D’s Letter

Dear 20-year-old-me,

Don’t give up.

So you’ve recently learnt the name for what experiencing: it’s Vaginismus.

So, your vaginal muscles tighten up when you try to have penetrative sex, and it’s difficult and painful in a way that sex never used to be after the first couple of times.

No – you’re not broken or to blame, and yes – you are going to have amazing, all-pleasure-no-pain sex again in your life. Lots of it, in fact. I promise: At some points during your twenties, not too far away (coughyourJ1summercough) you’ll practically have it coming out your ears. Mm, messy.

You’re also not alone. Even though you feel like the only person in Ireland dealing with this condition, I can tell you this is not true.

You got lucky at 18 with a boyfriend whose parents didn’t mind you staying overnight and you were able to explore sex in a safe, warm, relaxed environment. So you know already that this makes a difference. Having a (much, much better) boyfriend now with more conservative parents means you’re limited to rushed, cold, infrequent, tense sex in unsafe places because there’s nowhere private for you to spend time together, and I’ll be honest – this isn’t going to change any time soon. (I know. Not my fault. Don’t look at me like the moody teenager you still can be as a 20-year-old.)

Vaginismus is tough, and I’m not going to sugar-coat the amount of work that’s needed to get through this, but I assure you that this will actually change your life for the better. Let’s look at the positives that will come from this situation.

1. Your current boyfriend is a lovely person, and he’s the healthy support you really need after an emotionally abusive relationship. No, you can’t stay over at his house when you want – which, I warn you in advance, will be a LOT more frustrating when you’re both 23-year-old students and can’t afford to move out) but the snatched nights you’ll spend together in budget city hotels where you can only afford a packet of Tayto from the vending machine for dinner will be all the more fun and special because of it, and he won’t pressure or guilt you into sex. Vaginismus will be a challenge, but your relationship will become so much more than physical, and you’ll stay good friends even when you do break up.

2. You’re going to navigate dilator therapy by yourself, which allows you to independently take charge of getting over this condition – you’ll learn that your sexuality and your satisfaction depend on no one else. You’ll realise that when you want something, you work to GET IT. Some bonus learning content: Your vagina is amazing.

3. You’ll work with an incredible psychosexual therapist in the hospital you were born in, and through this therapy you’ll discover that your calling in life is to work in a similar field – you always had an inkling, but never knew these jobs existed; good old Catholic Ireland! – helping to impart the importance of knowledge and comfort around sex for people living with dysfunctions or difficulties. (It’ll take you a while to actually get there, but that’s a story for another day. Let’s just say… it’s a work in progress, and you’re scooping up some juicy skillz along the way.)

4. You’ll learn this life tip: Lube is fabulous. Lube is like your cool, hip, but loyal friend. Lube is life-changing.

Look. Vaginismus is never going to be fully, 100% gone, but you are going to develop an absolute barrage of tools and skills to deal with it whenever it dares to peek its nose into your life again. Your familiarity with your body and your capabilities will make it much easier to work with and get on top of as your life experience develops.

I know things right now feel frustrating, and hopeless, and tense, and sore, but you can do this. There is some lovely, pain-free pleasure-full sex at the end of that tunnel. I promise. Hang in there. (Or… let those dilators hang in there. Get it? Yup, you’re still just as witty and hilarious at 29.)

Love & lube,
You, in nearly 10 years. <3

Grace Alice Sex And Relationships Educator

Thank you, I'll be in touch soon...


This service is fully limited to Sexuality Education. All advice is given in an honest manner and as guidance only. By using this service, you agree that you make your own decisions, relying solely on your discretion; any use you make of such answers, advice or services is at your own risk and ‘Grace Alice Sexuality Educator’ cannot be held responsible or be liable for any damages or losses resulting from your reliance on such answers or advice.

What is a peer-to-peer support session?

Firstly, let us start with what the session is not! I am not a practicing sex therapist, sexologist, medical professional, psychotherapist, psychologist, counsellor, or mental health professional. Therefore, I do not provide medical advice (although I may recommend that you seek guidance from a medical professional if appropriate) or a therapy service.

Sex & Relationships Education is a separate field to these professions, and I employ my own unique approach based on my qualifications, training, and experience. I hold an undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy and a Masters degree in Health Promotion. I have over six years experience working as a Sex & Relationships Educator and have undergone continuous professional development and training. I also studied empathy education as a UNESCO scholar, which informs my approach. Details of my qualifications and training are available on my LinkedIn page – please see the ‘About’ page also!

Within a session, I offer a confidential and safe space for discussion of various issues relating to relationships and sexuality. I strive for a relaxed, informal vibe, where you can chat about something that you have been struggling with. I can offer a friendly and non-judgemental listening ear, suggestions on how you can approach your own personal situation, general information on the related topic(s) and details of relevant professionals, support services and organisations (usually in a follow-up email). I can accommodate sessions relating to many topics relating to relationships and sexuality – including but not limited to body image, sexual communication, consent and boundaries, protection, anatomy, vaginismus, porn, STIs and STI stigma, healthy and unhealthy relationships, gender and sexuality, pleasure, arousal, desire, infidelity, break-ups, dating, and more.  I want my clients to feel relaxed, comfortable, and free to talk without fear or shame, like they would with a very close friend!

How does a Booking work?

In a nutshell, you can contact me via the booking page on this site and request a booking. If I decide that a session with me would be a good fit for you, I will contact you and arrange a time and date!

Here is the pricing for sessions;

Standard Session1 hour€50
Student* Standard Session1 hour€40
*A valid student I.D. must be presented.  

Please note that the session must be paid for in full at least 24 hours prior to the session, using the payment method and details I will provide to you in an email. If you do not have PayPal, we can arrange another form of payment (Revolut or bank transfer – please factor in the extra time it will take you to set up an account if needed or the possible delay in bank transfers, this may slightly affect the scheduling of your session).

Due to the nature of this service, I cannot offer any refunds for any reason during or after a session.

However, if you have paid and can no longer attend the scheduled session, I can offer you a full refund if you notify me of the cancellation at least 48 hours beforehand. If you wish to reschedule, please notify me at least 48 hours before the time of the scheduled session, and we can work something out!

Am I guaranteed to have a session?

Imay choose not to do a session with you if I feel that I am unable to offer support or education relating to your situation. I will contact you to let you know if I have decided that my service is not a good fit for you, and I will offer some suggestions regarding more suitable professionals/organisations/services to contact.

Although we may chat about lots of different things during a session, if someone has clearly not been truthful in the booking form about the topic area that want to discuss and appear to have an ulterior motive in booking the session, I may choose to end the session. The same rule applies to a situation where someone is clearly not who they have stated they are in the booking form. 

I cannot offer sessions to anyone under the age of 18 years. I may choose to ask you to present a copy of a valid form of I.D. if I feel that confirmation of age is needed. Requesting to book a session indicates that you are aged 18 years or over, and that you are being truthful in disclosing your age.

If I feel that someone is being disrespectful, offensive, or inappropriate, and I feel uncomfortable, I may choose to end the session. I may also end the session if I believe that it is being recorded.

Is it all confidential?


es! Confidentiality is essential to a service like this and I will do everything in my power on my end to protect it.

Here is what I will do on my end; I will abide by GDPR guidelines and make every effort to keep all personal information relating to sessions safe. Booking requests and emails with a form attached/included will be retained for no more than 1 year. The form may be printed, and I may take notes before, during and after the session either by hand or typed. Forms, notes, and USB key will all be stored in a locked file safe in my home office. All forms and notes (hard and soft copies) will be deleted and/or destroyed after one year.  I will send you a Zoom Meeting ID and password before the session using the email address you have given me. I will use headphones and will be alone in a private space during all sessions. All  records of calls and video calls will be deleted after one year.

Please be mindful of what you choose to share within the session. I have an obligation to break confidentiality and report to Tusla and/or the Gardaí any disclosures of child abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse and other crimes.

Here is what you must do on your end! You must not screenshot, record and/or distribute any part of your session. It is also your responsibility to protect your privacy as much as you like on your end. This may include keeping your phone password-protected, using a non-identifiable email address that does not include your name, deleting correspondence, making sure you have a private space for your session where you will not be interrupted or overheard, etc.

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