Vaginismus: What is it?

Every once in a while, a fellow Twitter follower will reach out and ask me to share their story with you. Sometimes I feel it’s appropriate, but most times I don’t because this isn’t a sexcapades type of blog.

You come here to get information and to learn, not to be titillated with stories of people’s wild sex days and nights. If you wanted that, there are a MILLION other places on the internet to do that. I highly encourage you to go where your heart pleases, but remember that I’m here to educate, first and foremost.

But today, I wanted to share the story from The Apprehensive Vagina Blog from @BloggerElphieW (Twitter). Granted, I’m a few months late, but this has also been the craziest spring semester (and I’m not even a student…geez!) so I’m trying to catch up.

Most of the time, I talk about healthy sex and assume that all your working parts are, well, working. That’s not always the case for people, and I want to give them a voice, particularly when they don’t have many platforms from which to share their voice.

This blog is about a female with vaginismus, and like many others before and probably after, it’s not only physically painful, but mentally and emotionally draining for the female, and highly misdiagnosed by the medical community. And that’s for a number of reasons, like vagueness of symptoms, different presentations of pain, and sometimes because the patient can’t find the vocabulary or is too embarrassed to describe the source of their pain.

Sex can already be a very difficult thing to bring up with a medical provider, but if you’re experiencing intense pain during sex, you may feel so abnormal and shamed, you don’t know where to turn to. That’s where @BloggerElphieW comes in.

Vaginismus is a condition where there is involuntary tightness of the vagina during attempted intercourse. The tightness is actually caused by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina. The woman does not directly control or ‘will’ the tightness to occur; it is an involuntary pelvic response. She may not even have any awareness that the muscle response is causing the tightness or penetration problem. - from Vaginismus.com

Check out her story here and send it out far and wide. Sex is a tough subject to tackle, and it gets harder when you have a medical condition. You shouldn’t be ignored because of that. You should be supported.

I support you, Apprehensive Vagina, I support you.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter to win my giveway! I’m giving away 10 $50 gift cards to STDCheck.com. An easy, confidential way to get tested for STDs! How great is that!

Thursday Apr 17 3pm  3 notes

 
 

First Giveaway Ever!

Good morning Healthy Sex and You readers! Today is an exciting day! I’m giving away 10 $50 gift cards to STDcheck.com!

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Do you know how expensive STD testing can be? If you don’t, now you don’t even have to worry about because it’s taken care of! :)

Enter below! Giveaway ends on Monday April 28 at midnight. All you have to do is follow @healthysexandu on Twitter or tell me how you found this blog! It’s that simple!

To preserve confidentiality however, I will only announce winners through email. So don’t fear, your name won’t be listed on this blog if you’re the winner!

Good luck and enter away!!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Apr 14 10am  

 
 

Sex-Ed in the U.S.? What’s that?

Not that any of this is news to me, but it’s probably news to you. And it’s gut wrenching. Is there hope for us?

Originally seen on Huffington Post

If you think students should get an unbiased and accurate education, then you probably won’t be happy about the state of sex education in America.

Around the country, teachers can provide sex education courses that are biased against specific races or ethnicities, that are inappropriate for students’ ages and that promote specific religious agendas, according to a recent Guttmacher Institute analysis. Furthermore, 37 states reportedly allow for medically inaccurate sex education, and only 18 states require teachers to provide information about contraception.

Given these figures, it is hardly surprising that the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any other developed country.

Below, we have compiled 5 maps breaking down the depressing state of sex education requirements around the country.

Prepare to be horrified.

Wednesday Apr 9 10am  7 notes

 
 

8 Things America Gets Wrong About Sex

Um hi. These are the reasons this blog exists. (click the link in the title)

Posted Monday Apr 7 12pm  4 notes

 
 

Turnback Tuesday: The Shaming of Your Sex Life

I’m sick of Throwback Thursdays so I’m going to occasionally reblog a post on Tuesdays from back in the HSY archive. Enjoy.

healthysexandyou:

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Elizabeth Smart speaks out against human trafficking and pro-abstinence sex ed. (George Frey/Getty Images)

I am such a huge fan of Elizabeth Smart. She’s a survivor who not only emerged from a hugely traumatic event with a relatively healthy outlook on her future (with the…

Posted Tuesday Apr 1 9am  3 notes

 
 

Marriage Sex: The Truth About Sex After Marriage By Natasha Burton

Sometimes there are posts where I can’t convey the message any clearer than the author. Here’s yet another one.

Originally seen on Huffington Post

In the newly-released movie “American Reunion,” the latest installment of the “American Pie” series, one of the major plotlines revolves around Alyson Hannigan’s character, Michelle, who has transformed over the past decade from a sexually adventurous coed — remember that “one time at band camp”? — into an overworked mom who’s too exhausted to sleep with her husband, former pie-humper Jim, played by Jason Biggs.

The film is just the latest illustration of the by-now-clichéd scenario: man and woman get married, man and woman start losing interest in getting busy every night and, soon enough, man and woman’s formerly hot sex life is as lively as a deflated balloon.

While there is some truth to the cliché — and the seemingly endless wisecracks born out of it — it doesn’t tell the whole story. What’s more, it trivializes the very real stresses that couples may experience as their sex lives ebb. So what’s really going on? Well, like everything, it’s complicated.

To look at the statistics about marriage and sex, you wouldn’t even know that there was an issue to begin with. “Studies have found that married people have more sex than single people, and they also have more varied sex,” says sexual health expert and best-selling author Dr. Laura Berman, who hosts “In The Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” on OWN. ”Oral sex is also more common among married people.”

One of the most comprehensive studies on the subject, which was released in 2010 by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, confirmed this, compiling statistics on sexual attitudes and habits of 5,865 people between ages 14 and 94. An average of 61 percent of singles reported that they hadn’t had sex within the past year, compared with 18 percent of married people. Looking specifically at those between the ages of 25 and 59, 25 percent of married people reported that they were still having sex two to three times per week versus less than five percent of singles.

Yet, while Indiana University’s data is often cited as evidence that married sex can be hot – way hotter than single, anonymous, no-strings-attached sex, thankyouverymuch — it doesn’t really reflect the shift that individual married couples notice in their sex lives as the years pass, nor the anxiety that this change can trigger.

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Wednesday Mar 26 12am  

 
 

Do Women Now Want Sex More Than Men? By Gail Konop Baker

Original posted on Huffington Post

What happens if a woman wants and initiates as much if not more sex than her partner? In a perfect world, they are happily copulating, the war between the sexes softening in a post-coital haze. But the world, of course, isn’t perfect.

A year ago, I woke to a phone call from a friend, a high school teacher in her early 40s, complaining that the night before, the man she was seeing had wanted to watch movies and cuddle, while she wanted sex. When she told him if they weren’t going to have sex she’d rather sleep at home, his feelings were hurt. She said the emotional part of the relationship (he was talking marriage) was draining her and that without nightly hot sex, she wasn’t sure it was worth the effort.

Her discontent sounded familiar. I’d been hearing and experiencing echoes of this for more than a year. My friend Andrea, a 37-year-old mother of two, was frustrated with the guy she was dating. He was a big talker about his “musical career” but spent more time talking about the gigs he was going to book than actually booking them. She overpowered him professionally and sexually. “It’s a rare man who can keep up with me.”

Susanne, a married corporate lawyer and mother of two in her mid 30s told me, “I for sure have the higher sex drive. For sure! My husband is more, ‘the kids are across the hall’ when I suggest we duck into the guest room.”

Read More

Monday Mar 24 10am  1 note

 
 

3D Imaging of Orgasm in Women

Because this is just too cool not to share.

Although it hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, it’s amazing to see what we can learn about the human brain from sex. Orgasms in women seem to light up different areas of the brain depending on self-stimulation or partner-induced. This could mean lots of things for the areas of addiction and mental health therapy.

Other findings include when women are experiencing pleasure during sex, their ability to feel pain is drastically reduced.

Komisaruk notes that facial expressions during orgasm (the “O face”) are often indistinguishable from those made in pain, and suggests this may be explained by activity in the insula.

Seriously, science is just awesome.

Saturday Mar 22 10am  3 notes

 
 

Can Drinking Make You Have Unsafe Sex?

                              

I think the majority of us can answer this safely by saying, “Yes” because we’ve probably heard a hundred stories from friends and others of this happening. Drinking clearly impairs your judgment and your ability to make rational decisions.

Many people want to blame it on “slutty” people though; like these people were going to make bad decisions anyways, but decided to blame it on the alcohol, a la Jamie Foxx. But which comes first: your drinking or your inclination to make bad decisions?

It seems that the drinking is the culprit in this study.

The more people drank, the researchers found, the worse their decisions — an increase in blood alcohol level of 0.1 mg/mL led to a 5% increase in the likelihood of unprotected sex.

That’s a huge increase when you think about whether or not to have one more drink.

Stop blaming everything on slutty, hyper sexual people. Sometimes we make bad decisions, especially under the influence, but that doesn’t mean that slut shaming is ok.

But let’s not forget that there is a level of personal responsibility here. Watch how much you drink. Eat and drink water if you are drinking. It’s really that simple to make sure YOU are making the decisions, that it’s not just the alcohol talking. Bring condoms. Be safe.

Thursday Mar 20 10am  

 
 

Parents, Have the Talk. Just Have It.

It can seem daunting to have “the talk” with your children. But the problem lies with you, not them. You may think, “Oh they’re too young.” “If I talk about it, they’ll want to do it.” Or my favorite, “MY CHILDREN WOULD NEVER!”

You’re fooling yourself. You’re the only one who’s super uncomfortable talking about it. Your child may cringe a little, yes, but they’ll be thankful that you were honest and answered their questions. Because guess what? If you don’t answer them, they’ll get those answers somewhere else.

And probably somewhere less trustworthy.

So let’s just follow this advice, shall we?

As parents, we play a huge role in shaping our kids’ knowledge and attitudes about sex. The is no one “sex talk”—there are many, many conversations over every phase of childhood. Ours aren’t the only ones they need to hear; ideally, it’s a team effort that also involves educators in schools and continues all the way through adolescence. But there is no substitute for a parent’s steady engagement.

Make sure you’re talking about ALL of it, including how to say no when they don’t want to have sex, how to have a healthy relationship and get out of an unhealthy one, and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

The good news: some 82% of us are talking to our teens about sex. We’re consistently sharing our values about when sex is appropriate, and we’re working hard to help our kids distinguish between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Where we’re falling short is that we’re not concretely explaining how to prevent problems like unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Though the vast majority of the survey respondents had talked to their kids, more than a quarter conceded they hadn’t shared tips about how to say no to sex.

Tuesday Mar 18 9am  

 
 
 
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