Eileen – Chapter 11 – Formal and Lost Phone

Eileen texted me and told me she needed Friday off to go to her formal. She’s in a sorority (of course) at Drexel Uni and this is the event of the season. I check with Amelia, to see if she can work. Amelia, is flying to Okinawa with the Air Force Reserves on Saturday and says yes.

I’m relived because I wont be killed at the salon Friday night with her there. Eileen is eternally grateful we have her covered, and because she’s a freshman and in a sorority we have her back.

My staff is great this year like I said before. Amelia is amazing and so good at everything in the salon. I couldn’t have wish for better. Eileen is fantastic with the clients and new intake every night when we get run over with business.

These girls are simply the best I’ve ever hired in the history of the salon.

Finding staff this rich at this dollar amount is nearly unheard of in this industry. I’ve truly been blessed to have girls this good during the busy season.

So Eileen is off Friday to go to her college formal, and I work her Saturday and Sunday.

I text her Sunday night to remind her that Amelia is traveling to Okinawa for two weeks with the Air Force Reserves and that I need her in at 3 on Monday.

She’s down.

I’ll really miss Amelia, because I think we’ve become good friends working here.

But I’ll just miss her presence because I really care for her.

I text Eileen and she’s ready to work all the shifts this week.

Eileen comes in and she is sad.

“How was your formal?”

“I got super drunk and left my phone in an Uber.”

To spare my readers the drama, I will spell it all out here.

Eileen went to the formal, (I’m sure looking fabulous) got plastered due to the pressure of those around her, puked with the help of her sorority leader, wasn’t looked after properly by her sober coach, there’s video of her drunk ass being led into her dorm, lost her phone in an UBER, went to the hospital, and has been brought up on charges of public drunkeness by the college.

I would usually call that, “Saturday Night in my Twenties” but this is a nightmare for my hire.

An 18 year old girl without her phone is like a seal stranded on an ice floe surrounded my killer whales.

I feel her pain.

It’s a bad week. Baby doesn’t have her phone. which is crippling in this day and age. (I’ve felt it myself)

The salon is crazy busy, and Eileen’s doing great. Obviously for a girl her age, without a phone is like losing a limb, but she has her tablet and doing her best.

I hear the whole horror saga and really feel for her. I wish I were there so I could look after her like I would my own daughter Lorelei.

Eileen’s been a pleasure to work with this season, and I would do anything to help her any way I can. When I heard the story of her struggling to get her phone back from the loser driver I actually felt angry like a family member had been hurt.

Four days pass and Eileen is the consummate professional at the salon.

Eileen’s had a hell of a week, and I want to do something to make her feel better. Like I said, these young girls have their challenges in their lives, but they work for us. They’re the best I’ve ever had.

I recognize talent unlike most of the insecure shitstains I’ve worked for in the rat race. Just assholes that have zero talent and can’t work anywhere else and can’t do what I do.

I’m fine with that. That’s just the way of world, and corporate america.

But I’ll never let anybody that works for me suffer. Ever.

Through all of this drama, where Eileen is now facing fines and has to take computer modules on being drunk, I will support her. It’s total bullshit.

College students experiment with everything. Eileen is a good student and majoring in Criminal Justice. She’s a brilliant girl. I see that in her. She can have all of the teenage world drama she wants, but at the end of the day, she’s a terrific person I admire.

I’m happy to work with young people that are on point and they’re willing to work any job and do whatever is asked of them with a smile. That’s where I come from and Amelia and Eileen possess all of that goodness.

I realize with Amelia gone in Okinawa and Eileen picking up all over shifts, coupled with no phone and censure, she’s in a bad place.

But does it affect her performance at the salon during our crazy busy season? Not in the slightest. Because of her not having access to her cell she was actually more productive. (Surprise)

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Kita – Chapter 55 – Appearance – Part 2

She stumbled before the lion and sadly I took her down.

This salon job groomed me for my current position at the restaurant in Rittenhouse. I realize I had to do this job to transition to where I am now.

It’s so good, but let me get to that in a minute.

All of the wonderful young people who I’ve had the honor to work with has been amazing.

No more do I get up at 6 in the morning to go sit in a cubicle to work for a bunch of loser assholes. No more do I go to 3 meetings a week to waste my time and not be out selling. No more do I have to look for a better job on LinkedIn which is an absolute waste of time and is just a corporate Facebook. No more of any of that. I simply go to work, bring the charm and the sales management ability and go home.

Done.

Do I work more hours? Fuck yea, but I like what I do now. Great salary, free food and TIPS! I’m amazed!

I love it!

As much fun as I’ve had here at the salon. If I could find a way to get the fuck out of here forever, I would. (And I will, but for now it’s $200 in easy money.)

I made that in tips at the restaurant today so I’m not long for the salon.

It’s weird that the whole tanning salon mantra is going through my mind right now. But it is what it is. This is happening, and I want it to end. I had high hopes, it went nowhere, kind of like where Achilles is going, but I can no longer ride that dead-end with him as he collects money in a dying industry.

Amelia says she hates everyone that comes in here. Tanning is for a certain crowd and you know what? They’re all shitty people for the most part. I get the whole… I don’t want to be whiter than my wedding dress, and I’m going to Mexico, and I don’t want to burn to a crisp, but the regular tanners… fuck you.

You’re all losers.

They think Eileen is coming back this year. Ha! I’ve been in touch with her and I’m trying to get her a better job at Square 1682!

It’s over, and I’m just here transitioning and collecting my $200 a month because I have nothing better to do on a Sunday.

All of this is running through my head instead of the thing that should be there.

 

I had sex with Kita on two occasions at this very site.

 

She’s 22 years old.

WTF? How did this happen?

I know how this happened.

You have a naive young girl who’s obsessed with tanning. (Addiction and body issues) I work at a tanning salon. I’m nice and a dad. I listen and offer advice. I’m good at getting back to her on an ongoing basis to help her after a barrage of texts about a foolish boy she’s seeing. I give her gifts. I give her pepper spray to protect herself. I give her snacks. I take her out to a nice dinner. I take her to lunch. I show her how a boy should treat a girl.

Every boy in her life is a fail. Her dad is unavailable. Why did he even adopt these two Asian girls???

 

I’m patient and present.

I’m of course attracted to her based on my history.

I’m good to her.

She stumbled before the lion and sadly I took her down.

 

The buzzer goes off for sunbed 3, and I know Kita is finished her session.

 

Kita comes out and approaches the counter.

She smiles.

I smile.

“I’ve missed you, Charles.”

“I’ve missed you too, Kita.”

“Charles can we set up a date somewhere we can catch up and talk?”

“Of course. I’ll text you and we’ll coordinate our schedule to make that happen.”

“Thanks so much. We have a lot to discuss.”

“Really?”

“No. All good. Text me.”

“Okay dear. We’ll work it out.

“Good. I look forward to that.

She smiles and turns. I watch her pad out of the salon like a kitten. I quietly walk to the hallway and watch her as she goes down the stairs.

Those lovely legs.

I’m happy that Kita’s returned to me. My heart sings. I’m so happy to see her.

I’m also thinking about a bunch of her shitty life drama, but we’ll have to get to the hard cold, fact that we had sex.

Oh, and I will ease myself into that conversation…

I need to set up a little date to catch up.

God, she’s beautiful.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Eileen – Chapter 10 – International Restaurant

I love Amelia. She is Megasun personified. Best employee ever. Achilles is completely oblivious because all he does is deal with the salon and the fitness center from 10am to 3pm.

After that is when the magic and the money happens.

He has no contact with me and the girls unless something goes wrong at the salon. My job is to make the salon sing and never call him.

I have the best staff I’ve ever had in the history of this company.

 

Achilles has lived his life with $9 an hour marginal garbage for years. But you bring me in and you’ll get better staff, because that’s what I do.

Does he appreciate it? No. He’s Greek, They work and grow and run businesses. They never trust their staff because most of them are shit and can’t be trusted.

But something magical happened in 2016. Achilles suddenly got a $50k corporate guy to come give him the fuel that professional, in the rat race, gave to corporations every day. But I drove that into a tanning salon. I was sick of corporate america and working for a bunch of weak assholes.

I can use all of my powers in this retail outlet.

What if we invest into a fitness center ?

Lets do that.

Sadly, never happened.

Let’s open another salon on the other side of Broad.

Never happened.

I’m the greatest employee you’ve ever had, and you’re still just running the last tanning salon in the city of Philadelphia.

We’ve faced our struggles and it’s all good, but here we are in our busy season.

I’m grateful for Amelia and Eileen.

They are hands down, the greatest employees I’ve ever had.

How is that possible?

Amelia, great with the clients, calm, cleaning, fun, charming, the extra stuff. Eileen, always charming, calm, and beautiful but willing to jump in whenever necessary.

I’ve some how been blessed.

Amelia and Eileen are beyond great.

I love them both in their earnest and elegance.

They run the front counter and get it right every night, and I get the luxury to run around the salon and just clean beds and do laundry. (Love it!)

That shows me that the most masterful member stands down while his best runs the ship. They’re ready and they’re better than him for this job tonight.

I have hired the best and this progression shows me that I’m right. They work independent of me and Achilles barely knows who they are. I would find that odd but I know him. He’s dealt with garbage employees for ten years, and can no longer tell the difference. I think he’s even losing sight of his very finest.

I want no credit in this, Amelia and Eileen are my best hires, and I am so very proud of them. I simply trained them and these lovely birds flew.

Oh darn…. I’ve been so caught up in how great my staff is… I promised Eileen if she got three compliments on her make up (Which is always amazing) I’d buy her dinner.

Sadly, she only got two but we did go to McDonald’s, and she loved it.

We did a group text to Amelia that I took my hire to “An International Restaurant for dinner Friday night.”

We all had a good laugh over it and I can’t wait to take Amelia for gelato as soon as possible!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Women Dating After 50: Is It Worth The Effort?

How often have you heard about women dating after 50? Do you know that over 50s dating can be just as fun and exciting as it is in your twenties?

Are you part of the crowd and wondering if it’s worth the effort? Granted, it does take effort to look your best especially if you are worried about how attractive you are at this age. And, it takes effort to meet good men.

Here’s the thing. If you like being the oddball out at a dinner party, taking yourself for a drive on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and spending Saturday night alone with a quart of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream than it is not worth the effort.

But the reality is most divorced women don’t like the ‘live alone’ lifestyle.

Let’s face it human beings are social animals and most women over fifty would at least like to spend their social time with a male companion and even better would be in a healthy committed relationship.

Lucky for you in today’s world people in their 50’s are now the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, which in and of itself makes it worth your time and energy. Being in a relationship as you head toward retirement years is a very positive way to live your life. Men and women in relationship have fewer health problems than single people.

Depression or the anxiety of dealing with today’s demands are far less if you are in a good relationship.

Having someone that cares about your well-being and happiness as well as you caring about his is a wonderful experience to have each day.

I realize that when you go through a divorce you often think… I’m better off alone. Or you may think I don’t want to take the risk of ending up with some jerk again. However, what you want to remember is today you are a very different woman from who you were when you met your ex 25 or 30 plus years ago.

You’ve paid your dues so to speak and today you are a much wiser woman then you were in your 20’s. A common mistake that women after 50 often make is not to acknowledge who they are today and how far they have come.

Remember the ad “You’ve come a long way baby!”?

Well, that’s true.

I want to encourage you to acknowledge all the life lessons you have learned and all the experiences you have had, that make you the strong and capable woman you are today.

You need to stop thinking about your age, or your horrible divorce or the extra 10 pounds you can’t get rid of. The only things you need to change are your negative thinking around the idea of dating again and turn it into a positive attitude about moving on in your life.

Actually, it is very cool to be a part of the group of women after 50 in today’s world.

In your Grandmothers or even your Mother’s time, this was not considered something a woman could do. In those days a woman was destined to live the rest of her life alone.

To celebrate the fact that you are healthy and free to find your ideal partner to share this stage of your life with.

So, Women dating after 50 is indeed worth the effort.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Rebecca – Chapter 15 – Reprise

“I never want to retire. I’m not a workaholic, but I love to be busy. I want to have something to do every day for the rest of my life until my sister Janice pats me in the face with a shovel.”

Please go back and read: (Rebecca – Dark Wings of Destiny – Chapters 1 through 14) to fully understand the history I have with this person.

Present Day

Just when I thought everything had gone to shit with Cherie, I get a text.

It’s Rebecca.

I haven’t heard from her in over two years. I don’t even know what she’s been doing. I thought she was gone forever.

So much has changed in my life since meeting Rebecca. I’ve been on a million dates, I’ve changed jobs, I’ve had a sort of girlfriend for over a year and a half. That’s what it is and has been well documented here.

Cherie and I are teetering between love and loss. I’m fine with whatever way it goes, but it would be nice to retain the passion we once had. I think Cherie wants that and so do I, but our schedules are killing us both.

Cherie’s 40 miles away, super busy and so am I, but when we’re together it sings. But lately it’s been really difficult. Cherie’s texts tell me so.

Her life, the distance, her son, her family, her jobs, school, finals, graduation, and beyond.

We’re in two different worlds right now.

Well, we’ve always been in two different worlds.

Cherie’s a 28-year-old attractive, smart, girl faced with the reality of growing up and going forward in her life.

I’m a middle-aged guy who’s realized that corporate america and sitting in a cubicle is bullshit and would rather work two jobs really hard than work one he hated. I love my life at the salon and the restaurant. I’ve found the happy balance.

My daughter Lorelei works right down the street. It’s great. There’s harmony in that.

But when I got the text from Rebecca it threw me for a loop.

I really like Rebecca and she’s always been flighty, but I always loved her company. I know she was trying to find her way in this world and I was always there for her, like I’ve been for all of my friends… but Rebecca was different.

I kind of loved Rebecca.

I would say in a “phicklephilly way” but I think there’s something more than that here. I know it seems crazy. Rebecca’s 24 years old, but if you’ve read the previous Rebecca posts, I always felt a connection to her.

I’ve never been after her. I’m not after anybody.

They always come to me.

But Rebecca has always had a certain pull that the other ones don’t possess. Rebecca haunts me when she’s gone, but I never feel that depressing loss I have with the others. Maybe because the others are just a dopamine drop and I miss the rush of their beauty once it’s gone, but I’m relieved because they were trouble.

Rebecca was never any of those things.

Rebecca was always herself. Honest. Vulnerable. Beautiful.

She thought enough of me to spend time with me.

I’ve lived a charmed life. I really have. I’ve survived on my charm, sense of humor and skills.

Nothing more.

At my age, I’m delighted at my life. I know so many men my age that are lost and confused. It’s so sad.

I love knowing exactly who I am at my age and what I want. After half a century on the planet I finally got it right and it feels joyous.

I never want to retire. I’m not a workaholic, but I love to be busy. I want to have something to do every day for the rest of my life until my sister Janice pats me in the face with a shovel.

My life is rich in experience and memories. I can wrap myself up in them every night like a warm blanket. It’s really lovely after 50 years of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

I’ve rebuilt my broken self into an elegant old analog machine that runs so well in the digital age. I work with young people. I love that I can inspire them with my experience just like my dad did when he was my age.

I’m grateful that everyday I get to wake up again, and nothing hurts, and everything’s working. (everything!) The sun is shining and I look forward to the day.

For years I was mired in corporate life. Wearing a suit and tie, going to meetings, working for assholes who couldn’t do what I could do, but were only there because they had no where else to go.

All a joke.

I want to work.

My sister Janice says, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

She, like my father is only quoting because they’re not the best in original thought, but yes! She’s right, or whoever wrote that bit.

So here I am, in a relationship that’s been distant but’s still alive. For me this has been a great relationship, because unlike all of my other relationships, this one actually met my perfect relationship model.

I know I’ll feel some backlash on this, but it’s been perfect for me.

All of my other relationships have been traditional. Boyfriend/girlfriend. Living together, and moving towards a destination I’ve already experienced and been killed in virtual immolation, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in child support.

I’m never getting married again. Definitely not having any more kids.

My last three relationships have been with younger women and I know how this looks. I did not pursue these wonderful ladies. It just happened.

But the definition of crazy is, doing the same thing over and over hoping you get a different result.

That’s not me, but, my last handful of girlfriends have been young and beautiful.

The ends were inevitable.

They were all doomed before they began, but they were all wonderful. Thank you one and all, girls!

So here I am at a precipice with Cherie, who is the sweetest woman in the world and whom I love very much, and the prospect that she could shit-can me any day now, simply out of not having any time to see me.

We’re amazing when we’re together and I absolutely adore her. I should probably go to her graduation on Friday, but I know I won’t because I hate getting up early anymore and I don’t really want to deal with the whole event in general.

I probably should go.

It would mean the world to her.

Do I really want to meet her family?

She’s worked so hard for so many years. This could be the thing that fixes us.

I really don’t want to go, but I don’t want Cherie gone from my life.

Ahhh… what should I do loyal readers?

 

I reluctantly texted Rebecca back.

“Hey. It’s been a minute. I feel like we kind of left it all hanging. Hope you’re doing well.”

A day passed…

“Charles…. I miss you. I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch. Been busy with work and life. Up and down. Can you meet for a drink?”

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Cherie – Chapter 67 – Circling The Drain

“Can we stop this nonsense and reconnect Cherie? I miss you terribly and we need to talk.”

“We do need to talk but honestly I don’t have the time for anything right now I’m exhausted to no end with life and my son is having a serious mental health crisis so I’m swamped.”

“Cherie, I love you and I miss you and I sensed that there was something going on. I’m really suffering without you but what can I do to help you?”

“I know I’ve been thinking about you too but my plate is full right now and I’m just doing the best I can.”

“Me too. The last two weeks have been killing me. It’s been so busy but there is something that has been hurting me more. How much I miss you and how sad I’ve been through this.”

“I’m sorry I should have been more caring or at least put effort into checking on you.”

“I’m crushed with work and all I want to do is kiss you and take you to the movies and have time with you. I’m sorry I’ve failed you, Cherie. I’m sorry Cherie. I miss you.”

“No it’s not you I’m just not in a great space and you just happen to be busy with work.”

“I’m working so hard, but I don’t want to lose you.”

“It’s a tough time right now I’m just exhausted I can’t keep my eyes open.

“I love you.”

” I just tried to call you. Seriously, Cherie, I don’t want to lose what we have.”

“I love and  I’m sorry but I can’t talk right now I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Later”

“Okay. text me.”

“Please Cherie.”

 

 

 

6 Facts About Vaginismus Doctors Want You To Know

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, three-quarters of people with vaginas will experience painful sex at some point. While the reasons vary — ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or not be sufficiently aroused can all cause painful sex — vaginismus is one little-talked-about condition that affects two out of every 1,000 people with a vagina in their lifetime. So why don’t more people know about it?

“Vaginismus is the involuntary contracture of the muscles surrounding the vagina essentially constricting the vaginal orifice, making it extremely difficult and painful to experience sexual intercourse,” Dr. Felice Gersh, M.D., an OB/GYN, founder and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, and author of PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline To Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones and Happiness, tells Bustle. Vaginismus doesn’t just prevent intercourse — it can prevent the insertion of anything into the vagina, like a tampon or suppository.

Although vaginismus is treatable, embarrassment and stigma often keeps people from talking to their doctor about it. And that can have major repercussions.

“Some patients are unable to get pap smears because doctors cannot get the speculum into their vaginas,” Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a family physician and assistant professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, tells Bustle. It’s important to treat the underlying causes behind vaginismus in order to access care — but it’s hard to seek out treatment if you don’t know what you’re treating in the first place.

Here’s what no one tells you about vaginismus.

1. Vaginismus Isn’t Just Physical

Ashley Batz for Bustle

Although it may seem like vaginismus is mostly physical and biological, it’s more complicated than that.

“Most people don’t realize that vaginismus has biological [and] psychological aspects,” Dr. Anna Yam, PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in pelvic pain including vaginismus, and owner of Bloom Psychology, tells Bustle.

As Dr. Yam explains, vaginismus is similar to an eye blink in that the contraction of the muscles in the vagina are involuntary and usually triggered by “perception of a threat.” That threat being the fear of pain during intercourse, or when another object is inserted in the vagina.

“Biological muscle contraction is reinforced by the psychological fear, and vice-versa,” Dr. Yam says, creating a vicious cycle.

The factors that lead to vaginismus are a combination of biological, physical, psychological, and others that need more study.

2. It’s Common In People With Little Sexual Experience

For people who have either never had penetrative sex or have only had it a few times, fear of having painful sex can be amplified, leading to vaginismus. While there aren’t solid statistics around this association, Dr. Laurence Gerlis, a UK-based general practitioner, tells Bustle that the anxiety that comes with having little to no experience can set off the vaginismus, and in severe cases can prevent intercourse of any kind. It’s important to treat vaginismus by managing this underlying anxiety, the Mayo Clinic says.

3. It Can Interfere With One’s Social Life

Ashley Batz for Bustle

Whenever someone has a deep fear of anything — whether that’s a fear of spiders or of something more dangerous — it can keep them from living their life.

“Women with vaginismus might avoid dating and those who date often feel (internally or externally) pressured to resolve the issue in order to have penetrative sex,” Dr. Yam says. But while dating with vaginismus might be tricky, it’s not impossible.

As Dr. Yam explains, this fear can be the result of this pressure, especially in a society that puts so much emphasis on sex. In turn, it can lead to even more fear and anxiety.

“Social and emotional pressure is also perceived as a threat and can similarly interfere with treatment,” Dr. Yam says. That’s why it’s important to address it as soon as possible, before the pressure becomes too intense.

4. It Can Be Caused By Sexual Trauma

While for some people vaginismus is brought on by general anxiety that brings on the tightening of the muscles, for others, the contractions can be brought on as a result of sexual trauma.

“Many, but certainly not all, [people] with this condition have experienced sexual trauma at sometime during their lives,” Dr. Gersh says. Dr. Gerlis adds that emotional abuse, in addition to sexual abuse, can also play a role in developing vaginismus. Seeking out a therapist can help manage a person’s response to trauma.

5. It Can Interfere With Pregnancy

Pregnant woman in airplane chair. Belly of pregnant.

Shutterstock

Because of the stigma surrounding vaginismus, not enough people seek treatment. This causes not only living with pain, but in severe cases, according to Dr. Gerlis, it can make conception difficult. It can also create an unsafe pregnancy, as a 2019 study found. Of the 20 pregnant people with vaginismus in the study, only 50% reported going to follow-up visits during the duration of their pregnancy. Although regular doctor’s visits are necessary during pregnancy, what kept these people from visiting the doctor regularly was feelings of shame. The same study also found that 40% of these people had never consulted a doctor about their vaginismus.

If sex hurts, for any reason, it’s important to be open with your doctor so that you can treat the underlying issues.

6. It’s Very Treatable

Although having vaginismus may be hard to talk about for some, it’s absolutely treatable. According to Dr. Gersh, working with physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor musculoskeletal issues is a good place to start.

“Often just working with vaginal dilators and practicing relaxation techniques will easily resolve this condition,” Dr. Gersh says. “Sometimes anti-inflammatory vaginal suppositories or muscle relaxants are helpful.”

As is the case with any pain during sex, vaginismus can’t be diagnosed and treated without a doctor’s input. Fear of what might be “wrong” just stands in the way of people living a life without pain. And everyone deserves to live without pain.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.