I’ve mentioned before that I’m pretty insecure about my sexytime skill level, seeing as how the whole pelvic pain deal kind of puts the kibosh on really figuring out what I’m doing. Instead of honing skills, I’m focused more on “is the pain bad enough to stop now? what about now? would it be less awkward to call it quits now or deal with more pain later? am i going to cry in the bathroom and possibly have to explain myself to this person?”
All this leads me to wonder if I am the worst sex partner ever. Maybe these dudes discuss it with their friends and roll their eyes a lot and say things like what the fuck is wrong with her I can’t even believe I bothered wasting my time dude just find someone else because she is terrible. I bet they do. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and et cetera.
But you know what, dudes? You’re ALL the worst. So there.
The only way I could rank my sexual encounters (relationshippy types notwithstanding) is from mildly painful to excruciating—all with strong undertones of totally fucking awkward.
I’m still trying to figure out why I do this kind of thing (and why I will continue to do this kind of thing)…
I had dinner with Inga Muscio, author of Cunt: A Declaration of Independence last night, care of the Cornell Womens’ Resource Center. We mostly discussed her newer book, Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil, which I will definitely read if I can get my hands on a copy. After dinner and discussion, I asked her to sign my copy of Cunt and said that I had a few questions for her, as a woman with female sexual dysfunction.
Though she was a perfectly pleasant and fun woman, I was very nervous to ask her these questions. My internalized stereotypes about feminists (though I proudly identify as one), as well as her writing style, led me to believe that she might be brash or dismissive about my concerns–concerns I share with other women who have vulvodynia. However, she was very open to suggestions, critique, and gave me a good reminder that we all fuck up sometimes.
I asked her about the line that’s something about how men only love women when we are “consumer… bitch, concubine, accountant, orphan, punching bag,… threeholestopenetrate…” (copypasta taken from Feminists with FSD, whose post I revisited before dinner). As someone who has a dysfunctional, umm… hole, that can be pretty alienating. My lack of “normal” sex-having abilities has been pretty self-esteem crushing, and to read that line from a fellow feminist, one who’s writing about vaginas, someone who’s supposed to be on my side, was a little hurtful. Reading that was like having someone tell me “yep, your suspicions about men are correct, you are unsexy and therefore worthless.”
Her only response was that yeah, she fucked up, she’s sorry, and if I wanted to talk to her more about it (or if anyone else who felt similarly when reading Cunt), I should definitely email her. She said she’d take that–and other issues that have been brought to her attention–into consideration when publishing the next edition. We talked a bit about her dedication to alternative medicine and the medicalization of women’s bodies, and while she was far less than willing to change her stance on that, she did say that she understands the necessity of Western medicine for some women. She signed my book and thanked me for coming, and I’m very glad I got to meet her and discuss pelvic pain with her.
ugh, regarding the ETA in my last post, I have been having stabby pains all day :(
you’d think I would know better by now, but it just doesn’t work that way.
1. still soooo not over ex-boyf and and have been trying to majorly distract myself from that with a series of debaucherous interactions for, oh, a year or so, and
2. hellllllo, i am in college, sometimes (many times) i want to get laid like a normal person
and with those forces combined, i end up with random dudes and stabby pains. again. BALLS. neither of those things are good for me. and writing drunk posts is verrry difficult. but it is late at night, ithaca shuts down at 2:00a, all my girlfriends are dating dudes (aka boooring), all my guy friends are Nice Guys so they can vayan a la mierda, all the girls i’d bring home are dating girls who are not me, all the dudes i’d bring home are nowhere to be found, and the one dude i’d actually like to date probably hates me and i’d feel bad for asking him about it. DRUNK POST. sorry, internet. this is what happens on a saturday night when my vagina hurts and my soul hurts and i need to let you know about it asap.
as a sidenote, I feel like whenever I use the “sex” tag, i also use the “pain” tag. uhh. are those even two separate things?
Now that this is a hungover post, I can go where I was actually meaning to with this. Even though sex still hurts and I know I’ll have stabby pains for a few days or so, I still consider a dry spell to be a bad thing. After nearly eight years (wtf really?) of pelvic pain, my sex drive is very much intact at the moment. I’ve definitely gone through phases where it disappeared and I thought it’d never be heard from again, but that’s certainly not the case right now.
I’ve been through a lot of trial and error (okay mostly error let’s just be honest) with sex, and even though it hurts more often than not–or will for a few days after–I just keep trying like sometime I’ll magically be all better. As much as I want to blame hormones and biological imperative, I really think I’m probably using sex as either a distraction from emotional issues (uhh, see above, wow that is embarrassing) or as a way to feel like I’m a little bit normal.
Anyway, that is what I was trying to say last night. I need a coffee and to get my shit together enough to get some work done. Or maybe I’ll just keep looking at Columbia’s course listings to cheer myself up. It appears that moving to NYC will not, actually, be a way for me to get over my aforementioned issues and maybe it’ll be just like Ithaca where I hide in my apartment a lot, but hey. Haters gonna hate.
My life has been a Nice-Guy-splosion this week. FUCK. I can only think of one friend who is a dude and not a total goddamned asshole/Nice Guy right now. Shoutout to Dan for not being a total bag of dicks.
The thing about dealing with so many Nice Guys is that after awhile, I stopped feeling like a person. Most of my male friends were or are just straight up lying about it; we were never friends no matter how much I thought we were. Right now, I don’t feel like a person who might be interesting or have something worthwhile to contribute to a friendship other than fucking. AND HEY, I CAN BARELY EVEN DO THAT, AMIRITE? I mean, if I can’t fuck then I’m basically pointless. Obvs.
And the real killer thing is? I’m in my most epic and shitty dry spell ever. Attention dudes! This could be so easy for both of us. Stop pretending to be my super platonic awesome friend, state your intentions and quit being whiny little manipulative assholes for an hour or so and you’re more than welcome in my bed. What’s that, you can’t manage it? FUCK RIGHT OFF, THEN. I HAVE NO USE FOR YOU AND YOU HAVE NO USE FOR ME.
ETA: it appears that the antidote to a dry spell is whining about it to the internet…
Since I was asked to describe my current symptoms during my interview earlier, I thought I’d give an update here, too. After talking about it out loud I feel a bit more in tune with my body and what’s been going on lately. I’ve been trying so hard to ignore all the reoccurring pain symptoms that I hadn’t stopped to think about it until someone asked me outright.
I mentioned earlier that the stabbing night pains are back, unfortunately. Those usually happen when I’m already asleep or just falling asleep. All of a sudden I’ll be woken up by a terrible, sharp pain, usually on the left side of my pelvis and shooting through my left leg and up my back. I described it earlier as being kind of like a charley horse–you know when you stretch your leg or foot a little oddly and then are writhing in pain with little to no notice? Like that, but vaginally. And since it’s not really an area that can be stretched all that well, I just kind of have to roll around in bed making awful noises until it goes away. Ugh. I like to pretend that drinking a glass of water helps.
Next up is the duller, throbbing pain that happens in the late morning or afternoon, typically if I’ve either been walking a lot or sitting down for too long (can’t win, eh?). It feels a little deeper than the stabbing pain, but also comes on really suddenly and doesn’t go away for maybe 10 minutes at a time or so. This one’s bad because getting up to wander around and try to make my vagina pains stop isn’t always an option, say, when I’m in class. On the other hand, if I’ve been walking too much I can’t usually just… stop where I’m going, either. Since it happens in the middle of my day I’m typically distracted from something important, too. As an added bonus, I’m extra tense after these episodes, which leads to the threat of repetition or, worse, more stabbing pains later on.
And lastly, in a triumphant return, the vestibulitis seems to be experiencing a spring rebirth. I haven’t tracked this to a particular trigger yet, which makes it possibly more annoying, but random burning is driving me mad lately. This is definitely vulvar/external pain, and I do. Not. Want it. Plus there’s nothing I can do about it—the burning doesn’t stop no matter what I do, so I usually just start to feel way too sorry for myself. I’m starting to get concerned that it might have some kind of food trigger that I haven’t discovered and am not patient enough/can’t afford to figure out. I’m a brokeass college vegetarian—there’s not a whole lot of food experimentation I’m willing to do right now. Plus if I ever tried the low-oxalate diet I might actually die. Or at least pass out sometimes. I pretty much subsist on high oxalate foods (dark leafy greens, nuts, grains, beans, coffee, chocolate… hah). Fail.
So it sounds like both the unprovoked vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis are back. If I see vaginismus around these girlparts I’ll be pretty upset. I should probably resume dilator therapy, but… ugh. Maybe the outdoor yoga will keep me chilled and relaxed enough to stop vaginismus redux? Here’s hoping. I think the warmer weather might help, too. This is just a sad and scary reminder of how I used to NOT BE ABLE TO WEAR PANTS WITHOUT WANTING TO SCREAM. WTF. Definitely don’t want to get back to that point, but once it’s nice out again, dresses and skirts will be in order and there will be no threatening seams and tough denim. That’s right… jeans are threatening to my wellbeing right now. The laundromat shrunk my favorite skinny jeans though, so at least I don’t even have the temptation any more. Saaaaad.
Hey internets, I got an email from MTV’s True Life today! They’re filming a documentary for the series with a working title of True Life: I Can’t Have Sex and need one more participant. I talked to a producer about my story for about 45 minutes earlier tonight and am super excited at the prospect of doing something like this! Even though I’m far from an aspiring actress and telling the teevee about my vagina problems might be a little… uncouth, I think my regular readers will know that uncouth is kinda my thing and I didn’t exactly come with shame installed, so maybe participation in a documentary would be a great step for me. I totes took an acting class in high school, so camera ready. Right? Eh? Ehhh?
Plus, the best part about having this blog is getting wonderful emails and having supportive conversations with women from all over the world–going on True Life would be like a way bigger version of that! Anyway, if you’re interested in throwing yourself in the ring of possible participants, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(In other news! I started an Outdoor Yoga class! And my instructor is adorable! A couple classes in I feel like I’m totally going to tell him alllll about pelvic pain and request a few poses that might be able to help with pelvic tension, which I’ll pass on to my very favorite corner of the web, of course. Once I get more experience I’m definitely returning to the Yoga for Better Sex that I started this summer.)
There was a very timely Jezebel post today that described the total fucking unfairness of women’s health (my post title is from the comments section–I think I said something similar when I had a yeast infection in Mexico). I’ve written about this a few times before–why in the hell should I spend an entire day screwing around with a doctor’s visit, an invasive exam/urine test, a long wait at the pharmacy–oh, wait, they’re out of stock/are closed/hate me, all when I know damn well exactly what is wrong with my and my mystery vagina?! And don’t forget the extra dose of condescending asshattery that is all too common among doctor-types.
For this month’s vaginal woes, I’ve been eating lots of yogurt, taking lots of “so-called homeopathics”, and avoiding the brownies I made with my roommate last night. And let me tell you, I want a brownie so badly right now I could just cry. Since I tend to hoard prescription drugs, I even popped a Diflucan I had laying around (take that, medical institution! You think you can force me to waste my time?) but it hasn’t worked. Again.
In other adventures of the malevolent vag, the stabbity night pains are back! I didn’t miss them at all. Every once in awhile, I’ll be sound asleep, nice and peaceful, and then BAM, awake and writhing in pain. It’s a really sharp burst of stabbing pain, but afterwards I’ll be tense for a long time. Meh. I’m pretty over this crap. But it gives me an excuse to buy really, really good cranberry juice (seriously, Knudsen cranberry nectar?? ilu), since cranberries can probably fix every problem that ever existed. As usual, the moral of the story: my vagina = suxxx, cranberry juice = WIN.
we have all the same friends and they all like him better than me
if i told people they’d think i was an asshole
he’s way hotter than me so people would think it’s a compliment or that i’m lying
it’s best to not cause a scene and pretend to be totally cool about it
it’s close to the end of the year anyway, what good would come of saying something?
just in general, what good would come of saying anything?
i was drinking way too much
i’d slept with him a few times before anyway
it’s easier to play it off as a hilarious, if awkward, story (i stole his corkscrew as i was leaving! ha ha!) than actually think about it
“i want to go home” isn’t a forceful enough “NO”
i’m just being way too dramatic
just because i don’t remember how i got to his apartment doesn’t mean i didn’t want to go, right?
if, when asked how i got there, he told me i was “playing hard to get” and he had to “like, physically force me” then…
oh wait, i guess shit just got a lot more difficult to rationalize away as a funny mistake between friends.
for the aforementioned reasons i’ll continue to shut up about it and keep acting like it’s totes hilarious, but i wanted the internet to know that last night someone actually had the gall to announce to me at a bar—in public!—that he “physically force[d]” me into his apartment a couple weeks ago. i’m glad i don’t remember that part. even making a little blog entry that no one will read feels like i’m being a hysterical prude. anyway, there’s not really anyone for me to talk about this with, so, whatev. i’m keeping the fucking corkscrew.
on topic: this is the same guy that i had the horrifically awkward vulvodynia discussion with last summer, and when i got all “wtf happened” he looked really upset and asked if he had, “y’know, hurt me” (shifty gesture to my pelvis). no, my vagina’s pretty cool most of the time nowadays, it’s just that you should maybe reconsider your idea of “fun” if it involves forcing extremely inebriated women to come home with you. just a thought though, dude.
all the people that have been so shitty to me this year are only going to matter for four more months. there will be no more running into them or trying super duper hard to hang out with them just so i stop being such a homebody shut-in. i’m sure “real life” is just as cliquey and terrible as high school and college were, but fuck. i’m going to get a puppy and we are going to love each other. and the people that actually do matter will be there for it.
the things that are getting me through this day: puppy face and beat control (i was at this MHoW show in august 08 and it remains one of my very favorite memories, plus the lyrics are just what i need)
Back in the days when I used to force myself to have painful sex, I’d get through it and distract myself by singing Just Keep Swimming from Finding Nemo in my head.
I don’t have to do that anymore but sometimes I do out of habit.
I really miss writing here. I’m just still not comfortable with it after some of the things I wrote about were used in (what I still feel to be) a personal attack on my character. Sigh. Hopefully I’ll be back eventually :(