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chris1983

2 Questions from a man

One technical, one more philosophical:
1) My girlfriend has no problem with tampons, gyno appointments, small vibrators, etc. but can't do intercourse due to pain. I've sent her the link to this site and she doesn't seem to think that vaginismus is an issue for her due to her above abilities, and that her "vaginal muscles need to be stretched" (her words, not mine, I swear). Is it possible for vaginismus to have varying degrees of intensity, so that perhaps she has a mild case? I am not interested in continuing to try to "practice" and just end up hurting her more. That said, she has made progress in the past, most notably with a small vibrator that she couldn't take at first.

2) After having read the website and combining information within with other experience, I get two impressions, one or both of which could be completely bogus:
a. Women really do not find intercourse all that appealing, and generally do so for the benefit of their partner; and
b. other than for reasons of procreation, there is really no compelling reason for a woman to address her vaginismus.
I don't mean to be cynical, honestly. I realize that many men do selfish, violent, and unpardonable things to women in the pursuit of sexual satisfaction, and so I understand completely celebrating vag. as a defense mechanism against ill-intentioned males (if I have missed the point here, I apologize). But, if as you say intercourse is insignificant in the context of a whole sexual relationship, and men tend to get more pleasure out of it then women anyway, then what is the point of conditioning yourself to be able to "do it"? You have to realize that for a man who cares about his female partners, it's a shitty feeling to think that she is compromising her comfort to do something for you - and then possibly turning around to her friends/a heavily female online forum to talk about that discomfort and how she did it "for you." Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that sex acts should result in mutual satisfaction, and my impression - again, which could be totally off-base - is that intercourse does not meet this criterium.

Please excuse what must seem like idiotic questions. I can only claim ignorance due to my lack of a vagina and difficulty in imagining what it would be like to have one.

Sincerely,
a male person.
admin

Hi Chris, thank you for being so honest.
I'll try to answer some of your questions.

it may be possible that your partner has a  situational case of vaginismus.
the things that she is able to do (gyno visits, small vibrator etc) do not
put her at risk of a pregnancy, whereas intercourse does.
No contraceptive is 100% safe so if you two have intercourse,
she risks getting pregnant and for some women (and totally understandably) that is certainly
a deep-seated rejection to an unwanted pregnancy, whether that is
conscious or unconscious.

her body may not be ready for it, or she may just not be ready to welcome a new life in her life or you together may not be ready for it.
Anyway, that is just one idea.
If that was the case, it wouldn't mean she'd have to fix vaginismus of course and be more open to the idea of having a child.
Quite the opposite.
She could give some thoughts to the issue and then may decide whether to risk getting pregnant through i/c or  leave sexuality in an arena where it wouldn't be risky that way.

But it could be other things too.
Vaginismus stems from a physical problem only for a small percentage of women. For most of the others,  the psychological defense started first and then turned into a muscular, physical problem.

She may be right that her muscles don't need physical stretching cause
if there's a specific issue that she has with i/c, her muscles would very easily close down again.

So the good thing about vaginismus is that it can give a woman or a couple the chance to really look into those issues, before it's too late (as it's usually the case for at least half couples, who have sex easily at first,  and THEN a lot of problems start arising when sexual satisfaction wanes and real issues come up...)

So you can leave vaginismus aside and dig around for a while, and
you seem keen to do that and that's terrific I believe.


As for your other 2 questions.

Judging from facts, it would't be fair to say that most women don't like intercourse and just do it to please their partners.
A lot of women clearly enjoy intercourse, that is a fact.
A lot of women are orgasmic during penetration too, though not as many as they could (but that has a lot more with social issues than with biological ones).

It is also true that women experience way too much sexual coercion, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual double-standards  sexual/domestic violence and sexual fears and sexual pressure and blame EVERYWHERE in the world.  Together with a lot of sexual misinformation.

So sexuality for women is no longer a very normal process unfortunately.
If it was, we would all probably have a lot less intercourse but a lot more pleasure.
We' d only have sex when we truly, truly  feel like it  and not when we are pressured, or coerced or conditioned to want it (and to fake willingness).

So, you're both right and wrong.
Women have the physical  ability to enjoy sex and penetration as much as men can. And that's a fact.  
But many women can't because of a lot of social issues that turned sex into a very problematic affair for them..

As for your second question..
how come we say that intercourse isn't a big deal and great couples can and do do without it and yet we give information on how to solve it?

That's spot on and I'll be very honest with you.

The Vaginismus Awareness Network put together
a guide to self-treating vaginismus mainly because  a lot of
women were so desperate about it that they were (and are)
convinced that it's worth to spend thousands of dollars to
buy treatments that will fix them and give them happiness back.

So we had to show women that they had the power to take things into their hands, literally, and for free.  Also because with vaginismus, many women can't have a normal pap smear tests and gyno exam without a LOT of serious pain and discomfort,  so a free self-treatment has to be out there for all to get advantage from.

But that's it.
Unlike most (commercial) sites, we do not encourage women to FiX
vaginismus.
We just remind them it's not something that has no cure or only expensive ones.

But our real success stories are definitely the ones where the woman, or the man too,   get to understand  what an enormous unjustified  pressure was placed on them to be genitally able to be penetrated /penetrate.

So, if you already understood that,  to us you are a great success story and your testimony can be a huge  relief for all those women who do believe that men like you don't exist.

So thank you for writing that part of the post.

Bye now
admin

PS

I forgot one little thing.

Your partner may have vulvodynia or vulvar vestibulitis.
I dont know if she checked that section of the website already.

it's worth giving it a look:

http://www.vaginismus-awareness-network.org/misdiagnosis.html
Mercy

2 Questions from a man

Thanks for asking your questions, Chris. I'm glad you felt comfortable posting them.

I want to add one more thing. You can't really make generalizations about whether all women enjoy intercourse. Some do, some don't. You have to ask the individual woman you're with.

And I think another reason we offer help for women who want to solve vag is so that women can have the choice to have intercourse if they want to. Nobody wants their subconscious to make all the decisions. It's better to understand what is going on with oneself.

Mercy
melissa

hi
hope things have improved for you by now. But I thought I would post anyway, in case it helps.

I spent 18 years feeling depressed, with self-esteem issues relating to my inability to have sex (due to vaginismus). Other areas of my life - very full of esteem, but just in this one area, one word coud reduce me to tears.
I remember myself thinking - too much trouble. I had tried lots of things, nothing helped, most hurt even more, and ultimately - why? I could orgasm on the surface (by myself or with a partner) so why try penetration when it can only cause stress, pain, and ultimately reinforce the problem?  (I emphasise to those who may read this and want to respond that those were my thoughts then, not now, and now I am where I am (having cured my own vaginismus) that there are reasons to perserve ... just at the time I just didn't think it was worth it).

I don't personally think vaginismus is caused by a need to stretch muscles ... instead (I believe) it is due to a need to relax those muscles. No stretching will work if your basic muscles stay clamped shut.

Some women like intercourse. Others don't.  I'm still learning to like it - having had a long time with alternatives before now. One amazing thing about penetrative sex (rather than other types) is the closeness you feel afterwards - it is worth all the effort, even if no orgasm results - that can always happen later.  (Nothing wrong with me giving pleasure to you ... then you giving pleasure to me. I totally agree with your comment that sex acts should give pleasure to both ... but women can and do receive pleasure outside of penetration .... as can men also.

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