A Difficult Relationship – A Guest Post

By on March 8, 2013.

To my shame I have had this guest post languishing in my emails for a couple of weeks now. I apologise profusely to the author, it is in no way a reflection on her work, far from it as this is very personal and honest piece, but a reflection on my work load and the element of crisis management that has slipped into my life.

Not everything in life is plain sailing in life and not everything is easy or natural unfortunately when it comes to our bodies and in-particular parts of our bodies that we associate with sex talking about these things are often very challenging. I know that the author of this piece had to “worked up the courage to write” this post and I am very grateful that she did as I think it is a story that fits perfectly within the Pussy Pride Project. Sometimes things are far from perfect but striving for the positive amongst the not perfect is a very powerful thing.

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A difficult relationship

When I was a teenager, I had what I imagine is a fairly typical relationship with my pussy; I ignored it and it, on the whole, ignored me. I was always faintly ashamed of its presence and it remained an unexplored land.

Then, when I was 16, something happened that meant I could ignore it no longer; I was diagnosed with vulvodynia.

The term “vulva” refers to the external female genitalia and vulvodynia is a condition involving chronic, unexplained pain in this area. There are varying degrees of pain, but for most sufferers tight trousers are a no, sitting can be problematic and sex is often downright impossible. There is no cure.

Over the following years I tried countless treatments and saw countless doctors. They would poke and prod and say “hm” and I would feel almost apologetic that my wayward pussy was causing so many problems and not responding to any treatments. No-one is sure what causes this condition, but the nerves that end in the vulva, especially the pudendal nerve, are usually implicated in some way. Considering the fact that 25% of women will experience vulvodynia symptoms at some point in their lives, you could be forgiven for thinking that we would know more about it by now. I can’t help but think that the shaming and general sidelining of the intimate female anatomy have led, in part, to this situation.

Vulvodynia is a very difficult thing to talk about with people and sufferers can end up feeling isolated; alone with a broken pussy and suffering in silence. Over the years of failed medical interventions I subconsciously received the message that this condition was somehow my fault. Maybe I’d had sex too vigorously at some point. Maybe I should just wear skirts and the problem would disappear, as per one helpful doctor. Maybe I was just making the whole thing up because I didn’t like sex.

Needless to say, this was all nonsense and I eventually realised that it was going to be up to me to find a way to deal with this condition and make some kind of peace with my pussy. If there has been one good thing to come out of having vulvodynia, it is how familiar and comfortable I now am with my puss. I know its every colour and fold, I know what it looks like on a good day and on an off day. In short; I know when something is wrong. Out of necessity, I have learnt to listen to what she is telling me much more carefully so I can avoid activities that are going to hurt and can navigate myself and my partner around this tricky area so as to enjoy pleasure while keeping pain to a minimum.

When I first started tentatively exploring my pussy with the aid of a mirror, I was not impressed by what I saw. I thought my inner labia were weirdly long and the colouring was unattractive. Over the years, though, my judgement has softened and I’ve learned to love her. She is unique and perfectly fine just the way she is. I’ve realised that it’s not her fault that she is in pain and we are now a partnership, working together to get through the bad days and enjoy the good days.

For some women with vulvodynia, a type of surgery called vestibulectomy can provide relief from the pain. This involves cutting away the parts of the labia that hurt. The healing time is lengthy, but for some women it is worth it.

It makes me sad, then, that some women would consider having similar surgery for cosmetic reasons; i.e. because they, too, have received the message that their pussy is not right the way it is, even though it is fully functioning and able to provide them with pleasure. It breaks my heart that these women may end up with pain and complications from surgery when there was absolutely nothing wrong with them to begin with.

Please, ladies, don’t put your pussy under the knife unless you absolutely have to. Get to know her without judgement and try to learn to love her just the way she is. Get to know just what she looks like; that is the way she was meant to be. Start listening to what she is telling you so that you will know if there is ever a problem that needs checking out.

I don’t believe you can truly love yourself until you love your pussy. So, ladies, grab a mirror and get started on the path to pussy love today.

Julia

About: 

Molly Moore - Author, Blogger, Photographer, Speaker
Find me in my corner of the internet at Molly's Daily Kiss
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  1. I too have had problems like this, I have never been told what it is. For years and years I have had Doctors telling me that there is nothing wrong, sending me for STI checks over and over again. I even had a Doctor give me some gel to numb the area before sex!!!! I just put up with the pain because I can’t seem to find any other way of dealing with it.

    Its so sad Doctors don’t seem to think its a big deal, although sex is not an important part of life.

    • Doctors are rubbish with vulvodynia, most have never heard of it. There are some specialists though, if you can get past the gatekeepers. It’s hard to know for sure but it does sound likely you have it. There’s no definite cure but women do find things that can help them (pregabalin takes the edge off for me & co-codamol in an emergency) – check out the NHS choices page on vulvodynia for an overview & also the Vulval pain society. I do hope you find something that helps x

  2. I have never had that as such but one issue I have had is pimples, usually after my period from wearing a pad. I went to doctor after doctor scrubbed and cleaned thinking it was me. Nope. The constant friction of something rubbing my labia causes them to form. Not fun. This is one girl who goes pantiless all month until those 5 days when I can’t. I cannot imagine having that kind of pain consistently and no one knowing why. I am glad you chose to research for yourself and find what works and what doesn’t.
    Twisted Angel recently posted..It is fat and scarred but it is mine and it is beautiful… Pussy Pride ProjectMy Profile

    • Ouch that does not sound fun. Our lady parts can be so sensitive! Thank you for your kind words, any type of chronic pain is a challenge but especially so when the pain occurs right where you’re meant to feel pleasure! I really enjoyed your pussy pride contribution by the way x

  3. Julia,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It was touching in it’s bravery, to face fears and accept what can and can’t be done. I believe that there may not be a ‘pill for every ill’ but I do believe in the ability for the mind to overcome great challenges. None more so something that society uses to define us as women.

    Rachel x
    Rachel Kincaid recently posted..SkinMy Profile

    • Hi Rachel, thanks so much for your kind words. Acceptance was the difficult part & is still a challenge some days, but there can be no peace without it. This isn’t the life I thought I’d have but I’ve learnt some important lessons about bravery, self-love & not taking things for granted. I remain hopeful there’ll be a cure one day, for future generations if not for me x

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