For the majority of my late teens into early adulthood, I believed that all women found penetrative sex extremely painful, and that we were all just pretending that we enjoyed it.
It was only when I found this article by my friend Billi, that I realised the pain I was experiencing was not normal. In fact, it was a condition that many women suffer with, most of them like myself, in complete silence.
Watch: What is vaginismus? Post continues below.
At this time, I was dating someone exclusively.
Usually when it came to penetrative sex in a casual setting, I would either try to avoid it completely or just silently accept the excruciating pain.
I would lie to the men I was seeing and say that I only have PIV (Penis in Vagina) sex with people I'm in relationships with. That would usually result in no further questions however those encounters never lasted very long.
When I did attempt to have PIV, I would try to make it as quick as possible and hide my face so they wouldn't see the pain I was going through. I'd then promptly go to the bathroom to have a little cry and take some deep breaths to calm myself down. I know. Extremely unhealthy.