Now, it seems, more women are starting to speak out. This week, Chloe Angyal wrote a piece for Salon on her years-long experience with sex that hurt. One problem, she writes, is that women are embarrassed to speak out about their pain, and so, the subject remains taboo, and not adequately studied.
"Despite the fact that we live in a sex-saturated culture, chronic pelvic pain remains widely unknown and poorly understood. Part of that stems from a lack of research. "The state of the research on vulvar and vaginal pain issues is pretty bleak," says Dr. Debby Herbenick, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion and co-author of this year's study [that found one-third of women experience pain during sex].
Maybe things are changing. This week, MTV ran a segment (complete with pounding background percussion and a warning about the explicit material) called True Life: I Can't Have Sex, with three twentysomething women, Tess, Tamara and Tali, disclosing their stories of painful sex and the toll it has taken on their lives.
This program aired on December 10, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.