5 years ago, if I watched this video, I would have anger pulsing and flowing through me. 😡
Anger blanketed towards our societal experiences as humans in the world. The expectations that are thrown at both vulva and penis owners (and especially vulva owners as ‘sex symbols’) – expectations of who we SHOULD be in our lives. And in my experiences, expectations 99% of the time lead to anxiety, disappointment and confusion. It can be SO incredibly difficult to hear these ‘commands’ being directly or indirectly said to us, take them into consideration but then STILL be authentic and true to who WE actually want to be… ✨
Now when I watch this video, I also have this sense of anger diluted by a sense of compassion and understanding. 🙏 That and desire to stop the chain of confusion. To help mold the next generation of children growing up in their families, communities and societies… into people who don’t require sexual healing as adults. Who are living in their truth, fully expressed in the way they feel most comfortable and confident. As their own perfect selves. Their version of unique perfection. ❤️
Still, memories and emotions flow to the surface for me and that’s why I love this video as a tool for self reflection. Here is some of what pops up for me personally…
My dad pointing out the weight I gained at different parts of my life, volleyball teammates commenting on being skinny and how I should look ‘healthier’, then new acquaintances saying that muscles look good on me – that it’s good to be strong. Close friends saying I eat too healthy and I should enjoy life, and mom that if I followed a certain diet and cleaning regime, maybe my face would clear up. 🤷♀️
I remember my mom wanting me to dress in skirts, dresses and to do my hair.. 👗 Young me being unhappy with her choices for me… Later becoming a tomboy, playing sports with the boys and feeling authentic; And then having doubts about being a tomboy because boys are attracted to girls who are more ‘girly’ and maybe I should be that if I wanted a boyfriend. Then actually wearing dresses and makeup (probably largely for that reason), but also because it became interesting, desirable and actually fun for me. 👄
Who knew I would change? Was it okay to change, I thought?
Later still, not wanting to wear makeup often and having thoughts of ‘well, should I?’. 👁 And if I don’t show up in the world with makeup, did that mean I’m confident in myself, or did it mean I don’t love myself enough to look good? Then the tomboy thing coming full circle and experiencing my partner seeing me as less sexy than I used to be, because he felt like I’m one of the boys, around his closest circle of friends. At other times, that he’s glad I’m not overly done up and ‘girly’ in my behaviour.
So which one is it? Does it matter? Where is the perfect balance for me? 😍
Then there’s the aspect I was raised with of being a strong person, a high performer who accomplishes things, who works HARD. Who plays hard, but not too hard to forget attainting my high grades in school and good reputation at work. 🤓 And on the other hand, my romantic partners telling me to relax and enjoy. Why am I uptight and so serious sometimes. To learn how to sleep in and fool around in the morning and forget about the things I need ‘to do’, to be productive. 👩💻 The high performer, ‘alpha woman’, productive type was my safe space, where I excel especially after finding out about my sexual pain. Intertwined in all that, doubting between whether I should allow a man to pay for my food, or I should show how independent I am and not rely on any man for my well-being. 💪
I wanted to surrender, to let go, but was that okay? Trying to surrender in the bedroom had led to pain before, so why should I?
Going back to age 5 or 6, exploring my body and my grandpa firmly telling me NOT to touch ‘down there’… 😳 Later a guy friend in high school commenting that of course girls masturbate as well and it wouldn’t be natural if we didn’t. Meanwhile I listened silently and thought, well I masturbate so rarely and it’s mostly a stress reliever that I perceived as shameful as opposed to an activity to deeply enjoy and celebrate about myself. 😇 And others still saying it’s not what ladies do, confirming my insecurities.
OH all of these expectations and ideas of what’s ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
For many, myself included, emotional healing (which can greatly help the physical healing journey of vaginismus) involves being aware of these past and present experiences, thoughts and feelings and stripping them away from the emotional charge. 😎 Coming to a place of peace with what we were exposed to in life and curiosity and excitement for what we want to create for ourselves in the future. 🌹
Commitment to our truth.
When it comes to vaginismus, I reflected on and wrote about all the reasons I could think of that contributed to my experience with vaginismus – I wrote about them in The Pain Free and Intimate Recipe. ❤️ In the hopes that the wonderful humans I work with can relate, feel less alone and have access to a place of peace and love for themselves in their own unique situations.
If you’d like to chat about any of this, I invite you to comment below. 🙏
Share any other aspects you can add to create a more complete picture of this vulnerable topic… 🤗
– Katrin, with Love