Wow, it’s been a hot minute since I updated this blog, huh? Allow me to reward your patience with the saga of my twat adventures!
I’ve been ashamed since puberty of my inability to use tampons. They won’t go in and they hurt like a bitch. I assumed I either had unusually narrow lady bits or was doing it wrong, so I didn’t ever tell anyone. Luckily, I found out recently that not only do I have a fairly common disorder called vaginismus, but that it’s treatable! (You’d think I would have learned this before hitting my thirties, but high school sex ed…blah blah…society teaching girly parts are gross…blah blah…ingrained prudishness…blah blah…white coat syndrome…etc.) As it was explained to me, the muscles surrounding my genitalia don’t know how to relax at all. As Wikipedia explains it, those muscles involuntarily react to the prospect of penetration by yelling “Nope!” and slamming shut. I guess it doesn’t really matter which it is, as the result is the same.
Let me back up a bit: I need exercise (source: my pants that used to fit), but stuff like walking or using weights is too hard on my joints these days, so my doctor recommended water yoga. After much procrastination fueled by my fear of swimsuits, I finally got my gear and was ready to go. All I needed was to wait for my period to be over because of my lack of tamponability. (Totally a word. Spellcheck can suck it.) Unfortunately, I forgot that I have two loooong periods a month, leaving me four days max to go to the pool. See the issue?
So I need to treat the vaginismus so I can wear tampons, so I can work out, so I won’t be so fat, so my rheumatism won’t be so aggravated that I suck down enough painkillers to dissolve my stomach into puddle of ibuprofen. An improved sex life is just a side benefit…depending on if you ask me or my husband.
My doctor—who I used to like—made me buy vaginal dilators and see a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor issues. Actually, I completely forgot we had talked about the latter (probably because I’d never heard of such a thing), so imagine my surprise a few days later when I got a phone call one morning from a nice lady informing me that I had been referred to, essentially, a crotch doctor. I was asleep when she called, so after a long silence I blearily mumbled that I would call them back.
When I was awake enough to be coherent, I called and said, “WHO referred me to WHERE to exercise my WHAT??” The nice lady patiently explained and I ended up with an appointment before I could panic and hang up. More on that later.
But first I had to order vaginal dilators, which are essentially plastic cylinders you stick up your hoo-ha. I did an Amazon search (I’m sorry, but I’m not marching into a pharmacy to ask them where they keep the vagina wideners) and only got a few results. However, there was a “related items” list that had a lot of similar-looking metal thingies. I was confused when I noticed that most of the reviews were by men:
“These are great for sounding!”
“I found them more comfortable for sounding than so-and-so brand.”
“My girlfriend was skeptical about sounding until I got these. Five stars!”
Huh, I thought. Maybe sounding is another term for vaginal dilating? But why would so many guys be interested in them? Thus my doctor’s recommendation resulted in a Google search that I will never, EVER forgive her for. It turns out sounding is the practice of using tools to widen the urethra until you can stick a finger (or whatever) into it, I assume for some kind of sexual purpose. I don’t know—I slammed my laptop shut before my eyeballs could accidentally read details.
Thank the gods I didn’t do an image search.
Listen, you’re welcome to whatever kink turns your little crank. I personally don’t see the appeal of an enlarged pee hole (except maybe for passing kidney stones), but I don’t begrudge anyone their fun with another consenting adult. HOWEVER, I could have lived my life just fine without knowing what sounding is. That’s a mental image I can’t unsee. (Note: If I’m wrong about any of this, I DON’T CARE. Please please please do not contact me in an effort to further my education on this matter.)
Anyway, I finally ordered a set of vaginal dilators, and now Amazon keeps recommending interesting products based on my search history. The fun never ends!
The idea is that you start with the smallest of the set and work your way up as space allows. You lie down, lube up the least intimidating one, put it in, and stay that way for half an hour or so. I did the first treatment while Tim was at work, but it occurred to me that things would be a bit awkward if, say, the cat started throwing up and I had to rush over to push her off the chair. Now I wait until he’s home. Moral: Always have an inserting-things-into-embarrassing-places buddy available to spot you.
I need to go look up more euphemisms for my reproductive organs before I can tell you the rest. That’ll be another fun Google search. Tune in next time for the gripping tale of what my physical therapist is putting me through! It also involves cats.