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To think that most couples are not like this (long, sorry!)

(54 Posts)
WantAnotherCat Fri 02-Aug-13 13:55:42

I have been with my dp for 4 years, lived together for 3 ½ years, and are both 23. I honestly love him loads and do find him physically attractive still. If it wasn't for the issue of sex our relationship would be practically perfect. The first few paragraphs are a bit of a rant, feel free to skip.

A bit of background info (sorry if tmi): About 6 months into our relationship I started finding sex really painful. I suffered for quite a while until I finally went to the doctor who said I had a really bad case of thrush. After this was finally treated I still found sex painful, so in the next few years I had various visits to different GPs and sexual health clinics where they prodded around (always horribly painful!) and found nothing. Sex was unbearably painful so we really only did it once every few months. Finally at the start of this year I went to a new GP and she said I may have vaginismus. I went on to research this and I agree that I do. I have bought dilators to use on my own to help me relax, and they have helped a bit, but sex still isn?t particularly nice, but I can put up with it now.

My dp seems to think he is some sort of saint for staying with me all this time whilst not having much sex. At times he?s been really patient, but other times he?ll make comments about how I?m not normal, most women like sex blah blah blah. I KNOW I?m not normal, I don?t need him to keep telling me! He always apologises after, saying he just gets frustrated, which I do understand, but it really doesn?t help. Because vaginismus is very psychological, when he says hurtful things it makes me want sex even less. Also, because I know it is going to be painful, I find it really hard to get turned on. I know it sounds weird but I like to plan sex, I guess it helps me prepare mentally. I know he wants to be more spontaneous and let ?one thing lead to another? sometimes, but right now I can?t, and he just doesn?t get that.

He always wants me to wear sexy underwear. One time he got in a sulk when we were shopping because I didn?t want to buy a new set of sexy stuff (we have hardly any money, I already own quite a few sets which I rarely use, so I see very little point in buying another set until I actually enjoy using them!)

Ok that was just a bit of a rant, this is my AIBU:
Every single night when we settle down to watch TV, he always puts my hand on his crotch and wants me to play with him. Not necessarily to lead to anything, but just wants me to touch him. Often he will start to grope my breasts and touch me ?down there?. I just find this really irritating, not a turn on at all. If I am watching TV I want to be able to relax, not feel on edge the whole time. I have to be in the right frame of mind for anything to feel nice. He seems to think everyone else does this, whereas I really can?t picture other couples in a long term relationship touching each other like this every single night. Like I said, I do really love him, and whilst I still find him attractive, I just don?t feel the need to always touch him.

Ledkr Fri 02-Aug-13 14:00:46

YANBU what a horrible expectation.
We often hold hands or cuddle on the sofa but I'd not like to have to hold his knob all the way through coronation street.
No wonder you don't feel turned on.
As for his nasty comments to you I'm not entirely sure that helps your condition.

orangeandemons Fri 02-Aug-13 14:03:24

Just from a physical point of view. Bad cases of thrush can cause vulvodynia, which can lead to painful intercourse, so you might not have vaginismus

He sounds an insensitive boorish plonker tbh

Sparklymommy Fri 02-Aug-13 14:03:44

Firstly; I am so sorry you have and are still struggling with vaginismus and think the fact you are still prepared to try at all makes YOU the saint.

As for the touchy-feely stuff; well I am very much with your partner on that one. My hubby and I conuddle on the sofa most evenings, it doesn't always lead on to something more. I used to get upset when we went to the cinema or somewhere and he wouldn't touch me. As the years have gone on he has relaxed a bit and will sometimes grope me in public. PDA's were an issue for him! At home though, he has always been very touchy!

Sorry if that's not the answer you were hoping for

YouTheCat Fri 02-Aug-13 14:03:58

Get rid and get another cat.

I do like a cuddle up and a fondle from time to time but it's always a mutual thing.

He's making you feel uncomfortable and that is not on.

MrsKeithRichards Fri 02-Aug-13 14:05:34

It doesn't sound healthy at all

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 02-Aug-13 14:08:46

I'm sorry, he does not sound like he has it in him to be a good partner to you.

Your last paragraph is quite worrying.

Please you are young, sex is more that penetration. Lose him.

Runningchick123 Fri 02-Aug-13 14:09:55

Did you have this problem in previous relationships or has it just been with this partner? If it is just with this partner then could the pressure that he is putting on the situation actually be the cause of it? Obviously it started with a bout if thrush, but has his attitude contributed to the vagnismus?

Looking at it from his point of view, he probably just fancies the pants off you and wants to have sex which is a perfectly natural feeling, but he should be able to suppress that a little better in order that you can overcome this, especially as he knows that you are trying to resolve it.
Is there anything that you both could compromise on to make the situation less tense? Could you relieve him by hand or orally? Would this ease his frustration without the need for penetrative sex?
Would a shed load of ky jelly help to ease the pain and make sex possible?
I don't want to sound like I'm advocating drinking, but would alcohol on an occasional basis help you to relax and therefore make the vaginismus less of a problem?
My understanding is that vaginismus is an involuntary spasm of the vagina usually caused by psychological fears or worries of penetration, so the thrush was the origins of this (I have had thrush several times and it is awful) but has this fear continued even now the thrush has gone?
Could you pay to see a sex counsellor as talking therapy might be more effective than physical intervention.
I don't thnk you are being unreasonable but I don't think that your OH is either, although he is letting his sexual frustration take over , which is resulting in him being a tad insensitive and impatient.

Binkyridesagain Fri 02-Aug-13 14:11:24

IMO he has no respect for you.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 02-Aug-13 14:12:04

Read This

I am a lot younger than you, but this book changed my thinking when i was your age.

Khaleasy Fri 02-Aug-13 14:14:58

YANBU at all because he shouldn't be doing something that makes you uncomfortable. This isn't about what is normal for other couples, that is an unfair comparison to make, it is about what is normal for you and what you want.

If it makes you feel more comfortable, however, my OH gropes me all the time. It's fine most of the time, but I do get impatient frequently and find it irratating when I'm not in a touchy-feely mood. So feeling irratated by the touch of your DP is not abnormal either.

Have a talk with your DP and have a good long think about what you want from a relationship and what you are comfortable with. If he is right for you, he will accept your needs and be fine with that.


twosmallbuttons Fri 02-Aug-13 14:16:06

I'm with Binky sad He doesn't respect you, or sympathise at all with your problem with having sex.
You also shouldn't have to wear anything in particular to 'please' him angry - how degrading.

livinginwonderland Fri 02-Aug-13 14:16:21

I think you're both stuck in a difficult situation. I actually totally understand where your DP is coming from. He's young, he loves sex and he's found himself in a relationship that's gone from having plenty of sex to no sex at all. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're not comfortable to just cuddle and have a play either? You can cuddle up and have a grope and it doesn't have to lead to anything - not even a handjob or oral, it's about keeping close as a couple and keeping things "alive".

From your view, it must be hard knowing that you want to have sex but can't and knowing that he wants sex too and that you're "letting him down" in some way, right? You're not being unreasonable in being worried but I think you need to allow yourself to get close to him again. There's more to a good sex life than penetration - being close/cuddling, a bit of a grope, to oral, they're all part of a healthy sex life and I don't see why you can't do other things (assuming you still fancy him and want to be with him).

Edendance Fri 02-Aug-13 14:18:07

We always cuddle on the sofa in the bed but don't often grope each other... Certainly not every night. We're quite playful- ill often grab his bottom around the house and we regularly do little gropes and touches, often it doesn't lead to anything.

I think he's being ridiculous to expect you to 'service him' nightly in front of the tv, and it shows a massive lack of respect and even a break down in communication if he's behaving like that knowing what issues you've had. Neither of you should be seen as saints- you should be working on this together, as a couple.

whois Fri 02-Aug-13 14:18:32

YANU and he is being a bit of a twat about sex and the groping on the sofa. But from his perspective if se is important to him and he isn't getting it, it must be hugely frustrating and he maye doesn't know how to deal with it.

Do you enjoy sexual contact like oral sex giving/receiving or are you always worried it will lead to intercourse.

Not sure what I would do if by DP couldn't or didn't want to have sex with me. I think I would find it hard to deal with as I enjoy it, and would feel like he didn't find me attractive or there was something else wrong.

So although this is obviously hard for you, it's probably also hard for him and a lot of people would find it strange that people would stay together for so long with such infrequent sex if there aren't any kids.

Binkyridesagain Fri 02-Aug-13 14:19:56

The OP isn't being asked if she will partake in some kissing and cuddling, she is being forced to do something she feels uncomfortable with, she is also having actions inflicted on her that she does not feel comfortable with.

Her partner should not be pressuring her into doing things that she does not want to do because he's got an itch that needs scratching

filee777 Fri 02-Aug-13 14:23:55

I didn't read what op said as a 'kiss and a cuddle' it said she is expected to have her hand on his dick the whole time! That's not normal!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 02-Aug-13 14:25:02

Agree Binky. Even though he has apologised for things he's said in the past, he still said them. I would not want to have sex with someone who had said those things and behaved in such a way as to suggest my function was to please him.

OP Are ther other ways in which you don't entirely trust him?

cushtie335 Fri 02-Aug-13 14:25:09

I met my DH when I was 18 and for about 3 years we couldn't keep our hands off each other. We got married and after about 2 years of living together I completely went off sex and struggled with my lack of libido for years. When we did have sex I found it painful and just wanted it to be over with.

Fortunately he was very understanding. We tried various strategies to overcome it and one was to have "sexy cuddles" where we would snog and feel each other up but made a point of leaving ourselves wanting more.

When texting became commonplace, we would send each other flirty texts at work and were really "looking forward" to seeing each other at home time, if you get my drift.

Your partner isn't going to improve your situation by expecting you to more or less pull him off when you're sat watching telly (sorry for the crudeness, but that's what it sounds like). Would you consider going to counselling for this? Apparently RELATE are very good. You deserve a healthy, active sex life with someone you love, please don't deny yourself this any longer.

LockedUp Fri 02-Aug-13 14:36:10


I've NC'd for this thread - for reasons about to become obvious..

I also have Vaginismus I'm older than you though by a few years and have had it since hitting puberty.

My Husband and I consequently did not have sex until earlier this year (more than 5 years into our relationship and 18 months post marriage). We have had sex three times since the first time - attempted more often, but I can't always, and he always stops at the first sign of my 'condition' rearing itself.

Whilst I think my DH is unusually supportive and lovely- and has enjoyed an awful lot of mutual masturbation in that time. He has never once pressurised me, gone on once I said stop or asked me to grope him in a way I felt uncomfortable with.

There was a long wait for psychosexual counselling on the NHS but I have recently started having it, and it is the most effective 'treatment' so far. I'd recommend getting on the waiting list- even if it takes a year to get any.

In the meantime dilators can be helpful, your fingers probably more helpful and lots and lots of pelvic floor clenches (focus on clenching really tightly at first and then long slow releases- I've found this the most useful).

Pressuring you and doing anything to make you feel at all uncomfortable isn't normal, healthy and is potentially making your vaginismus get worse. He must either understand this and stop or you have to make a decision about your future with him.

People do recover from Vaginismus- although my therapist doubts I will- she says I should be able to 'sideline' it and start to enjoy sex though.

I already enjoy regular intimacy (that stops short of penetration) with DH, and orgasm frequently. I can also orgasm using a 'bullet' if DH isn't around wink

Good luck OP- it can be a lonely condition- I find it totally impossible to talk about with anyone except the counsellor and DH- and now I suppose you and the Internet wink <I must be making progress>

OhMerGerd Fri 02-Aug-13 14:46:39

Mmm. They've been together since 19 so I doubt many other partners on either side.

I don't condone your partners behaviour but I am getting a sense that he is sexually frustrated.

If you're pretty much his first and only partner he may not have learned how to please you in other ways or even know how you could satisfy him without penetrative sex.

Not every man( or woman) has the emotional intelligence to tackle issues like this head on and that's probably where the grope my crotch behaviour is coming from.

If as you say he's a keeper apart from the sex issue I'd look at it like this.
He hasn't bailed out at the first sign of a problem, which indicates a level of care, love, whatever. You're both young and at your sexual peak he is bound to want sex and if it weren't for this condition so might you. He's struggling with your condition, but he's not trawling bars picking up other women. He's clumsily saying in an inept man way ... Help me I want you and I need you to want me too ( or something like that).

So you need to be the emotionally intelligent one and either say ... Sorry DP I love you and all your non sexual ways but I don't want sex or minmal sexual behaviour so we need to find a way to live without or on these terms and state them. He may say he can't live like that and you know that's fair enough. You can go your separate ways with probable sadness on either side but amicably.

Or you get some books, DVDs and sex toys and explore your body, decide what you like outside of penetrative sex and show him what works for you frequently and planned by you to feel spontaneous to him. Seek help from a sex counsellor to work through your issues with sex and involve him in this process. He'll be relieved you're taking a leaf and it will show him you take his needs seriously too.

You need lots of support , and I hope you are making use of any support groups and forums recommended by your health professionals but I wonder where he gets his support? I don't imagine it's the kind of thing he will find easy to discuss with the lads who in his mind ( if male conversation goes the way my DH reports) are getting 'it ' left right and centre six times a night .

Hope that is realistic and helpful. He does sound like a decent chap otherwise you wouldnt love him, so it'd be a shame to just run with the LTB theme if you think there is something You could take the initiative and do to get your sexual life to a place you both enjoy.

WantAnotherCat Fri 02-Aug-13 14:58:02

Don't get me wrong, I love a good kiss and a cuddle. We cuddle loads and are generally very close. Edendance we are similar in that we will slap each others bums or do silly little things (we are quite childish and playful with each other). We do have sex maybe twice a week now, because I try to make the effort. I know this doesn't sound like much but it is a huge step from where we were. It's just that thing about having my hand on his penis, what feels like the whole time, I just don't see the need.

A few of you are looking at it from his point of view, which I completely understand and agree with. He does love my body (trust me it's nothing special though!) and he compliments me all the time, which is very flattering and I do appreciate it. And I honestly feel the same about him, I think he looks amazing. But for some reason I just really struggle to get turned on. I don't want to have sex. But I want to want to have sex. We had a great sex life before I got thrush and I would love to feel that way again. Unfortunately I can't afford any sort of therapy right now, we are both students so have very little income. I think this is part of the problem. Because neither of us work full time, there is never a chance to 'miss' one another.

Whois: When I'm in the right frame of mind I love receiving oral, but if tries to start things off whilst I'm in comfy/relaxed mode its more annoying than arousing. I do try to pleasure him as well to make up for lack of sex.

YouTheCat: haha sometimes I think life would be easier if I just stuck to cats.

filee: you summed it up nicely!

Fallout1977 Fri 02-Aug-13 15:00:37

You can't blame him for wanting you so much and wanting some intimacy with you.
I understand that because of your condition you no longer want sex but the condition doesn't turn his sexual urge off as well.
I don't suppose that because you don't have sex very often this maybe his way of keeping connected to you sexually?

burstingbaboon Fri 02-Aug-13 15:02:24

I apologise upfront- it's a sad post but Ledkr I
just can't stop laughing! O my my!!!!
Can't move that scenario from my head-sorry -
and Corrie on tv[ grin] o dear!
Saying that,anything that makes you feel uncomfortable
it's not right! Many couples do many things but
that doesn't mean you have to do it ! Communication
Is the most important thing and if he doesn't
understand -maybe he should read few books or educate
himself and see how things can improve , find the
way to overcome situation!!!! You ARE normal,
don't even think you are not just because of
the issue you have! We all have some problems but that
doesn't mean everyone is not normal!!!!

whois Fri 02-Aug-13 15:05:31

You have sex TWICE A WEEK? That changes things, I thought you were talking about not having it for six months at a time and kinda makes his behaviour seem more annoying and less understandable.

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