‘Now or never, right?’ (Picture: Getty/Myles Goode)
Welcome to How I Do It, the series in which we give you a seven-day sneak peek into the sex life of a stranger.
This week, we hear from Luna* a 25-year-old freelance writer who’s heterosexual and recently split up with her boyfriend.
She describes her sex life as ‘somewhat tricky’, and not just because she’s newly single. ‘I’m dealing with vaginismus,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘That means penetration is painful.’
According to the NHS, vaginismus is when the vagina suddenly tightens up when you try to insert something into it. It’s thought to be psychosomatic, meaning it’s a physical illness aggravated or caused by a mental factor, such as internal conflict or stress.
Luna started experiencing these symptoms when she was 22, after a medical procedure, and it’s left her unable to have penetrative sex.
‘It was difficult trying to work through this with a long-term partner,’ she explains. And, now that she’s single, Luna feels she needs to ‘face the problem head on’ before she meets anyone new.
She adds: ‘My low libido makes it so easy for me to avoid dealing with my condition.’
This week, we catch up with Luna as she goes on holiday solo – and she’s taken her vibrator…
I’m on my first-ever solo trip, just under two months after my most recent relationship ended.
My sex drive is pretty low anyway, and it’s been difficult to feel ‘in the mood’ even on my own, but I slowly feel like my appetite for sex is coming back.
The problem is, penetrative sex is painful for me, and I struggled to navigate that in my long-term relationship. Our sex life usually involved doing everything other than penetration, and I tried therapy a few times too.
We did have a good sex life. I feel like we knew each other very well so knew what we needed to do, but the vaginismus did drive a wedge between us and I really struggled with my own sexual identity after getting diagnosed – I felt like I knew myself less and hard to relearn a lot.
I’m worried about telling future partners. Since vaginismus is relatively unknown, people probably won’t understand – but I’m not rushing to have sex with anyone new.
I decided to get out of my comfort zone today and message a guy who I know lives here to meet up for a drink.
We haven’t planned anything yet but the idea of it was exciting enough.
After a day spent exploring on my own, I went back to my accommodation and masturbated to my daydreams for the first time in weeks.
I do have dilators to use during masturbation to essentially help train my vagina to relax during penetration, but I haven’t used them at all since the break-up as it takes a lot of mental energy.
I did want to give it a try though, and I packed the dilators in my suitcase, but I just didn’t feel like it was the right time tonight, and stuck to clitoral stimulation instead.
Nothing beats your own imagination.
I spent most of today alone, strolling around the city and drinking coffee.
Two of my friends happened to be here, too, so I met up with them for a few drinks and a smoke.
It must have been the red wine, but once I got back to my room I was feeling particularly hot, so I watched some porn and used my vibrator before drifting off to sleep.
Today is the last day of my solo trip and I never got a chance to meet up with that guy I messaged.
I tried not to let it affect my confidence and got on with my day, strolling around in 35C heat and reading my book.
I had a particularly anxious day, but I ended up finding a nice spot to smoke and watch the sunset before heading back to my room.
A little stressed about packing and waking up in time to catch my train, I wasn’t really in the mood for anything sexual, so I ate some toast and went to sleep.
After a three-hour train journey, I met up with one of my besties in a different city.
We ate some good food and spent the day at the pool.
There was a part of me that thought it would be nice to be here with a significant other, but there’s nothing better than deep chats with your girls on the hotel balcony.
We were sharing a bed, so it’s safe to say nothing risqué went down, but it was nice to wake up next to somebody.
On the last day of the holiday, I got a 60 minute body scrub and massage which made me feel like a million bucks.
There’s something about having baby-soft skin that makes you feel at least three points sexier.
We headed to the beach and plucked up the courage to sunbathe topless.
At first, we were a little self-conscious — the thought of being sexualised while trying to enjoy the sun is a little daunting, especially when you’re newly single — but by the end of the day we felt like two innocent girls playing in the sand.
It’s nice to feel connected to your inner child like that.
I got home today and had a lot to sort out.
I met up with my friend for a coffee before heading to the gym, which always helps me get out of my head and into my body.
While it was nice taking a break from reality in a hot country, I knew I was going to have to face my new life head on once I got back.
I decided to contact my old therapist and get to work on my issues with sex. Now or never, right?
How I Do It
In Metro.co.uk’s How I Do It you get a sneak peek into a week of a person’s sex and love life – from vanilla love-making to fetishes, threesomes and polyamorous relationships, they reveal it all.
Fancy taking part yourself? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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