Sex Advice: My Girlfriend Has Vaginismus

“My girlfriend has Vaginismus. We have a great relationship and we hook up orally and with hands a good amount. Unfortunately, because of her condition, we can’t have sex because it is really painful for her. Obviously I am never going to push it on her because it is WAY harder for her than it is for me. But I’m still a guy and I can’t help wanting to do it. Fortunately, she’s in physical therapy for it now. My question is, how likely is it that she will get better, at least to the point of being able to have sex comfortably?” — Concerned Boyfriend, via email

If you ever want to imagine what Vaginismus is like, have a friend pretend to poke you in the eye. Know what happens? Your eye suddenly closes as the object gets closer. In the case of your girlfriend, your penis is the “poker”, and her vagina is the “eye.” Sooo not fun.

Vaginismus, a condition which prevents a woman from having any kind of penetration due to involuntary “spasms” or “reflexes”, is an interesting phenomenon. That’s because the more research that’s done, the more we discover that the biggest reasons for it are usually physiological (such as fear of painful sex, traumatic childhood experiences, or a view that sex is somehow immoral).

In addition to physical therapy, which includes desensitization of the affected muscle with “phallic-shaped” objects and various exercises, your girlfriend should also look into the other kind of therapy (like a psychologist) if she isn’t already. She might have some hidden fears or events in the past that she needs to talk about.

As far as her getting better, Vaginismus happens to be one of the most treatable female sexual disorders, so the chances are great (many success statistics are close to 100%). Just make sure your girlfriend is addressing the physical AND emotional sides of it.

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A Note On Playing It Safe: The Frisky thinks safe sex is smart sex – so please practice it in the way that’s right for your relationship.