Broken Pussy

Friday, June 29, 2007

Question

I'm a woman in my twenties. I have a pretty big sex drive and masturbate quite often. I can do it through my clothes, naked, with my fingers, with a vibe, etc. The problem is this. Ever since I can remember, penetration has been physically painful. I've tried lube (both silicone and water-based), but it didn't make the process much better. I don't currently have a partner, but it's always been painful whenever my past partners have inserted even just their fingers. I bought a G-spot vibrator that is still in the box because I'm afraid it'll hurt to use it. I've only had one Pap smear because it was so painful that I cried through the whole thing. I told the doctor that penetration was painful for me, but she didn't give me any explanations or advice. I've read that some sexually-transmitted infections can cause painful penetration, but I've always used condoms.

I love sex for the sensations, the emotional intimacy, and the pleasure I can bring to someone else. But the pain of penetration ruins it for me and makes me avoid it no matter how much I want my partner. Any ideas what this could be or where I could go to find out more, since my doctor didn't think much of it? I feel like I have a

Answer

The callousness of doctors never fails to amaze me. It's as if any pain that a woman feels falls on deaf ears and blind eyes. How could anybody—much less a female physician—perform a pelvic exam on someone who was weeping uncontrollably? She could so easily have stopped and made another appointment, during which you'd be given appropriate pain medication and muscle relaxers. She ought to lose her license and be sent to work in a doll hospital. I'm equally amazed by your clueless sex partners. How selfish do you have to be to fuck somebody who is experiencing that much pain? There are so many other ways to come; you need a lover who is not obsessed with vaginal intercourse.

I have a couple of different ideas about what might be causing your pain. I don't think it's a sexually-transmitted infection or a matter of needing lubricant or having a better attitude toward sex. I think it's probably a physical problem with your vaginal opening. You may have an unusually tough and large hymen. This membrane comes in a lot of different shapes and may be very thin or quite thick. Sometimes it isn't completely split during the first experience with intercourse. (I'll save another column for how I feel about that barbaric practice.) Some women unfortunately need to see a doctor to have the hymen surgically opened. But you'll need to search for an OB-GYN who knows about this problem and takes it seriously. Don't settle for another inappropriately sadistic ignoramus.

The second and more common cause of vaginal pain is vaginismus. This is a fancy way of saying that the muscles around the opening of your vagina contract whenever there is penetration. Vaginismus can be strong enough to prevent anything from being inserted into the channel. I had a friend who was unable to get a pelvic exam until a doctor could be found who was willing to administer general anesthesia.

Nobody knows exactly how or why this muscle spasm exists. The treatment that Masters and Johnson devised involves gradually dilating the vagina with a series of forms, beginning with an extremely small one. But the worst thing you can do is keep on allowing penetration that causes you agony. This reinforces your body's experience that putting anything in there HURTS, and it'll add to the tension.

Some women find that they have to cope with this problem lifelong. They can enjoy oral sex and mutual or solo masturbation, but they will rarely if ever be able to enjoy pain-free intercourse. It can be difficult to find a sex therapist who is qualified to treat vaginismus. I don't have a referral for your area, so you'll have to embark on a search. But first get the hymen option checked out—if that's the problem, you won't have to worry about sex therapy.