What I learned from my ex girlfriend

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    I post this because i’m still grieving the loss of my ex gf who i believe had vaginismus but coincidentally it didn’t matter to me because i had developed peyronie’s disease before i met her. Like many women on this forum, i was terrified of having sex again. I didn’t think that any woman would accept me again. For those of you who don’t know, Peyronie’s is a disease that affects a mans penis by forming scar tissue on the part of the penis that typically expands when blood flows to the organ. So what happens is that men with this have a more difficult time with vaginal penetration. It can be done but depending on the severity it can be difficult. It seems to be the opposite of this condition that women have. But the similarity is the emotional devastation that it can cause on one’s psyche.

    So back to my girlfriend: She wanted to have sexual play time with me and I told her that i had a little issue that we needed to discuss. She very cheerfully said, “that’s okay, lets just play because i have a little issue too.” I said what and she said, “i don’t like intercourse.” I told her that it was no problem that we could do other things. And we did. For six months we had great “other” sex without penetration. I don’t know if it’s typical of vaginismus (and that’s why i’m here and curious) but she was able to be on top of me and do clitoral stimulation without any penetration. She was able to feel comfortable and it was also comfortable for me- so it was a “win-win”.

    After six months she revealed that she was on anti-depressants and was weaning off them though. I cautioned her about them and she still went through with it. After being off the meds for a month her personality started to change dramatically. She was not the same. I was put into the “friend mode” and then 4 months later she had a heart attack and i was there for her. Anyway long story short i found out later that she started to experiment with drinking and because of her bi-polar (i think) she started seeing another man and eventually became partners with him. I don’t think it’s typical that someone who has vaginismus is promiscuous but i think because she may be bi-polar that she could charm someone else into having her kind of sex?

    Anyway, for me moving forward, i reflected on how this seemed to be a match made in heaven (a woman who doesn’t like intercourse and a man who can’t have much of it)?

    So i’m asking if any of the other women on the forum are okay or would be okay with other sexual activities except intercourse if their man was willing to do the same? is it okay for many women with vaginismus to have clitoral stimulation or any pressure at all?

    thank you for your feedback.


    Hi spirituallygrounded – I can’t speak for all women with vaginismus, as many of them have varying degrees of comfort with sexual activities, but it’s pretty common for women with vaginismus to enjoy non-penetrative stimulation like you describe. Vaginismus is usually just pain caused by penetration, so for most people clitoral stimulation is fine.

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience with your ex girlfriend – I can tell from what you describe that there were a lot of complicated emotional factors going on in your relationship, some of them caused by vaginismus but many of them not. I do want to say that your girlfriend’s “promiscuity” has nothing to do with her vaginismus, except possibly in the sense that I can imagine her seeking the attention of another person because a combination of the mood changes that usually accompany coming off of medications and the self-doubt that vaginismus often causes might have made her want to get affirmation/attention from somewhere else. It’s a sad thing that this led to you being hurt in the process, but I think it says a lot more than her about you.

    You asked a question about whether there were women who would want a partner who can’t have penetrative sex, but I think the root of your question is about acceptance. So many of us with vaginismus have to wonder about the answer to this: “If there’s something different about me that I feel others won’t like, will I be able to find love?” It’s that thing we all fear, that we’re too broken to be loved, and in my experience of the world, we can find the love we seek, even in spite of the things we’re most ashamed of. I don’t have vaginismus anymore, but when I did, there were still men who loved me and wanted to be with me despite this fact. I had partners who told me they didn’t care and loved me anyway, and I had another partner who helped to get me through my treatment and to be cured.

    It sucks that your previous partner didn’t respect your feelings or your relationship. There are women out there – with and without vaginismus – who will treat you better if you give them the same patience and respect you need from them. I know that’s not exactly the question you asked, but it’s the question I would have wanted answered when I was facing the doubt I’m sure you’re having.


    Thank you for your feedback! It’s wonderful that you had and now have a partner that accepts you. I don’t know how long ago you met your current partner but it seems like the world has gone upside down in the last 3-4 years. I’m in relationship group forums as part of my healing and there are just a ton of couples out there experiencing different issues and many are reporting a partner straying.

    In regard to me, I developed Peyronie’s disease which for men is akin to women having fibroids in the uterus or endometriosis. It’s interesting that many men with this condition seem to report that if they are single that women DON”T accept them for this condition. I think what was very difficult and heart breaking about my ex is that she did accept me for this condition initially because she thought it was a good match for her with her issues. I thought we were “two peas in a pod” so to speak. Her ex husband refused to have sex with her (apparently). When she got off the meds she became very different in alot of ways. I also have spoken to people since then that have family members that have bi-polar disorder. One woman told me her sister went from saint to sleeping around alot. So i looked it up and yes some bi-polar people can get hyper-sexual but not for the sex but for the high of the attention and to distract them from other negative thoughts that they are having.

    Anyway, moving forward i thought maybe a guy like me would be best paired with a woman who wasn’t going to be so inclined to judge a man for his penis if she herself didn’t want to be judge for what she could or could not do sexually. I guess this is part of my healing to learn about these things. Thank you for sharing your story about finding loving partners. I hope that i do/will encounter women who are looking for a man for who he is rather then what he has. It’s just overwhelming when you look at the stats about affairs and cheating these days to even think that a healthy man or woman can find a healthy minded partner let alone someone who has a health condition.

    Thanks for sharing!


    Spirituallygrounded, I definitely believe those people are out there! And they don’t have to necessarily be people who have the exact same insecurities or hurts as you – part of what’s beautiful about human empathy is that it allows us to take our experiences, pains, and knowledge and use those things to imagine how other people feel. It sounds like your ex had some issues she didn’t handle well and that the result was that she didn’t treat you with kindness and respect. Hopefully she realizes that someday and lets it make her a better person. But even if it doesn’t, you have the opportunity to take what you know and carry it forward with you as you continue the search for love and understanding that so many of us are always making. Best of luck to you!



    thank you for your re-assurance.



    I agree that it’s common for women with vaginismus to enjoy non-penetrative sexual activities. In my case for sure, the issues I had were with vaginal penetration only – I could get aroused and wet, etc. but when it came to inserting anything, it was much too painful and truly felt impossible.

    I also agree with recessivegenequeen – I seeked help with my vaginismus around age 23, but before that I dated men who said they didn’t mind not having vaginal sex, and we would have pretty healthy sex lives minus the vaginismus issue. Who knows if that could have lasted long-term – to be honest, it did put a strain on a couple of shorter-lived relationships.

    Even more so I can relate to your story; when I was in college and hadn’t dealt with my vaginismus yet, I dated someone who had health issues making him unable to get an erection. At the time it felt coincidental, but I did have some thoughts like, “do I just find this comfortable because I know he won’t force me to have sex and it’s not really my sexual issue anymore?” Also, the fact that he couldn’t get a full erection made other things impossible (oral sex, etc.) so the sex life couldn’t be quite as exciting and also (before I knew more about his health issue) made me doubt his attraction to me. I’m not sure what your case is with erections but the fact that you’re willing to do sexual non-penetrative stuff is a good thing – I found out some of his health issues were also mental & so sexual things, even without penetration, were not always fun for him 🙁 :'( I’m sorry if this doesn’t completely relate to your situation, but just giving you all the info I have.

    I’d say – for sure – some women with or without vaginismus are okay with a partner who can’t have penetrative sex. Many women search for a partner with attractive traits – honest, loving, caring, funny, smart, whatever – and they will love you for you.

    Your ex-girlfriend may have a personality disorder (bipolar, borderline pd) or maybe doesn’t – her seeking attention elsewhere was not fair for you and there are plenty of women who can treat you better. 🙂



    thank you for your comments and sharing the story of your former partner with ED. For myself, i can still get erections (thank g-d) but they are not as strong because only one side of the penis is essentially filling up. So that just means one with this condition has to be more careful and we did do other forms of sex like oral and mutual stimulation which was very rewarding and i had no complaints. I don’t know why but after someone leaves without explanation or cheats it makes you question everything and if you know you have a weakness then for me anyway it brought this up as both a question mark and a sense of loss. Plus i feel uncomfortable talking about it and there really aren’t any good forums for single men who are going through this. So I appreciate the feedback here! I guess I wasn’t really sure what you ladies thought of the situation so it is good to have been able to run it by the opposite gender. Thank you so much. And I hope you’re right that i will find someone who treats me better. Strange but i still miss the before getting off meds woman and that’s whats difficult.


    Spirituallygrounded, that makes sense – you are not only dealing with the feelings of inadequacy a sexual issue can cause. You’re also dealing with a breakup! And one with someone who was especially callous with your feelings and who left you questioning everything. That would be hard for anyone but can even further build questions for you around self-worth since your previous partner cheated on you. I have had issues in the past as well with breakups because they built upon my already existing feelings of not being good enough. What you are going through is very hard and I respect your willingness to examine your feelings, as painful as they may be.

    Something I don’t think I mentioned in my last response is that you might find some form of therapy helpful if you’re not going already – both for your sexual issues and your feelings about your breakup. I see a therapist and it has done wonders for me. Hang in there and know that you have our support!


    Recessive Gene Queen:

    I have done some therapy on the breakup issues but not so much about my fears on how new partners will view this but i do believe in doing “emotional work” and i go to some practitioners who help with releasing the trapped emotions.

    I’m really appreciative of your support in answering questions and interacting. It is very high consciousness like thoughtfulness and i do hope that i can meet someone who has empathy skills like you are demonstrating.

    have you been able to make progress on your condition and feel more comfortable in relationships because of that? Is your therapist a “sex” therapist or just general?



    Spirituallygrounded, I’m glad to help – sexual pain disorders are something that can feel so lonely and isolating, and I’m glad to be able to help in any way to make you feel better. I know that there are other people out there like me too!

    I am lucky in that I have made huge strides on my condition – I can have painless sex and don’t need to dilate anymore. And yes, it makes me SO much more confident in relationships just because I feel more normal and like I am able to do things that are expected in a relationship. My therapist is just a general therapist, which is still extremely helpful for me. I would recommend therapy to just about anyone, it’s just a good way to take care of your brain!

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