I had one of those days where I was just overwhelmed with information and thoughts and could not wait to get back and home and get them on paper. Well in this case, virtual paper...
I think big steps have been taken when women started blogging about vulvar vestibulitis because it is such a taboo subject. There are countless women afraid to speak out or even discuss it with their friends and family. It is much more difficult to have a support system and vent about your frustrations. Although this is a big step towards awareness and social acceptability, there's still many topics that are not discussed.
One of these is sex and sexuality- something I have really glossed over until now. If society thinks talking about your vagina is taboo, talking about sex is certainly worse. But at this point, I cannot be silent about it anymore.
I think one of my biggest issues is that having vulvar vestibulitis is so commonly linked as a sexual disorder, when that isn't the case at all. It's sexualized because it deals with the vagina. However, that doesn't mean it has no affect on my sexual life. After a discussion in class about sexuality today, I started thinking more about things I have tried to just push aside and forget. That's not healthy- these are issues I have to deal with.
I have not had sex (in the terms of sexual intercourse) for almost two and a half years now with my ex-boyfriend. I have only been with that one person, and the last time we had sex was when I realized there was something wrong with my body and my journey began. Since that point, a lot has changed. I have not been able to keep a stable relationship since, and the main issue is because of having VVS. There are a good number guys who listen to me explain my story and then run away. There are guys who simply don't want to deal with it. And then there are guys who do seem to understand, but it still doesn't work because I feel an enormous amount of pressure to not only get better, but almost make up for the lack of intercourse with other things. Sometimes this pressure is self-imposed, but my general experience has been that there are very few men out there who can handle this situation, which is very frustrating for me.
I have loved being single these past years, but only to a point. Everything goes well until they either find out or I tell them about my health issues. Once that information is out, it becomes the elephant in the room. But I'm deviating slightly from my main agenda.
I think one of the hardest things I face other than the physical pain and constant doctor appointments is the fact that I no longer feel like a sexual being. I understand that sex isn't just about intercourse, but it is just very difficult to take it out altogether. And I'm not trying to paint the male population as immature, sex-driven assholes- it's more of a critique of society and its standards.
We had another discussion in class about what identity you feel encompasses you the most- whether it be race, class, sexuality, or gender. A lot of people talked about being a woman or being a student... I sat there silent because at this point I identify most with having vvs and constantly being sick. My health is currently defining me, and that's something I can't really escape. I can try to push it to the back of my mind and focus on other things, but it doesn't change the fact that when I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night and when I am just thinking to myself, it constantly overwhelms my mind. Like I said in my previous post, I have such a huge support system that I am eternally thankful for. Right now I just wish I could reclaim my sexuality and have that back in my life. I don't need a relationship or someone to take care of me. I guess I just want to be wanted and have it be completely okay that there's only so much I can do when it comes to physical activity. And also have it be okay that just because I can't have intercourse doesn't mean I'm going to do everything else to make up for it. I hate that pressure.
Hopefully some of you can relate to this and hopefully offer some more thoughts or advice or stories. From all of your emails, I know it's a huge issue we face daily and too be quite honest, I'm tired of not talking about it.