“Technique” I’ve learned to share intimacy

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    One of the things I hear from other women, is that on the long run, vaginismus causes a sexual distance between two partners. The first few months couples usually use mutual masturbation to create some kind of intimacy, but after a while they quickly discover that it’s sometimes simply too much trouble and a lot easier to do it on your own. I’m not ashamed to admit that when I was in the mood and needed an orgasm, I simply took care of this myself cause that was often the fastest and best solution available. My partner did the same, he preferred to take matters into his own hands cause he didn’t want to bother me. Which is really too bad, cause this often takes away the only intimacy that’s left.

    One thing I’ve learned during therapy is that a ban on masturbation can actually help you getting back on track. Both me and my partner weren’t allowed to masturbate in privacy anymore – we had to do it in each others presence OR ask the other partner to help them out if they wanted to. While at first my partner thought it was a crazy idea, this actually did wonders! Sure, there were occasions on which I was not in the mood and I let him finish next to me, but there were plenty of nights I joined in, took over, hugged him, kissed him, and the whole thing turned around from an individual experience to a mutual/shared experience we continued talking about the next day.

    It’s an incredibly efficient technique if you feel you’re floating away from your partner!


    This is exactly what our sexologist told us too… and it did wonders. It’s a fantastic method and it helped my husband to talk about his individual needs and to make it clear to me whenever he felt the need to have an orgasm. Before that, my husband couldn’t talk about this, and at the same time I knew he wasn’t feeling okay, so this created a lot of tension and misunderstandings. Our sexologist told him he had to tell me whenever he was in the mood, and he left me the choice: either I helped him, or I let him do his thing when I really wasn’t in the mood. But at least this created a form of intimacy between us, which was not there when he ‘secretly’ masturbated.


    This was actually a problem that came up early in a relationship with a partner not related to the vaginismus I was dealing with at the time – I started dating a man who hadn’t had a partner in awhile and had gotten REALLY used to masturbating and the sensation of his own hand, and I was never able to finish him, he always had to finish himself off. A male friend of mine mentioned that it sounded like he was masturbating too much, so we had him stop masturbating completely and that really helped rewire him to be able to come from my touch instead of his own.

    Especially when you’re getting treated for vaginismus or dealing with sexual pain, it’s easy to want to “get it over with” and to forget that sexual contact with your partner is often less about having an orgasm than it is about connecting intimately and physically. Stopping separate masturbation brings the shared intimacy back into the dynamic and can make the sex more connected.


    I ab-so-lu-te-ly agree with what your therapist told you. Mutual masturbation is something we did in the beginning as well, but as you wrote, after a few months or years there were occasions on which my husband was in the mood and I wasn’t and I asked him to wait until the next day. By that time, he already solved the problem by himself. 🙂 So he gradually started doing it more and more on his own, and asked me less and less to help him out. Exit the last sexual intimacy that was left between us.

    So when I started my therapy, I was given a brochure and one of the tips inside was to stop masturbating COMPLETELY and basically force your partner to tell him he was in the mood. Either I could help him out, or when I really didn’t feel up to that, he started masturbating in my presence. Sometimes I just let him do his thing, sometimes I “helped” him with kisses, cuddles, and I even sometimes got turned on anyway and took over from him.

    Similarly to what you wrote, our communication on sex is now even better than before. My husband didn’t masturbate in private for over 10 months now, but we feel closer than ever.

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