New Article: Vulvodynia and the Single Woman

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  • #8983
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    Hi ladies. While it is not vaginismus, vulvodynia, too, is a condition that causes extremely painful sex or a complete inability to have it.

    On the website, I came across an excellent recent article concerning Vulvodynia and the Single Woman.

    Excerpts include:

    “Many single women feel they have no right “being on the market” when they can’t have sex. [This is not correct]! You have as much right to love and intimacy as anyone else. Finding a partner who agrees with this can be challenging, but is not impossible. There are no rules for when you should tell your partner, but don’t feel pressured. You are not “leading him/her on.” There are probably PLENTY of large and small secrets your date is withholding until he or she knows you better (some things they probably won’t tell you until after you’re married!); there is no immediate-disclosure law for vulvodynia. Avoid direct lies that your date may angrily call you on later (dropping small hints of a problem to be discussed later can help, but take care: every time the author of this FAQ has done so her partners concluded she had HIV…), but staying vague for a while is not necessarily a bad thing. Take your time and get to know your partner.

    When you do tell your date, bear in mind that while you have become an expert on this condition, they have very likely never heard of it. It can be useful to give them copies of articles that have appeared in popular magazines when you bring up the subject, or good URLs. (You might, for instance, tell them that you have a medical condition you need to talk to them about, give them copies of a bunch of info, send them home with it, and then continue your discussion a day or two later.) Your partner will probably be concerned (1) whether you have a sexually transmitted disease, (2) whether this isn’t REALLY all in your head (be patient with them, they don’t know all that you do about this), and (3) whether this isn’t just a weird excuse not to have sex with them. Providing them with information from mainstream publications or web pages — especially university-sponsored ones – can alleviate all these fears at once.

    Remember that in the absence of any other information, they are likely to take cues from you. If you burst into tears as you explain the problem and tell them that no one will ever want you and you can’t be in a relationship, you are likely to get a very different response than if you matter-of-factly tell them (after they’ve read the information that you’ve given them) what you can and can’t do, what treatments you’re trying, and what concerns you have about how this will affect your relationship. This is a MEDICAL problem. It is not your fault, and it does not reflect on your worth as a person or an intimate partner.

    Give your date time to absorb all the information before you press them for a reaction. In fact, be wary of an immediate positive response –they may feel obligated to supply you with one before they’ve really thought things through, and this will only cause problems later. Make sure they know what they’re getting into.

    Be aware that no matter how smoothly and expertly you bring up your circumstances, some percentage of your dates (only 13%, in this author’s modestly large experience) will have a bad reaction or have no further interest. This is something to do with THEM, not with you, and you’re better off without them. Remember, you only need to find one person. Vulvodynia does NOT mean that you’ll “end up alone”, and you have the added security of knowing that the partner you eventually find loves you for who you really are, and not just for what you can do for them.”

    #13103
    mm
    Heather34
    Moderator

    How have you told a new significant other about vaginismus? What advice do you have for others in this situation?

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