I recently discovered a blog called "Unconsummated". It is written by an Orthodox Jewish girl who is struggling with a sexual disorder called vaginismus. I'm linking to it on here because I think it's important to spread awareness about these issues. Women who struggle with this issue often feel very alone because, even outside of religious circles, it's difficult and often shameful to speak about with others. (One article which she refers to in her blog states that Orthodox Jewish couples are more likely than other couples to seek treatment for the disorder because of the emphasis placed on sex in the marriage relationship).
She discussed in a recent post that many of the people who have linked to her blog have done so for the purpose of blaming Judaism for her condition. These people made false claims to the effect that these issues only exist in strict, religious circles. Forgetting the fact that sex is not a taboo topic in Judaism, as many of these people claim, and that although sex is forbidden before marriage it is seen as one of the holiest acts in the world after marriage, pretending that this is something that only effects the repressed or victims of sexual trauma undermines the pain of all the women who experienced neither and are still suffering.
Vaginismus is a real medical condition. It is caused by a physical reaction within the body to penetration. Many women, from all sorts of backgrounds, struggle with this condition. It does not necessarily have to begin with someone's first sexual encounters. Some women may be sexually active for years and suddenly find themselves, for whatever reason, experiencing vaginismus (this is called secondary vaginismus).
I'm not interested in starting a debate about religion and sexuality here. Any comments to that effect will be deleted. I'm merely interested in helping this girl spread awareness of an extremely difficult, complicated and painful condition which much of the world likes to ignore.