September 23, 2007

Then It Got Out of Control

Within two days of my first sexual encounter, I was in searing pain, there was pus weeping from my vagina and the health center was closed. I went to the emergency room because I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t take the pain any more and I was worried that something was horribly wrong.

I went to a women’s hospital near my college. After hours in the waiting room, a doctor told me that I had a yeast infection and a urinary tract infection. She gave me Xylocane jelly to relieve the burning, a prescription for Diflucan and an antibiotic for the UTI. She told me to NEVER use colored or flavored condoms. She also told me to use a lot of lubricant to prevent irritation. I wish I had known all that before I had sex. Those shitty condoms should come with a warning label.

The infections cleared and the burning pain dissipated. As soon as I thought I had healed, I attempted sex again. I felt the same agonizing pain upon insertion and burning for hours after sex.

Xylocane jelly became a constant in my life. I used it after every time I had sex. It helped, but it didn’t do anything to treat the problem.

More pressing, was the pain I felt with penetration. Remember what if felt like to get your ears pierced. The jolt of pain as the pointed earring broke through your skin and then the burning that followed as a foreign object hung in your lobe.

Imagine that on a much larger scale. The best way I can describe it is feeling like I was being ripped apart from the inside. And no amount of lubricant lessened that persistent, jarring pain.

I didn’t know what was wrong with me and I was too ashamed to tell my partner. I wanted to enjoy sex and I wanted to please my partner, so I swallowed my pain. I had sex frequently, even though it hurt, because I wanted to be normal.

The only other relief I got was from soaking in warm water. Problem was: I lived in a dorm with no bathtubs. I filled a drawer from a plastic storage unit with hot water from the bathroom sink almost daily for just a few minutes of relief. It was humiliating to sit on the floor of my dorm room with my ass wedged in a drawer, but it was the only thing I could do to alleviate the pain.

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