A woman who found sex so painful she became terrified of men and even pretended to be gay has claimed a lubricant containing cannabidiol (CBD) has ‘changed her life’.
Emma Allitt, 24, a recruitment consultant from London, suffers from vaginismus, where the vagina involuntarily tightens whenever penetration is attempted, causing a great deal of discomfort.
From the age of 16, Emma experienced pain during intercourse but didn’t realise it was abnormal until she hit her twenties.
The condition was so severe she became deeply afraid of relationships and felt isolated from friends, to the point where she sought therapy to help her through dark times.
Emma Allitt, 24, a recruitment consultant from London, suffers from vaginismus, where the vagina involuntarily tightens whenever penetration is attempted, causing a great deal of discomfort
When she met her current partner, Emma gradually learned to trust him and gradually felt able to enter into a physical relationship.
Having thoroughly researched CBD and its relaxation and pain relief properties, the couple found lubricant infused with the botanical while in America.
They tried it out and Emma claims it made a huge difference, and they now use it every time they have intercourse.
‘The first time we actually had full sex using it and I realised I wasn’t in pain, I cried,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘It’s absolutely transformed me, not only sexually, but it’s positively impacted my self esteem and body image too.’
From the age of 16, Emma experienced pain during intercourse but didn’t realise it was abnormal until she hit her twenties
Emma admitted she thought painful sex was normal and something every teenage girl experienced.
‘It isn’t something we really talk about in our teens as we’re still trying to figure everything out,’ she said.
‘It was only in my twenties when I was with my first serious boyfriend that I acknowledged it as a problem, and certainly not a “normal” experience for most women.’
Emma said the pain she felt ranged from very uncomfortable to acute, making any experimentation in the bedroom almost impossible.
‘It’s difficult to relax when you’re always anticipating pain,’ she explained.
The recruitment consultant found sex so painful she became terrified of men and even pretended to be gay at university to avoid having to confront it
‘Some days are worse than others, but it was becoming rare to experience completely pain free sex, which then started to affect all of my relationships and my self-worth.
‘Psychologically it made me question myself as I didn’t know what was wrong with me, and I started to really hate my body.
Emma went to her GP several times and was initially diagnosed with dyspareunia, a catch-all term for difficult or painful sexual intercourse.
Emma has claimed a lubricant containing cannabidiol (CBD) has ‘changed her life’
It was only when she sought specialist gynaecologica help that her condition was identified as vaginismus.
Emma said it had a knock-on effect on her whole life, with sex in itself becoming a huge physical and psychological problem.
‘I became completely afraid of the opposite sex as I knew I couldn’t enjoy what was supposed to be the most intimate part of a relationship,’ she recalled.
‘I dreaded boys chatting me up, I would push ones away that I liked, I even pretended I was gay for a while during university to stop the incessant questioning from friends.
‘It alienates you from so much – not just relationships with men, but also with female friends.
Talking about sex is commonplace and I would shy away from that. I just couldn’t not relate to what they were saying.
‘It meant a lot of friends didn’t chat to me about their relationships, which isolated me further, and I could never relax when dating came up – so much of life then and now is based on finding a partner and sex, and it was something I was so deeply afraid of.’
Emma said she feels robbed of a normal adolescence as she couldn’t enjoy her body or anyone else’s due to the fear of the pain, which was behind several of her relationships.
Emma said she feels robbed of a normal adolescence as she couldn’t enjoy her body or anyone else’s due to the fear of the pain, which was behind several of her relationships
‘I think a lot of it was self perpetuated; I just froze no matter what when I tried to have sex,’ she added.
‘I ended up leaving boyfriends as I pushed them away, telling myself they would either cheat on me anyway, or have more fun with someone else. Someone “normal'”.’
How does the CBD lube work?
Cannabidiol, a chemical in the cannabis sativa plant, is known to reduce anxiety and is a natural pain reliever.
The CBD infusion is inspired by the ancient art of Japanese ‘Nuru’ massage, where bodies run against each other using a slippery lotion made from exotic botanicals to promote mental and physical stimulation – boosting energy and increasing focus and endurance.
Haven combines 300mg of CBD Isolate with rose water, which can help with fatigue and anxiety, Evening primrose oil, known to help combat symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome, and MCT Chocolate Mocha, which provides mental and physical stimulation.
The formula is designed to help increase blood flow to intimate areas, boosting arousal.
Haven Intimate Lotion by Maven is currently reduced from £59.99 to £29.99. Visit https://mavenhemp.co.uk/ for more information.
Emma tried regular lube as well as homeopathic remedies such as sepia and gelsemium, and even went to hypnotherapy.
‘I even, ashamedly, tried to get blind drunk to just numb the pain,’ she added. ‘Sometimes it was bearable – but never enjoyable.’
After she and her partner found the CBD lubricant sold in the States, his friends then launched a CBD company – Maven Hemp – which produced cannabidiol lube called Haven.
It’s not Emma’s go-to product, and she admitted it has ‘changed her life’.
‘I didn’t want to be on hardcore painkillers, I wanted a natural remedy that worked with my body that allowed me to actually enjoy sex – which for the first time in my life, I really am,’ she explained.
‘Something about the blend of ingredients and high spectrum CBD works for me.
‘Having a partner I completely love and trust has also made me want to sort the problem out and have a normal, enjoyable sex life.
‘We just experimented with Haven, going a little further each time. The first time we used it as a massage oil.
‘Knowing it didn’t have to end in intercourse helped enormously, as it meant I could feel intense pleasure without worrying about, “here comes the painful part”.
‘I think it relaxed my mind primarily, and my body followed. We now use it absolutely every time.’
WHAT IS VAGINISMUS?
Vaginismus occurs when the vagina suddenly tightens up whenever penetration is attempted.
The woman has no control over it, which can be extremely distressing.
It affects between 0.5 and one per cent of women.
As well as struggling to have vaginal sex, many also find it difficult to use a tampon.
If they can achieve penetration, sufferers may then experience a burning or stinging sensation.
However, vaginismus does not necessarily affect a woman’s ability to get aroused or enjoy other forms of sexual contact.
Vaginismus often has no clear cause but can include a woman:
- Fearing her vagina is too small
- Having a bad first sexual experience
- Believing sex is shameful or wrong
- Having an unpleasant medical examination
- Suffering from an infection or painful condition, such as thrush
Vaginismus can sometimes occur even if a woman has enjoyed penetrative sex in the past.
If a woman suspects she may have vaginismus, she should make an appointment to see her GP.
The consultation usually involves asking about her symptoms and rarely requires an internal examination.
Treatment is usually therapy to help a women understand her feelings about sex and her body. Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness can also help.
Pelvic floor exercise can also help a woman gain control of her vaginal muscles.
In more severe cases, vaginal trainers, which are shaped like tampons and come in different sizes, can help a woman get used to have something inserted in her vagina.