A numb vagina is not a sign that you’re broken. Nor does it make you less of a woman. It does, however, reflect the state of your relationship with your womanhood. Moreover, it mirrors society’s relationship with female sexuality as a whole. Acceptance and exploration of female pleasure is a relatively new phenomenon that’s pushing back on the vaginal shaming that tells us “down there” is a dark and dirty place.
Numb vaginas are therefore largely a product of social conditioning that devalues a woman’s sexuality. Rape culture doesn’t help, as news of physical assault is routinely exposed and the female body seems to be permanently under threat. It’s no wonder a woman might want to disassociate from her sexuality, and yet the pelvic floor is where her power lies. It’s also where her pleasure lies.
Numb genitals are therefore largely a product of social conditioning that devalues a woman’s sexuality.
Nevertheless, 90 percent of women say they experience orgasm through sexual stimulation, but rarely do so through vaginal penetration alone. Research may tell us men orgasm more easily than women, but this isn’t something you should accept without trying first to disprove it. Much of the work that needs to be done to re-sensitize a numb vagina involves unlearning everything you’ve been taught about your sexual anatomy. If you have a high sex drive and get aroused easily, but still feel nothing in your vagina, you just have to take the time to find your blocks and hot spots. What’s more, your blocks may not be biological.
Am I Thinking My Vagina Numb?
The overriding messages conveyed in movies, the media and porn all portray sex, and the female body, in a way that’s hard to assimilate with the reality of what we experience. This can be both frustrating and confusing, leading many women to believe that they suffer from sexual dysfunction. If you’re unable to see yourself as a sexual being, even the most devoted and attentive partner will struggle to convince you otherwise. Since our bodies and their natural processes have so long been stigmatized, it can be difficult to decondition this thinking in ourselves. Consider finding for yourself safe spaces and communities that celebrate the female body in all its forms.
If you experience a sense of separation from your body, specifically your vagina, this sexual response could be a form of subconscious protection. A woman may expose her body during a sexual encounter without opening herself up emotionally or mentally. Yet psychological and physiological arousal cannot be separated.
Is My Vagina Traumatized?
The medical community considers low libido and lack of sensation to be a female sexual arousal disorder. Yet this isn’t always a medical condition. When a woman is aroused, the blood flow to her clitoris and vulva increases, which encourages vaginal lubrication and swelling in readiness for penetration. If, however, you’re penetrated before you’re ready, the vagina tenses, and repetitive tensing can lead to a numb vagina—but you can undo this damage by rebuilding a sense of trust in your body’s ability to receive pleasure without pain.
Premature penetration, whether consensual or not, can impact your mental and emotional attitude towards sex, as well as your body’s physical response to it. In fact, any distressing experience associated with the pelvic floor, such as miscarriage, painful childbirth, or a relationship that was emotionally wounding, can leave the energetic scars of trauma that damage vaginal nerve endings.
The vagina is therefore largely perceived as a receiver, a passive organ, rather than an active creator.
Cultural perceptions of the female experience can also leave traumatic residue that blocks genital sensation. There is total separation between a woman who gives birth and a woman having sex. One is widely analyzed and the other is left in the delivery room. The vagina is therefore largely perceived as a receiver, a passive organ, rather than an active creator. But if you begin to see your vagina as a tool for creating your own pleasure, rather than simply receiving your partner’s, you can cultivate a shift in your own perceptions.
Counseling or talking therapy may help to uncover whatever is blocking your sensuality. Have you felt threatened or depressed; are you dealing with painful sexual memories; do you feel safe around your partner; or do you have intimacy issues? The answers to these questions will support the conversation that you’re beginning to have with your body.
How to Get Sensation Back to Your Vagina
When restoring sensation back to a numb vagina, you might want to bypass penile penetration altogether—if only for a while. You can bypass the need to achieve orgasm too, since focusing on climax detracts from the sensations that precede it. If possible, steer clear of fantasy and stay present with the physical experience. The vagina is essentially a muscle that can be massaged to release tension and increase blood flow.
Simply use your fingers or a toy to explore your vagina gently and consciously, concentrating on any areas that seem painful or tense. It’s not unusual to feel an energetic release of grief, trauma, or other stored emotion. If you need to make noise, cry, or even laugh, let it happen so you can let it go. It’s through this clearing process that you can discover your G-spot, cervix and A-spot—the full potential for pleasure that your vagina holds.
Vaginal numbness is also associated with hormonal imbalance, menopause, multiple sclerosis, or cauda equina syndrome. If lack of sensation is accompanied by other worrying symptoms, please speak to your doctor.