I think it’s crucial to have open conversations around sexual health, especially when it comes to pain. To anyone who has struggled with painful sex— whether from Endo, PMS, or Vulvodynia— you know that there is a shame and fear that accompany it. I personally struggled with this for a long time.
When I was 18 years old, I had sex with my boyfriend for the first time and I bled… a lot. As he drove me to the emergency room, I continued to bleed through two pillows I was sitting on. When we arrived, the doctor stopped the bleeding and told me to see a gynecologist as soon as possible.
When I saw my gynecologist, I was told that everything was normal: “You’re an odd case— probably because you are new to sex. Your body just needs to get used to it.” Despite being reassured that nothing was wrong, I felt traumatized by my experience.
From then on, sex was painful. Always. I would feel a pain like sharp needles whenever I tried to have penetrative intercourse. The massive amounts of blood weren’t there to alert others that something was wrong, but the pain was always there to alert me.
I went to so many different doctors who all told me the same thing: my vagina was totally normal and there was nothing wrong. As an 18-year-old, I was neither able to argue with the medical professionals nor emotionally cope with the answers they gave me. I felt completely isolated in my pain. I convinced myself I was broken and unable to be repaired. I was ashamed.
This ongoing pain didn’t just affect partnered sex; It had such a profound negative impact on the way I saw myself as a woman. It changed the way I viewed my body and the way I showed up for myself in intimate moments. Unable to solve the problem that doctors insisted wasn’t a problem at all, I persevered through awful, painful sex. I was silent.
This was 20 years ago. Now, I have an empowered and very pleasurable sex life and rarely have any vulvodynia flair ups. I want to start conversations about sexual health. I want to destroy the shame or stigma we carry about what is a ‘normal’ vagina or bottom. I want to empower people to confidently talk to their partner about their pleasure.
So, I decided to start these conversations and create Mello Bottoms— a CBD suppository meant to relax your sexy parts, increase blood flow, and stimulate pleasure. The reality is that a lot of people experience pain during sex, but we just aren’t talking about it. With Mello, I hope to lead that conversation.
I wish I had Mello Bottoms when I was 18 years old, scared, and hurting. I can’t lift that pain out of my past, but maybe I can lift that pain for you right now.