Nine months ago, I tested a toy that injured me and led to a three month-long medical process that I never thought would end. It started with an orgasm, funny enough. Though, I’m sure the contractions of my body made the injury worse. When mild pain and minimal bleeding turned into intense pain that spanned weeks and months, I grew very concerned. I fought off several bad infections before I was able to sit comfortably again. As much as I hate the pain and trauma the incident put on my body, it left me with an even worse feeling.
When you experience a vaginal injury, it’s obvious that your sex life is going to take a hit during the healing process. I wasn’t sure how long that would take initially but as the days, weeks, and months passed, I feared the worst.
The injury itself wasn’t the worst part. Maybe it was the fact that I had just climaxed that made it so much easier in comparison. Because your brain releases endorphins that have pain-relieving effects when you orgasm, it’s fully possible the incident didn’t hit me as hard as it would have otherwise. However, the medical process that followed the injury was only the beginning.
I put off going to the doctor initially. Despite light bleeding for days following the injury, I didn’t want to face the medical trauma of a pelvic exam unless it was truly necessary. However, when the pain got bad enough to make sitting painful, I knew I had to go see someone. I went to a clinic near my home, where a simple swab (that I got to do myself, thank god!) confirmed that I had an infection from the injury. I was sent home with antibiotics and I thought my suffering was over.
This process happened several more times before it all blurred together. In addition to the vaginal infection, I got a UTI. When I thought both infections were gone, the pain persisted. I ended up back at the clinic with another prescription. I felt stuck in this cycle for three whole months, during which time I’d spend at least half of my waking time bed-bound because sitting, standing, and walking were all too painful.
Needless to say, sex wasn’t on the table for a long time. My domestic partner is very understanding so it didn’t come up for a while but I soon realized that because of all the stress I was under from dealing with the medical issues, even my long-distance relationship took a pass on anything sexual. After months of constant torment, I was finally ready to return to my normal life when the pain subsided..
Stepping back into sex after a vaginal injury was very reminiscent of trying to ease back into sex as a survivor of assault. Despite being fully aroused, fully consenting, and very eager to dive back in, I was unprepared for what that meant for my body. At the moment of penetration, my body seized up in sheer agony. The pain from that first attempt was worse than the injury itself. I curled up into a ball on the bed and prayed for it to end.
Sexuality, from there on out, has been a different experience for me. I’m lachrymose to say I’m nowhere near the place I used to be. For someone who had a very high sex drive for all of my adult life and found so much empowerment through sexuality, I am at a loss of what to do without that desire. I feel like so much of my identity was rooted in my sexuality and without it, I feel so lost.
I’m trying to learn what it’s like to live in a world where sex isn’t a driving force in my daily life anymore. As a sex blogger, and as someone who works full time in the sex toy industry, this has been incredibly painful. Sex education is still my life’s passion. I still want to share my experiences and ideas about sexuality with the world but this process has been absolutely heart-breaking.
I’m still trying to acclimate to a polyamorous relationship with multiple sexual people without feeling like I’m not as valued as I once was to them. It has brought up so many related negative emotions that I was not prepared to deal with. I circle back on self-worth and how I define myself as a non-sexual person and if I’ll ever be the same as I was. I mourn the sexually-liberated person I used to be.
I know there are options for me. I’m hoping with time, patience, and my wonderful sex therapist, I’ll make good progress. I’m hoping to take small steps to reclaim sexuality for myself because I truly love what sex and kink have done for me. I have found so much love and acceptance and pleasure in exploring sexuality and I’m sure as hell not ready to call it quits.