For Women
For Practitioners
For Partners
Sex and Vaginismus
Vag. Central
Contact Us


Religion and Vaginismus

From both our experience and some scientific studies, there seems to be a strong correlation between women who were brought up in religious homes and vaginismus.

A strict religious background has been quoted as one of the MAIN causes of vaginismus, by many women. (See for instance: Ward E, Ogden J. 1994; Reissing E. 1999; Silverstein 1989)

1. Jewish women & Vaginismus

2. Catholic women & Vaginismus

Many women choose not to have sex before marriage because of religious upbringing, other women use religion as an excuse because they are actually very scared of sex so abstinence can be a way for them to put sex off without being judged as a frigid or without being pressured by their partners.

The decision to remain a virgin until marriage or not to have sex until you are in a very committed relationship, is not in itself a bad one of course.
However, waiting until marriage for sex can build sex up even more than it does for people who haven't been waiting for what seems like forever.
And it can also link sex and marriage together very tightly, which again isn't bad in itself, but a couple will have to be extra careful so they don't come to think that marriage equals sex and therefore that if you're not having sex you can't have a good marriage.
The risk is that there will be a lot of disappointment then if things go wrong, as we described in the first part of the article.

There is also a degree of confusion (and ignorance) about what some religions consider 'consummation' to mean. For example, for the Christian Catholic Church, a marriage is ALWAYS valid, no matter what, no matter whether or not there is penetration ever, so lack of penetration ONLY becomes an issue if one of spouse asks for an annulment, only then unconsummation is taken into the equation to evaluate pros and cons.
Unfortunately some Churches will still grant an annulment on the ground of lack of penetration, and in many developing countries too the woman can be divorced for this reason (makes you wonder if the people equating marriage with a prostitution contract are right after all...) .

This is very sad, some equate being fully human and fully loved with having a full vagina.

It's more than sad.

It's a tragedy.

Being brought up in a strict religious environment may have led you to believe sex was bad or dirty, or might have left you miseducated about intercourse and yet very curious about it. In such a case, sex becomes shrouded in mystery.

We know that some mothers even tell girls first time scary stories to make girls afraid of sex and putting it off, but that can leave girls traumatized and thinking sex will be a painful thing.

Many women have a fear of their hymen breaking (check the myths on hymens here) on their wedding night. Maybe you heard horror stories of bloody sheets and painful sex and were scared that this would happen to you. Other women are brought up to think that sex is only to fulfill a marital duty and not intended for pleasure. (Hard for priests and rabbis to explain what was Gods purpose for the clitoris though...!).

Even if you did not grow up in a strict religious home, you still might have some negative associations regarding sex in general and your vagina just follows that, by closing up.

Your vagina is once again probably simply trying to send you a message: re-educate me about sex please!

Certainly a loving God, or Goddess would not want a woman to remain completely ignorant of the body He/She/It created and gave to her, and will not want to let a man do all the exploring and entering on her behalf, on her wedding night...

In many cultures, especially religious cultures both in the developed world and elsewhere, women are exepcted to remain virgins until their wedding night when they are expected or expect to instantly transform into Sex Goddesses.
We can guarantee you from personal experience that this will not happen! Sex, like everything else takes practice so while your first time should not be painful, it won't be what you see on TV, especially if you and your partner remain somewhat ignorant of all your parts, how they work, and what brings you pleasure.

New brides, vaginismic or not, should take it slow. If you enter marriage having only kissed, going straight to intercourse the first day may be a bit fast. As the writer of the www.the-clitoris.com website suggests, why not draw out the anticipation and save intercourse for week two, or even for your first anniversary? You have the rest of your lives together and if you already enjoy each other's company, so what's the problem? And if you don't enjoy each other company? Why getting married ?

Hopefully you get married to spend the rest of your lives together or to be emotionally and soulfully connected forever, even if apart, and you can enjoy each other in a variety of ways, not merely to have sex.

Not respecting a bride's fears about sex on the first night and pressuring her to just let the man do everything and put up with it cause it's the supposed thing to do, can amount to rape.

So this is a very serious topic.

We urge religious leaders (and you as a believer) to speak up for women who suffer so unnecessarily because of ignorance due to the corrupted readings of religious texts.

We urge every believer to think with her/his head and wonder if penetrative sex is essential to validate a marriage and why would that be.
We hope that more and more laws will not make it possible for women to be divorced on the ground of not providing sexual satisfaction through intercourse and that education will be provided in developing countries to avoid the plague of sexual compliance and of marital sexual abuse.

As you are reading these, you may want to stop other girls from suffering what you did, there are a lot of things you can do. Contact us if you wish to talk about some ideas with us. Especially if you're religious, we urge you to go and use your sexual energy for other people's benefits.

Back to Top
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.