I was a college student when I had my first serious romantic relationship. He was a sweet and considerate guy and my first-time sex with him, while not memorable, was not full of pain. We broke up when I moved back to my hometown and he had to stay behind.
Sex started to hurt
Before I married my husband, we had lived together for three years. The sex was good, there was plenty of romance, and we spent a lot of time together. Soon, however, all that changed. I can’t say what the trigger was, or if there was one to start with. All I know is that sex was becoming a nightmare I anticipated every night.
My partner was a very sexual man. He wanted it as frequently as possible and at first, that was okay. When the unexplained pain started, I didn't give it much thought. I believed it might be an infection and would clear. I really never thought to go see a doctor because the rest of the time I was totally fine.
Foreplay was not painful. When the time came for penetration however, the burning sensation I experienced was unbearable. The longer the pain continued, the more stressed out I became.
Enjoying sex was out of the question, because, frankly, who would? I was almost always dry. I was tense because I knew what to anticipate. And worst of all, I came to hate the time when my partner wanted me to be in bed with him.
When I told my partner this at the time, he brushed it off as nothing. When the pain continued and lasted more than a year, he convinced me something was wrong with me.
He convinced me that I was lacking in sexual drive and I was making up excuses not to have sex. He also told me repeatedly that it was all in my head and I was somehow unstable. I thought that maybe he was right. I was having a reduced desire for sex and thought that was the reason my head was making excuses, translating to physical pain.
I couldn’t stand being with my partner.
Every time we were done having sex, I would rush to the bathroom to run cold water over my burning vagina. It would take hours for the pain to pass.
My partner thought I was trying to clean myself up. He thought that I was trying to wash off any residue left from sex. But all I wanted was to feel relief.
My partner and I broke up years later for unrelated reasons. It was through Love Matters that I found that pain during sex is not unheard of and not uncommon at all! I wish I had known this earlier. Maybe I would have been more prepared. Maybe I would have known how to talk to my partner. Maybe I would have known what to do and how to talk about it.
I’ve been single for a while now and I have yet to try to have sex. I keep thinking that the pain I felt all those years ago can still happen and I don’t want to put myself in that position ever again.