How is my vaginismus?

Comment est mon vaginisme ?

Sexuality and the onset of vaginismus

If you look up the definition of vaginismus on the Internet, you're sure to find this one: "Vaginismus is a sexual disorder characterized by involuntary contraction of the perineal muscles, making penetration painful or impossible".

What is vaginismus?

Vaginismus is much more than a sexual disorder. It's a real suffering. A real ordeal, for the women who experience it.

Vaginismus is also incomprehension and the question we ask ourselves all the time: "Why do other women have it and I don't?"

Vaginismus is also the constant conflict between body and mind: The mind that says yes and the body that says no.

I myself have suffered from vaginismus in the past, and I can tell you that this disorder affected me not only on a sexual level, but also on a personal one.

I didn't feel "normal" and I didn't feel like a "woman". It's stupid to think like that, you might say. But that's how I thought back then.

I thought that the day I could make love, I'd be a "real woman".

If there's one message I'd like to pass on to you, it's this: Vaginismus is curable and not inevitable.

My relationship with sexuality before I started my sexual life:

I was never really interested in sex. It wasn't a subject discussed in my family and the only person who really talked to me about it was my mother. She started talking to me about it when I was a teenager, when I had my first period. I remember her telling me to "watch out for men and protect myself when having sex."

I'd never been interested in my sex either. To me, my sex was just a tiny hole through which menstruation and urine passed (at the time I thought the urethral canal and the vaginal canal were the same).

At first I thought that my disinterest in sex was voluntary. But after doing a lot of soul-searching, I realized that my lack of interest in sex and in myself had a deep-rooted cause: the sexual abuse I'd suffered as a child.

I had totally concealed my sex. I knew I had one, but I had no knowledge of its shape, size, color or function. The truth is, my sex scared me. I'd never looked at it in a mirror. I only touched it to clean it. For me, the vagina was a rigid, very narrow channel. I thought nothing could get in (whether it was my own finger, a tampon or, worse still, a penis).

What triggered my vaginismus?

What triggered my vaginismus was the sexual abuse I suffered when I was 3 years old. I have very vague memories of what happened (I have a few flashbacks but they're still very hazy). But what I do know is that I felt a very sharp pain in my sex. And the trauma resurfaced during my first time. I'd even say it got worse during my first time.

It was a very painful first time. I remember hearing a lot of women say how much the first time hurt and how you could bleed. Those words stuck with me, and I dreaded that moment enormously.

The day arrived and the worst-case scenario I'd imagined came true: I felt excruciating pain and bled.

I remember it took my ex over thirty minutes before he managed to penetrate me.

When he came, I literally felt like I was dying.

What I felt at that moment was like being stabbed at the entrance to my sex.

Without realizing it, my ordeal began at that point. I hadn't really worried at the time because I'd put it down to the first time. The intercourse that followed was just as painful, but I kept telling myself "you've just started your sex life, your body has to get used to it first".

The first time isn't always what you see in the movies. Sometimes it goes well. Sometimes it doesn't go at all, at all. How did you experience your first time? Was it good? Pretty good? Or was it a nightmare like mine?

*Primary vaginismus is the form of vaginismus that appears at the very beginning of sexual life. It is opposed to secondary vaginismus, which is the form that appears after a period during which sexuality was satisfactory.

To help you cope with the discomforts of vaginismus, we recommend you consider adopting Elia menstrual briefs.

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The information contained in the articles on is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.