Regaining Intimacy?

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    Me and my girlfriend have been together now for 3 and a bit years. To begin with, our sex life was unchallenged and we could have sexual intercourse whenever, without any hesitation, about 8 months into the relationship she developed Vaginismus as a consequence of a thrush infection (though it took almost 18 months of regular doctor’s appointments before a diagnosis was made). It has now been nearly 2 years since we last attempted to have penetrative intercourse. My partner used vaginal Dilaters routinely for a period of time until she was able to insert the largest size comfortably, and could even masturbate and orgasm at the same time as inserting it, but when we tried intercourse all of the pain just came immediately back to her. More recently, therefore, we have started trying to insert my fingers as an alternative to see if she can reacclimatise to my body specifically. Progress has been very slow, and some days are better than others, but I am able to use my fingers without causing any(sometimes)/too much discomfort, and I am hopeful that this will be a successful solution eventually.

    Where I am struggling, however, is concerning the constant decline in intimacy that this is causing in our relationship. Since she developed Vaginismus we have tried to keep sexually active via outercourse methods, generally this has been successful (in the beginning we would even joke that she was having more orgasms than when we could actually have sex), but it’s just not the same. During sex it was about much more than just trying to make each other orgasm, it was about the act and experience of making love, enjoying each other’s bodies and feeling connected, feeling like a session could last for hours. Now, however, the focus has switched solely to making the other person orgasm and once that happens we are finished (typically lasting about 20 minutes). I can’t help but feel unsatisfied and that the intimacy in our relationship is plummetimg. Our sexual activity is becoming less regular and I can feel her becoming less and less interested in the whole thing, which then makes it even harder to try and treat her Vaginismus together.

    I love this woman to a level that I never even thought was conceivable before, and I don’t want to give up on it! So I was wondering if anyone has any advice, or could at least point me in the right direction of where to find some, on how to make outercourse more intimate and enjoyable?


    Hi Robert97! I want to start by saying you sound like a great partner to your girlfriend – you’ve clearly been supportive and open to unorthodox solutions over the course of her issues with sex, and I wish there were more people who could find this same patience and openness when they encounter someone going through sexual issues.

    I understand your frustration – especially if you’ve had sex before, it can be frustrating not to have that same connection with your partner. I think it’s possible to regain the sense of surprise and discovery and passion that comes with sex even if you can’t achieve penetration. For me this has most happened when me and my partner let go of outcomes – ESPECIALLY orgasms. Start just by touching and seeing what feels good without trying to plan out where it’ll go and what will happen next – I’ve found this helps me be more present in my sensations and feel closer to my partner. Also, if she still dilates and can insert dilators, if you haven’t done this already you might ask to insert some dilators in her yourself. It can help with the disconnect that can sometimes exist between dilating and intercourse with someone else.

    I would also suggest the possibility of stepping back from sex a little bit for a moment and investigating why she’s losing interest in sex. Does she also miss penetration? Does she feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Is she too caught up in feelings of guilt to enjoy herself at all? I think finding the root cause of the issue will help you to treat the symptoms even more effectively. Let us know how it all goes!



    I’m sorry for what you’re going through and I hope things have gotten a bit better!

    I just wanted to reiterate recessivegenequeen’s support and her great advice.

    It’s great that your girlfriend is working with dilators, but I understand the frustration of missing intercourse and her seemingly losing interest in sexual activity.

    Now that some months have passed by, are things getting better?

    Therapy/couples therapy is always a good option to see if there is something deeper causing the issue – e.g. her being guilty about not being able to have penetrative sex.

    Keep us updated, I hope to hear some good news! 🙂

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