Earlier this year, singer Meghan Trainor opened up about her vaginismus diagnosis for the first time in a podcast show. She revealed how after giving birth to her firstborn, she wasn't able to have sex for a year. “It was so painful”, she shared and, it wasn’t easy for her to come to terms with it given how normalized that pain was.
If the term doesn’t ring a bell, vaginismus is a psychosexual condition that involves the involuntary tightening of the vagina during any form of penetration. Whether that’s inserting a finger, a tampon, a penis, or a personal massager – vaginismus can be incredibly painful, upsetting, and uncomfortable. However, with greater acceptance of the condition and technological advancements, there are plenty of treatment modalities available, including sex therapy.
Many people with vaginismus often live under the impression that penetration is the only way to experience sexual pleasure. But with evolving times, science has proven that pleasure can be attained through various non-penetrative sexual pursuits such as foreplay, oral sex, etc. In fact, clitoral stimulation is encouraged to pleasure people with vulvas.
To demystify sexual pleasure for people living with vaginismus, Team That Sassy Thing got in touch with four women from different walks of life to share their experiences of seeking, exploring, and getting in touch with what brings them joy in the bedroom!
“Because of vaginismus, I had a new-found love for my first vibrator!”
MD | 32 years
Diagnosed in 2021
“I have been married for 3 years and recently gave birth. I had sex for the first time with my husband on our suhaag raat (first night) and I remember having this burning sensation and slight bleeding. I was too uncomfortable speaking with him but I shared this with my elder sister who then informed me that it’s normal. I couldn’t even go through with it the second time, and my husband was concerned. We went to see an OB-GYN and she was kind enough to acknowledge and educate us about vaginismus. We went through some couple’s counselling sessions and my husband got me a personal massager (a clit suction toy). Later that night, we tried it out and I had my first orgasm with him!”
“I never felt the urge to have sex but I always liked masturbating”
PA | 27 years
Diagnosed in 2022
“I was anticipating vaginismus even before I visited my doctor. I had read about it and the symptoms were a match. It was only a matter of time (and resources) that I got the help I needed. But, sex wasn’t the way I found out. I have never really enjoyed sex because my first time was unbearably uncomfortable and I was too scared to try it with anyone else for a long time. I have had other forms of sex with different partners but I realized that it’s masturbation that gets me going. I feel safe and focused and I know I won’t hurt myself, even unknowingly.”
“I owe my diagnosis to my best friend of 20 years”
BK | 37 years
Diagnosed in 2019
“I got married when I was pretty young and after having 2 kids and a lot of painful sex, I decided to part ways with my ex-husband. I had never had an orgasm, nor had ever seen sex as something I could enjoy. I used to crave a kiss on the cheek or lip, and I hardly ever got that, even when I had sex. Once on a call with my estranged college best friend, she immediately stopped me when I told her about this and got me an appointment with her doctor. I thought it was harmless and went with her. That’s when I found out and it felt like the missing piece in my puzzle finally had an identity. Today, you’ll find a small personal massager stacked at the back of my jewelry boxes that I use for some solo fun!”
“My then-best friend-now-boyfriend has unlocked a new sex universe.”
ID | 29 years
Diagnosed in 2021
“When I knew about vaginismus, I told my best friend about it, whom I now am in a live-in relationship with. I think he was the only man in my life I could confide this to without it being a big deal. Once we were drunk and hooked up, and he went down on me and gave me the best head of my life! He was so utterly careful and mindful of not hurting me and I guided him and his mouth. It’s been about a year since then and I still love his mouth down there!”
Vaginismus can be caused by multiple reasons such as a history of sexual trauma, bad first experiences, physical injury, etc. It’s important to tap into the same to work on a modality with a credible practitioner that works best for YOU! Many GYNs and sex therapists often recommend the use of a water-based lubricant during sexual activities including penetration for a smoother, relaxed, and fuss-free experience while with a partner or going solo! You’ll find India’s first all-natural, unflavored and pH-balanced lubricant DTF on That Sassy Thing.
If you or someone you know might be experiencing discomfort or unexplained pain during sex, don’t hesitate to visit a non-judgmental gynecologist (you may rely on word-of-mouth recommendations, for starters). Remember, contrary to popular belief and what you’ve been conditioned to internalize, sex is NOT supposed to be painful. It should be fun, easy-going, and an awesome experience for every person, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, and the act.
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