Here's an experience that a reader emailed me hoping it could help others who may be dealing with similar issues.
For me, sex, was pain. It was physically impossible for me to get him inside me at all. I've been married a little over two years and had sex for the first time 8 months ago!! Yikesabee right?! I was in a world of confusion, pain, and shame. No one ever mentioned to me that there was a possibility that I would not be able to have sex, so I was like....what's wrong with me?!! Unfortunately, even though my mother is AMAZING, I felt even more depressed after speaking to her about the problem. She told me to just "tough it out" and treated me like I was purposefully withholding sex and being immature. Most of my friends got married around the time I did and I remember one of my friends telling me that on her honeymoon her and husband got bored of having sex so much. I could have screamed. I felt completely alone.
(I should note immediately that my husband was/is the most incredibly patient, gentle, loving man in the world. He never made me feel abandoned or broken, but I felt broken compared to everyone else, so, the struggle felt solitary.)
After many months of excruciatingly painful sexual attempts, usually ending in tears (imagine what that did for our minds, hearts, and libido) I began to research. Surely I wasn't the only one in the universe with a problem like this. I went to my gyno but she was extremely unhelpful and acted like my problem was irrelevant to her. So I found myself a new Dr. That helped, but only a bit. She was a bit stumped as I had never had previous sexual experience, been the victim of a sexual attack, or raised to think sex was impure. I looked online and discovered that my condition was called "vaginismus." I found a site that sold kits to help treat it, and there were a lot of web discussions from people with my same issue, or ones very similar! Hallelujah! I was not alone! I ordered the kit and my husband and I read the book that came with it and attempted the treatment, but honestly, it did nothing for me, and I soon gave it up.
Now I felt like a failure again. I wasn't even working on my condition with the tools I had purchased! Was I the laziest person on Earth?! No. Didn't I want to have an amazing sex life??! Yes!! And that's when it came to me (and when I say "came to me" I don't mean that it came completely out of the blue out of my own wisdom; there were many, many hours of prayer and fasting that I connect with this epiphany and I do not claim any credit that belongs to Him).
What did I want? Sex? Sort of. Too me, at this point, sex=pain. What I really wanted was pleasure. I wanted to be pleasured. I had found sufficient ways to pleasure my husband, and he had been doing everything to "get" me but I realized I was always so stressed out because I knew eventually I would have to try sex. And I would fail. Thus I never felt very pleasured. So. I decided, screw sex. Screw it! I was going to get mine!
And that's what my husband and I did. For months. It required quite a bit of time after fooling around, to take deep breaths and push my stresses away, and then we would begin pleasuring me. This was achieved almost completely by my bff, vibrator. Ladies, if you do not have a vibrator, you must have super orgasm power, because I learned real fast, that was my ticket to success. (Gwen has great posts about this and discusses why this works so well, read them!)
Anyhow, once my brain was trained to enjoy pleasure from my husband, we introduced "the main guy" to the proceedings. He mostly just hung back and didn't do much, but eventually we just concentrated on keeping him near the base of my vagina, and then slowly, over weeks and weeks, worked him further and further in. My brain, and vagina, learned that even when he is around, pleasure doth still abound. And in fact, pretty soon, he was giving me a lot of pleasure on his own. Then one day, after all our hard work building up to it (breathing deep, clearing my mind, vibrating for the life of me) he was in! And it was a miracle! We rejoiced exceedingly!
I gave myself about a week and a half before I agreed to try again (not wanting to give myself too much pressure to perform, for I learned that pressure is a sex stopper). We did it again! And again! Until now, I can get him in fairly quickly, ya know, for me. We are insanely grateful!! I feel like so many people take sex for granted. I even assumed when I first got married that sex was just part of the package deal. Oh boy was I wrong, right? But my husband and I appreciate being able to have sex together more than almost all the couples we know. We worked our tails off for it and we treasure the fruits of our labor.
Since then, I have spoken with many girls about this issue because I don't want anyone to ever feel as alone as I felt or to have to taste of that despair. As it turns out, no one has a perfect sex life like I had originally assumed, go figure. We can all work to be better, more giving, and most importantly, open to pleasure. I am so thrilled about Gwen in Love because she is open and excited about sex! I do not believe that there is anything to be gained by keeping silent on this topic, especially after my experience. Let's enjoy the blessing we've been given to experience and give pleasure and never take it for granted!