Talking with friends about their sex lives.

Home Forums Vaginismus Support Group Vaginismus General Talking with friends about their sex lives.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #23396
    Forumname
    Participant

    I am a university student, and to be honest most of my friends don’t have sex all that often and when they do sometimes it’s not that great. Which means that when they have good sex they feel the NEED to tell me every last detail. I don’t want to be a bad friend but every time sex is brought up it just makes me upset and sometimes triggers a full on mental breakdown just from a friend saying “I had sex last night!” Am I a bad friend if I don’t want them to tell me about their stories anymore? But then I’m worried we will become distant as there will be a part of themselves that they have to actively hide from me. Basically I don’t know if I should say I don’t want to hear about it anymore.

    #23398
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Hi Forumname – this is a really interesting and good question! I used to have this problem too, especially when I was in university. It seems like that’s a time when everybody is hooking up a lot, which can make a person with vaginismus feel even more inadequate and left out. You are NOT a bad friend for not wanting to be regularly triggered by something like this, and it’s completely legitimate to feel this way.

    It sounds like your friends don’t know you aren’t able to have sex, which is very normal – it took me a long time to open up about that with any partners who didn’t strictly NEED to know. But I think if you’re willing, it might help you a lot to tell one of your most trusted friends about your experience and your feelings. Not to make her feel bad about the sex she’s having, but so she can understand the perspective you view these kinds of stories through (and so she can support you in your experience too!) Opening up about it can be super scary, but it also makes it feel less forbidden if you can talk about it – it’s no longer a dark secret to keep.

    Even if you don’t want to tell any of your friends yet, there are other things you can do to minimize the explicit sex conversations. You can make jokes that lightly but clearly suggest that you don’t need all the details (for example saying something like “This is a lot of information while we’re all eating”). You can also redirect the conversations by asking questions that refocus the direction of what you’re being told (if a friend is recounting an encounter with a new guy, ask how she feels about him, if she’ll see him again, how they met, something else less explicit). These things might not keep your friends from bringing up sex, but they can make the conversations you DO have about sex less stomach-churney.

    I hope this helps! Let us know how it goes, and for the record, it’s brave of you to open up to all of us about your experiences – remember that!

    #23400
    Forumname
    Participant

    Actually, all of my close friends already know about it which I think makes it more upsetting that they casually sit there talking about it when they know full well I can’t join in, even when I am visibly uncomfortable. Having said that, I do not think they understand truly how upsetting it is for me ALL the time. They know it gets to me sometimes as I do talk about it with them if I’ve been triggered by something or someone else but I do not believe they realise that it affects me and is on my mind 24/7. However, the advice you gave me is still very helpful and I will definitely be using the conversation deflection method. Do you have any advice (or anyone else) on how to make the topic of sex less triggering? It is hard because whenever it is brought up I am straight away reminded of the pain I feel, and the sexual relations I have missed out on that I do actually wish to have.

    #23405
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    I’m really impressed you’ve been able to open up about that! It’s definitely something I didn’t trust people with for a long time while I was experiencing it.

    Two things helped me be less triggered by sex. The first was getting treatment for my vaginismsus. I know that since you’re a university student that may or may not be an option for you, but it bears noting because it’s the thing that stuck in the end. It helped inordinately to feel like I was taking steps toward solving my problem and thus reclaiming some of the control I’d felt I never had over my body. I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried getting dilators or going to your student health center about your issues with sex, but those are good places to start.

    The second thing that helped was that I was able to an extent to reframe my relationship to sex. I was lucky in that I had some pretty good partners even before I began treating my vaginismus, men who accepted me as I was and found other things for us to do together sexually. I’m really relieved now to be able to have intercourse, but part of what getting here highlighted for me was that I had a pretty good sex life BEFORE treatment. There is so much that can be sexy beyond penetration and so much about penetration that can be disappointing (as your friends’ own exploits might have shown you). If there are partners you’re intimate with or could be intimate with, explore what makes you feel good NOW and you’ll probably be ahead of most of your friends (most women don’t orgasm from penetration alone anyway). We have a very narrow view of what sex should look like that’s untrue and self-defeating – there’s so much more enjoyment out there than we let ourselves believe.

    #23418

    Dear Forumname
    Thanks for writing to us, and I think Recessecivegenequeen has given you some fantastic advice in many ways. On one of her last points, intercourse is just a part of sex and there are so many ways to derive sexual pleasure without intercourse. That being said she also mentioned trying dilators, or maybe seeing if there is a pelvic floor therapist in your area could help you begin the healing journey.

    #23516
    Sks823
    Participant

    Forumname,

    I really relate to this question, because I felt the exact same way when hearing about sex from my friends (a few of whom didn’t know about my issue, but I was pretty open about it, too). I love recessivegenequeen’s suggestion about deflecting the convo and asking about other details that are NOT sex-related.

    I am very sorry that you’re going through this, though. When reading this I recalled the pain and loneliness I have felt in the past when hearing others talk about sex.

    I definitely recommend seeking help at some point, too! I went to Maze Women’s Health in NYC (after buying dilators on my own and not being able to use them) and they helped me get through all sizes of dilators. It took time and determination, but when I was able to move up in dilator size throughout my time in therapy I felt super accomplished, more determined, and that HUGE weight on my shoulder of not being able to have sex was slowly lifted away… 🙂

    Look through some success stories and posts about dilating on this forum and realize that you’re NOT alone and you WILL eventually be able to overcome this! We’re all rooting for you and feel free to reach out with any questions!

    And in the meantime, DEFLECT the convo or even be open to friends about the fact that it’s a bit hurtful hearing them talk about something you’re not able to experience yet!

    #23537
    Forumname
    Participant

    Yes the suggestions have been very helpful, I am very appreciative of everyone who has taken the time to read and/or reply to my post. I am currently waiting for an ultra sound appointment as they want to check that there is nothing physical going on before fully diagnosing me with vaginismus. Hopefully that will tell me how I can deal with my issue. If it’s physical there will probably be a treatment available to me and if it is purely a mental block then I should think they will recommend the right solution for that too. I didn’t want to go straight in with dilators by myself in case there is something physical going on that I could just make worse. This forum has helped relieve some of the loneliness I felt so I do really appreciate each and every reply. I think the other thing upsetting me was that I was seeing a guy for a while who was extremely understanding of the situation and was willing to help me get through it both physically and mentally but this ended after only 4 months. The optimist (or super naïve young girl some might say..) in me was like this is it. This is the guy that is going to make me be able to have sex but we were not together long enough for it to happen. I am over the guy himself but I do not think I am over the fact I thought I was going to be able to have sex because of him but obviously still can’t. :(. But I am sure I will get over this eventually too! But anyway, thanks for all your help and advice. It really does mean a lot.

    #23564
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Forumname, I totally understand how you feel, especially about this guy. I still feel pangs of that sometimes when I miss people I thought I was going to have that connection with, but the fullness of time has also cured a good deal of that angst – I have to an extent accepted that the journey of my sexuality wasn’t the journey I imagined it would be but still brought me where I wanted to be in the end. As you go through your treatment (whether it be psychological or physical) and build a new sexual life for yourself, the pain of it will lessen. There will be other sensitive, understanding guys and other adventures. I know it’s hard, but I see a lot of brightness in your future.

    #25580
    Lovelee19
    Participant

    I can definitely relate to this. It’s super annoying to hear about other people’s sex lives when you don’t have one not because you don’t want one but simply because you cant. my best friend has had sex since she was 14 and lots of it and I wasn’t even diagnosed until I was 19 never mind now that I’m 29 and still working on this issue. Imagine all of the sex stories i had to endure listening to- it was extremely annoying. it almost makes you wish they had bad sex or smirk when you hear that they can’t orgasm. Its sad to say but sometimes you just wish others could feel your pain and understand what you’re truly going through.

    #25646
    Sks823
    Participant

    Lovelee19,

    Totally! Luckily we have those in this forum who can really understand our pain and frustration.

    #25715
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Lovelee19, Sks823 is totally right – it’s hard not to compound your feelings of isolation and guilt and self-dislike when you hear about the experiences that other women your age are having that you wish YOU could have.

    It’s probably the scariest-seeming thing you can imagine, but it can really help to open up to a trusted friend about your situation (assuming you haven’t already). It can help friends be more mindful of what they share with you or the way they present it, and you’d be surprised how many women, even if they don’t have vaginismus, have had some kind of experience with pain or fear around sex. Vaginismus flourishes most strongly in the darkness and talking about it with someone else can take away some of the power it holds over you.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.