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I pulled a muscle in my vagina while taking a burlesque dance class

Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Her short story "Don't Ball the Boss" (inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch) was nominated for the Pus...

What sex was like after injuring my pelvic floor muscles

We were just stretching, getting ready for a super sexy burlesque dance routine. My teacher wanted us down in the splits. Well, I could never do the splits, not even when I was a bendy elementary school gymnast. She said I could do the splits. She leaned on me until I did the splits.

Because she is a friend, I did not kill her, but I certainly knew something was wrong pretty much immediately after my butt hit the floor. I thought maybe I just pulled a muscle in my leg. I thought maybe I'd be fine in a couple days. And I was — mostly. Then I had sex, and hell no.

I'm pretty sure my husband knew something was wrong when, instead of saying, "Oh, yeah," I started screaming. It was then I realized what a successful split in dance class had cost me: a busted vagina.

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I knew we had muscles down there, what with Kegel exercises and Ben Wa balls to keep the pelvic floor strong. Strength alludes to musculature, so, yeah, I knew I had muscles in my hoo-ha. What I didn't realize was that I could injure those muscles with disastrous consequence.

I went to see my OB-GYN first who, upon checking, remarked with a serious frown, "Oh, you're tight." She didn't look at me in a congratulatory way. She looked at me in the way I imagine professional football coaches look at guys with ACL tears. Season over. It appeared I'd strained my pelvic floor and developed "hypertonic muscles," or muscles that are too tight.

I was referred to specialists who deal with female incontinence — except I had the opposite problem, which meant they had to treat me in sort of the opposite manner. Again, I got the "you’re tight" grimace, but through weeks of basically vagina physical therapy, I learned how to tense and relax the exact muscles that were causing the problem.

As part of my treatment, I had to contract my pelvic floor muscles ... and then relax. Squeeze and relax. I would also have to sit and press my knees together then apart. Together, then apart. Kind of like opening and closing a car door.

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Another part of my homework? Stretch my vagina every day, as you would any other strained muscle. In other words, use a vibrator every day. In other words, masturbate every day. Best homework I've ever had.

Like any physical therapy, I had to keep with it. I had a set of exercises I had to do every day, sometimes a couple times a day. I had to change my sexual routine, too. For a while, there were no quickies, no sudden humps in the stairwell. Sex was about me being prepared, which meant stretching (wink, wink) and doing my exercises before intercourse.

My hubby, surprisingly, didn't mind all the extra work. It was kind of fun making sex into An Event during the worst of my injury. Slowly, things got better downstairs, and I'm happy to say I'm now fully operational.

Yes, obviously, I became a joke among my dancer friends, probably giggling this very second. My dance teacher might never live down the fact that she broke a girl's vagina, but hey, thank goodness our woman parts are resilient.

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