Tag Archives: sexuality

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

18 Dec

The following excerpts have been taken from Vaginismus.com. 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?”

Links: June 14, 2011

14 Jun

Gender Trender: “Boys Just Wanna Have Fun. As Fake Lesbians.” . . . on the two recent cases of “lesbian bloggers” who turn out to be heterosexual men.

Woman on a Journey: “Larry Flynt has no right to be left alone”

Undercover Punk: “Trans arguments debunked: being biologically female and ‘the myth of shared girldhood'”

Cherryblossomlife: “A use for the word Empowerment”

New York Times: “When It Comes to Scandal, Girls Won’t Be Boys” . . . a theory about why women don’t get into political sex scandals. Lots of interesting statistics regarding female and male office holders in the U.S.

Twanzphobic Since Forever: “Twanz-wot?” . . . a handy dandy guide for deciphering trans/queer political speak.

Links: May 10, 2011

10 May

This will be a special “Slut Walk” edition of links. Cuz I’m topical like that.

Woman On A Journey: “‘The sluttier the better’-that’s what men think, anyway”

Guardian: “SlutWalk is not sexual liberation” by Gail Dines & Wendy Murphy

RMott: “The Ultimate Slut”

EasilyRiled: “Slut-Walk. Sigh.”

I Blame the Patriarchy: “Toronto activists take back the slut”

Video from “The Agenda”, featuring Gail Dines (35 minutes).

Audio from “World Have Your Say”, also featuring Gail Dines. Listen online or download the mp3 (download only available for 1 week). Big ol’ trigger warning for victim blaming from (especially from callers and other people who sent in comments to the show).

Links: March 2, 2011

2 Mar

Easilyriled’s Blog: “feminist lesbians argue for the abolition of prostitution”. . . succinctly laying out arguments, one by one. Seriously go read it.

A new essay by Robert Jensen: “Consciousness rising, world fading”

New York Times editorial, Saturday Feb. 26: “The War on Women”. . . regarding the House Republicans trying to defund everything that helps women not be pregnant.

Juxtapositions: “A Radical Feminist Dictionary, A to Z”. . . I can’t believe I missed this post, especially considering my little dictionary series.

Brave Lucky Game: “In Defense of the Rights of Brutes”. . . on carnism and veganism.

Ded Gurl Cingz the Blooze: “Individualism and Human Destruction” (audio)

A Salon article by Tracy Clark-Flory: “The twisted world of ‘ex-girlfriend porn'” [TW for sexual assault, massive hostility to consent]

High Dudgeon: Linda provides us with a list of ten “Handy Anti-Porn Arguments”

RMott: “You Said What”. . . on the betrayal of women in prostitution by supposed Leftists. “Empowerment”. . . on ‘healing’.

Radical Feminist Dictionary: Alphabet Soup

5 Feb

Alphabet soup: 1.) the mish-mash of letters forming acronyms for, usually, ‘queer’-related identity categories; 2.) an acronym used to lump all “non-hetero plus miscellany” people into a category while simultaneously presenting itself as a way of not treating all non-hetero plus miscellany folks as one category.

Example: “GLBTLOLWTFBBQ” (via Lesbian + Women’s Liberationist)

[Previous entries: Strip Clubs, Gender, Anti-Prostitution]

Links: January 19, 2011

19 Jan

Femonade: “24-Hour Menergy”. . . on Mary Daly’s Quintessence and men’s energy.

Rmott: “Unsuitable”. . . on the claim that formerly prostituted women were simply in the wrong line of ‘work’. [TW for sexual violence, prostitution.]

A Radical Profeminist: Beyond Double Standards: Audre Lorde wasn’t “Queer”-identified. She was out as a Lesbian. Now, what is it called if White Gay and Trans People Don’t Honor and Respect Her Naming of Herself? Lesbophobic? Misogynist? Racist? Anti-feminist? All of these?”

Womanist Musings: “Dr. Martin Luther King: Words for Thought”. . . on lesser-known not-as-comforting-to-white-folks quotes of his.

Echidne of the Snakes: “Did Misogyny Influence Jared Loughner?”

Salon: from Mary Elizabeth Williams, “Why we won’t stop punishing the Octomom: A rumored new fetish video takes America’s sadistic obsession with Nadya Suleman to new lows” . . . [TW for sexual coercion & descriptions of porn] it’s not a perfect article, but this part is quite good:

Who wants to see “Octomom porn,” fetish or otherwise? Because it seems the point of a video of a lady who admits she had a “baby addiction,” who says she recently only had $300 to her name, really isn’t about getting anybody off in the traditional sense. It’s about the reality that there will always be an audience that takes pleasure in seeing a seemingly prideful woman debase herself. How dare she have all those kids, right? How dare she mismanage her finances? The Hollywood Gossip has sneeringly referred to the rumor of her fetish video as “classy” and E! sarcastically called her admission of money and baby woes a “shocker.” Let’s all just delight in her self-destruction, shall we? Let’s take her down a few more pegs, maybe with a gang bang or two. Sexual humiliation is the tried and true expression of rage against a woman who transgresses societal norms, and Suleman, with her 14 kids, doesn’t just transgress, she transgresses with fecund vengeance.

Also from Salon, on the potentially lethal bomb that was left along an Martin Luther King parade route on Monday in Spokane, Washington. . . I haven’t seen anyone in TV news cover this except for Rachel Maddow. Uh, kind of a big deal, folks.

Links: January 16, 2011

16 Jan

Ded Gurl Cingz the Blooze: “White Feminist and the Purity Obsession” (audio)

Discussing how white feminist bloggers fail to address the population of women on the planet who are denied virginity/chastity, and instead talk about the pressure of virginity, and things like virginity pledges as if this is a reality true of all women.

No Excuses/No Mercy: “Cosmopolitan Magazine Encourages Sexist Bullshit: More at 11!”. . . huh, I didn’t know Tristan Taormino writes for Cosmo. [TW for porn/rape-culture-soaked ‘sex advice’.]

Femanon: “By Any Other Name: Mail-Order Brides and Sex Trafficking”. . . fabulous essay. Hell yes she got an A : )

GenderTrender brings us yet another what?-OMG-no-way news story. . . “‘Transwoman’ fights for experience of living in all-girls dorm.”

Echidne of the Snakes: “The Stereotype Threat. Or Priming Gender”. . . part six in Echidne’s series on sex, gender, and science.

Colorlines: “Poet Susana Chavez’s Death Sparks Outrage in Juarez.” [TW for graphic descriptions of violence and reference to sexual violence.]

Chavez is one of over 500 women in Juarez who have been found murdered in the last decade. And her death has caused an uproar because she had been one of few to speak out against the growing femicide, coining the phrase, “Ni una mas,” (“Not one more) and routinely criticizing local authorities for refusing to properly investigate the crimes. Her death has cast new suspicions about local authorities’ ability to handle the cases. That is to say that they’ve largely chosen to ignore them; so far, 92 percent of cases of women who’ve been murdered in the region remain unsolved.

NYT: Frank Rich column, “No One Listened to Gabrielle Giffords.” [TW for violence and some ableist language.] Good piece on its own, but also a goldmine for links to news stories regarding recent insurrection language, threats, violence, etc.

Media Matters: “Beck’s Incendiary Rhetoric Has Motivated Threats, Assassination Attempts”. . . oh, look. Words do have DIRECT consequences sometimes too. [TW for violence.]

‘Sex Radicalism’ & Anti-Political-Correctness: Peas in a Normative Pod

31 Oct

I’ve been thinking about so-called sex radicals lately. You know, the “pro-sex” (aka pro-commodified-sexuality) crowd who thinks it’s super awesome to engage in “power play” in sex and watch porn that includes fucking machines (or whatever). They throw around the word ‘vanilla’ to describe any type of sex that looks like you actually care about your partner’s safety and well-being. They claim that they are just so outside of what is socially-acceptable and that they are, essentially, a sexual minority.

This attitude is also seen with supposedly progressive people (*cough* Bill Maher *cough*) crusading against “political correctness”. This strain of back asswards liberalism believes in just “saying it like it is” and not “censoring” themselves. They act as if they’re fighting against The Man, but the result of their cavalier fuck-all attitude is that people get hurt. Not just “Oh, you hurt my feelings” hurt either. More like “Oh, thanks for keeping me as a permanent underclass through bigoted language” hurt. When you profess how little you give a damn about this, you are The Man.

The “pro-sex” and the anti-PCers both believe they are outside the norm of what is acceptable. However, what is so radical about calling Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin a bitch? They’re women in politics who you just demeaned with a gendered slur. Congrats. And what is so radical about hierarchal sexual relations? Isn’t that, ya know, exactly what we’ve been doing all along? Oh, I see though, you are aware that your Nazi/prisoner S&M role playing has clear power differentials. Well, I’m glad you read that chapter on WWII in your high school history book. Reenacting hierarchical relationships that are already present in the culture and calling it a part of your sexual orientation is not revolutionary. It’s just magnifying preexisting oppressive paradigms tenfold.

Your hip irreverence is not bold. Your hearty embrace of commingling power with sex is not in opposition to existing sexual norms. Knock it off and actually get radical.

Quotable: Woman’s Pleasure

23 Sep

Lucy Irigaray, This Sex Which is Not One

Woman, in this sexual imaginary, is only more or less complacent facilitator for the working out of man’s fantasies. It is possible, and even certain, that she experiences vicarious pleasure there, but this pleasure is above all masochistic prostitution of her body to a desire that is not her own and that leaves her in her well-known state of dependency. Not knowing what she wants, ready for anything, even asking for more, if only he will “take” her as the “object” of his pleasure, she will not say what she wants. Moreover, she does not know, or no longer knows, what she wants.

[. . .]

[I]n order for woman to arrive at the point where she can enjoy her pleasure as a woman, a long detour by the analysis of the various systems of oppression which affect her is certainly necessary. By claiming to resort to pleasure along as the solution to her problem, she runs the risk of missing the reconsideration of a social practice upon which her pleasure depends.