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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Raising awareness of dyspareunia

This blog post may be a little TMI for some folks. If you know what dyspareunia is and will continue reading (I promise not to be too graphic) then great. If you don't know what it is, well hell, that's what I'm here for, and here's a link:

Yeah okay, link clicking probably not necessary.
So, if you're still here, I want to start off with that I kind of want to write a book about this, but I don't really have enough experience, so I'll go with the blog. (And I don't mean experience in publishing. More on this later).

Having dyspareunia is a life-altering diagnosis. It can ruin relationships and make you feel like crap. If you read the link, you'll remember that there are different reasons for having dyspareunia. Basically there are two if it's on-going: One, there's something physically wrong with you, or two, you might have psychological issues. I'd bet I'd ring at number two, since my paps are normal and I've had a CT of the abdomen.
But, this is getting a little off-subject. What I really wanted to talk about was the relationship-altering part. Sex bombards us every day. What pleases our partners, how much sex to have each week, how it helps relationships to have more sex yadda yadda. Your typical guy will think about sex, what was it, every 6 seconds? And probably want it 3 times a week, or at the very least once a week. Go much beyond that and they're screaming at you. Oh, the stress of it all is killing me. Cuz sex is a stress-reliever, you know.

With me, and probably with a lot of women that suffer along with me, I could care less about sex. A psychologist would probably tell me that when sex is painful, it causes a negative reaction to it (duh). Makes you want it less, and you fear it will be painful every time you try, so you try less. Somebody tell me, what guy would want to marry a woman like that? (Well, Justin did, which I love him dearly for his patience and understanding because our sex life has like, been on vacation for months. In fact, Sex lives more in Barbados now than it does here, and it's more like a vacation when it comes back.)
Painful intercourse, for me at least, is not guaranteed 100% of the time, although it's in the majority. I'd say 70% of the time it's painful, 20% of the time it's more like a numbness where it's like "I know you're there, but I got nothin", and the other 10% it's normal and feels good and yay! But that's only 10% of the time. Not very good odds.

And that brings me back to the lack of experience part. These numbers, although fairly accurate in there standings, are based upon sex that happens once every 3 months or some damn thing, with one partner. I've only had 2 in my life, so to write a book based on the fact that "typical guys hate dyspareunia and will never marry you" would not be very accurate. But, this is what I believe. It makes sense to me. You tell a guy upfront about it, he'll probably never call you for that second date, if he understands what it really entails. You wait until it's time for sex (which, let's face it, at this day in age is about date #3. But, since I've never dated I probably shouldn't be spouting off random numbers.) By date #3, you don't know if he's marrying material, and besides the fact that I'd probably never have sex with a guy that soon, it's just too early for the guy to be so head-over-heals in love with you that he just doesn't care about your dyspareunia.
And yes, of course, there are gems like Justin, who obviously doesn't like it, but is basically okay with it. There are probably more guys out there like that than I think. After all, I've never been on the dating scene, so I shouldn't be writing this at all, really. I mean, I found Justin so what the hell am I complaining about?
I'm just letting people know that it sucks. It really sucks. It's a vicious cycle that even our relationship, as patient as it is, can't handle. Yes, sex brings you closer to your companion. You share; you experience together. Without it, it's like a gaping hole. It's more like being roommates where you just happen to sleep in the same bed. Because, like I said above, dyspareunia is caused by, and can cause, psychological issues. I'm sure my issues came before the dyspareunia, as I always had a low self-image and self-esteem. But I think the  expectation of pain during sex can cause more pain. Also, I believe it has severely lowered my libido, which I guess I can count as a blessing as wanting sex and not being able to have it might be worse.

Is dyspareunia a relationship killer? Maybe, maybe not. You might marry a guy that says he's perfectly okay with it, but two years down the line you're at each other's throats and you don't know why. And suddenly, lacking sex is in the forefront. Everybody that's anybody says that sex is meaningful and important. If you can't have sex, even if it's just not as often as your partner would like, you may be in for a surprise a few years down the line.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy -- I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this. As you know, I've dealt with the other side - a husband with zero desire for sex and for no reason he ever could articulate.
    I wonder if at this point in your life if you might be able to find enjoyment through masturbation. You would be in complete control of the intensity, duration, and so on. No pressure, no show to put on, no hesitation to stop or try a different direction. Perhaps in this very private way, you could relearn your body and begin to figure out how you might find enjoyment through sexual touch (even if it's not actual intercourse). Wishing you all the best in love and touch!