Low desire bringing me lower than low

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    Hello all,

    I’ve been having pain with sex for about 5 years. It just came out of the blue when I started dating my now-husband. I’ve never had a completely awesome relationship with sex but I thought I was doing ok until it started to hurt. Over the past 5 years, I felt that I had no resources since my OBGYN didn’t know what to do and my therapist wasn’t helping that much. I was referred to Maze through a sex therapist my husband and I started seeing when we hit what I thought was rock bottom in November. Little did I know how much worse it could get AFTER the treatment, which is where I am now.

    I was treated this winter for vaginismus and recently “graduated” to maintenance dilation. Throughout all of this my desire has been basically zero. I tried DHEA, wellbutrin (now I have what seems to be permanent tinnitus), and I am still taking Addyi.

    I’ve got nothing. Nothing feels pleasurable. I masturbate and it doesn’t do anything and I just feel worse about myself. Every. Single. Time. At least when I started dilation I felt hope that I might be able to feel differently, but now I feel even more defective than before I started dilation, and now completely hopeless because I’m “done” with the treatment.

    I think my marriage is on the brink of being destroyed because I feel nothing – no desire whatsoever for my husband (or anyone else). I feel like I am constantly cutting the heart out of my husband by saying no or even by expressing my total lack of desire. I can’t pretend – no poker face.

    Has anyone else experienced this? I don’t know what to do. I feel completely hopeless.

    Please help.



    I’m so so so so sorry you’re going through this. From your post it seems like you’ve seen a therapist (alone, as well as with your partner?) but it wasn’t helpful; can you find a NEW/DIFFERENT therapist for just yourself? I think it’s a good idea to see if maybe this lack of desire stems from something else going on (anxiety, depression, trauma, etc.) and if your previous therapist couldn’t help much, there could definitely be someone better – more experienced, easier to talk to, etc..

    I know it depends on stuff like insurance, time, etc. but I truly believe everyone can benefit from having the right therapist – especially when there’s an issue going on that impacts your life so much!

    I’ve also seen on Maze Women’s Health’s website that they have low sex drive/arousal disorder treatment/therapy (I know you’ve tried a few things recently but if they have anything you haven’t tried, it may be something to look into – or in your own area if you’re not in NYC).

    Just letting you know I understand and I’m confident that you can get to the root of this problem and get through this incredibly rough time. Try your best to stay positive – I know you’re going through A LOT and it seems like there’s no answer, but with patience, optimism and NOT GIVING UP, I’m confident you can find the right treatment to help your lack of desire!


    Leko19, I’m so, so sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve been having. I know that treatment is supposed to be the beginning of a big new start, it sounds like it’s only made your stress and disappointment worse, which is terrible.

    In my experience, vaginismus gives you SO much emotional and psychological baggage that can take years to unlearn, and that can take the form of decreased (or completely absent) desire. One of the things that sometimes needs to happen is that you have to reacquaint yourself with your body and what it likes. Start from the beginning: touch yourself, see what feels good, go slow, and see if you can regain some of that autonomy. It’s a long process, and a frustrating one, but I know a better sex life is possible for you. I also agree that a different therapist sounds like a great idea – it’s so hard to find support, but it really is possible. I hope we can also help you in some way and answer your questions – know that you have so much support in this.


    Hi Leko19,
    I am really sorry to hear how you are feeling!!! I have the impression that often in Vaginismus treatment mainly adresses the physical side of things (by dilating/botox). There might be something emotional which needs to be sorted out to make you feel more comfortable with yourself? – I experienced the same feelings before. Mainly due to the fact that I felt pressurised to “work” and that it had to work and that my previous partner felt very devastated by me refusing to be intimate with him – it was like a vicious cycle, which made it worse and worse. For me the acceptance of my recent partner of my wish not to be intimate if I don’t feel it without blaming me or making me feel a lesser person helps enormously and sometimes I can get in the mood afterwards if I am not pestered to be intimate if I can just take my time. And by being the person who decides. However we are not attempting penetrative intimacy whilst doing the dilating treatment.
    Sometimes if people feel depressed it can affect arousal and desire as well. I send you lots of strength! Don’t give up and don’t be harsh to yourself! You need to feel comfortable with yourself and feel aroused before anything should happen. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t do it.
    I often do things which I really love which do not have anything to do with the “problem” just to feel well and good with myself, like baking or gardening (I love seeing plants develop). As well we try to do that together in our relationship (like going for long romantic walks, to an art market) avoiding the topic and just relax. To get a healthy distance to all these treatment and fighting. To feel like a normal person. I hope you feel more happy soon!


    I love Heliopsis’s response. Especially these points/suggestions:

    * Depression and mental health issues can definitely affect arousal.
    * Don’t be hard on yourself.
    * Do things you love, do things together that you both enjoy.

    Hope you’re doing very well!

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