of men and 43% of women will experience sexual dis-ease in their lifetimes.
Rejection, betrayal, loneliness, heartbreak, painful intercourse, inability to orgasm, fear of intimacy, sexual violence, infidelity – the list of emotional and physical ailments is extensive.
Traditional therapies can come with side effects or additional health concerns. Modern modalities seldom address the consequences of modern, toxic lifestyles on our experiences. It takes courage and vision to create new possibilities for holistic love and relationships. And sometimes, nature really suits you best.
Meaningful intimacy, sexual wellness and wholistic loving is within your grasp. Living a life inspired by nature and treating your body as a natural wonder is within your grasp. Healing your relationship wounds is within your grasp.
Contact me for an introductory consultation.
The time for healing is NOW.
Per state law, I must point out that I am not licensed as a healing arts practitioner. The intuitive advice I offer is not a substitute for medical or psychological intervention, nor should it be considered as such. If you are suffering or have suffered medical or psychological distress, please seek appropriate care from a medical professional.