Everything You Need To Know About Vaginismus
This week on The Slut Show Ellen Moore is joined by the multitalented, plussize bombshell and sex machine Jeske (she/her). They discuss the threesome they had together, how vaginismus can impact your sex life and how to spice it up with BDSM and other kinks. This week’s Slutty Science dives into the causes, consequences and underlying connections regarding all things vaginismus.
Vestibulodynia, dyspareunia, genito pelvic pain penetration disorder or more commonly referred to as vaginismus. A medical condition which makes it hard for vagina owners to have penetrative sex, but how does that exactly work?
Vaginismus is the involuntary contraction of muscles surrounding the entrance to the vagina. The muscles in that area are incredibly strong, as those muscles are also biologically built to be able to birth a child. They can also, however, lock up so tightly that a finger, tampon or even a q-tip can not enter, let alone a penis.
There are two main types of vaginismus. Primary vaginismus refers to something a patient has had their entire lives. Secondary vaginismus is when somebody was - at some point - comfortable with penetration, but trauma or other reasons brought on the vaginismus later in life.
The condition is relatively unknown among both sufferers and practitioners. Even though it’s been estimated that it affects 5 to 17% of vagina owners. The exact percentage is hard to find, as this is a topic surrounded by incredible amounts of taboo and stigma.
Diagnoses are made based on genital examination - in order to exclude physical dysfunction, but more importantly it’s based upon pshychosexual history and the degree of distress, anxiety and self reported interference with penetration one experiences.
In Arab-Muslim societies, vaginismus forms the most frequent cause of a sexless marriage and infertility. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven to be effective, but the cultural context of this very common problem should not be denied. Two common denominators were found in patients from this particular cultural context. On one hand excessive closeness of family members, which can add pressure to a couple, was found to be a deteriorating factor. On the other hand, strict education which highly values virginity, transmits fear of ‘the male’ and sex in general and additionally links sex with pain were found to form the biggest problem.
Therefore proper sex education, especially in Arab-Muslim societies, is of vital importance in the prevention of vaginismus development later on in life. In that same cultural context the integration of family, not just of the partner, into the treatment process proved uniquely beneficial for the patients. Therefore breaking the taboos, stereotypes and stigmas that surround vaginismus is essential.
The treatment for vaginismus can consist of a variety of different strategies. One of the physical strategies used to minimize symptoms is the insertion of so-called “vaginal trainers,” which gradually increase in size, to eventually achieve penetrative intercourse. Focusing on the psychological aspect is, however, far more important and oftentimes also far more beneficial.
Additionally we’d like to make one thing very clear. Vaginismus is not something women make up, to try and get out of having sex. Even though the condition results from psychological issues, it is a very serious physical condition. It is important to note that it is not possible to decide when your muscles in that area lock up. It happens and when it does, you are obliged to deal with it.
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Lots of love,
‘The Slut Show With Ellen Moore’: A place to speak openly about shit you and I have to deal with on a daily basis. About feminism, insecurities, feeling like a bomb ass bitch and obviously about loads of sex. Raw, real and uncensored, Ellen Moore brings you your weekly dose of empowerment.
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