Vaginismus, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love Getting Punched in the Face

18 Dec

The following excerpts have been taken from Here is the definition of vaginismus from the website: “vaginal tightness causing discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems, or complete inability to have intercourse.”

What follows has been altered slightly.

FAQ: How can I stay motivated and positive through treatment? I struggle with avoidance.

Fear, complacency, and avoidance

It is common for people to avoid issues that are difficult, painful, or have uncertain and potentially disheartening outcomes. This is especially true with not wanting to be punched in the face. The pervasive hopelessness that couples feel with not wanting their partner to punch them in the face is defeating and paralyzing. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in getting through your desire not to be smacked in the face is simply dealing with avoidance. Encouragement, love, patience, and communication can go a long way in helping to sustain relationships during trials, but there is simply no substitute for taking positive corrective action to make you feel comfortable with being punched in the face. Facing the problem directly, educating oneself and taking the positive necessary steps to overcome your fear experiencing pain when hit in the face are key to breaking the cycle of avoidance and defeat.

Here are some of the tips on staying motivated during treatment:

Remember the declarations. A woman needs to choose to not allow the pain or failures of the past to continue to impair the successes of the future. It takes time to retrain a person’s body to overcome the fear of being punched in the face. Be positive and embrace a different future potential.

Be determined. Significant life achievements require patient determination. Be determined to overcome your fears and all other stumbling blocks to resolve not wanting to be punched in the face and find freedom. You can do it!

FAQ: How does vaginismus affect husbands or partners of women with vaginismus?

It is important for male partners to understand that experiencing pain is not something the woman intentionally caused to avoid being punched in the face. The fear that causes her to back away from your fist is an unconscious reaction which is involuntary and happens without control or intention.

Even though a woman may very much want to be punched in the face, there is a ‘disconnect’ between her mind and body which triggers fear of being punched in the face.

“Samantha” shares her story:

“I feel like a failure. Why can’t I be punched in the face? The worst part is how it has affected my relationship with Dave, my husband of over four years. I have never been able to let him hit me and yet I so desire to be close in that way and to return that feeling of pain. The fear of being punched in the face as a child so many years ago keeps surfacing. Could this be the problem? I have unhealthy thoughts about myself and feel trapped.

One of the symptoms:

Avoidance of being punched in the face due to pain

When a woman states that she avoids being hit in the face by her husband because being punched does not feel good or has become very painful, a fear of being punched should be strongly considered.


Related reading:

I Blame the Patriarchy: “Thursday Vagina Blogging”

RadFem Hub: “Brad Pitt to Secure Permanent Access to Angelina Jolie’s Vagina?”

10 Responses to “Vaginismus, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love Getting Punched in the Face”

  1. Mary Sunshine December 18, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    Brilliant! 🙂 A treat for my sunday morning breakfast.

    • lishra December 18, 2011 at 3:19 am #

      Thanks, Mary! It was simultaneously the most fun and most depressing Mad Lib I’ve ever done.

      • cherryblossomlife December 18, 2011 at 6:23 am #


  2. DaveSquirrel December 18, 2011 at 4:03 am #

    It is a good illustration of showing the body’s natural reaction to something that will cause pain – yet PIV is considered so critical (even by the women themselves) that they are meant to work through it.

  3. patriarchywatch December 18, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    Haha, thank you! I was just reading the vaginismus website myself a few days ago, and thinking
    “UH, vaginismus is a GOOD thing! It’s your body telling you DON’T FUCK THIS GUY. HE CAN’T BE TRUSTED”.

  4. smash December 19, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    Great post!

  5. FCM December 24, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    how did i miss this one? 🙂 and YES. is fucking awful. there are some really interesting nuggets there though, like that intercourse doesnt come naturally and we have to train ourselves to do it….which is all true! but their conclusion is beyond problematic, which is that WE SHOULD ABSOLUTELY TRAIN OURSELVES TO DO IT. a little tiny bit of honesty that you wont get anywhere else….right before they try to sell you a dilator kit and some PIV propaganda. WTF?

  6. liz February 14, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    i LOLed. thanks!

  7. whitevalkyrie1988 April 20, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    We need to pass out pamphlets to girls telling them PIV is soemthing they may not want. I posted some on my wordpress account here (check my first post) and I will gladly allow you to print out and distribute them to young girls.

  8. whitevalkyrie1988 March 7, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    Have we passed out any pamphlets? Will anyone else author some? I don’t want my pamphlets to be the only ones out there.

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