Non-existent libido

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    I figured I’d share my experience with low libido, in case anyone can relate.

    Before Dr. Pacik’s treatment, I had vaginismus for 11 years, since my first attempt at intercourse at age 17. I have never experienced pleasurable sex. I don’t know what it’s like to desire sex or be “turned on.” Since it was ruined for me from day one, I have no understanding of what it is that I’m trying to accomplish. I feel as though now that I’ve been through treatment with Dr. Pacik, and sex is physically possible, I should be enjoying it and looking forward to it. Instead, I still dread it, and I still need a glass of wine or two to even be willing to try it. For those 11 years, I was in and out of relationships, having many men leave me due to my sexual problems, and having constant bouts of breaking down and crying and screaming after sex. I felt like I was raped every time I had sex. I hated having a man on top of me. They were just using me for their needs and I was left feeling like less of a person every single time. I wondered how they could even finish knowing I was in so much pain.

    My boyfriend is amazing and will not ever initiate sex. He wants it to be on my terms. He says he feels a deeper connection to me when we make love. I, however, feel more distant from him, and sometimes despise him during and immediately afterwards. Even though he respects me and will stop if it hurts, just the act of him doing to me what used to hurt me so bad makes me angry at him. I still think of sex as something that caused me years of pain and heartbreak and I can’t just snap my fingers and desire it. My aversion to sex also led to an aversion to pretty much all physical touch throughout the years. My mind taught me to hate kissing or fondling because it was related to sex, and I hated sex. This has left me at age 28, with the love of my life, but unable to understand how to have a physical relationship with him, since I don’t feel any physical attachment to him. I often wonder if I’m asexual, but then I realize that I do find men attractive and if I watch a romantic scene in a movie, I like it and feel that “butterfly in the stomach” sensation. I know it’s there, I just don’t know how to relate it to my relationship. I am able to orgasm with self-stimulation, but I never think sexual thoughts during it. I’ve never experienced an orgasm during sex, or even outside of sex with another person, and can’t imagine that ever happening, since to me, an orgasm is something I only do alone. I often find sexual acts “disgusting.” I hate the thought of oral sex. I don’t like any sort of touch. I feel uncomfortable being naked around my boyfriend. I don’t even like it when random people or family members hug me. I just don’t like being touched at all. I fear that my boyfriend will leave me someday when he realizes that I’m unable to have a fulfilling sex life with him. I just don’t understand how I can change this. A lot of women who have had vaginismus once were able to have pleasurable sex, so they know what it was like, and their brain is wired to re-accept that. If I never had that, how can I bring it back?


    Hi Nola. Please, please know that I am here for you and you are not alone in any of your feelings. This is very, very common and often co-occurs with vaginismus. In a prior post, Dr. Pacik has written:

    “I recently treated a 23 year old with a seven year history of severe vaginismus who was sexually molested at the age of 15. She had numerous attempted treatments to overcome her vaginismus that included physical therapy with biofeedback, Kegels, and dilators; muscle relaxants, lubricants, topical anesthetics and self induced excess alcohol use, all to no avail. She was noted to have maximum spasm of the entry muscle on examination. By about 5 days she reported no pain when using the largest #6 (blue) glass dilator but continued anxiety (4 on a scale of 1-10). She achieved pain free intercourse 10 days after treatment with the Botox program. She has mailed me her dilation log daily and I noted the excellent progress she was making. Nevertheless her “disgust” to intercourse continues and this is very upsetting to her. She is afraid she will not be able to overcome this.

    It is important to be aware that there can be both a physical block (spasm of the entry muscle) that results in an uncontrollable, involuntary inability to have intercourse, and in this situation a psychologic block (“disgust”) that is also involuntary and out of a woman’s control. This appears to represent a psychologic defense mechanism to protect oneself against the anticipated pain of intercourse. When a woman is able to embrace this concept that there is a both a physical block and a psychologic block (disgust) beyond a person’s control, then just by understanding the dynamics of what is taking place, can be the beginning of overcoming this very uncomfortable situation. Added counseling by a trained therapist can also be of great value.”

    My reply included:

    “Hi Dr. Pacik. While I haven’t experienced this personally, I believe that “disgust”, like low-libido, anorgasmia, etc. is a common condition that can co-occur with vaginismus. My first piece of advice to this person is to please know that you are not alone in your feelings and so many others have felt similar to you. Secondly, I would like to congratulate you on having the procedure and your tremendous success and progress in overcoming vaginismus and having pain-free intercourse. This is wonderful! Just like overcoming the physical pain, I KNOW that you will be able to overcome the emotional pain as well and have pleasurable intercourse.

    Darcy, a certified sex therapist in NH, wrote a great post that you may find helpful:

    “For the women that I see in my sex counseling practice, it helps to build positive sex memories and to focus on communication with your partner. Using fantasy and connecting sound, touch, taste, smells, and images to the sexual experience can also aid. The images, smells, etc don’t even have to be sexual. If fresh baked cookies make you smile and feel warm and gooey inside or an image of green grass swaying in a field relaxes you, focusing on those things during foreplay or while masturbating will help to create new “memories” that will start to elicit those same warm gooey feelings with sexual touch. Before you know it, sex and sexual touch start to bring on those same emotions. Knowing your own body and how it reacts to various touch and stimulation are also very critical to helping to share that experience with someone else.”

    What further advice do you have here ladies? Your comments and feedback would be very helpful.

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