I need help

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    Me and my girlfriend have been together for about 7 months now. We’re really close friends and can have a lot of fun outside of our sex life, but lately the topic of vaginismus has been more prominent. A few months into our relationship we tried intercourse, and it just caused her a lot of pain. I guess she knew it would probably be like that, but she has told me she wanted to be able to so badly that she didn’t say anything at first (in hopes it would work). Long story short, she has vaginismus, and we can’t have inter-vaginal sex. Of course we try oral and other forms, but she’s been really down about it lately and I just feel so terrible. She’s a wonderful girl and we’re looking for treatment for this, but I want to be able to pleasure her until then. She just doesn’t really like doing anything anymore because she feels she’ll be disappointed that I can’t put it in. Also, I asked her in the past if she would be alright with me trying to like play with her clit and I accidentally touched it directly and hurt her, and now she doesn’t want me near there. Not in a mean way of course, but it made me really disappointed in my ability to do anything for her. I’m trying my best but it’s really difficult to satisfy her sexually and it’s painful to watch 🙁 Like I said, sex isn’t everything for us, but I just want any advice I can get on what to do. I try to be as optimistic about it as possible but I can tell she just really wants to be able to put it in and can’t. We don’t really do anything sexual anymore, and I really want to but I know she doesn’t so I refrain from it. Should I just continue to support her in a non-sexual way, or just like try to do what she wants with it? It’s been bugging me a lot lately and I’d feel awful to tell her, I don’t want her to be more angry at her body than she already is


    Hi Forum User – I’m so sorry you’re in this position, you sound like a really supportive partner but it’s such a hard place to be in. I had vaginismus for about a decade and I know what an emotional trap it can be. Even with a great partner who’s supportive, it creates such a downward spiral of emotions where guilt and shame pile on top of each other and you feel worse and worse for disappointing your partner and for not being in the mood, so I know where your girlfriend is at and how self-punishing she’s likely being about it. It’s a really tough position for YOU too and I feel for the fact that you probably feel so powerless to help her treatment even though it’s a situation that affects you.

    It sounds like you’ve done a good job of talking your feelings out with your partner, but it might help to sit her down and tell her you know how hard it is for her but that you’re there for her in any ways you can be. In regard to your sex life, you may have to back up and start at the beginning to rediscover shared pleasure – even from kissing, hugging, massages, gentle touch, etc to rebuild some of the trust that your parter is having trouble accessing right now.

    Exploring treatment options together may help you to feel more united as a couple and like you’re making progress toward shared sexual goals. Ultimately your partner has to feel READY for treatment and your support as a partner will surely help in that. I hope you both make progress and can connect more as a couple – let us know if there’s any way we can help!


    Very similar to my problem. And I’m really helpless in this situation. Yes, sex is not everything in a partnership. But on the other side, something is missing if you can’t have it. I tried hard to motivate her visiting a specialist, but she doesn’t want. We are a mixed-race couple, I’m Caucasian and she Asian. I’m in my 3. marriage and so, I’m quite experienced and never had such problem before.
    It’s really interesting to read here about the experiences of the others.


    Hi Graham – welcome to our forum. Thank you for sharing your story. It can certainly feel very frustrating, especially for partners of women with vaginismus. You are right – intercourse is not the only part of intimacy, but can still be an important aspect of a relationship. I encourage you to read through the posts on this forum, and perhaps see if you wife would like to do the same. Just normalizing the experience for her can be very powerful. As you will see, dilation is the key treating vaginismus, and it is something we are experts on here at Maze. We are also now offering virtual consultations and distance dilation coaching. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!


    Hi Graham – I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s struggle with vaginismus. This can be really hard on the male partner as he feels so helpless, but I’m hopeful that you and your wife can keep talking about your sexual lives. Perhaps your wife doesn’t feel ready, but maybe she could be as she learns more about how other people have succeeded at overcoming vaginismus by reading the forums. There might also be room to talk more about your intimate life in general – you’re both several decades into life, so what has her relationship to desire, pleasure, and sex been both in your relationship with her and before she met you? What does she enjoy? What do you need to feel appreciated? A problem like vaginismus can feel really big and scary to handle, but in reality people make progress one day at a time, taking little steps until they find they have overcome the anxiety and pain.

    This will be a gradual journey, but I think your wife could open up to the idea of treatment. Keep talking with her, showing her information, and helping to build your trust and connection in other ways. This can help her feel more ready to take on the challenge ahead.

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