Tags: dilators, picture post, reviews, sex, sex education, sexual health, shopping, TMI
While I was on break earlier this month with my long-term, LDR partner, we shared many adventures together. Two of our adventures took us to local sex toy shops (because one such adventure just wasn’t enough!) The first shop we visited was Lovers Package. Lovers Package (no apostrophe) is a sex toy retailer with an online presence and several locations in Washington State. Lovers sells a wide variety of adult products ranging from novelties to high-end luxury vibrators, and participates in sex-positive activism events. A recent such example was Lover’s hosting a visit made by sex therapist and author Dr. Marty Klein, and participation in PrideFest June 27. This was not our first visit to the store, although it is the first one I’ve made since I started blogging here.
Although I did not take any pictures of the interior of the store for this visit, I do have a photo of our haul, and links to photos of inside of the store in question. Since this post contains some pictures and frank sexual descriptions, it’s going behind a NSFW cut now. Everything should show up in your RSS feeder, and if you’re visiting on the main page, you’ll need to click through to continue at your discretion. Thanks!
Tags: dilators, guest post, media, relationships, school, sex, vaginismus
[Dear internet, we have a guest post today! The following was written by someone who prefers to remain anonymous actually, with her permission, make that an adventurous virgin.]
Picture the scene….I’m 18 and in my 1st year at university. It’s a Thursday night and I’m getting ready to go out dancing with my friends and boyfriend at that time. We start off in the usual bar and finish up in the usual place. We’ve all had a good night and it comes to going home. My boyfriend suggests we go back to his place. I nod and we start walking up the road. As the alcohol wears off I remember that I don’t want to do that at all and start thinking of reasons why I can’t sleep with him tonight. A taxi comes along and I run to get it and go home. That’s a typical Thursday night out for me.
Fast forward to the next morning and a typical conversation with friends before class goes something along the lines of: “Why didn’t you stay at his place last night? Haven’t you done it yet? He won’t wait forever. Just get it over with.” I knew that being an 18 year old virgin at university was a little freakish, so I was left with no other choice-I had to end the relationship.
Now, here I am 11 years later, still obsessing about the same thing. Except now I know that there’s a name for what I experience and I’m working on it. I remember the day very clearly when I discovered the term vaginismus. I had been going out with my current boyfriend for about 3 years. We had tried to sleep together many times and failed miserably each time. I was totally freaked out by this. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and I was far too embarrassed to go to my doctor. Everyone else around me was able to have sex no problem and I really didn’t want to say to anyone that I’d been going out with someone for 3 years and we hadn’t slept together yet. It was just presumed that we had.
Anyway, one Sunday night my brother, who was working in a shop, brought me back a magazine that was out of date. The first article was entitled “I couldn’t have sex with my boyfriend.” I was extremely interested and read it over and over again. It was like reading about myself! In the article the girl had had a couple of boyfriends and each time she couldn’t have sex with them, they had broken up with her. Now she had a new boyfriend and was using dilators with him. After a few months of using them, they were able to have sex. In 2 minutes my world changed. I discovered a name for my problem, I wasn’t the only one in the world who had this problem and there was a cure!
It took me about a week to tell my boyfriend about the article. I didn’t know how he would take this information. I needn’t have worried-he seemed happy too to know this. And so the research process began. Every few months I would spend hours online reading stories from other women and their partners. I read about treatments, doctors, causes, things I should and shouldn’t do. I had so much information I didn’t know what to do with it. Some articles said it was a psychological problem and that I should see a therapist. Some said it was a muscle that needed to be stretched. Some said it needed surgery. I didn’t know what to believe.
I started thinking about why I might have it. If it’s psychological, then it’s easy to think of a reason why. Growing up in a Catholic society, I went to an all-girls primary school where the teachers pointed out that anyone who got pregnant outside marriage or had an abortion would go straight to Hell. This was followed by a Catholic all-girls secondary school, where I was taught by some nuns, who obviously shared that opinion! I was so terrified of getting pregnant before finishing university, that I refused to let anyone near me. By the time I was in a long term relationship, the fear of getting pregnant was so huge, that I would be physically sick at the thought of sex. I can’t remember the amount of times that I ran out of places to get sick because I thought that I might have to have sex.
So now I’m 29, going out with the same guy for 9 years and everyone is asking me when I’m going to have a baby. Society is so confusing: you spend your early teens being told that sex is wrong and not to let a boy near you, then in your early 20s you’re supposed to be having loads of it with as many people as possible in as many different styles as possible, (but keeping all this hidden from the older generation) before you meet “the one” and then you settle down and you’re supposed get married. Then, all the people who told you in your early teens that sex was wrong are asking you when you’re going to have a baby. How are you supposed to go from staying away from boys to having babies?!?!?!?! It’s just not logical!
Living in a society where now everything is connected to sex and not being able to have it is really hard. Practically every product is advertised using sex. Members of the opposite sex will find you sexy if you use a certain shampoo, wear certain make-up, drive a certain car, drink a certain drink etc…. Little girls aren’t happy with dressing up in their mother’s clothes anymore. They have to have mini versions of what their mother’s wear, but they’re still being told to stay away from boys! So where does that leave me??? I finally got around to seeing a doctor and getting a set of dilators. I’m finally making some progress and I can see some light at the end of the tunnel, physically anyway. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get my head around the mixed messages sent to girls in society though!
Tags: dilators, female sexual dysfunction, FSD, health, medicine, pain, physical therapy, sexual health, TMI, vaginismus, vaginitis, vulvodynia
Wow if I ever thought I’d be able to take a vacation from dilating for a few weeks, I was completely wrong. I’m really not going to be able to let up with this for the rest of my life am I?
I went to PT again this week. Since it has been a few days since I finished both medications for the vaginal infections, and I was feeling better, I felt ready to start up with the internal work again.
That was one of the more difficult internal work days I’ve had in a long time. Before the infections, I had been able to handle the largest dilator comfortably, and quite a bit of pressure on the tissues. It’s more uncomfortable now. I’m not reset back to zero, but I definitely fell back. No tearing or bleeding, and things were within my tolerable range, but just barely. I had to start off with one of the smaller sizes and I’m definitely not ready for the big one yet. I’m being paranoid about germs even though I washed my gear, so I’m insisting on covering the dilators with a condom for awhile. I probably don’t need to. They’re not made of porous materials and I don’t share them with anyone.
Once again I left wondering what, exactly, the biggest component of the discomfort was. Was that the vaginismus acting up? Definitely; the muscles were tensing & haven’t been worked much for a few weeks. Was some discomfort the residual vestibulitis? I don’t know but I hope not. That area of redness I noticed during the infection is better now but still not the same shade of pink as the rest of me. Could there still be some infection left? Maybe; although the sensation of intense heat is gone, and I’m not registering anything else out of the far-reaching realm of normal for me, my infections don’t like predictable textbook cases. HOW WOULD I KNOW??? If it looks like I’m shouting, it’s because I am. Not knowing is frustrating. I’m getting frustrated when I read comments online that talk about how women need to learn what normal is & what infection symptoms to look for. Mine’s not working like that.
Or maybe some discomfort is just due to me approaching my menses. I’m a bit low on some hormones.
This current discomfort is actually something I’m less pessimistic about. Right now I’m not as worried as I thought I would be. Since I’ve felt worse before, and the residual pain post-surgery responded well to PT and at-home pelvic floor & dilator exercises, I feel confident that I may be able to get the tissue supple again over time. The PT wants me to pick up with the dilators & at-home exercises again ASAP.
Of course only time will tell if my optimism is warranted.
I’m still disappointed though – I guess I won’t be able to take a break for more than a day or two for awhile. I was going so well too, I could skip 3 or 4 days without losing much ground. I was maintaining. But two weeks is just too much. I’m interpreting this difficulty with inserting things as a sign & a reminder that I am going to deal with this pelvic floor dysfunction, residual vulvodynia, vaginismus, for the rest of my life. It’s better than it was, no doubt. But some residual may be lurking under the surface long term.
*Sigh* what did I expect? I know vulvodynia is a chronic condition. Vaginismus is going to take a long time for me to address, too. I spent at least several years at least living with chronic vulvar pain. There’s a possibility that there may have been something going on longer, even before I became sexually active. It’s not going to go away overnight.
This could get awkward down the road. How am I going to do this if I have kids? I’ll need to maintain my exercises through pregnancy, certainly. But then what? I can see it now, the baby starts crying and mommy has to struggle to get up off the floor, clean herself off and pick up the baby. And it’s just going to be a mess. Or maybe mommy can shout at daddy and tell him to go pick up the baby, mommy’s in the middle of something. Or something is in the middle of mommy, as the case may be.
Then what if I have a major pain flare while I’m working and being a mom… I don’t think I want to think about that right now.
Welp. Looks like I’ve still got some work to do.
*Metaphorically speaking only. Yeah right like I’m ever going to ride on a normal saddle again. Guess I won’t be going horseback riding or biking in the mountains any time soon. I guess the sybian is out of the question for me too. Oh well, that’s all out of my price range anyway.
Tags: dilators, humor, kink, language, Sexuality, silly, vaginismus
I don’t think of myself as a very kinky person. There’s a few kinks I’m interested in already or developing an interest in which I could probably go into detail about at a later time.
But apparently I’m actually a kinkier person than I thought. For some reason, “Vaginal dilation” is listed on a kink checklist brought to my attention by a dear friend. You’ll have to register to answer the questions, but you can still view them here. (Some terms may be triggering?) Much to my surprise, one of the items on that long list is “Vaginal dilation.”
Lol wut? That’s a kink? Welp that’s news to me.
Is that website even using that phrase the same way I mean it? “You keep on using that word. I do not think you know what it means.”
Does it still count as a kink if you’re doing the slow graduated process of using a dilator kit for treatment of vaginismus? Or do they only mean if you’re taking things to the extreme?
You know what the survey doesn’t clarify whether they mean an extreme definition or not so, okay! I’ll go with that. I’m okay with that. Apparently I’m more kinky & creative & sexy than I thought. I’m not gona argue with that.
Yes I’m so, kinky & exotic when I’m dilating while watching tv or listening to music. Yes that’s so sexy & interesting (except it’s usually not.)
There’s only one way I can think of to celebrate this, achievement, for lack of a better term.
So everybody grab your dilator kits, join hands now and dance all night.
(It’s okay; you can still dance even if you don’t have a dilator kit.)