Hi all, I really wasn’t sure where to post this but I’m at my wits end.
I’ve been married for 16 years and my partner and I are going through a separation.

During our time together, my relationship with sexuality has grown to be more and more complicated and problematic. For the past five years or so, there has been some… abuse… that has made my relationship with sex and sexuality fraught, to say the least.

Now that the relationship is ending, at the suggestion of my therapist, I’ve been trying to re-capture a sense of control when it comes to my own body and its relationship to intimate relations but I’m having a really hard time.

For years I was in a position where sex was a means to please my partner and I separated my body from the experience. I worked on being able to disassociate from the act and let it happen without me really being involved, intellectually. Now that the marriage is at its end, and again, at the suggestion of my therapist, I’m trying to get in touch with my body again and recapture a sense of ownership and pleasure when it comes to intimacy.

I’ve tried watching porn, I’ve done research and bought toys that are supposed to be especially for women who can’t orgasm. But nothing seems to do the trick. Before the abuse, I had a healthy sex drive. I didn’t masturbate often but I could achieve orgasm. Now, nothing can bring me to climax.

I still have desire. I can watch a movie or read erotic fiction and get aroused, but when I try to physically engage in sexual activities, either nothing happens or it’s painful and awful.

The toys don’t seem to help. I even bought this thing called The Womanizer which is supposed to be designed specifically for people who can’t achieve climax but even that doesn’t help.

Please help me. I didn’t used to feel so alienated from my body. Even just touching myself either feels annoying or painful and I don’t know what to do.