So this has been a great week full of learning, information and other awesome stuff.
Talli Rosenbaum recommended some therapists to me, ranging from sex therapists to physical therapists. So I, not knowing the difference, called up the sex therapist, Shoshana Bulow. She listened to me talk and said that I was all confident and open and very different from most of the people who call up and talk about this issue and are embarrassed and sad and who even may have histories of rape or sexual abuse. Hence she felt that talk therapy, which is what she does, is not what I need. Conceptually, I'm already in a good place. It's the physical stuff I need to work on.
I hadn't even known that sex therapists aren't licensed to work with women in my situation who need the physical aspect or dilators. It disturbed me that the first woman I had gone to see had led me to believe that she was licensed to follow up with dilators when now here was Shoshana saying that sex therapists are not trained in that. You can learn more about the difference between sex therapy and female sexual dysfunction here.
Shoshana recommended that I check out The Medical Center for Female Sexuality located in White Plains and Manhattan. This place is awesome. It's headed by a frum woman, Bat Sheva Marcus. You can read Dr. Marcus' bio right here. The people who work there are trained in all sorts of sexual dysfunction ranging from vaginismus to vulvar vestibulitis to erecticle dysfunction and so on. The best part about them is that they work with you so that you can pay them. They will let you create an interest-free payment plan so that you can pay them the money over a longer period of time (even maybe a year) because they want to work with you and help you and not bankrupt you. Apparently this center is one of the only centers in the country that does this work. People fly in from all over (including Egypt!) so they can just start the treatment plans they need there and then go back to doctors in their home country with the information they need to continue the plan back home.
This place is relatively new; it was only founded only eleven years ago according to the lady that I spoke to on the phone. You need to put $300 down in order to start - they do take insurance. So you give $150 when you book an appointment and another $150 when you come into the office. The way it works is that the first appointment takes an hour and a half. The first part of the appointment is you sitting down with a therapist and doing a psycho-sexual workup where you discuss your whole sexual history, your fears, worries, concerns etc. Then they take your bloodwork and a nurse practitioner does an exam on you (probably to see the symptoms, like in my case, how and when I tense up). After all that, they come up with a personalized treatment plan for you.
I really liked the section on the website talking about vaginismus, which is the condition I have. I especially liked that they had a section talking about painful sex or intimacy for men to read so that he can understand his wife/ girlfriend better. The site also has testimonials and other great stuff and vlogs and video presentations from Dr. Marcus talking about various issues.
So I have an appointment with the center for after Shavuos and with any luck it'll be good.