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Vaginismus Awareness Day 15th September

“I was just a few weeks into a new relationship when the pain started. Whenever my
boyfriend and I started to have penetrative sex, it felt as if there were razor blades inside me.
At first I laughed it off, but soon I became terrified of intercourse. My body would freeze with
fear as my clothes came off.”

Kate Lloyd, The Guardian, August 2020

What is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus is the term used to describe recurrent or persistent involuntary tightening of muscles around the vagina whenever penetration is attempted.

The symptoms include burning or stinging pain upon penetration, as well as intense fear or loss of desire when penetration is attempted.

It is a complex psychosomatic condition, and the causes can be varied, such as painful first intercourse, sexual abuse, fear of pregnancy, or a deeply rooted belief that sex is wrong. Vaginismus isn’t ‘only’ about sex, it’s about life. Penetrative sex is not the only thing its victims lose – let’s be honest, not all of us prioritize that – but a sense of intimacy or self-worth too. It can painfully interfere with regular gynaecological examinations, the use of tampons and period cups, or even childbirth. And if you have no one to talk to and share your experiences, the isolation can be unbearable.

Vaginismus Awareness Day

A new survey on vaginismus carried out by feminist sex shop and wellness brand Sh! has found that almost 70 percent of women with the condition suffer depression or a feeling of “being broken” as a result. Vaginismus, the painful, involuntary tightening of muscles around the vagina during sexual or other forms of penetration, is a complex psychosexual condition that many women suffer in fear and silence. The good news is that, with the proper advice and support, the symptoms are treatable in 95 percent of cases.

Recognising the urgent need to address the problem, Sh! created Vaginismus Awareness Day in 2015. Now in its seventh year, the event has had great success in opening up the conversation around the experience of painful sex, and banishing the fear, shame and bewilderment that often accompanies it. This year’s online event – VAD – hosted by Sh! sex educator extraordinaire Evie Fehilly, brings together an expert panel of therapists, educators, campaigners and artists with direct experience of living with or treating vaginismus. The evening (7pm UK time) will provide a lively, inclusive forum to discuss the physical and psychological impact of painful sex, and to empower and inform all women and vulva-owners who experience it.

While no reliable statistics exist about the exact number of women with vaginismus, studies estimate that around half of all women suffer pain or discomfort during sex at some point during their lifetime – indicating that the number could be substantial. Sh!’s survey of 50 women with the condition in July 2021 found that 96 percent suffered pain during sexual penetration, while 70 percent struggled with vaginally invasive activities such as smear tests or inserting a tampon. A quarter of those surveyed said they avoided dating or relationships because of their condition. While a number of respondents said they received excellent help from health practitioners, others said the medical response was woefully inadequate. Some doctors told them they just needed to “relax more” during sex and one even told their patient to “drink wine”.

Sh! has a dedicated website with all the resources required to become better informed and find support and solutions for those with vaginismus. The site includes real-life stories and experiences of vaginismus sufferers, as well as available treatments.

Tickets for the Vaginismus Awareness Day online event are £3 and ALL proceeds will go to the Dilator Pay It Forward Scheme. [Those on limited income, please contact Sh! for a free ticket]

This is a guest post from Sh! However, I was very pleased to host the article, as I totally agree that there needs to be more education and information regarding vaginismus. May More

More about Sh

Founders of the UK’s first women’s sex shop in 1992, Sh! are pioneers in female pleasure, on a mission to help all women (and those that love them) discover their true sexual selves, whatever their age, sexuality, health or relationship status.

Sh! is a safe haven where women can explore their own unique relationship to sex; pressure-free, hype-free and stereotype-free.

Delivering tailored advice, trusted information, empowering classes and a unique range of pleasure-enhancing goodies, and understanding that healthy sexuality is key to self-esteem and happiness, Sh! prioritises honest conversations about sexual wellbeing, pleasure and body-image, within a comfortable, judgement-free vibe

Reasons why a sex doll is an amazing companion

The demand for information about sex dolls grows every week. How real are they? Not to mention would a sex doll make an amazing companion for a lonely person? At least until they feel able to challenge themselves with a living doll 😉 The following guest post looks at these issues… May More.

Continue reading Reasons why a sex doll is an amazing companion

Transgender Guest Interview: I’m not crazy, I’m a woman

Introduction by May More

I will start by pointing out I did not conduct this amazing interview with Mila Dolly from the Czech Republic. It is a guest post. But after agreeing to host the article on my blog I asked if I could write a short introduction.

I will be very surprised if you do not greatly admire Mila after reading about her transgender journey and the road she is facing ahead.

Currently Mila is a beautiful and courageous trans woman hoping to go ahead with her transition. Stating this is something she does not fear and the main thing that scares her is having to be trapped in a man’s body.

“I’m not afraid of that. The only thing I’m afraid of is to stay trapped in a man’s body.” – Mila Dolly

When I read that statement I immediately thought about a friend of mine from Scotland, Chris. I met him about 6 years ago. That day I was the only woman at the dinner table. The other three were all men: my partner, brother-in-law and Chris. If I hadn’t been told Chris was born a woman I would never have guessed.

Chris always knew he was male and having the backing of his family he came out as transgender, beginning treatment when he was eighteen. By the time I first met him he’d completely transitioned and came across as a very charming young man. I’m in no doubt that he made the right decision.

I had always intended to write about him. He gave me permission to do so after we had an extremely intimate and open conversation about what he has been through to become the man he is today. But for various reasons that article did not happen. As I welcome Mila, it seems the appropriate time to mention Chris, another brave individual, with his life ahead of him…

Guest Post ~ Confession: I’m not a pervert, I’m not a deviation or gay. I’m a woman

As a teenager, Mila resisted bullying and ridicule. She got used to the insults, but it still ruined her psyche. Like the inner contradiction, that they no longer want to be a transgender man disguised as a woman. Even though their I.D states gender as male, she feels like a woman. Mila Dolly is twenty three and waiting for hormonal treatment and operations that will make her happy. Forever…

The topic of transsexuality is quite negative for me overall, but again, I do not want to say that the life of a transsexual (transgender) person is just pain and suffering. There are also people who do not condemn you, who accept you as you are and do not make any distinctions at all. It’s very nice when you feel like a real woman in someone’s company and you don’t have to listen to stupid questions. It’s such a taste of normal life.

Mila Dolly

Guest Post ~ Interview with Mila Dolly

When did you first realize that you are not comfortable in your body?

As a very young child in kindergarten, I was quite unhappy. In fact, I’ve never felt like a boy or a man in my life. In short, I am a woman in a man’s body. It’s not like I thought one day, “I want to change this”.

Unhappy in kindergarten… What is going on in the head of a five-year-old child?

I don’t know how other transsexuals have it… But I behaved like a female practically from birth, logically even small children in kindergarten reacted badly. When I was playing with other children, it was with girls.

Some rejected me because I was a boy, some boys saw weakness in my softness, so they teased me. Even small children can be insidious. I’ve never been very sociable, I would rather keep to myself.

Can you describe that inner feeling of rupture?

My feelings don’t fit on a few lines, they simply cannot be described in words. They are uncomfortable and painful and have caused me a lot of mental problems. I don’t wish that on anyone, waking up every morning and crying in the mirror.

Every night when you take a shower and are disgusted by your body. You feel ugly, like you’re a monster.

How old were you when you decided to address the issue of transgender?

I learned about transsexuality as a teenager. I told my parents. They were fundamentally opposed. I started going to the clinic at the age of 18. It’s not easy for me or my loved ones. Yes, I’m very self-critical. You defend yourself against insults all your life once you start trusting them yourself.

What is your sexual orientation?

I am a normal heterosexual woman and I like men. But I don’t have a partner because it’s not easy to find someone. Especially when I’m such a semi-finished woman. People either hate me or want to try sex with me. But I’m not a guinea pig, I’m not a prostitute.

Trying sex with a man who looks like a woman?

It is attractive to many men. However, it is more about excitement, different sexual ideas. I don’t want to scare other transgender individuals and say that it’s impossible to find something more meaningful.

Relationships can work, but we have it more complicated. I had men who liked me the way I was, but over time they left me anyway. The reasons were again in their family and among friends who turned them against me to find a normal girl.

And you want to be seen just like a normal girl. Who do you trust?

Because I act like a woman, I have more trust around women. And in fact, it doesn’t seem strange to them. But the neighborhood has almost always considered me gay, rather than transgender.

Does your family support you?

Yes. They used to say I wasn’t a boy. But it’s still not the support I want. My grandmother and grandfather drove me and still drive me to sexology, where I actually deal with the question of my transformation.

What do you mean, when referring to the support, that it is not according to your ideas?

My family has become accustomed to who I am, but they certainly do not jump for joy. Rather, they somehow hope that one day I will change my mind and be a normal man. But that will never happen.

How hard is it to integrate into society when you know there are people’s prejudices?

It’s really very complicated. They ‘re bullying you. They look at you as a strange creature, in the sense of – what and who you really are. You get used to all those insults and contemptuous looks.

When people thought I was gay, it was annoying. When I became a woman, their reactions and aggression worsened. I often run away into the online world and establish virtual relationships.

Can you get used to insults? Nobody wants to be humiliated.

Rather, one learns to ignore insults. But I also have nice responses, sometimes someone praises my feminine appearance, or sometimes people don’t even know I’m transgender, that makes me very happy. Thanks to that, I feel like a normal woman for a while.

Did you have to seek psychological help because of all this?

Yes, I still visit a psychologist. It is part of the therapy of every trans. I also see a psychiatrist because I have many problems that have arisen mainly from my childhood and adolescence, when I didn’t have the courage to become a woman.

When did you first dress like a woman?

I was about fifteen and tried on women’s clothes in secret in the bathroom. I fought with my body and could no longer carry femininity only within myself so started dressing as a woman when I was eighteen.

And what were the reactions of the people around you?

The reactions of people who knew me were terrible. But I felt happier when I could wear a skirt, heels and make-up, it was finally me. As a teenager, I wore make-up as a boy, which caught everyone’s attention. But when I became a woman I felt more natural.

Where did you dress as a woman?

At eighteen, I changed my field of study and started a new school. The first day of school was also the first day for me as a woman. And from that day on, I was a woman in every situation. It was such an inconspicuous beginning.

Everyone in class was amazed, but the reactions weren’t as negative as I expected. Within a week, people spoke about me after school, and a whirlwind of vulgar insults came. I answer these same questions over and over again and have been for years.

On what?

Like what I actually have between my legs. I took it with humor, but when you listen to the same thing every day, it’s quite annoying.

What do you say to heterosexual men when they address you?

This is quite an interesting question. When a man addresses me on the street, I smile and move on, or I ignore them.

Most often they write to me on social networks. What usually happens on the internet is that, according to the photos, men don’t even know I’m trans. I usually reject them on the grounds that I am not interested in avoiding unpleasant surprises.

And what if you are interested? Do you also refuse?

I will write to them that I am a trans and leave it to them if their interest remains or disappears. I mainly associate with heterosexual men.

Unfortunately, the environment does not react very positively and these guys are not used to such ridicule and pressure from family and friends. Therefore, they often give up quickly. I used to think they were ashamed of me, but now I know they are ashamed of themselves.

How are your friendships?

I don’t have any friends at the moment, only acquaintances with whom I will say hello. As soon as I graduated, all my classmates went their own way. Contacts began to fade quickly. Sometimes I just fool around and talk about ordinary things.

At the moment, I’m not even looking for friendship, but it’s more about my mental and psychological problems. In this respect, transsexuality does not prevent me so much. There is always someone who can understand you.

When did you start thinking that you would like to change your gender?

That was at the age of 18. But it is a long journey. Because of all my mental problems, the treatment was very long. In fact, it extended for me by several years.

What have you had to go through so far?

I had my name changed to a neutral gender. I also go for a check of bones, thyroid glands, blood tests etc. All this is done before you start taking hormones.

Why bone control?

For hormone treatment, the bones must be strong, I don’t have them. Overall, my whole body must be strong enough. And I’m dealing with hormonal treatment right now. A number of procedures await me.

Are you afraid of transitioning?

I’m not afraid of that. The only thing I’m afraid of is to stay trapped in a man’s body.

You mentioned a name change. You probably also encounter misunderstandings in the authorities…

I encounter problems quite often here. Not only in offices, but also in doctors. I look like a woman, but I have a man written on my ID.

So explain about the neutral name on your ID?

“Neutrum” is actually a first and last name that is for both families, for both women and men. It’s actually a temporary measure.

When I am addressed in a waiting room or office with this neutral name, I don’t attract as much attention as if they were calling me male. I can have a female name only after genital surgery.

If you had something to say to all those who don’t understand you, or the what is is like to be transgender, what would it be?

That I’m not a pervert or a fool. I’m not gay, I dress in women’s clothes. I’m a woman. I didn’t choose this myself. I don’t want to be a transgender.

In short, a person is born that way, and then it only depends on whether they last a lifetime trapped in a body of the opposite sex depending on how long they want to suffer. Not remaining trapped so that you can become yourself and feel lucky one day.

I can’t imagine a life where I wouldn’t be a woman. I’d rather kill myself. But I’m glad I had and have the strength to be myself and that I’m going for my dream.

The header Photo by Harry Quan on Unsplash

Other images from Pixabay

This guest post contains sponsored content.

Transgender interview with courageous Mila Dolly

Also entered into Mindful Moments…

Couples That Play Together, Stay Together ~ Guest Post

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This guest post makes a lot of sense to me. It is important to communicate with your partner and have fun together sexually…. May More

How the Use of Sex Toys Can Boost Your Relationship

Sex toys are still a slightly taboo subject, however, as some studies suggest, this is starting to change – especially since they are not exclusive to single people; many couples are using them to make their sex life more exciting. Adult toys can help spice things up a little, especially for couples in a long-term relationship. After all, how long can you enjoy the same positions over and over again, right?

Orgasms Are Cool

Did you know that many women can’t experience an orgasm with only vaginal penetration? They must help themselves with the stimulation of the clitoris. They can do it by themself or ask their partner for help. The latter improves communication, as they need to express the desire to do so to their partner. It is actually proven that couples who are using sex toys have fewer problems talking about what they need in bed or how they like stuff to be done. Twenty-nine percent of them have no problem communicating what to do. As for those who don’t use them – only 17% admit to being able to talk openly about their needs.

More Excitement Together

After doing the same thing over and over again, people tend to get bored. Sex, although pleasurable, is no exception. The mundane routine in bed can be a killer for long relationships. Despite loving your partner, you may feel as if something is missing. Using toys together and trying new things might help with that. Maybe mutual masturbation? You can find toys suited for both of your needs. Talk about your kinks and fantasies, and you are bound to find something that mutually turns you on.

Less Pressure

Have you ever felt like you have to do better, despite already being so exhausted? Don’t worry! It happens to all of us! But sometimes, it may cause bad feelings, especially for your partner who still wants more. With the use of toys, you can make the evening fun and pleasurable, even if you have troubles with performing longer.

Sex toys, like everything in life, must be chosen carefully. Before you decide which ones to buy, try reading about different materials they are made from, determine what will suit you the best, and what shape and size you want to start with. For more information about safe sex toys, you can check out the infographic prepared by Adult Toy Shop.

Play together

Header image copyright – May More

Homemade Sex Toys for Kinky Couples

One of the great things about having a blog and writing sexy posts is you get to chat with really fun, like minded people. Daniel from the Adult Blog is one such person. When I saw some great posts he had written regarding making your own sex toys I asked if he could write one for my readers. And here it is.

Continue reading Homemade Sex Toys for Kinky Couples