This forum is for questions and support regarding relationship issues such as: Abstinence, Arousal Problems, Birth Control, Cohabitation, Commitment, Communication, Couples Counseling, Desire /Lack of Desire, Sexual Technique.
I have an embarrassing problem and wondered if anyone could suggest a cure.
I'm 29 years old and have been married for three years but still a virgin. We'd both like to start a family soon but this is proving to be an impossible fantasy due to the fact that I can't seem to have penetrative sex.
I'm really at my wits end as I feel too ashamed to speak to anyone (other than my husband) about this problem. I suspect that I'm suffering from Vaginismus... all the symptoms appear to mirror what I am going through. The prospect of wearing a tampon sends shivers down my spine, let alone anything else!
I've tried everything from being massaged to the extreme of getting drunk in the hope that I'd feel relaxed enough to have sex.
Please help! I really don't know what else to do and this situation is making me extremely unhappy. To the point that I give up on sex altogether which doesn't make for a healthy relationship.
First of all, you’re not alone. Many women have had this concern. When the vagina involuntarily tightens, it’s a condition called “vaginismus.” But not to worry, it’s not the result of any permanent physiological condition, and it’s entirely reversible. And, no, local anesthetics aren’t helpful.
Women experience this tightening up because of fear and anxiety. If neither one of you has been sexual with a partner prior to marriage, I’m wondering if you’ve received messages that sex is somehow dirty, harmful or wrong. And, of course, now that you’re married, those messages are just supposed to magically disappear, leaving the two of you with great sex forever. Don’t make me laugh! It can be difficult to truly let go of that message if it’s been pounded into your brain for years.
Another possibility is that you’ve somehow gotten the idea that penis-vagina sex (p-v) is going to be painful or invasive (which it COULD be, if you’re not turned on or lubricated). Once these ideas take over, you may not even realize you’re having them, but they’re lurking somewhere in the back of your mind and doing their damage.
Or you may have experienced something painful or traumatic in your past, which you’re associating with p-v. If unresolved, these experiences can short-circuit our ability to become aroused. And, of course, trust may be an issue. If you've had a past experience that taught you to distrust men, it may be holding you back.
Another possible factor: What are the conditions like when you’re being sexual? Do you have enough privacy? Are you both relaxed and happy? Are you very aroused and producing your own lubrication? If not, these can contribute to your discomfort and tightening up as well.
There are various other possible psychological/emotional factors too numerous to detail here. These include fear of intimacy, fear of men, unresolved anger, feeling conflicted about marriage, etc.
In addition, if your husband has little or no sexual experience, he may not be aware that both of you need to be very turned on before p-v sex, and that it takes time. You need lots of touching, kissing, etc. and whatever else turns you on. And before attempting p-v, it will be helpful to start with something small, like a finger, inserted just a teeny bit at a time. Here are the steps: Once you’re very aroused, ask your husband to just touch the outside of your vagina. See how that feels. Breathe. Once that feels OK, then try his finger just a tiny bit inside, and again evaluate the feeling and breathe. You get the picture: break it down into small steps, and stop when you’re feeling anxious. Give yourself permission to go very slowly. Do NOT try p-v until you’re comfortable with his finger inside you.
Realize that it takes time to relax with each other and learn about your body and its responses. But anything worthwhile takes a little time and practice, no? Together, you two can discover just what it is that arouses you. You have a chance to take a wonderful journey of discovery together.
If after slowing down, letting yourself get turned on and lots of practice, you find you’re still tightening up, you might consider seeing a counselor to examine your fears because they may be so extreme that the above steps aren’t enough to bypass them. Good luck to the two of you. Dr. J
hey, Most important thing is to seek a doctor out that can see if their is any health problems down there. Another thing is that maybe your scared. and its alright to be since it will be your first time. with a tampon sometimes i get the same feeling. its cause i feel real tense from the day and i tighten up as it goes in. the same things if u are trying to have sex. try to find ur happy place in the bed room and know that nothing awful is going to happen. it might hurt at first but thats normal is wont last long and wont the next time.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and you're right, it's probably best to consult a doctor (though the prospect of even that examination, sends a shiver down my spine to the point that I have put off visiting for years now... ).
Hope to find that happy place you mention soon - thanks again!
Thanks for sharing that!
Hmmm, wonder if it is this... thinking it's more likely to be Vaginismus due to the fact that I tense up a lot (uncontrollably - sometimes I don't realize that I do). Did this sort out the problem?
Thanks so much for your detailed response Janice! Your expert advise here is greatly appreciated and I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to get back to me.
You're absolutely right, it appears to be a psychological issue as I can't recall feeling any pain when my husband and I get close and personal. I had been brought up strictly, with the notion that sex would be painful the first time and that it should be a no-go area until marriage. I guess these ideas have become engrained in the back of my mind somewhere over years and have escalated into the fears that I hold today.
This is the only reason I can find that constitutes to why this is the case as I have never had any specifically traumatic p-v sexual experiences in the past... funny how the mind works!
I'll have already taken your advise with regards to going very slowly and I'm happy to say that a little progress has been made (though nothing worthy of getting too excited about). I did however get a sudden anxiety attack and we stopped right there; I find it extremely difficult to relax and let go. I'm slowly coming to the realisation that i may just be a control freak.
I do agree, taking it as slowly as you've suggested will eventually resolve this problem and practice, together with A LOT of patience in my case, will make prefect.
i had a friend who had this problem a time ago.. no cures or anything. we took her to a hypnotist for past life regression of what had happened to her in the past of why she couldnt have sex and it helped her. now she is having all the sex with her husband. OF COURSE you might say this is crazy, but if you don't try it then it might of been a possible hope for you. There is lots of md and phd hypnotist qualified for past life regression. They have cured many things like people fear of food, drink, money or any other reason.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.