Patients often suggest that we pull out a mirror during vaginismus treatment so they can see how to enter their vagina. When asked why they need a mirror, they will say that
- It has to do with control;
- Because they doubt their knowledge otherwise;
- Because seeing is reassuring;
- Because if it hurts it has to be bad and need to see what is going on;
- Because afraid to hurt herself otherwise (go the wrong way);
- Because cannot find the vaginal opening otherwise.
While these answers are common vaginismus reasoning, it has nothing to do with reality and ‘normalcy…’ Read on.
Vaginismus is a psychosomatic condition, a reactionary phenomenon that is ALWAYS anxiety-based. Vaginismus is laced with perceived fears and worries and concerns, all which completely derail vaginal function from normal to altered/psychosomatic.
In the normal/healthy function, a woman will intuitively find her vaginal opening just like she can find her mouth for feeding and her nose for blowing it. It is a built-in ability to afford caring for the vagina in low visibility (in the dark), if she is blind, if the man is on top of her and blocking the view, etc. More so, the cave-woman did not have a mirror yet was surely able to navigate her vagina…
In other words, no mirror needed whatsoever (beyond once to learn what the genitals look like)! Instead, treatment must address the associated anxiety, and normalize vaginal awareness and use.