I’m currently in a very happy and otherwise healthy, long-term romantic relationship for the first time in my life. My boyfriend is a very caring and sensitive guy and we both love each other very much, but I’m concerned that some of my pre-existing sexual issues may cause problems down the road for our relationship. I have primary vaginismus and vulvodynia, and my first sexual experiences were very negative and traumatic. I have been to a gynecologist about these issues and went through physical therapy to try and overcome them, but even after a few years penetration is still painful and sometimes very difficult. While trusting my partner makes a big difference in reducing the amount of pain I’m in during sex, and with my current boyfriend there have been several occasions where it was virtually painless, it’s still a constant factor in my sex-life. While I do enjoy the intimacy of sex with my boyfriend despite this, I have never been able to achieve orgasm no matter what my partner tries to do or for how long. Even with assistance from vibrators it’s virtually impossible, and the only way I’ve managed to achieve orgasm is by my own intervention. I don’t understand why I have this issue, especially because I am very attracted to him. My boyfriend doesn’t complain to me about it or anything like that, but I can tell that it makes him feel self-conscious. I’ve tried explaining to him that it’s not his fault at all, but I worry that he still feels like he’s inadequate. What should I do?
Thank you for reaching out. Since you have already sought medical treatment, I would recommend that you consult with a sex therapist. Research indicates that both vaginismus and vulvodynia are thought of as being somewhat psychosomatic. Sex therapy can aid in addressing possible psychosomatic causes for these issues and can provide you with tools that may assist you in working through the difficulties you are experiencing. Exploring the psychological aspects of these conditions with a mental health professional will also aid you in addressing the concerns you have about your relationship with your boyfriend.
– Dr. Mimi