High stiletto heels, tight handcuffs, the whip against your skin, and the drip of a burning candle: all these are child’s play for those who enjoy a little pain with their pleasure. There’s not an exact number, but it’s estimated that only between 7 and 14% of people who fantasize with some form of BDSM actually practice it. While some see the act of receiving pleasure by inflicting pain or enduring it as part of an emotional pathology, there are plenty who see this as the true nature of humanity, an experience that society has confined and limited through rules and taboos. But there’s a huge gap between intentional pain and the unbearable involuntary kind.
Dyspareunia is an ailment that causes excruciating pain for women during coitus. It can be a result of different causes, both physical and emotional; however, the most common is vaginitis. This occurs when the vagina’s lining is weakened or atrophied, which leads to inflammation and extreme dryness in both the internal and external lips. Women who endure this situation find sexual intercourse uncomfortable, painful, and, at times, just unbearable.
This can be brought on by a simple allergy to fabrics like nylon, an untreated vaginal infection, psychological trauma due to sexual assault or abuse, and even by diseases such as endometriosis. It is usually a temporary situation. However, it can become chronic, changing the woman’s life completely.
Women with dyspareunia tend to feel burning and itching in the genital area due to extreme dryness. But the most obvious affliction occurs with sexual intercourse. Symptoms intensify with penetration, so sexual activity becomes a tortuous situation.
There’s a difference between topical pain due to a vaginal anomaly, such as an infection, irritation, or lack of lubrication, and chronic problematic pain. Despite the main traits of this affliction being excruciating pain during sexual activity and penetration, it can only be correctly diagnosed by a medical professional, since it can be confused with other issues.
To counteract the symptoms of dyspareunia, the underlying causes must be tackled. Lip inflammation can be due to a fungus infection, which can be treated with antibiotics. Nonetheless, when a physiological reaction is originated by psychological trauma, the treatment requires a more complex solution; this is why proper diagnosis is imperative.
While most causes of dyspareunia come from a physical condition that can be easily treated through medical attention, many women who suffer from it don’t seek actual treatment. This is due to fear, shame, or ignorance. Many believe it to be a matter of frigidness or disability, but the more one delays the treatment, the more problems it causes.
This condition is an ailment that continues to go unnoticed and untreated even in modern times. One solution is to be more open and accepting of sexual choices and orientation, so that other people can feel free to express their questions or discomfort and get the best care.
At times discomfort and pain are our body’s only way of telling us something’s wrong. Discover the warnings your period might be telling you.
Translated by María Suárez