Monday, October 17, 2011


It was my mikvah night. I got all made up, put on sexy lingerie, pretty jewelery and so on. But inwardly I'm cringing.

Not the start of this pain....again, is what I think.

But I go home and then suddenly I slip into a role. I'm role-playing. I feel detached from myself, from my body, from my actions. I watch my hand touch my husband's shoulder and I feel like I'm seeing someone else do it. The sense of wanting, of yearning, of creating a connection with him through this action- was totally not there. Instead, I felt like whatever I was doing I was doing by rote and I was doing it because I had to and because it was expected of me. I trailed my hand over his body because I had to and kissed him because I had to and basically watched myself do things, not because I wanted to but because I had to.

My husband, Hashem bless him, realized that I was somewhere very far away and distant from where I should be and didn't push me. We cuddled and I fell asleep. I woke up and noticed the candles were still burning so I blew them out.

And suddenly there in the fuzzy half-sleep I was in, everything was back. The emotional connection? Whoom. The wanting my husband? Also whoom. Back to my normal self, not the detached self. So we took advantage and as usual penetration hurt. I've been trying to get in touch with a pelvic floor therapist but she hasn't been returning my calls. It's frustrating.

But the whole detached, role-playing, I'm doing this because I have to and not because I want to scenario that started off our evening? That sucked. That was bad. I don't know what that's about but I didn't like it.


Su said...

I suppose this means you cannot do it at a scheduled time. Which seems quite logical. Why should you want at this and this date just because it is this and this date?

This "out of the body" things seems a bit creepy to me, since this often happens in cases of sexual abuse. I am happy your husband saw it and reacted accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for recognizing that you were detached and that that's not a good thing. People can fall into that without noticing.

Anonymous said...

I've experienced the exact (right down to many of the words you use to describe it) feeling mikva night.

I think that using the pill to be more in control of when you get your period helped me feel more in control in general.

Adina said...

Hi I am a physical therapist. I recently became specialized in pelvic floor therapy and issues of pelvic pain. If you would like to contact me u can reach me at

Anonymous said...

When teaching Chasanim, I always emphasize two things, taking out the garbage & foreplay! The husband taking out the garbage (doing the dishes is also good) shows the wife that her husband cares for her & that they are partners in their complete lives. Otherwise, why would he be cleaning up after his wife?

Foreplay is obvious, I mean "slam, bam, thank you ma'am" (if he even says thank you) is NOT the Jewish way. Occasionally, some help is needed, such as a lubricant.

In a situation like this, I'd suggest talking to a doctor about Xylocaine Gel or Lidocaine Gel, both are lubricants containing local anesthetics which numb the areas where they are applied. As things resolve itself, less of the anesthetic gel can be used - eventually not using the gel at all when ready.

Anonymous said...

The detachment you describe sounds like disassociation. You might consider talking to a therapist about it, in order to prevent it from becoming a long term problem

Anonymous said...

Hey there...

For what it's worth, I just want you to know that I feel for you and your husband on a very deep level.

Orthodox Jews are already required to sacrifice so much in our sex lives toward refinement and spirituality, that the hope is that when the halachic green light is given for physical pleasure and indulgence, everything will be perfect and all the sacrifice, frustration, and even anguish, will be rendered worthwhile. Much of the time, it is, to an extent.

I'm so sad that you and your husband had to be the exception to the rule, at least for now. I know it's times like these that make you wonder whether your Creator is even a compassionate God. Everyone has to answer that one for him or herself.

Having made what I perceive to be relatively significant sacrifices to stay a virgin until I get married, your story moves me on a very visceral, almost instinctual level, if that makes sense. Sexuality is so inextricably interwoven into the fabric of our humanity, that to suffer from any deviation of its normal functioning strikes at the core and heart of one's self-definition. I feel so bad that an experience such as yours is even possible in life, let alone to such a sensitive, mindful, and thinking individual as yourself. What can I say... justice is not of this world, it seems.

Just a few thoughts from one anonymous person to another, across the space-less expanse of the internet. Refuah Sheleimah dear.

chanie said...

I just want to say that I totally understand the detachment thing - it happens sometimes to me, too. :) I think it's just a kind of overtired, stressed, weird kind of thing. As long as your husband noticed, and it doesn't happen too often. :)