‘Trading Spaces’ Host Paige Davis Gets Real About Vaginal Pain During Sex
Sex is a normal part of life, but for Trading Spaces alum Paige Davis, getting frisky was something she shied away from for more than three decades due to pain.
The 52-year-old TV host recently got real about what she used to see as her "shameful secret."
Content warning below // graphic description of medical condition
"When I have intercourse, I feel like the ring of my vagina is on fire," the TV host told People. "It feels like somebody went in and put a thousand paper cuts around my opening."
The actress explained that she felt pain from the very first time she ever had vaginal intercourse. "It never felt good at all," she said, adding that she sought help from many professionals to try and figure out what was "wrong" with her.
After many tests, she finally received the diagnosis of pudendal neuralgia — long-term pelvic pain that originates from damage or irritation of the pudendal nerve, a main nerve in the pelvis.
Dr. Meera Kirpekar, an anesthesiologist who specializes in pelvic pain at NYU Langone Health helped her with her diagnosis and helped her realize she wasn't alone.
Davis had been hiding her condition from her husband Patrick Paige for 26 years. The duo tied the knot in 2001.
"When we were first married he thought that I loved sex. Guess what? I don't — it really hurts," she said, adding that the pair are now dealing with the condition together, "head-on."
Davis noted she was too embarrassed to tell anyone about the pain, and that she had just gotten used to pretending she enjoyed sex.
"You just feel broken, or like you're not normal," the former Home and Family host detailed. "We are taught to be amazing at sex, that you're supposed to please your partner. I took that to heart and just faked it."
"Sex should not hurt," she said, adding that women shouldn't be afraid to speak up if they are experiencing pain. "Don't second guess yourself. If there's pain it means there is something wrong."
The Pennsylvania native also had a message for younger women, saying: "They don't have to go into a performative mode to ignore this problem. I don't want it to be this secret, shameful thing that like, your vajayjay is broken, so you're not as good of a woman."