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I now officially open the discussion of what I can do to get pregnant. I thank you for your patience :) This whole message is too much information, so consider yourself warned. It's also quite long, but once I got started everything just came tumbling out.

Summary of our current problems:
- I find vaginal penetration uncomfortable.
- DH is rarely interested in sex, and doesn't seem to be aroused by much aside from direct genital stimulation.
- I get overstimulated easily making intercourse unbearable. (I'm not just talking about genital stimulation, I'm talking about too much light touch anywhere)
- DH does not ejaculate without vaginal intercourse.

Other possibly relevant stuff:
- I regularly masturbate to orgasm, DH does not find masturbation pleasurable.
- My cycles are happily quite regular and despite my high weight I have midcycle symptoms that indicate ovulation. I have not yet begun to chart my temperature.
- We really are happy. It sort of amuses us when the media refers to horrible sexless marriages, because we're still very much in love after 6 years of marriage and we like our life together very much. We would just like a little bit more intimacy and a little one. Can you tell I'm a little defensive about this?

Our history:
On our first many attempts to have sex I found vaginal penetration very painful. This made DH not want to have sex. He has a low libido, so why would he want to do something that makes his wife say "Ow!" and burst into tears? As you can tell, lying is one of my lesser developed skills.

For a while we stopped trying. Then we started trying again, and discovered that I still burst into tears a lot. So for the past year or so we made appointments to fool around one morning a week. The goal of that fooling around was not to have intercourse, but to relearn that physical intimacy was pleasurable.

A quote from me to DH "I just want sex to be as good as making brownies. When I say 'I'm going to make brownies' you always say 'yum' with enthusiasm. Sometimes you say 'I'm not that hungry' but you never say 'oh, we have to make brownies?'"

We have not quite reached that stage, but we have come much closer.

A few months ago we switched back into trying intercourse. It has been more successful (in that I don't burst into tears afterwards), but we still seem a long way from getting DH to ejaculate.

Where we stand now:
The bursting into tears was mostly caused by overstimulation, not by the pain of intercourse. Once I figured out how to avoid overstimulation, I could handle penetration by more and more fingers.

DH still doesn't suggest sex. But he's decided that it's like getting enough exercise; he'll feel better if he does it, so he tries to make time for it.

Here's our current routine:
- We "plan" a day or two ahead of time. This lets us focus on cuddling and anticipating ahead of time which helps me relax and DH to get aroused.
- Our episodes are in the morning, when DH is more easily aroused.
- I wake before DH, get up, and try to relax. I don't do formal meditation, but something like that. I'm finally identifying how I need to get my mind so I won't be overstimulated.
- I shower. This also seems to help me avoid overstimulation.
- I curl around DH and slowly wake him up.
- Foreplay ensues, followed by attempts at penetration.

The challenge is to arouse DH and arouse me, while keeping me relaxed so I don't get overstimulated. For me arousal is all in my head, for DH it's in his body. It's tricky to get everything coordinated. The trouble is timing. I need to get somewhat aroused, but at the right time so DH still has an erection.

Currently we've gotten close, but by the time we're ready to try penetration DH has lost some of his erection. I'm hoping that as we get better we'll be able to proceed more quickly. I'm slightly worried that DH loses his erection because he knows that I will find intercourse less painful with a less rigid penis, which means that not matter when we try it we'll have the same problem. We'll know more after more trying.

Next steps:
More of the same. I think we're on the right track, so I want to practice some more and see if we keep improving. If not, we'll have to find something else to try.

Stuff we've already decided isn't the problem or the solution respectively:
- Medical problems. DH consulted a doctor a number of years ago, and was told that since he occasionally ejaculates in his sleep it's not a physical problem. I should remind him that (as far as I know) this hasn't happened in a couple of years so it might be time to bring this up again. DH had one prior sexual partner and did have "successful" intercourse with her, so we know it is at least theoretically possible.

- Past abuse/orientation issues. I know that if I were you reading my story I would wonder if DH or I had been abused. I'm pretty sure neither of us was. (I have a pretty healthy coherent memory of my past. DH doesn't, but when I emotionally poke him nothing jumps out, and he seems pretty well put together aside from the low interest in sex.) Similarly I see no signs that there is someone else out there I (or DH) would be more successful having sex with.

- Getting drunk. You'd be surprised at how many people suggest this. We're just not comfortable drinking. There's no good reason we're not comfortable drinking, we just made it to our thirties without drinking and it seems wrong somehow to start. (We would be more comfortable talking to a professional sex therapist. Which we're still not comfortable enough to do, so that gives you an idea how unwilling we are to start drinking.)

- Lubrication. Yes, I know lubrication is important. I use lubrication when I am not moist. The problem for me is not one of friction as much as it is stretching and sensation in unfamiliar places.

Stuff we've considered but not yet tried:
- Viagra. The idea being if DH had a more sustained erection ejaculation would be more likely.
- Oral Sex. We're getting comfortable with the idea, but we're such prudes that it seems more like another hurdle than like a way to make sex more pleasurable.
- Getting good at sex by having it with other people. If another decade or so passes and we still can't get the hang of sex we might try that. But we don't want to have sex with other people. We want to have sex with each other. So here we are.

As I write this I see how far we've already come, which does offer me hope. Thanks for being a sounding board, and for your help and support. Meanwhile we'll keep trying and I continue to hope that DH has lots of sperm in his pre-ejaculate fluid.

- Megan

(for once glad TMF is a paid board because now there's no chance my Mom is reading this :)
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