Having been brought up a practicing Catholic, the word virgin has always been on my radar. I didn't always know exactly what it meant but given that Jesus' mum was one, I knew it was a good thing.
I remember a conversation with my equally strict-Catholic cousins, when I was around 13, about whether we would wait till marriage to have sex. We all agreed that yes, we definitely would. After all, virginity meant purity and justifiably wearing a white gown to your wedding. No brainer.
Fast forward to the late teenage years and suddenly the question of who is, and is not, a virgin at high school is one of the most interesting lunch time discussion topics. As one by one, my friends started to lose their virginity, I wondered if, perhaps, it wasnt really all it was cracked up to be. I mean, they didn't suddenly become bad people because they were now having sex. In fact, they were pretty much the same, except they had much funnier stories to tell at sleepovers.
I started university a virgin (this fact should not surprise you, given that you know how this story turns out). I was pleased to find that quite a few of the girls that lived in my student flat were also still to 'do it'. However, within a few months of wild, drunken university life, all my virginal flatmates because streetwise sexperts. They were having threesomes and shagging people in bus shelters and nightclub toilets. Meanwhile, I sat back and took it all in. At this point, I was completely losing interest in religion, and starting to think that perhaps it was time to become one of the crowd.
Clearly this didn't happen- otherwise this blog wouldn't exist.
I am currently using vaginal dilators to help 'train' my naughty vagina into accepting penetration. I am now confident and casual with Dilator 0 (the one thats roughly the size of a finger), so have moved on to D1, which is bigger, fatter and scarier. I was thrilled when I was able to fully insert it a couple of days ago, but my joy was short lived when I pulled it out and it was covered in blood. My immediate thought was that I had caused myself some kind of internal damage, closely followed by cancer. Melodramatic perhaps, but as with anything new, the unexpected can strike real fear.
I spoke to my therapist about this last night and she looked pleased and said 'Oh that will just be your hymen'. The wee lightbulb in my head came on and the anxiety melted. OF COURSE. That key symbol of virginity had been broken, albeit by a big white, penis shaped piece of plastic but still! I was a woman! Hymen= broken= WOMAN. Right?
It might seem silly but all of these little triumphs help me to see a light at the end of the vaginismus tunnel. It's still just a little speck of light in the distance, but it's definitely there.
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