Out of balance

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

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    First of all: it is very difficult for me to write this down, so I won’t always find the right words. I’m not the best writer either. Also, some intimate details from my private life will be shared here, cause I will try to be as open as possible. I hope you don’t mind.

    I’m a 31 year old guy, and I’ve been married to my wife for nearly 10 years. She’s my first love, and hopefully she’s going to be my last as well.

    When I met her she already knew she had vaginismus, but it took a while before she told me. I can understand that – it’s not one of the things you mention when you’re dating for a few weeks. “Hey, I have to tell you something, I have vaginismus”. I think she only brought it up when our relationship was ready for more intimacy.

    My wife told me she found out when she wanted to have sex with her first boyfriend, and he couldn’t get in. Her doc told her she had vaginismus, but soon after, she broke up with her boyfriend and she didn’t feel the need to do something about it. I was madly in love with her, and honestly, I didn’t even realise what vaginismus was at that time. I heard her saying it hurt when she tried to have sex before, but I thought: well, that won’t be the case when we’re going to try. It was probably her ex just being too rough, or something like that.

    The only sexual experience I had came from watching porn and masturbation, so I was already in heaven when she asked me if she could touch my penis. 🙂 And basically, that’s how things got started. We didn’t go for sex immediately but we first undressed each other, learned to know which ‘buttons’ to press to get excited, how we could give each other an orgasm and stuff like that. We were already dating for 10 or 11 months before the question “shall we try?” popped up.

    I was terribly naive: of course it didn’t work. Despite tons of foreplay, despite us knowing each others bodies so well, I couldn’t get my penis in. I still remember my wife said something like “let’s save up and try it again tomorrow”.

    I lost count on the number of times she told me things like “it doesn’t work today, maybe tomorrow” or “I lost my concentration, let’s continue later” and similar things. Mind you, she DID mean that on those moments. But this is something I often hear when other men are talking about vaginismus: once we’ve had the whole buildup from kissing and foreplay and stimulation… all the way up until the point you’re going to be able to have sex… and that’s not possible and your wife asks you to wait until tomorrow… well, you can do that once, twice, but the third time things REALLY start to hurt down there because of the pressure. You REALLY have to come, or you’ll feel down, depressed and frustrated the ENTIRE time.

    It took a while before I was able to tell her this without hurting her feelings, but once I did, those first few months became more bearable for me. We tried to have sex, and when that didn’t work, she made sure I came. After a while, we even didn’t try to have sex anymore and kept things simple: she made me come and that’s it. It was the only thing I had that came close to sex during those days, and I even stopped masturbating entirely because I preffered her doing it – that simply felt better. That also meant I became totally dependend on her. Whenever she wanted me to come, I came. And on the other days, well, there was nothing but frustration and hope she’d be in the mood the next day. And I didn’t masturbate cause there was that possibility she’d be willing to do it the day after.

    But as long as I could be with her, I felt like I was the king of the world! Everything between us was going just fine. Sure, we had no sex, but we had a good time as a couple and basically it was either accept the fact I had no sex or leave her. Not a hard decision: I stayed. In the mean while, we were making plans to get married. And she began mentioning kids.

    Kids. Kids mean you need to get pregnant, have pelvic exams, and deliver a baby. It’s hard to believe but she never thought about that, and it seemed like this was the right motivation she needed before seeking help. She had weekly meetings with a therapist, and I knew she had to do exercices, but she always did them in private and never talked about what they discussed. We got married. She got a new job. We moved. There was lots of stress, less and less moments of intimacy and I suddenly realised I couldn’t even remember the last time I had an orgasm. It was weeks ago. My libido slowly went downhill and I didn’t even notice. I went from coming a few times per week to coming once a month, and I even didn’t miss it. But while my sex life was fading down, she was working on restoring hers.

    My wife stopped taking the pill in March, had her last session with her therapist that same month and told me one night she was ovulating and “ready to try it”. It sound ridiculous but I was totally unprepared. While I would have given money to be in this situation years ago, I found it rather intimidating to finally be able to have real sex for the first time in my life. We are now at the end of June and I haven’t been able to come a SINGLE time inside of her.

    EVERYTHING that can go wrong, did go wrong – at least once – over the past months. I went from an uncontrollable 14 year old till a 65 year old who can’t keep up the pace, and back. The first time she wanted to have sex with me my last ejaculation was three or four weeks ago, and it all came out over her legs without me even having the time to penetrate her. On other occasions we could have sex, but my erection dissapeared after a few minutes and didn’t come back. Or I couldn’t get hard enough to enter her at all. Or I could stay erect, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t come. And this makes me feel really bad, since this puts all the pressure on ME. I’m the one now who is not capable of giving her kids.

    She left the house for 2 weeks (work related) and instead of watching porn and masturbating like crazy – something I would surely have done before I knew her – I’m happy to be left alone.

    We need to find a way to get our sex life in balance again, but I haven’t got a clue where to start. I feel like a total failure.



    Thank you so much for sharing your story, I understand this must be hard for you to get through and I know most men usually don’t share these kind of intimate problems because they feel like they are the only ones with these issues.

    I can assure you that is not the case since I went through similar issues with my husband. One of the main problems we had was lack of communication – not that we didn’t talk, but SEX was something neither one of us could talk about freely. That created a lot of misunderstandings and problems, certainly in the beginning. And I recognize myself for 100% in what your wife did: delaying sex, asking your partner to try again the next evening, wich only leads to more frustration. Each time we went through the full cycle of getting each other excited during the day, lots and lots of foreplay and once I was fully ready… well, sorry, nope, not working, we’ll try again tomorrow. And that is something that might be okay for women, but I’ve learned men can really suffer from this so I think it is fantastic your partner helped you out and gave you an orgasm on those occasions.

    It’s an unknown fact but almost all partners from vaginismus patients end up with some kind of sexual dysfunction, either it being the ejaculation coming too soon or too late, or the inability to have or sustain an erection. Don’t give up, it’s normal for your body to take a while to adapt. Keep on trying. I’m sure it’s going to turn out ok!


    It’s nice to also hear a male voice here from time to time. Very interesting read, thanks.
    As Anna wrote here, most guys are suffering from one or another sexual dysfunction when their partner has/had vaginismus. It’s very common. Just give it some time.


    Hi Jonathan – thanks so much for sharing your story. As the other commenters have mentioned, we hear this kind of thing a fair amount from women whose partners have had all the same issues you detail here. It sounds like the challenge in your relationship is that you’re now facing the same EMOTIONAL issues your partner was feeling earlier in the relationship, before she treated her vaginismus. You’re likely feeling like the issues with your sex life are all your fault and are embarrassed about them, and you shouldn’t be.

    I empathize with your wife’s desire to keep her treatment plan private because it can be awkward and full of setbacks, and for whatever reasons she may have felt it would be easier to manage her progress without keeping you updated. But the reality is that she sprung intercourse on you after a long drought period where it was off the table, and it’s perfectly natural that you weren’t just ready to jump back in the saddle right away after your brain and body had been trained not to expect sex. It’s sort of like if you had just asked your wife to try to have penetrative sex during the period in which you weren’t doing that at all – it wouldn’t work and the fact that she was so deeply not expecting it would compound the issue further.

    Anna2021 is right in that a big part of rebuilding your sex life with your life will be about rebuilding your communication around sex. If you haven’t had an explicit conversation about your issues around ejaculation, it may be worth sharing the ways you’ve been feeling emotionally so your wife can understand your position. I think it’s likely that you both may also need to do some re-learning of what the cadence of your sexual encounters go, especially if you do things differently during windows of time when your wife is ovulating. You’ve already been through a lot as a couple, and you can get through this too – it just takes a different type of work than you’ve needed to do before!


    Hey Jonathan
    Thank you for sharing your story here! We often do not get a lot of male posts so this is very helpful for the men dealing with partners with vaginismus who come across this forum! Unfortunately, male sexual dysfunction is very common amongst a partner with vaginismus. What is also very common, is figuring out how to have sex, and enjoy it! My sister once told me, when I first became cured and began having sex with my husband, it was not good at all and we felt very out of sync, she told me it takes time to learn each other in that way. Even though we had been intimate prior for years, sex was still somehow very different and foreign. I really thought it was more simple, just put it in and you’re good to go, magic happens. But it’s so far from the truth and a whole new experience on it’s own. And she was right. In the beginning of our new, penetrative sex life, it was weird and no fun really but we were in our learning period and we quickly caught on and found what we love the most and now have mind blowing sex! The best thing you two can do, is communicate what you are feeling in regards to sex often. Communicating with each other and being verbal and upfront about what you both like and dislike is very important and helpful! There are also lots of great tools and books available that will both make things super fun and also educate you both! I highly suggest Bat Sheva’s book that is advertised here, because she is a very smart woman and knows a lot about sex. You guys can set the mood to ease the tension with candles and maybe a super silly movie beforehand! There are lots of fun toys to make sex really enjoyable for your spouse! I prefer a penis ring, a vibrating penis ring to stimulate my clit because it’s way more enjoyable to be stimulated in 2 different ways than just one! There are also delay sprays so you can last longer! But I really feel, the more you two experiment, you will both fall in alignment with each other, and never look back! You guys will be having mind blowing sex before you know it! You just need to get acquainted with each other in this very new experience! 🙂

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