As you know, I have been struggling a bit lately with motivation when it comes to dealing with my vaginismus. Tonight, I sat about watching TV and eating a cake, trying to muster up the enthusiasm to go and get down with the dilators. I did it... Eventually. It was quite painful. SCORE.
If I'm honest, I felt a bit sorry for myself. I couldn't help thinking how BORED I am of the whole situation. I would like vaginismus to be gone now, please. But unfortunately the only way for this to go away is for me to keep motivated. It's a cycle of pain, lube, frustration and dilators. Not necessarily in that order...
But, this is not a 'pity-me-and-my-shit-vagina' kinda blog.
Instead, I'm going to get all motivational about trying to stop this crap happening to other women. This, my friends, is my VAGI-FESTO.
How do we do it? How do we stop women from ending up in the same, sorry state that I am in now?
1. BETTER BODY EDUCATION
This is a no brainer. If a woman is taught where her vagina is, how it operates and what it's for, this is 100% going to improve her chances of not getting vaginismus*
*Not actual science. Just my guess.
2. BETTER SEX EDUCATION
Another no-brainer. It is not OK to leave school thinking that sex is dirty, and only for conceiving children. It is also not OK to be taught about sex in a Religious Education class. Sex is biology. Or Personal and Social Education. Or Home Economics. Hey, it's bloody Mathematics, before it's Religious Education.
In my experience, nobody really knows what vaginismus is. I had it for years before I knew how to articulate what was wrong with me. I have heard stories of women going from medical professional to medical profession unable to get a diagnosis. Because not even all the medical professionals know what it is. WHAT EVEN IS THIS? And don't get me started on women who have been told by said medical professionals to 'just relax and have a glass of wine.' NO. NOT COOL.
Wouldn't it be nice to tell someone you have vaginismus and they say 'Oh yeah my cousin has that', or 'Oh yeah, I saw the movie'...
4. STOP THE SHAME!
So you finally get a diagnosis. Hooray. But, oh dear, it's a bit embarrassing. And a bit disgusting. So maybe just avoid it for a few weeks, months, years because actually dealing with it involves doing a lot of things that are uncomfortable, painful and shameful. And, let's face it, you'll probably be doing it on your own, because there's no chance at all that you're sharing this story with your friends, and therapy is really expensive... So probably better just to try and work through this in the privacy of your own home, right?
I can hardly get all preachy about this one, given my anonymous state and secrecy, but there's something wrong here...
5. BETTER ATTITUDES TOWARDS WOMEN AND SEX IN GENERAL
I grew up thinking sex was a sin. It took me a long time to realise that a woman who likes sex is not a slut. Sex is a normal, fun, essential part of a woman's life. I, and so many others, have been denied the ability to feel that way about it. But hopefully, with a bit of work on this VAGI-FESTO, we'll see an end to this.
VAGI-FESTO is a work in a progress. Feel free to send suggestions that we can add to it.