Food for thought…

Find support and treatment options from participants and Maze Women’s Health staff.

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  • #46047

    I don’t want to be too negative about pelvic floor therapy, but I think someone with a less positive experience should have a voice here too.

    Sex with my ex-husband has always been so painful penetration was almost impossible. I learned to live with that, but my ex couldn’t and he said he was going to leave me if I didn’t go to the doc with my problem. It took me nearly one year and a half of intensive therapy before we finally could have sex. We had to do it several times a week, or I had to work at least a few times a week with my dilator set, otherwise I noticed my vaginismus slowly returned. So even after therapy, there was still some kind of pressure to always be ready for sex. The vaginismus was still there, but more on the background so to speak.

    The biggest issue I have with therapy is the idea that vaginal penetration is something everyone wants, a bit like a climber who is training to reach the top of the Mount Everest and finally he gets there and he gets rewarded for all his efforts by the splendid view. But what if the view at the top is disappointing? That’s the feeling I had. Vaginal sex is (at least for me) totally overrated. My ex could have an orgasm from penetration, but what was in it for me? Besides seeing my husband enjoying himself: nothing, I didn’t feel a thing! I still needed extra clitoral stimulation to come, and that was already the case before. The only one who enjoyed all my efforts was my ex. For me, it turned out to be a lot of hassle for little to no personal gain.

    I got divorced three years ago, I stopped using my dilators and after a month or three my vaginismus returned in all its full glory. I know I’m not the only one who has this, there are several women on other forums who told me the same. It’s a bit like a car. You need to do maintenance on it or your car will break down at one point or another. This might be a bold statement, but I do have the idea vaginismus is something you can get rid of after therapy, but only as long as you stay sexually active or continue working with the dilators.

    When I met my second husband, I decided to tell him about my past and I also told him I didn’t want to start all over again with my therapy. All I can say is that we now both have a very satisfactory sex life. There are TONS of other ways to be intimate without penetration.

    My message is: pelvic floor therapy can indeed help, but penetration as such is not a holy grail. At least not for me.


    Hi sonjab – thanks so much for sharing your story! You’re right that we don’t hear this perspective as much, but it’s totally valid. A lot of women (even women WITHOUT vaginismus) just don’t get that much out of penetration! The reasons people do seek treatment are varied and complex, and I think for a lot of women what’s almost more important than the sex itself is being able to get rid of all the negative emotions they’ve felt burdened by because of their vaginismus – the shame, the feeling there’s something wrong or unwomanly about your body, the anxiety around having to tell new partners you can’t have sex, and so many other reasons. Everyone has their own reasons for seeking treatment or not, and it’s great that you’ve found what works for you. That’s why we need more education and more options, so every woman can choose how she wants to conduct her sex life.


    I really think this is an important post.
    Intercourse is only one way to have sex.
    You can have a really satisfying sex life without PIV with a supportive partner.


    Food for thought, indeed! And @mazemelissa is right, lots of attention is given here on this board towards therapy. But therapy isn’t the ONLY valid solution.

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