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The Business behind Vaginismus


Are YOU being exploited?





Medicalization: the process of turning a normal or understandable human experience into a labelled illness, and then finding a medicine to cure it.
Watch Leonore Tiefer's critique of the medicalization of female sexual dysfunctions


"Women's sexual problems do not exist separate from human relationships and social context. Clinical experience and research demonstrate that women often come to adult sexual life with limited sexual knowledge, negative body image, the residue of negative past experiences, and confusion as to their sexual entitlements. Remedying sexual problems is impeded by embarassment and fear of rejection. Women frequently evaluate the desire for and the pleasure and intimacy of physical sexual experience in relation to emotional issues such as safety and satisfying their partner. Subjective sexual arousal is linked as much to socially influenced emotions and meanings as to genital stimulation. Research suggests that orgasm, while valued, does not necessarily define sexual satisfaction for women. Because of gendered social reality, women's sexual development and experience cannot be reduced to biological function"
Leonore Tiefer in A New View of Women's Sexual Problems (p.74)


The background: The medicalization of
women's sexual dysfunction

It is reported in the scientific literature that 50% of men will experience erection difficulties at some point in their life and that 43% of women have some sort of sexual 'dysfunction'.
If all these men and women were to be labelled dysfunctional, it would mean that 1 out of 2 men and almost 1 out of 2 women are not functioning properly, sexually, and that they'd need help and medical treatment.

What an imperfect, faulty race human beings must be if that is true.
But are we really ?

Those percentages have thankfully been quite debated and more and more researchers (and those rare free thinkers) are avoiding medicalizing events which are often totally natural in a persons life.
Such 'dysfunctions' in fact may sometimes serve a purpose or send out a message and therefore be completely FUNCTIONAL, or they may have quite complex psychological, social and historical roots, not simply biological or hormonal.

Yet many people in the health sector in particular still insist on defining problems like vaginismus or early ejaculation as "dysfunctions" and they will treat them often only medically.

Given our society's importance associated to having a good 'sex life' (whatever that is), it's easy to understand how sexually dysfunctional' men and women became a big market pool and how naming half of the adult population in need of medical help for their sexual problems was of course a super profitable venture.

The fact that so many people are trying hard to medicalize understandable human reactions to a violent, indifferent society, only to profit from this, is one of the main reasons me and my partner decided there was a huge need for a free, non-profit website on Vaginismus around.

So if you don't want to become a pawn in a game where you are first convinced you are dysfunctional and have something wrong with your body, then told you HAVE To fix this as soon as you can or it will be doomsday for your relationship, only to be then charged money (sometimes a fortune) to fix you up, by people who know very well it could be done for free (or almost) in the privacy of your home, please take a moment, see if they are really trying to be helpful or if they kind of enjoy holding on to secrets they can charge you to receive.

Some women may really benefit from the help of a professional to solve vaginismus, and as we say in other sections there are certainly a lot of really good physical therapists or professionals who do not put economical interests before their patient's best interest.
But before spending a lot of money or feeling rushed to stick to a programme or treatment etc, why don't you first... ?

* dig for the causes of your vaginismus and try to solve the emotional issues first
* give self-treatment a go by using our free guide and forum, see if it helps
* ask yourself if this is the RIGHT time for you to focus on vaginismus
* where is the rush coming from or who's pushing you?
* if you are being suggested quick fixes, are they really in your best interest?

If you still figure that you badly want to solve this, (hopefully for yourself and not out of pressure), then surely some companies/clinics will be glad to help you out and make you feel good about yourself by fixing your vagina.
We believe you should feel good about yourself even BEFORE you "fix" your vagina. Reaching the awareness that you already ARE a worthy lovable person will help you go through the treatment of vaginismus without much of the stress and pressure which often go with it.
That's all.

Some of you may think everyone has a right to profit from things they sell, some of us do too. Just remember though that we are talking about health care here, not about selling cars.. Should women's health be a profitable business?
Unfortunately it is, there's no question about it.
But we still urge you to ask yourself that question and open your eyes before you are the one being exploited .

Stages of the medicalization of Vaginismus

This is an adapted version of Tiefer's stages of the medicalization of female sexual dysfunctions, from the video we linked to above, to show how vaginismus in particular has been medicalized.


1. Insertion of vaginismus in the psychiatric diagnostic manual officially turning it into a medical psychiatric condition.

2. Scientific research sponsored by pharmaceutical companies focusing on how doctors can 'help' (read 'profit from') women with vaginismus.

3. Online and media propoganda about how drugs are needed (and ok) to speed up treatment of vag.

4. Growth of medical authority so that only doctors are allowed to talk about vaginismus as the experts, not the women.

5. Invisibility in the literature of the women who have actually self-treated it on their own despite clear evidence they exist and in great numbers.

6. Side lining non medical causes (therapists telling women not to bother understand why they have it and just let them fix it). Side lining of non medical treatments, especially self-treatments (which surprisingly few websites, among the hundreds mentioning vaginismus, give clear free instructions about..)

7. Amnesia for socio cultural research (which in the case of vaginismus shows how functional vaginismus is in many cases, as a reaction or defence from extremely negative messages, violence, coercion, unwanted pregnancy, negative relationship with partner or simply disinformation re. sex for women all over the globe)

8. Sale of the cure and exploitation of the lack of information about self-treatment
(Treatments for vaginismus are sold by private practitioners for up to 10,000$ when it can be treated for free on your own)

On top of medicalizing a condition which could be sending important messages to a woman, unfortunately, the way they are structured, some companies or therapists seem to only care for rich women's sexual health (how many girls from poor countries will ever be able to afford their treatments?) and we find them very hypocritical.

Probably as part of their marketing campaign, certain clinics, doctors or online companies always stress how terrible a life with vaginismus and without sex can be, and what a great toll it can take on women and their partners, they reinforce women's guilt about having vaginismus by showing them that they can finally stop having their partners and themselves suffer because of their dysfunction, and they will insist on the benefits of a quick-fix cure. Very tempting of course.
Especially if your husband is threatening to leave you or you already doubt he may be having an affair& But if that's your case, it's pretty clear that fixing vaginismus won't make your husband any better or more faithful.. Yet unfortunately many women will believe it.

Very little, if anything, will be said in these clinics or companies about how vaginismus may actually be an understandable and even positive reaction from a womans vagina.
Nothing positive will be ever said about it or about your vagina being actually quite smart and a protective, defensive tool from invasion or pain.


Some practitioners or vag. experts will also overrate sex and describe lack of intercourse must be a tragedy, especially inside a marriage.
If there is love, intimacy and understanding in your relationship, lack of intercourse won't be a big issue AT ALL, as many girls and their partners clearly report. (Read one of these partner's thoughts on vaginismus and love).
And if lack of sex is reported to truly cause serious problems and strains in a relationship, then vaginismus isn't the real problem, it's only the easy scapegoat to use..

Anyway, if these doctors/companies/clinics manage to convince you or reinforce your conviction that having vaginismus is terrible and that you deserve to be "normal" at all costs and risks, then they will be making money out of your pain and out of societys obsession for sex.
Hopefully you will all take a moment or two before being exploited that way..

Who profits from you and from vaginismus ?


"We've got a huge greedy industry in the USA and there should be no room for greed when we're talking about people's health"
Micheal Moore talking about his 2007 movie SICKO


SICKO: interview

PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES, PRIVATE CLINICS, ONLINE COMPANIES, INDIVIDUAL THERAPISTS


Many private clinics' and website owners have also jumped on the band-wagon of female sexual dysfunctions to make money out of them, Vaginismus included. Its success rate is so high, it makes them look really successful at what they do.
Some of these companies or doctors may easily disguise their profit-making goal by assuring women that what they are doing benefits all women and that they just want to share information over this "horrible, devastating womans DYSFUNCTION".

And they do give good information often. However, for some reasons, despite the fact that some of them are competent doctors or professionals, they never give some tips to dilating for free on their websites.
You get to know everything except WHY you should even cure it in the first place and HOW.

Living WITH vaginismus and being loved and loving WITH vaginismus is never even contemplated as a possibility, despite the fact that vaginismus isn't an illness.

Some charge thousands of dollars to have you cured at their premise when some of us cured vag. for less than 100$, or they keep secrecy about their treatments or about the scientific evidence behind them.


Free websites like ours with free, valid information on vaginismus, its social causes and its self-treatment, are obstracized or discredited by some of these companies or private therapists.
In order to convince you that you really need to spend more than you should, you will have to be convinced that you do have a dysfunction, that it is mostly in your head or mostly medical, that it's not worth considering whether your partner, family, society played a big role in your bad relationship with your sexuality, and that you'll only be a better, normal woman once your vagina can accept a penis.

We heard stories of many girls who are told by their doctor/psychologist/gynecologist etc that they should not focus on the causes of their vaginismus, but just fix it, and there are women who are offered drugs such as anti-depressants etc. to fix it fast, when they are not even depressed in the first place, therefore creating all sorts of other problems, real medical problems this time, so ask yourself:
What is the real problem I have? Is it vaginismus or is it something deeper than that? What will the treatment solve and is it worth the risk?



"Women's sexual problems do not exist separate from human relationships and social context. Clinical experience and research demonstrate that women often come to adult sexual life with limited sexual knowledge, negative body image, the residue of negative past experiences, and confusion as to their sexual entitlements. Remedying sexual problems is impeded by embarassment and fear of rejection. Women frequently evaluate the desire for and the pleasure and intimacy of physical sexual experience in relation to emotional issues such as safety and satisfying their partner. Subjective sexual arousal is linked as much to socially influenced emotions and meanings as to genital stimulation. Research suggests that orgasm, while valued, does not necessarily define sexual satisfaction for women. Because of gendered social reality, women's sexual development and experience cannot be reduced to biological function"
Leonore Tiefer in A New View of Women's Sexual Problems (p.74)



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DISCLAIMER: This site is not designed to provide medical advice. All material is gathered from the experience of hundreds of women who experienced vaginismus but it is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Please review the information contained on vaginismus-awareness-network.org carefully and confer with a health care professional specialized in vaginismus, as needed.