Sunday, March 29, 2009

Let's Make You Function Again, or, I Hate Men

Just read this post about vaginismus over at I Blame the Patriarchy, which another vagina blogger linked to today.  (I don't want to link to her because I'm going to kinda disagree with her but I think she's a cool blogger and I'm not arguing with her at all.)

First, glraah what a refreshing post.  Even though the author, Twisty, doesn't have chronic coochie pain herself, she hits the nail on the head with the absurdity of offering Botox to treat vaginismus -- a condition which, unlike vulvodynia, presents as pain only with penetration.

So, in other words, here's some Botox so you can have sex again.  It won't feel good or anything -- in fact, it won't feel like anything -- but at least you'll be able to do what you should be able to do.  And your boyfriend won't dump you.

That's exactly the kind of fix the vulvodynia specialist -- Dr. Matthew Barber at the Cleveland Clinic -- offered me.  (Oh god, look at that picture of him.  Talk about hating men.)

Him: Cutting out your vestibule will help your pain.
Me: But I also have pain in my clit and my urethra.
Him: Well, it may not solve it all---
Implied: BUT YOU'LL BE ABLE TO HAVE SEX AGAIN.

SERIOUSLY, man?  I should go under the knife and cut out part of my body so I can have penetrative sex again even though I can't even masturbate without irradiating my clit for the next day?  And that is the solution to all my problems?

...in his defense (why am I even bothering), he suggested several other treatments, most addressing the pain as a whole.  He also suggested Botox, and for someone who is in constant pain -- not "just" pain with penetration or even contact -- numbing like that doesn't sound so awful.  In fact, I'd gladly ride an ice saddle all day if I could.  But Botox for vaginismus?  PLEASE.

Some of the commenters on Twisty's post reply that it is possible to desire penetrative sex -- and yes, it is.  That's an important point.  Yeah, yeah, there's a lot of sex that doesn't involve penetration -- I KNOW, dudes, and I don't need anyone telling me that.  I found that out myself.  But not being able to have penetrative sex really, really sucks when it's something you enjoy.  It's like not being able to get your clit tickled, for all the chicas out there who stick to that area.

...I'm going to bring up masturbation again.  Look away until "Unrelatedly" if that bothers you.

I had this brilliant idea that I would masturbate every day for a month just to see what happened.  You know me and my experiments.  Well, I didn't get past day two.

Before vulvodynia, I was a teenage boy.  I'd go every day by default, and often I'd go multiple times in a row.  Since vulvodynia (it's now an event), I'm down to maybe once a month on average.  And that is so incredibly depressing.  It's a shift in my identity.  Not that I saw myself as "The Masturbator," but that I'm a really fucking sexual person and not to have desires anymore or to have them and not be able to act on them -- I don't know this person.

So I was going to masturbate for a month because, you know, 30-day trial, why not.  And sometimes when I masturbate the pain is minimal and I don't really feel worse the next day, so I thought maybe it would be like that.

This time, it was painful to begin with, and the whole next day I was sore.  I still tried the second day, but it took a while to find a low-pain/pain-free spot -- and then there's still pain elsewhere, so you have to look past it -- and while I got it to work, it hurt so bad during and after that I couldn't try again.  Experiment: fail.

Unrelatedly (REALLY?), I still hate men.  A lot.  I do not blame the patriarchy, though.  I hate men in my own special way.

It's spring and I've been horny.  I've been staring at a beautiful boy in one of my classes.  Or staring at him in my mind while in class because I'm pretty good at not being too awkward (during the daytime).

I don't want to listen to male musicians anymore.  I always found hip hop and R&B so sexy, but now that I hate men and can't masturbate it doesn't sound the same.

So I made myself a CD with only female hip hop and R&B artists on it, and I've been listening to it constantly and dancing.  I call it Esther's Springtime Yodel, because dammit everyone should get to yodel in the springtime.

I hate men.  It isn't because of something that happened or anything; it's more of an instinct.  Here's an attempt to pin it down:
  • they are disappointing prudes
  • they want to sleep with you and get pissed off when you're not interested, like you OWE it to them to be interested, like you should be FLATTERED that they even approached you, like they are so ridiculously desirable that it was a GIVEN that you'd be all over them the moment they sidled up
  • they tell you all kinds of lines when they've got you alone and then diss you in front of their friends because their friends were also telling you lines and they've got to keep those retractable antlers in so they can still smoke together (can you tell I went dancing last night?)
  • some of them honestly did not want Hillary to win because she's a woman.  Like, they told me so -- ME, a woman.  HOW is that okay but not wanting Obama to win because he's black NOT???????????  (some women felt this way too, though, and I bet a lot of people felt it without knowing it -- probably same for Obama)
  • the world revolves around them -- hardly any blockbuster movies star women, for example
  • the world revolves around them and we women are okay with it.  We all flock to Wedding Crashers, guys and girls alike, but only women flock to My Best Friend's Wedding -- and Wedding Crashers IS NOT THAT FUNNY (not that the other one made me pee my pants either)
  • erectile dysfunction is more pressing than vulvodynia
  • ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION.  ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??????  I HAVE TONS OF FRIENDS (+ME!!!!!) WHO HAVE NEVER HAD AN ORGASM FROM VAGINAL SEX!!!!!!!  ARE.  YOU.  FUCKING.  KIDDING.  ME.
  • they assume that I'm functional and the majority would squirm like mad or just plain bolt if they knew what's going on in my undies
  • they don't CARE, as a system, as a society, as friends, about what's going on in my undies.  They'd rather not know.
Some of these points sound like patriarchy points, but I DO NOT blame the patriarchy.  We inherited this situation, and for the most part, it's unintentional.  Men didn't go out and consciously skew medicine their way; medicine is skewed their way because (our) society has been skewed their way for millennia -- MILLENNIA -- and they were the ones doing the (official -- this paragraph is likely to invite nitpickers; please don't waste my time) doctoring all along.  It is not an EXCUSE to say that other animals have different roles for the sexes, but it is a REASON why we've arrived where we are -- why we set off on a course that wasn't balanced to begin with that got worse and worse until one day we woke up and said "hey, that isn't fair!"  It took us a while to figure all this shit out!  We couldn't even conceptualize NUMBERS when we were first standing upright -- of course more complicated (and completely impalpable) concepts like equality took a while for us to hammer out.

I mean, DUH.

So THAT is why I don't blame the patriarchy.  Because it's a waste of time, and it contributes nothing to our forward movement.  It's a backward-looking philosophy.

But I still hate men.

This post is like three posts in one, but I had to get it out because I can't focus on anything else right now.

Seriously.  I just want to drop out of school.  The thing is, I did that in college one semester because I was seriously, seriously sick with bipolar stuff.  Now I want to quit mid-semester because I'm, what, spiritually drained?  It's just not the same.  It's like I owe it to my past really-sick self to keep going even though my body is rejecting school like a mismatched liver.

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