The photo used here is by Stephanie Sarley, an American multimedia surrealist artist. If you’re not familiar with her work, check out her website by clicking this image.

I’ve managed to screw up the courage to share this post, in large part because I was comforted reading this post by Quinn Rhodes. If you don’t yet read Quinn’s blog, it’s time you started! I’m also linking this post to Molly’s Pussy Pride Project, that has been open since 2011 and has more than 85 links added!

{Content Warning: references to sexual trauma}

I recently had my IUD replaced in mid December. As medical appointments go it was excellent; a fabulous new ob/gyn clinic, lovely staff and doctor, and a relatively easy insertion considering that I have “the most anterior cervix she’s ever seen”, according to my gynocologist. Since then I have had a bit more cramping and discomfort than with my first IUD 6 years ago, but the pain has been minimal and brief when it does strike.

What I wasn’t bargaining for was feeling like a stranger in my own body: since my IUD replacement I am suddenly repulsed by the concept of penetration.

I don’t write this to denigrate IUDs at all, I am still happy with my choice, and I’m choosing to believe that this feeling (a body, but not gender, dysphoria of sorts?) is temporary, because to believe anything else would be honestly a bit devastating. I really love penetration, I always have, and PinV is a staple in my sex life, but currently, just the thought of it makes me anxious and upset. It would seem reasonable to assume that the fear of pain or unnecessary discomfort would be the reason, but it isn’t that. Perhaps the procedure was more psychologically or emotionally taxing than it seemed? I have entertained the thought that perhaps it’s unlocked a door in my brain that is keeping some of my childhood sexual abuse at bay, a topic that is slowly being revealed in therapy. Could the combination of thinking and talking about those incidents combined with a quick but somewhat invasive procedure spark this awful feeling? All I know is that touching my vulva still feels okay-ish, as does masturbating and having non-penetrative sex with partners. I can still achieve clitoral orgasms if I really try, but absolutely nothing is going into my vagina.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t stressing me out and depressing me. I’ve been in a restless funk for over a week and a lot of it has to do with this unsettled feeling and the anxiety that it will be worse if I engage in anything sex related.  It’s not even the lack of penetration that is upsetting, it’s that I don’t know why it is like this and until yesterday, I hadn’t been able to articulate it to my partners because I felt such an inexplicable shame. After talking to The Evergreens I feel supported, but no less anxious. Luckily, I see my psychiatrist next week and my therapist the week after. I guess I know what I’ll be talking about!

If you relate, or recognize any of these issues or symptoms, please feel free to comment below; I’d be glad to feel less alone.

Violet xo

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Pussy Pride

4 thoughts on “Stranger in a Strange Land”

  1. I have never had an IUD but I have had an uncomfortable feeling down there and inside due to OB/gyn visits. When something is inserted in me in a setting when I am not aroused, it triggers some weird body memories in me later: it even hurts after the procedure (I am unfortunate that because of my PCOS, I have had a lot of cameras inside me to check on my ovaries and that can be quite painful), because it was just not a pleasurable moment for me. And that leads to anxiety and just the thought of PiV would make me almost panicking. I don’t know if it is related to having talked about your trauma in therapy, but the more we discover about our past, the more it creeps up on us again, and the more it steps out of the subconscious, so small things can suddenly trigger reactions we hadn’t anticipated. I hope talking to your psychiatrist and your therapist soon will bring some clarity for you, and maybe even ways to figure out how to deal with it <3

    1. Thank you … I hope so too. It’s very disturbing to just all of a sudden be so repulsed by something so usual. Time will tell. Thank you for your comment xoxox

  2. That’s so strange, was my first thought when I started reading this, but as I read further down, it started making a lot more sense. If you are talking to your therapist right now and slowly uncovering sexual abuse trauma then maybe it just triggered you. From the other things you’re saying it sounds like all the stressful and negative things are coming together at once and so everything might be overwhelming? And then being worried about this sudden change of dislike for penetration (which would worry everyone if you never had a problem before) will probably be heightened. Plus, getting an IUD is a little bit of an invasive procedure. You are vulnerable even if you have no problem with it.

    I have not experienced sexual abuse but when a doctor had to look inside, which really really hurt and it then hurt to pee after for 5 days, I really couldn’t even think about imagining penetration. It took quite a long while until I got past that and I haven’t experienced any related trauma, so I don’t think it’s strange at all that you’re currently experiencing this. Maybe you need some time. Less worries, though that’s easy to say ha. Maybe when you continue to work through your past with your therapist things will change too. Either way, I hope it will be alright ♥

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