First of all I would like to preface my question with an enormous thanks to you and Carlin for all the passion, knowledge and dedication you put into your work. To have a resource of this immeasurable quality is invaluable to me and I hope that your message will continue to spread!
I am writing because I value your opinion most of all and am unsure of how to proceed. Forgive me for all the details but I want to be comprehensive.
I am a 22-year-old female. I have been self-sexual since the first onset of puberty at 10 or 11 years old.
What normally would have felt amazing, taking me deeper into pleasure with every movement, kind of hurt this time. As he moved his fingers inside me, I felt tension growing in my pelvis. Something was welling up inside. I wasn't sure what - and suddenly I found myself overwhelmed by it's energy.
I've always been a size queen and I've always been able to penetrate my vagina with ease. When women would share their stories of pain during penetration and how it affected their lives, I couldn't relate...until after I gave birth.
Despite opting for a midwife and choosing a birthing center, I ended up having a C-section. Grayson weighed in at 9 pounds. I thought I could control the weight of my baby by limiting my weight gain during pregnancy. WRONG. I gained 15 pounds but he was huge. There was simply no way I could have had a vaginal birth.
Dear Dr. Betty,
Thank you so much for all you do for sexual education and female emancipation. I am so impressed with the body of work you have created, both in art and sexual health.
I'm a 30-year-old woman with primary vaginismus, and have attempted penetrative sex numerous times, with myself and with a partner, but after trying so many times, it's still a challenge. Of course, I have watched yours and Carlin's video on vaginismus, and have read all the literature I could find on the topic.
This May marks the happy anniversary of four years since vaginismus packed it’s bags and left my vagina forever.
Vaginismus is a form of sexual dysfunction where you feel a burning sensation, discomfort or pain with penetration. Obviously that would make intercourse for the female kind pretty difficult and in some cases, impossible.
The discomfort is caused by tension in the pelvic floor muscles, but the favorite cause for misled professionals, naive sex educators and laymen to site is not the body or the muscles, but your head.
I take great issue with the prevalent assumption that vaginismus is psychologically caused.
So I am 25 years old and have been married to the love of my life. We've been married for less than 3 months and have really and desperately tried having sex. There are so many levels to this issue. I think I may have vaginismus that makes my muscles contract, which I have been experiencing.
I need help, I'm finally with a partner I enjoy, but he's super huge and I'm not so much. I also suffer from vaginsmus, since my first time was very traumatic. He tried to put it in the other day and it was an epic fail, I blame in part the fact that he was on his lunch break, oh well, we tried.
My other partner had no trouble, yet he's more experienced and wasn't expecting to get it in under 30 minutes. Penetration has always been the bane of my existence, any tips on how I can overcome it and not feel like I'm defective. Due to religious upbringing, I also fake it all the time.
Any tips for that would also be helpful.
Firstly, let me say that my boyfriend and have enjoyed, basically devoured the videos you and Carlin post. I am so thankful that two smart, strong women are breaking down taboo barriers and are (as I see it) part of the force to empower women. I can't tell you how much you both have influenced our sexual dialogue, as well as my own personal sexual journey. So thank you!!
As for my question:
Today is the day I will be asked to share with the world my most vulnerable self.... my most 'shameful' story. I started my blog to share it, but then after months of writing and writing…. and more writing, I found that I still had not published a single word on it.
Over the last 7 years, I have worked hard to free myself of sexual shame. After years of opening my mind, heart and body, I am indeed "that woman" - one who expresses her sexual desires and pleasure without fear. I can talk all day, even in the grocery store isles, about orgasm, masturbation, bodysex, penetration and pleasure. But still, despite all this opening and confidence, there is still an area of my sexuality which I have withheld from the world.
Dear Dr. Dodson,
I hope you are very well!
Please forgive me for taking up your time and energy but we thought you maybe able to give us a lead on how to treat our FGM patient who had her clitoral restorative surgery with Dr. Bowers last month and who is suffering from vaginismus. This is a condition that is not the result of the surgery but most likely the result of the circumcision since she has been suffering from it for many years.
Diana Urman LCSW, our new volunteer Clitoraid psychologist, (here in CC) is looking for ways to help our patient and I suggested reaching out to you for advice.
We look forward to your reply if you can spare the time.
With continued admiration of your lifetime legacy to women's sexuality,
Hi Dr. Betty,
I started having sex when I was 17 and it was always an extremely stressful and painful experience for me. I went on to have painful sex for a year until I found an amazing physiotherapist who diagnosed me with vaginismus. With her help I was able to overcome my vaginismus and experience full and non painful penetration. Even though now it may not be painful, it certainly does not feel good. It doesn't feel like anything! I have never been able to have an orgasm and I have zero sex drive. I remember that before I began trying to have sex when I was 17 I was able to get turned on (never could reach orgasm though)
Dear Dr. Betty,
I'm one of a few women I know who have rarely been able to experience painless sex. In all my frustration I've seen countless GPs & specialists - they've all given me the same standard (but unhelpful) advice that I need to try other positions, or I need more lubrication. At the moment, I might as well be having sex in a olympic pool of olive oil.
One concept I have stumbled across is Vaginismus. It describes the same burning/stinging sensation I feel during sex, and the same unusually painful muscle tightness the entire duration of sex. What interested me particularly is that it touches upon the PC muscles, or pelvic floor muscles - which I understand you're quite an expert on.
Hey Dr. Betty!
I have an uncooperative vagina. My clitoris and I get along really really well but my vagina and I? Not so much. For much of my teens I had vaginismus that prevented me from wanting any sort of penetration during masturbation sessions. There was no partner-sex. Now that I'm in my early twenties I have wanted to expand my routine a little and include penetration. So far most of my issues with vaginismus have disappeared, but I now have next to no sensation in my vagina.
Some years ago, I had a friend confide in me that sex hurt. And we're not talking postcoital rug burns here but intense pain. From what I could gather, it sounded like vaginismus, which is an involuntary spasming of the vagina at penetration. At the time, I didn't know what to tell her.
Naturally, this was having a profoundly negative impact on her sex life with her husband. But she didn't seem particularly comfortable discussing the issue, and we later grew apart. So, I have no clue what happened to her. She was not alone in her suffering. According to stats, between 8 and 21% of women suffer from sexual pain disorder - a poorly understood, largely ignored variant of female sexual dysfunction.