Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sex Therapy

So my husband and I had our first meeting with our sex therapist. It was in a really lovely little room with swiveling swirly armchairs like you would get in nice coffee shops. We sat next to each other in the swiveling chairs and the therapist sat across from us and we told our long story. It seems like there are a lot of factors (at least in my case) that make it likely that my sexual dysfunction has a psychological component. These are:

-Family issues: Members of my family were not so thrilled that I was marrying my husband. Possibly even though I went through with the marriage, I had a lot of difficulty taking that final step of consummating it or having an enjoyable sex life because of the weight of their disapproval.

-Power issues: Sex in my mind is synonymous with power. Women seduce and ensnare men or men seduce or use women. Because sex in my mind is tied up with power, I am not interested in being powerless and 'submitting' to it as it were. 

-Virginity issues: I was brought up with virginity being really important and anything that could spoil your hymen (tampons, fingers, gynecological exams) was bad. So basically I was told all my life to keep my vagina closed and now I have to switch over to it being open and I'm having difficulty processing that. 

-Emotional issues: I have trust issues in general because people have disappointed me. Maybe these carry over to my man as well and emotionally I can't achieve the intimacy for the sex to work well.

-Anxiety: I was really anxious about my knowledge or lack thereof of sex before my wedding and of what the hymen was and how to do stuff and I now have a body memory of that fear/ pain.

Best of all (I say this sarcastically), there's the possibility (which I don't consider a possibility) that I was abused when I was younger and I just forgot it. I find this very hard to believe because my family was hypervigilant about that sort of thing but my husband pointed out there's always babysitters. I don't think babysitters would do that and I think it's extremely unlikely, but whatever, it's a possibility. 

Anyway, our homework from the sex therapist is to find two hours a week to have a physically romantic and intimate date/ spending of time together with actual intercourse totally off the table. I guess this is probably to take the anxiety out of this experience and for me to develop trust with my husband. 


Molly said...

if you think abuse is unlikely then I would follow your gut and try and work on some of the other things!

Keep hanging in there honey.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a positive step. I have some issues that people say seem like I was abused, but I know I wasn't. Focus on what you know.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the others. Don't doubt your experience. Btw, I thought of you when I read about female hernias in the NYT today. (I was behind on the Science section.) They cause sexual pain and are often misdiagnosed. Possible for you?

Anonymous said...

A great, great post. I'm planning to start sex therapy this month to help with my twisted views of sex. I think of it as something men do to women. As a weapon. I'm not dating and have never been in a relationship, but it's something I'm beginning to pursue, so I want to get my head straight!

Glad you'll get to work through some of these emotional and psychological difficulties. Disapproval of your marriage from your family would be a big deal even without the sexual pain issue.

Anonymous said...

I was told to do the same thing right at the start of therapy. Do you still check your email address? If u ever want to write to me again with anything feel free.
Good luck hun, please don't give up. I'll email you soon.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking individual counseling might be helpful for you. The emotional issues you describe could lead to sexual issues, I think. Unable to have sex with someone your family disapproves of might be an unconscious means of staying loyal to your family. Marrying someone your family disapproves of shows you want to rebel and break free. I sense an approach-avoid conflict, you yearn to be independent and be your own person and make your own choices, while still (maybe unconsciously) wanting their permission and approval. I don't know ... sexual issues are often not about sex. Sorry if my psychoanalysis offended you, if so, I apologize.