Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians.

The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 26-year-old woman who just wants to have penetrative sex. She talks about her painful experiences, the “solutions” she’s tried that didn’t work, and how she craves painless penetrative sex. 

Tell me about your most memorable sexual experience 

The first time I tried penetrative sex was when I was 21. It hurt, and I told him to stop. He said sex with me was like trying to put a wrong key in a padlock. 

Three years later, I decided to try again with my friend with benefits at the time. We got a hotel room, and when he tried penetration, I was in a world of pain. It hurt so much, and the blood that followed? It didn’t seem normal. 

We ended up just kissing and cuddling. I couldn’t go through that amount of pain again. 

I’m sorry. So, no more penetrative sex for you? 

Well, I tried one more time. It was with the same guy, in a different hotel a few months later. He kept telling me the pain was in my head, but I knew it wasn’t. When he tried and the tip got in, I thought I’d collapse from how much pain I was in. 

I told him to remove it immediately, and I made a promise to myself to not try penetrative sex again until I’d figured out a solution to what was wrong with me. 

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What was finding a solution like?

Well, I haven’t exactly found one, but that’s because I haven’t taken it seriously. I’ve been extremely busy. Plus, it’s not like I’m orgasm starved. I get plenty from oral sex and masturbation. 

Those don’t hurt? 

They really don’t. I started masturbating when I was 21 years old, and I was only able to because my mental block had left. I used to be very religious, and that meant no form of sexual activity for me. As time went on and I grew less religious, I allowed myself to masturbate one day. It felt great. I tried to insert fingers, but it felt extremely uncomfortable, so I just stuck with the clitoris. 

I can give myself steady orgasms, and if I don’t feel like doing it myself, I meet up with my friend with benefits for oral sex. I’m not starved of orgasms. 

Then why did you want to try penetrative sex? 

Because I want to experience it. I want to know what it’s like to be penetrated and actually enjoy it. Plus, I can’t masturbate for the rest of my life, and I feel it’s unfair to just expect to get oral sex and not give anything in return. 

I don’t like giving blowjobs. Semen tastes salty and the act of sucking dick doesn’t turn me on. I don’t want to be the one getting all the pleasure while the guy gets nothing. It’s not fair. 

So back to finding a solution. What’s going on?

I’ve tried a bunch of things. In early 2021, I started doing a lot of research. Whenever I typed in my symptoms, I’d always get vaginismus as a result. So, I started searching for solutions to vaginismus. The first one I tried was a dilator. 

Dilators are these sex toys that look like dildos but have one fat end and a slim end on the other side. They come in different sizes, and you’re supposed to try each size to get your vagina used to a penis. The one I got had five different sizes. Using the two smallest was okay, but when I tried the third? Problem. I tried to shove it in, but it’ll end up sliding back out. So, I gave up on it. 

Then I watched a show that talked about painful penetration. They shared breathing techniques you can use to help you take in the dilator. After learning the techniques, I tried again, but I could never make it past the second size. The third size brought too much pain so I’d stop. 

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That sounds stressful. Did you try anything else? Lube? 

I have tried so many different variations of lubricants, but it doesn’t work because my vagina muscles are too tight. 

Late 2021, I was scrolling through instagram when I saw another woman talking about vaginismus. I reached out to her, and she gave me the number of a pelvic floor therapist who can help. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to see the doctor. 

There’s so much going on in my life right now, and I have so many expenses because I plan on traveling, so a pelvic floor therapist isn’t really the top of my list. 

What about a gynecologist? 

I’m currently seeing a gynecologist for PCOS-related issues, but I’ve been unable to bring my possible vaginismus up because the last time I went to see a doctor when I was 21, he kept asking me stupid questions that weren’t helpful. He was more interested in how my boyfriend felt about the experience than me. So, I’m just waiting till I can see the pelvic floor therapist. 

When might that happen? 

Hopefully, before this year ends. I might finally get a solution to this problem and maybe start enjoying penetrative sex. 

How will you rate your Sex Life on a scale of 1-10?

1. Sure, I’m getting orgasms by myself, but there’s nothing like having someone hold, touch and kiss you in places you can’t do yourself. I’d like to be able to have penetrative orgasms with someone. Until then? We move.

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