How to Deal with Sex Problems/Unable to have sex

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QUESTION: I am a 25 year old married woman. My husband and I have been married for the last 3 years. I was a virgin before marriage and had a strict religious upbringing. Before marriage I hadn't even masturbated. On our wedding night when my husband initiated intercourse I felt an almost extreme fear of sex. I remember looking at his penis and thinking that he is going to rip me apart with it. When we took our clothes off I was unable to even spread my legs to have sex. Seeing my obvious reluctance my husband stopped the attempt at having sex. Afterwards every single attempt drew similar results. I would clamp my legs shut and my husband wasnít a brute to force them apart in order to penetrate me.  

 So we visited a sexologist to discuss our problems. He diagnosed me with a condition called as vaginismus and referred me to a gynecologist to check if I had a physiological problem. I had never had a pelvic exam before and felt an intense fear when I saw that the gynecologist intended to insert the speculum inside me. I remember lifting my buttocks and trying to avoid him from examining me. I was crying when he finally with my husbandís help managed complete the exam. I was told that I didnít suffer from any obvious physical problems and suggested I take the help of a pelvic massage therapist to help reduce the pain and to avoid intercourse for a while.

The first few visits to the therapist were extremely scary and painful. But gradually I learnt to take his finger inside me without pain and ultimately allowed him to do an intra vaginal massage. Soon I was able to open my legs more easily and my husband and I soon attempted intercourse again. But it wasnít successful. Looking at his penis again brought back the same fear and I couldnít lubricate. My husband couldnít maintain an erection seeing my fear and he failed to penetrate me.

This has been the case now for the past couple of years. It has caused a lot of problems in my marriage and even though my husband is a very patient kind and loving man I can see him getting frustrated. I have managed to help him masturbate but only when I am fully dressed. Every time we attempt intercourse however, my vagina just goes into spasms and the pain is so intense that I just canít go on. So recently our sexologist suggested that we try the services of a sex surrogate to deal with my vaginismus. I have googled and found out what a sex surrogate is and obviously I was totally against it at first. But looking at the state of our marriage and the fact that it has been 3 years and we havenít yet consummated our union makes me want to accept anything that would make things better. My husband has reluctantly agreed and so before I decide, I just want to know from you if there is a better option even though my sexologist has said that there isnít. Also please give me some advice on sex surrogacy.
Thank you

ANSWER: I am not a licensed sex therapist, so you are asking me to contradict the advice given to you by people who are.  I think sex surrogacy is an extreme solution that might not help and might cause resentments in your husband -- you have not let him penetrate you, but you are willing to have sex with a stranger.

I think it would be better if you could learn to masturbate on your own and be more comfortable with your body that way.  Then you could let your husband penetrate you with his hands and perhaps also his mouth.  I think these steps would help you have intercourse more than having some kind of awkward intercourse with a surrogate would.

You have already learned to help your husband masturbate, so I think learning to masturbate yourself and letting your husband help you are natural steps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Is it possible for a sex surrogate to help without me having intercourse with him? I have heard of something called sexological bodywork which does not necessarily involve intercourse. My doctor said that the reason for me not being able to be penetrated might be something that my husband is doing wrong. So I was wondering if a surrogate could help us figure that out.

Answer
You would have to discuss the role of the surrogate with the doctor and/or surrogate.  Find out from the doctor what he is planning to have the surrogate do with you.  In the meantime, it would help for you to work on the masturbation techniques I suggested in our earlier exchange.

How to Deal with Sex Problems

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Doug Adams, Ph.D.

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I can answer questions in any area of sexuality.

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I have been an AllExperts expert in seven other sex categories for over four years and have answered thousands of questions. I have also run a web site, HealthyStrokes.com, for over 13 years and have answered countless thousands of questions on that site. HealthyStrokes.com specializes in help for men with sexual dysfunctions.

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