Hey Dalychia and Rafaella,
Thank you again for your work and what you are providing to the black community. I am so very grateful and wish you both so many blessings in your personal lives. Your earlier advice has been very helpful and after some research, I have found out that I have vaginismus or overactive/tight pelvic floor muscles. Not sure how much knowledge you have surrounding the topic, but it seems that I again hold racial trauma in my vulva which causes my vagina to be tense and cause painful penetration. I've considered dilation kits, cbd lube, maybe even seeing a sex therapist. As I've started dating again, your "circle of pleasure" instagram post has released my worry about not feeling complete if I can't have penetrative sex because pleasure in all forms can be enjoyable. But I just wanted to have a dialogue about any advice around alleviating painful intercourse.
Also, do you have any suggestions for natural lube? There seems to be controversy around using coconut oil internally, or even aloe vera.
We appreciate you following up and for the blessings! We're glad that you've been able to put a name to your experience. With new information comes new ways to engage in addressing it.
Many people with vaginismus have experienced some form of trauma in their lives. And as we know, trauma has a huge impact on our entire beings, from our physical health to our mental and emotional well-being. We mention this simply to highlight the complex nature of trauma and its treatment. We encourage you to develop a comprehensive approach to your own research and in seeking consultations—from gynecological care, pelvic floor physical therapy, therapy, and sex therapy. Even if you have top-notch insurance, definitely keep looking online for information. There are amazing people who are doing work in this field who provide free, low-cost services and resources that you can turn to in the beginning steps.
We'd like to put you on t UC! She does a lot of work around pelvic health, physical therapy, managing and decreasing pain, and sex education and so much more. she offers weekly online webinars, has a ton of free videos/articles/advice, and is easy to talk to. Tell her we referred you if you decide to reach out! We also posted an article about pleasure without penetration recently that mentions vaginismus and lube, how timely!
More about lubes here and some recommendations:
From the store
Uberlube - silicone based
Sliquid - water based, glycerin, paraben, sulphate free
Sylk - water based, pH balanced, from kiwifruit vine
Aloe Cadabra - they claim 95% organic aloe in each tube
Good clean lube - has an organic aloe base
From the kitchen
Sweet almond oil - moisturizing, pleasant smell, no residue, great feel
Virgin coconut oil - thick/lingers which further helps with dryness. However, its thickness makes it easier for bacteria to stick around, breed, and cause infections. It also has antifungal properties that eliminates bacteria, the good and the bad bacteria, which can throw off the vaginas pH balance.
In case you haven't already come across this, here is a website fully dedicated to vaginismus education!
Now, here is a another approach because why not?!:
Foria Relief Pack (NOTE: This contains THC, ingredient found in weed)
Feedback from Ashley Manta who is the founder of CannaSexual: "The THC-infused coconut oil formula was originally developed to help post-menopausal folks with pain with penetration and vaginal dryness. They were pleased to find that it also led to enhancement of pleasure. I have pain with penetration and found it to be the first thing in years that allowed me to have pain-free sex."
The downfall is that it is only available in California and Colorado because all the other states need to catch up! But the information and testimonials are pretty impressive. Don't go breaking the law in the name of Afrosexology though! :-D
We also want to acknowledge the work that you have put into learning more about yourself, trying different things that may work for you, and researching what is going on. All of that builds your resilience! People experience a cycle of pain when it comes to vaginismus where the expectation of pain and discomfort reinforces that same response, similar to that of panic attacks. However, your outlook, eagerness, and willingness to be creative will take you far during this journey!
With power & pleasure,
Dalychia and Rafaella