Pain During Sex with Endometriosis: Yoni Mapping with Onna CURVE
Painful Sex and Endometriosis
Did you know 75% of women will have painful sex in their lifetime? That’s a lot of us. It begs the questions, how many of us are experiencing painful sex with endometriosis? And have perhaps just given up having sex or self-pleasure full stop because of the lack of endometriosis dyspareunia treatment out there? I’ve spent years creating a lifestyle that nurtures me and helps manage endometriosis, but the one thing I’ve not given much attention to is the pain I experience during penetration. So when I took the plunge to interview Onna Co-Founder Elena, and decided to try their CURVE gemstone toy, I was directly dealing with my sexual pain really, for the first time ever.
Yoni Mapping for Pain During Sex with Endometriosis
Onna Lifestyle stood out to me after I heard Elena, on a podcast discussing her years of painful sex due to vaginismus. I’ve spent at least two years trying to find a sex researcher or influencer who talks in a way I can relate to, but most of them skip over painful sex, leaving people like me feeling helpless. I reached out to Elena to invite her on the podcast (coming soon!) and before I knew it, I had fallen for her MOON CURVE. A white jade marble feminine toy designed for yoni massage, muscle tension release, self-exploration and self-pleasure.
I had heard her discussing yoni massage on the podcast, and thought it could potentially help me understand and begin relieving the pain I experience during sex. Yoni mapping is essentially a practice of drawing out a map of the vaginal canal and noticing where sensation is experienced and what kind of sensation it is i.e. pain, numbness, pleasure. From this, you can start healing the painful points and focusing more on the pleasurable points during intimacy.
Everything about the CURVE is inviting. The packaging is discreet, minimal and beautiful, the toy comes with a canvas tie bag and the toy itself is silky smooth, gorgeously crafted to fit the body and so pretty I kind of want to have it on display next to my crystals. In all honesty, it was the perfect tool for me to begin this journey of sexual healing, because it was so inviting and unintimidating.
My Experience of Yoni Mapping with Onna’s CURVE Toy for Vaginal Pain
The first time I tried the CURVE however, every cell in my body was still feeling uncomfortable. Mentally, I felt wrong, ashamed and as if I was about to be found out at any moment, and yet all I was doing was massaging out the tension in my vagina.
Elena’s blog post advises massaging the vagina first in order to open it up and relax the muscles. The emotional discomfort I felt upon this was extreme, I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t like the sensation. It was another sign to me just how much I had been avoiding these feelings and my vagina full stop. I also missed the ‘1cm’ deep comment in the blog guidance and started much too far in, which just triggered my bladder and pain immediately and resulted in having to postpone my yoni mapping for another time.
The following attempt was much more successful. After a short time massaging (I moved on as quickly as I could), I began the mapping process. I discovered that my yoni didn’t do much at all upon penetration, it didn’t tighten or grip, but it didn’t relax either – it almost felt numb and redundant, which says a lot to me about my sub-conscious approach to sex.
I began moving the CURVE around. I discovered that from points 12 – 7 (like on a clock) I experienced a range of numbness, pain, discomfort and a very slight hint of pleasure. 8 and 9 seemed to indicate more pleasure, but then 10 and 11 kicked off my bladder pressure and once that began, I couldn’t ignore it. I found that going slightly deeper mirrored the first map, with just minor changes, usually in increasing or decreasing sensation. It was an eye-opening experience and if I’m honest, a slightly sad one, but it felt empowering to begin understanding my body more.
I decided to revisit yoni mapping again. My theory was, that as I find my pain levels and desire for sex change throughout the month, perhaps my map would too? Then I could visually see when sex would be the least painful for me, and when I’d be more open to yoni massage and healing. During ovulation for example, I’m more likely to want sex, but I also experience more pain too, and the same goes pre-menstruation. The first time I tried yoni mapping I was in my follicular phase, so this time, I attempted it right before menstruation. What I discovered was that any pleasure sensations had pretty much entirely disappeared, and the main sensations were aching, discomfort or numbness.
What I was pleasantly surprised with is that I did in fact feel more comfortable mentally this time around. I still rushed through the yoni massage, but I felt less shame, less awkwardness and less guilt. Genuine curiosity was creeping in, and I felt a sense of dedication to understanding this part of me.
How I’m Moving Forward on My Healing Journey
I still have a long way to go on my journey with sexual pain. But working with my Onna CURVE has allowed me to gently and tentatively begin taking steps on that journey. My experience thus far has revealed to me that my discomfort is not just physical, but emotional and mental too. It’s made me confront how cut off I am from the sexuality of my vagina, despite the fact that I work to decrease pain in that area on a daily basis.
Whilst I do follow sexually empowering Instagram accounts and listen to sex positive podcasts, I now know I need to take it a step further and begin challenging and healing some of the negative thoughts and connotations I have towards my sexuality. I plan to continue using my CURVE for yoni massage, and I hope I can build up to being comfortable with slow self-pleasure. The Onna toys, to me, are non-threatening, beautiful and lovingly made toys and healing tools that encourage me to rekindle my sexuality and soothe the pain I experience in my vagina.
The Onna CURVE is designed for helping with vaginal canal pain, so for those of us with endometriosis who have deep pain during sex, I would say further support would likely be useful for the physical side of things. After talking with a Pelvic Floor Therapist, it’s quite clear to me that I do need to seek further treatment for the deeper nerve and muscle tension I have further into my womb and pelvic area – but I don’t think I would have reached this point had I not begun using the CURVE Toy.
If you’re keen on trying CURVE, or any other ONNA Toys, my suggestions are;
Don’t compare yourself to the reviews, so many women write about incredible orgasms and radical self-love on their first go. It’s okay if that doesn’t happen to you, Elena is about slow pleasure, so she understands more than anyone that this is a gradual journey.
Make sure you read ALL the yoni mapping instructions – don’t rush in like I did and start all the way up by your cervix, start 1cm deep and continue further up if you feel like it.
Don’t shut yourself off if it feels uncomfortable mentally or physically – ask yourself why it feels this way. I could have never gone back after my first attempt, but by staying curious, I was able to recognise that I have some thought patterns I need to work on and that Pelvic Floor Therapy could help me get to the deeper levels of my pain. If you feel like you’re doing something wrong or it really is just too painful to attempt, get in touch with Onna – they’re super helpful and talked me through it all!
Warm up your CURVE under warm water – as it’s marble it can be quite cold, which I found triggered my bladder!
Enjoy! This is about your own sexual empowerment, development and nourishment. Do what feels right for you.
Please let me know if you try the CURVE (or anything else!) for healing your sexual pain. I really hope this review was useful – please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.
Read my other tips on coping with painful sex here.