Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sleeping with Catfish

The guy I've been seeing has forearms that are like catfish, so I've been calling him "Catfish" to people who don't know him. I think I'll start calling him that here.

Catfish and I have been trying to have sex. Actually, we've succeeded several times at having sex -- I say "trying" because each time feels like a flip of the coin, "will sex be possible again." It hasn't been something I haven't been able to do, but I've come close to abandoning the mission before it's complete.

When we start, the pain around the opening of my vajayjay is excruciating to varying degrees, sometimes breathlessly, sometimes more of a wince. It's always subsided after a few minutes, so I hang in there. He caught on quick and we go slow until the pain lets up and we can get moving.

Then there's the problem of going too long. If we have an extended round, I start to feel a different kind of pain -- my abdomen, and also a soreness around my groin. I figure it could be muscular, since in theory those muscles are bound up all the time, but whatever it is it makes me fizzle prematurely and I just try to hang on till the ride's over.

The pain during the day is another story completely. Up until about a week ago, it was unbelievable. I was at a 9 constantly -- and whenever I get up above 8 or so, I realize that my pain scale is actually a hyperbola and the increments start stretching as the numbers go up. I consider 10 to be pain that I can't not cry about. The 9 I was feeling for a few weeks -- including that day I posted from the toilet -- is a 10 minus the inability to function. 8 is loud burning that distracts me every so often.

So I sat on that 9 all day for a couple weeks, including through the misery of my period, constantly convincing myself that I didn't have a bladder infection. (I didn't, somehow, but my pee was like a serrated knife.) And each night I'd get into bed and feel like I couldn't possibly have sex again. Well, one fabulous thing about this guy is that some nights we just cuddle. (Drool.) And a couple nights I diverted the sex to other activities as the pain was too scary. But there were a few times where I thought, no way, no way, and then I tried anyway and was able to fight through the pain and have a good time.

That taught me a huge lesson. I realized that no matter what, my pain is not a mandate on my actions. I can do whatever the hell I want! If I were paralyzed, I would NOT be able to move my legs -- it wouldn't be my CHOICE. But with pain, what I do IS my choice. I may not function exactly as I would without the pain, but I can still function.

I do have to be more careful than I have been in the past, obviously. I seem to get tender externally more easily, and I've noticed some bleeding when he involves his fingers. And as I mentioned above, my vaginal stamina (HAHAHA) isn't what it used to be. But I'm so thankful that Catfish is a guy I actually WANT to keep seeing! Trying my vajayjay at regular sex and seeing that it's fit enough for parasex (like Paralympics...) has stoked my feelings of control over the situation.

Since about a week ago, the not-during-sex pain hasn't been that bad, and I think I figured out why: IT'S MY DAMN INTESTINES. I swear, I swear, I swear... Look, I'm a constipated kid to begin with, alright? And the medications I'm on for my bipolar head make me all the more stopped up. So I've been waging what would probably be a wiggly war against my gut, dropping kefir and kombucha and senna and probiotics on it along with movement-inducing foods in an effort to poop at least more often than every Tuesday. And I was in the middle of so much level-9 pain and suddenly, like the sunrise, there came two gigantic bowel movements in one day -- and my pain sunk back down to its usual 6 or so without a quibble. WHA???

I thought the pain was about the sex and that I could never have regular sex without being in level-9 pain my whole life. But apparently, that's not how it works. Can I get a Hallelujah?

I have been eating like an idiot because my schedule's so messed up being around this guy all the time and going out so much. But I need to stop it. There is no reason for me to eat like I have been, risking glutenings and dropping Reese's cups like they're, well, Reese's cups. I hate Reese's almost as much as I hate that maker of the universe's cutest but cheapest but most ununbuyable shoes, Steve Madden. I hate you, Steve Madden.

My message to you other v-girls is: IBS. The incidence of IBS among women with vulvodynia surveyed on is 50%. Fifty percent. That means half of all women reporting that they have vulvodynia also report IBS. WHAT! I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I think that's ridiculous. It could be that some spasm disorder is affecting both our colon and our vulva, but something like that sounds extremely rare to me, and neither IBS and nor vulvodynia is a rare disease. I think it's more likely that for those of us with vulvodynia, the two are related with the hyper-reactive colon setting off nerve endings in the vulva.

Our diets are crap, you know. High incidence of IBS? BECAUSE OUR DIETS ARE CRAP. It's no genetic disorder, birth defect, nerve disease... It's because we weren't made to consume Mountain Dew and Shamrock Shakes while excluding everything else that's green.

So I am going to put my foot down. On my hand. And my wallet. And Catfish's fork. So I can't eat anything I shouldn't. Yeah. Twister in the refrigerator.


  1. What you're saying about IBS is very interesting. Recently I have been noticing how every time I'm constipated my vagina burns a lot more than usual.

    I have never been diagnosed with IBS, but I know I have some kind of problem in that area. For the first 20 years of my life I was like you (pooping once or twice a week and basically always being constipated). Now I poop almost every day and I beleive that it is in huge part because of how I eat.

    I drink a cup of green tea every morning. That really gets the bowels moving! I also require myself to eat at least one fruit and/or vegetable with every meal, and I try to drink a lot of water throughout the day. All of these things have really helped in making the poop happen almost every day.

    But it's not perfect and I still get constipated. And my husband thinks I'm crazy because I can't just sit on the toilet and get a poop if I sit there long enough. It does not work that way for me. I have to get "the urge". If the urge doesn't come, the poop doesn't come.

    Anyway, I'm glad you brought it up. No matter what the real reason is that we have IBS (or whatever I might have) I think that it is definitely somehow related to our vagina problems.

  2. Esther! I'm so happy to hear that you feel like master of your own domain! It is your choice.

    That's how I manage my sex pain. Some days it's worth the possible risk and some days it's not and some initial pain is often worth the pleasure that follows during sex.

    It's good to know you're getting your gut in order too. You're really doing great!

    It's fantastic! ! !

  3. Congrats on getting laid!

    And it's kind of a coincidence...I had a similar constipation/pain increase situation last week. I wonder what the connection is. More strain on the nerve/muscles?

    Anyway, sex = yay! :) Although I'm still wondering what catfish arms look like...

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