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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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((Megan))

It must have been hard for you to share all that. It seems like a lot to deal with.

You mentioned DH had one other partner - have you had other partner(s) than DH? If so, were you able to complete the act with them? It sounds to me like you did NOT have other partner(s) before DH and it makes me wonder if you have asked your OB-GYN about your discomfort. I remember reading once of a woman who needed to stretch herself with a series of small, graduated weights - so clearly you are not alone in experiencing this and even better, there is medical assistance available. If you are as much like me as you seem, you'd probably rather not talk about it with your doc. There is a medical term for a cramping down of those muscles such that penetration would be close to impossible.

Anyway, is there any chance of just grabbing a spontaneous moment and going for it? Do you think it has become such a cerebral thing that the physical aspect is sort of like a second thought? I don't drink either, but there are times when I feel happy and carefree and untethered to my earthly concerns - usually after a fun, relaxing day doing something we both enjoy. Intimate moments after a great day are, well, great!

I think at this point you should work on yourself and view this as a spasmed muscle issue as opposed to anything deeply emotional, sexual, etc. Treat yourself as if you have a physical problem. You wouldn't get all wigged out over a cramp in your calf - but you would still have trouble walking so you would figure out ways to release the spasm, relax the muscle, stretch out, etc. Treat this the same way - "I want to use that body part, but it gives me pain, let me figure out how to make the pain stop." - Are you able to endure a pelvic exam? Have you ever?

I feel confident that once you find sex pleasurable your DH will be more comfortable with the whole thing. I am not entirely clear what you mean by overstimulated, but if that continues, maybe your doc could prescribe tiny doses of something like Xanax or whatever to help you relax enough without losing the "window of opportunity" as it is.

Good luck!!
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I have a cousin that had to use little inserts to slowly stretch her vagina - intercourse was painful to her, and it took a while, but the inserts worked.

Also, have you considered going about other means for a baby, and working on this on the side? Your eggs, your DH's sperm, but just meeting in a dish instead of your body? It might take some of the pressure off getting the act "right".

VENTURING INTO TMI WARNING!

I get "overstimulated" also, which is a HUGE mood killer for me. HUGE. Things that I've found that help if I can tell this will be a possibility:

1) Making it quick. Yes, it's not "romantic", but quickies can be fun, too, and it keeps me from wigging out.

2) Keeping a shirt on. Less skin exposure, less chance of overstimulation.

3) Letting DH know EXACTLY what can cause it. Certain places just CAN'T be touched on me once things are...um....in, or the mood is gone.

4) Getting a back rub beforehand. It desensitizes me or something.

TMI WARNING NOW OVER.

impolite
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It sounds to me like you did NOT have other partner(s) before DH and it makes me wonder if you have asked your OB-GYN about your discomfort.

I have not had other partners. I have talked to my physician (at one point I had a resident for my PCP and she spent over an hour talking to me about this problem.)

Are you able to endure a pelvic exam? Have you ever?

Yes, although they're not fun. With each new physician I have to convince him or her to start with the smallest scapula despite my wide pelvis.

Anyway, is there any chance of just grabbing a spontaneous moment and going for it? Do you think it has become such a cerebral thing that the physical aspect is sort of like a second thought?

Both DH & I are primarily cerebral, so we seem to do better when we can think about and plan for things.

I think at this point you should work on yourself and view this as a spasmed muscle issue as opposed to anything deeply emotional, sexual, etc.

Thanks. I've done a lot of things to improve matters. I started wearing tampons during my heaviest flow days even though they were uncomfortable. We ended up using fingers instead of anything prescribed by the doctor because the appointment wouldn't be covered by my health plan, would cost over $200, and fingers already come at room temperature.

At this point I think I've gotten over the extremely painful stage and am now to the uncomfortable stage. I told you I'd made progress in the last six years!

- Megan
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Thanks, impolite, for all of the great suggestions.

Also, have you considered going about other means for a baby, and working on this on the side? Your eggs, your DH's sperm, but just meeting in a dish instead of your body?

Ah yes. I do not mean the following question sarcastically. How do we get the sperm if the only time DH ejaculates is during vaginal sex? (manual manipulation doesn't do it.)

I'll have to try the shirt (especially as it gets colder out). Showering seems to do for me what backrub does for you.

- Megan
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No idea if this will really help at all, but some of it might. regarding your pain/discomfort with sex. Have you ever heard of vaginal vestibulitis or vulvodynia (I hope I'm spelling those correctly). Essentially, they mean painful vaginal areas (people use the terms variously, but they essentially mean the same thing). I have this condition. Unfortunately, sex has remained fairly painful for me, although it's slightly better than it used to be.

There are some treatments for this condition. In particular, since you get overstimluated i'm thinking of the one that absolutely killed anything for me--a topical anesthetic. I had to use to not have pain. Unfortunately, they thought it might be killing the sperm (although my research said the opposite), so my doc said to not try it. Ok, that's just the opposite of what you want to hear, but it might work for you. See, it really deadened most all sensations down there (and I only used it directly on the vaginal area, not up higher). I also would use it after sex, so that the pain would go away faster.

Less drastic, there's a diet that helps some people, a low oxalate diet. I tried it for a couple years (just told people I was allergic to the foods). It may have helped, but we rarely had sex during those years, so I'm not certain.

Estrogen cream is also prescribed for it. I think it's supposed to toughen up the skin. Did this at the same time as the diet so again, not sure if it helped or not. I think some people also go the testosterone route.

I also joined a list serve of other with the same condition. It was quite helpful. If you do this, just be forewarned: there are women out there with extrememly worse conditions. I often felt like my pain was almost nothing so what did I have to complain about. And then I'd worry that it would get a lot worse like their's. but I did gets lots of advice that helped out.

By the way, being pregnant and giving birth (preferrably naturally, but also possible C-section) has been shown to improve or cure the condition in some women. We were really hoping! unfortunately, I'm rather like your DH with a low lo sex drive and DH would jump in the sack every day at a moment's notice, so it's a lot harder for us to deal with that it seems to be for you. :(

Selphiras
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Don't know much about Viagra (okay, just about nothing at all). Would that help with the ejaculation side of things?

Also, boy do I appreciate this being on a message board and not face to face sometimes.... are you sure he is ejaculating even with vaginal penetration? Or is it that he can't orgasm w/o that? (I have no idea if a guy can even orgasm w/o ejaculation.)

Selphiras
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Thanks for all of your suggestions, Selphiras. As I mentioned I've gotten to the point where intercourse is uncomfortable rather than painful, so now we're trying to work on the coordination of it all.

Don't know much about Viagra (okay, just about nothing at all). Would that help with the ejaculation side of things?
Our non-informed opinion is that if he had an erection for longer it would take some of the pressure off to get the timing just right.

Also, boy do I appreciate this being on a message board and not face to face sometimes....

Ooooh yeah. I just think of it as good practice for having to teach children the facts of life, right?


are you sure he is ejaculating even with vaginal penetration?


Well so far not with me. But it's our working theory.

- Megan
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Hey Megan, have you ever tried a habituation / desensitization program? Therapists use such programs for people experiencing phobias, panic attacks, or generalized anxiety. The basic idea is that - in collaboration with a cognitive-behavioral therapist and a gynecologist - you would practice inserting progressively larger weights into your vagina while practicing relaxation / breathing techniques (you'd be alone while doing this, obviously - the treatment team wouldn't be there watching or anything :-0 ). You would stop the exercise at the first sign of anxiety and muscle tension, relax your muscles by deep breathing &c., then begin again. Coordination between you and DH might be easier if you achieved progressive muscle relaxation.

This type of program would also work for your husband. Many people acclimate themselves away from / toward certain types of sexual stimulation via habituation. For example, your husband might begin such a program by interrupting intercourse at the moment before orgasm, and then masturbating to orgasm. He would progressively interrupt intercourse earlier and earlier, until he could masturbate to orgasm from a "cold start," so to speak. That would facilitate any medical intervention you two might want to have.

If you feel comfortable, you might want to check out a sex therapy program near you (preferably at a major medical center or teaching hospital). Their staff can offer you so many different behavioral techniques, you're sure to find one that's reasonably comfortable for you and DH to try. Integrating their therapies with your fertility goals sounds like a wonderful way to get more intimacy time and a little one in the house!

So glad you've joined us here,
BG
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Ah yes. I do not mean the following question sarcastically. How do we get the sperm if the only time DH ejaculates is during vaginal sex? (manual manipulation doesn't do it.)

From the article Alison posted the other day - remember, the numbers are several years out of date:

Sperm Aspiration

Sometimes perfectly healthy sperm get stranded inside the epididymis. Scar tissue from sterilization or cancer surgery can block the vas deferens, or the vas may simply have been missing from birth. For the 100,000 couples facing this problem, sperm aspiration may help.

For this technique, the doctor, using an operating microscope, suctions sperm from the epididymis through an incision in the scrotum. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, but the man can go home the same day. After sperm have been microsurgically removed, they are bathed in special enzymes that mimic those found in the epididymis. These enzymes help sperm mature and develop good motility. Once prepared, the sperm are mixed with eggs during a typical IVF cycle since they are too weak to get to the egg naturally.

About fifty U.S. centers perform sperm aspiration, and several hundred women have become pregnant with aspirated sperm, with about 11 percent giving birth. The handful of centers that perform direct injection of sperm now use aspirated sperm, and they have been able to achieve about a 30 percent pregnancy rate. At Cornell, among eighteen selected couples where aspirated sperm was directly injected into the egg, nine women became pregnant.


Not saying this is an answer for you, just trying to address one very specific question.

- Parkway
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Thanks bookgrrl and Parkway!

More data is always good.

- Megan

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I think at this point you should work on yourself and view this as a spasmed muscle issue as opposed to anything deeply emotional, sexual, etc. Treat yourself as if you have a physical problem.

I think MrsDJB is right about seeing this as a physical issue rather than a deeply emotional, etc, issue -- as you've said, Megan, the two of you are happy and compatible, and other than the pregnancy thing you don't seem to have complaints about your sex life.

At the risk of being obvious, though, I thought I'd point out that there are a couple of different approaches to the getting-the-sperm-where-it-needs-to-be problem.

1. Address the issue of your discomfort with the assumption that DH will be able to ejaculate inside you if given the opportunity. Other people have suggested possible methods of doing this. One more so-obvious-you've-probably-already-tried-it suggestion is to use different positions for intercourse. I'm specifically thinking that the overstimulation issue might be minimized by positions that limit overall body contact. Also, since you say that arousal is, for you, in the mind, you can also try fantasizing about intercourse while you masturbate - try to build an association between sexual pleasure and penetration.

2. Address the issue of DH's non-responsiveness to stimulation other than vaginal intercourse. You don't have to go high-tech to get the sperm inside you once it's outside of him! I think bookgrrl is the only one who's talked about this, but I wanted to emphasize that this approach could be a winner even without considering IVF-type procedures. I'm not sure exactly how one would go about this, especially since you've described some reluctance around sexual experimentation (such as oral sex). But he might respond if the manual stimularion were supplemented with some sort of visual stimulation, or with some sensual textures, or?

I assume you're mostly looking for thoughts on the sex issues right now, but of course there are other options too -- go high-tech and either extract his sperm surgically or use donor sperm, or look into adoption, or....

It's hard to know what to say - I hope the suggestions aren't too silly. It sounds like you've assessed the issues pretty thoroughly and the strategies you've developed are working, so perhaps all these thoughts are irrelevant anyway. If you want to ignore them, that's fine -- we're still here to offer support, empathy, and good vibes whenever you need them!

- Parkway
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It's hard to know what to say - I hope the suggestions aren't too silly.

Definitely not too silly. Greatly appreciated.

Oddly I'm willing to discuss the physical interaction more than the mental ones, so if I don't respond it doesn't mean I don't appreciate your ideas.


It sounds like you've assessed the issues pretty thoroughly and the strategies you've developed are working, so perhaps all these thoughts are irrelevant anyway.


Definitely not irrelevant. I just wanted to tell y'all what I'd done so far. Mostly so we could use it as a jumping off point rather than going over ground I've already covered. Also in the hopes I could help someone else.

Thanks for your advice & support.

- Megan
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I have a book reference you simply must check out. This book has been an amazing resource for DH and me as we have navigated our own path through intimacy that works for both of us.

Passionate Marriage: Love, Sex, and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships, by David Schnarch

Product Details

* Paperback: 432 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.07 x 9.24 x 6.10
* Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, Inc.; Reprint edition (May 1998)
* ISBN: 0805058265
* In-Print Editions: Hardcover | All Editions
* Average Customer Review: Based on 55 reviews. Write a review.
* Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,154

Amazon has them used from $4.99 in paperback, but I bought hardcover, one for each of us, because it is such a wonderful reference and we both wanted to have our own copies for notes in the margins, etc.

Good luck to you both.
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Thanks TeacherH!

I've read that book and found it helpful.

- Megan
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One more so-obvious-you've-probably-already-tried-it suggestion is to use different positions for intercourse.

A follow-up to my previous thought... positions where you are on top (say, squatting over him as he lies on his back) allow you to control the amount of penetration and to back off if things get uncomfortable. Having such direct control might affect your experience of penetration, and if, as you suspect, your husband is losing his erection from fear of hurting you, it might alleviate his fear of inadvertently hurting you.

And while I've tried to keep this discussion more clinical than personal, I suppose I should add that at least one guy I know (ahem) climaxes rather quickly in this position.

- Parkway
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{{Megan}}

I wish I had good advice for you - all I can offer is to keep you in my thoughts...
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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.

Hi Megan!

If I'm reading this all right, you've got two separate issues, related only by the intercourse thing. (1) You want to get pregnant and (2) you would like to have a satisfying sex life with each other. Is that right?

I sense that you've got a plan to get to (2). But I have a suggestion about (1).


You say you are able to masturbate to orgasm. You might try doing that before DH is even awake in the morning, then awakening him and letting him "do his thing". This will most likely increase both your lubrication and your elasticity. There would be no time pressure whatsoever on you, so you could be completely relaxed during this time. This way, sex afterward would be more comfortable for you (probably), which seems like it would help your DH enjoy it more, increasing the likelihood of orgasm and ejaculation (and, therefore, pregnancy).

This isn't the most romantic of solutions, I realize, but it seems like it might help.


I have some other thoughts, which I'll share when I have a little more time. The above just jumped out at me (in my head) as a possibility.

:) Jan


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You say you are able to masturbate to orgasm. You might try doing that before DH is even awake in the morning, then awakening him and letting him "do his thing". This will most likely increase both your lubrication and your elasticity.

to follow up wrnglrjan's comment:
Orgasm has certain relaxing properties (and has been compared to taking more than one valium) so perhaps this would also leave you more relaxed.

peace & trains of thought
t
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Hi Megan, along with wrnglrjan's ideas, try reading romance novels to get your head "more in the game" so to speak. My OB/GYN reccomended this when I complained that baby-making had turn into an unpleasant chore that neither dh or I looked forward to. It worked. I got addicted to the really trashy bodice-rippers and they put me in a more approachable mood. DH got a Rx for Viagra. Half a pill allowed him perform like a postman.

++++++positive baby vibes+++++++++
Crazyinlovefool
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Half a pill allowed him perform like a postman.

:-0

How do postmen perform?

bookgrrl
never heard that one before

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How do postmen perform?

bookgrrl
never heard that one before


They always deliver...

-Sunny (back to lurk mode now)
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Meagan, as an interloper on this board may I share my thoughts? Consider what you've accomplished in the past six years just by yourselves. For that reason don't do what is false to you: booze, swinging, oral sex, whatever, set that aside. In this, if it doesn't feel right to you, don't. An answer rarely is in the area you find additional fear or pain.

I think why you have made progress is because you and DH have established your own pattern. This is acceptable to us and although it doesn't match something in a book or other people's experiences it is our own. Sure, there's much that can be learned from other's experiences yet often they set a pattern that is, frankly, onerous.

Find out more about what you and he like. Which means experiment yet if you don't like a particular action then don't do it again. If you like something then let him know that's nice. Maybe, just maybe, you haven't found a position that meets all of your needs and his.

With him on his side and you on your back with one leg over his waist and one of his between yours may not seem as 'intimate' as other positions yet the distance created by this position may offset the feeling of over stimulation. Elly and I like this position because we can stay in it and, often, fall asleep in it. Also, this position allows for either slight or deep penetration depending on what's 'right' for then. Additionally, in this position I can maintain an erection longer even after ejaculation. Am I really writing this?

The problem with the missionary position is that, frankly, you have to get off (and by that I mean.. oh, never mind). Then, bar cuddling, it's over. Nothing wrong with cuddling, I like that verrrrrry much, yet the genital connection is lost and 'sex' is over. To me sex is not intercourse, it's being closerthanthis with someone I love dearly.

My mother is not going to read this but Elly will and when you do, hon, remember I am 'sharing' not 'telling'.

MichaelR


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Megan -

Welcome, and we're so happy to have you!!! I've missed a few days so I'm coming into this a little late, but I would definitely second (and third) the suggestions of varying your positions if you don't already. While I don't usually find intercourse painful at all, occasionally I do find pressure in certain areas uncomfortable, so we vary our positions accordingly.

The position MichaelR suggested is one that works very very well for that kind of thing, as well as the one Parkway suggested. This might also help with your overstimulation as there isn't so much skin-to-skin contact.

I also strongly recommend the lubrication, it helps a lot, especially if you are looking for a "quickie." While I am often "in the mood" for one, some of the medication I'm taking kind of demands that timing be right, and my brain is sometimes not really in synch with that kind of demand. In that case, I just use a drop or two of lubricant and even though my head isn't as "in the game" as my DH would like it to be, I do derive enjoyment from it and love being close to him, so he's happy as well.

I'll try to think of anything else that might be helpful. In the meantime, please know that you are among friends and we are here for you!

Alison
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Could one of you (or both) tells us a little bit about what's in the book?

Selphiras
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maybe this has already been addressed, but I don't recall. Just wondering if you *have* to be aroused to have sex. I know, all the women's sexual lib says we have to orgasm, too. But you know, it isn't required. ;-) Sure, it's a lot nicer to do so, but I can guarantee that you can have sex without it. It's impossible for me, given that upon penetration I'm in varying amounts of pain. Any prior arousal is usually put out like a light right then.

I have found it helps for me to be a bit aroused in advance; the pain is more like major discomfort than sharp pain. I think we've sometimes had sex after I had a orgasm, too.

If only guys could get it in while still soft. But DH says it's like trying to push a marshmellow. It just doesn't work. But it would be more comfortable!

Selphiras
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Thanks for the continuing great responses! I'll eventually get around to more replies but sometimes it's a bit much to think about all at once.

Just wondering if you *have* to be aroused to have sex

Personally I need to be somewhat aroused or my vagina stays tight.

- Megan

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Could one of you (or both) tells us a little bit about what's in the book?

Here are some of my thoughts on the book. Of course, I read everything through my own filters, so you might get very different things out of it. I found that the author's confrontational style wasn't a good match for me, although the book did contain lots of information that I found interesting.

I found that one analogy in the book explained a lot of what the author was trying to get across.

When you hug your partner, are you both stable on your own two feet, or are you leaning into each other so that if one moves the other will stumble? The author's goal is differentiation, so he says you need to be able to stand on your own two feet.

It seemed to me that the author was describing emotional maturity, not just useful in marriage, although the book is obviously marriage oriented. (I guess people are willing to work hard on self-development to improve their sex life more than for general happiness and well being?) It's not about fairness, or parity, or quid pro quo. It's about being the most mature functional person you can so you can be a better person and a better spouse.

Here are some of my notes about what the author recommends. I'll try to clarify them, but I read the book over a year ago, so we may need help from other quarters.

- When you're stuck (he calls it gridlocked) look at yourself and figure out what growing you still have to do.
- Confront yourself for your own good; for your integrity; for your personal development.
- Don't count on your partner to confront him/herself in return.
- Forget the idea that "the relationship is the problem"
- Stop focusing on what your partner is/is not doing. Instead focus on yourself. Similarly, stop trying to change your partner.
- Look for solutions in new places. Reconsider options you've previously rejected.
- Stop trying to make your partner listen, accept, and validate.
- Keep your mouth shut about your partner's issues.
- Don't identify with your feelings-- anger, sadness, frustration are things that happen to you, not who you are.
- Let the best in you do the thinking and talking.

The webpage also has descriptions:
<http://www.passionatemarriage.com/intimate_relationships.htm>

Megan


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I should add that there's a lot about intimacy and sex in the book, but that was not directly helpful to me at the time, so I don't have notes about it.

:)

- Megan
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Here's a tip no one else has mentioned that I read about (but haven't had the opportunity to try yet).

When you have sex, try keeping your legs outstretched, instead of bent in (like in stirrups) or squatting if on top. Supposedly this will give your vagina more room to expand within your abdominal cavity; when you pull your legs in it decreases the length of your vagina (so that's supposed to be a good position if your partner is on the small side).
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Dear NaggingFool,

You need to see a doctor. First a medical doctor, then, if they don't find anything physically wrong with you, a psychologist. This "overstimulation" thing is just not normal.

6
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This "overstimulation" thing is just not normal.

No, it's somewhat unusual.

But so is being able to tell what the percentage of cotton vs. polyester in a shirt just by touch, and I know people who can do that.

People come in all different shapes, sizes, and yes, sensitivities. Some people can smell the rotten milk from across the room and some can't tell until they eat the first spoonful of cereal. Some people dislike the feeling of lotion so much they would rather get a sunburn than use sunscreen. Some people wear earplugs in movie theaters because they find the sound uncomfortably loud.

I have no reason to believe that the "'overstimulation' thing", as you put it, is anything but a normal healthy variation of the human experience. Annoying yes, but pathalogical, no. My belief is further reinforced by other posters to this board saying they have similar experiences.

I would hope on this board of all places posters would be able to accept that people have a range of differences.

Do you have some reason to suggest a medical or psychological problem?

You haven't posted on this board before. Do you have some experience with infertility or expertise in reproductive science that you think posters here would find helpful? Do you have any painfully personal experiences with becoming a parent you would like to share?

- Megan
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6 -

First of all, pain during intercourse is so common that it has its own name: Dyspareunia. There's also Vulvodynia and Vulvar Vestibulitis, which can cause Dyspareunia, as can Endometriosis and pelvic adhesions.

Second of all, hypersensitivity during sex is also common. In men, such hypersensitivity is the leading cause of premature ejaculation. Surely you've heard of that?

Finally, I must admit, I laughed when I saw that a confirmed CF'er had dropped in on this board not to offer any suggestions, but just to tell a member that she's "not normal." It seems to me that's a lot like someone dropping in on the CF board just to inform you that you're "not normal" for wanting to remain childfree. Oh, wait a sec - don't you guys consider that "trolling"?

BG
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Some people dislike the feeling of lotion so much they would rather get a sunburn than use sunscreen.

And maybe when they get skin cancer they'll think, "maybe I should have at least tried to see whether there was some way I could have gotten over my intense dislike of lotion".

I have no reason to believe that the "'overstimulation' thing", as you put it, is anything but a normal healthy variation of the human experience. Annoying yes, but pathalogical, no. My belief is further reinforced by other posters to this board saying they have similar experiences.

"Annoying", when you burst into tears whenever your husband touches you? Aren't you even curious whether there's something medically wrong that could be fixed?

I saw a link to your post, and just felt that all the responses telling you not to worry, that it's totally normal to be unable to be touched, were off base in that if you haven't seen a doctor ever about your condition, it seems like a very logical first place to start.

I would hope on this board of all places posters would be able to accept that people have a range of differences.

Look, if I sounded like I was judging or insulting you, I didn't mean it that way. I really think that you should see a doctor. If you think I'm wrong and/or don't want to, that's your prerogative.

Ciao,
6

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Two more thoughts -- boy, just can't let this thread die, eh? Both of these are reaches, but I thought I'd pass 'em along since you're obviously doing fine picking and choosing what looks promising to you.

1. Advil taken ahead of time might help with the muscle tighness. This approach might feel too much like the "get drunk" suggestion that you didn't like, though Advil is going to mess with your mental processes less than alcohol would.

2. Making love while drowsy, while not necessarily orgasmic, can be delightfully dreamlike. I'm talking about that halfway state where you're a little out of it, but still aware and responsive. I get this way right before I fall asleep (especially after a hard workout and a hot shower!) or when I'm woken up gently. Am I making sense? Anyway, I don't know that trying when you're in this state would do a lot for your DH (and it would probably involve either trying in the evening or him waking up first in the morning), but if he's up for it, you might find that the tightness and overstimlation are minimized when you're like this.

- Parkway, trying to be helpful
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I have no reason to believe that the "'overstimulation' thing", as you put it, is anything but a normal healthy variation of the human experience. Annoying yes, but pathalogical, no. My belief is further reinforced by other posters to this board saying they have similar experiences.

What does "overstimulation" mean?



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Look, if I sounded like I was judging or insulting you, I didn't mean it that way. I really think that you should see a doctor. If you think I'm wrong and/or don't want to, that's your prerogative.

From earlier in the thread, NaggingFool said:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=19403047

I have talked to my physician (at one point I had a resident for my PCP and she spent over an hour talking to me about this problem.)

In addition, it's obvious that she's done reading on the subject: Passionate Marriage: Love, Sex, and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships, by David Schnarch (suggested by TeacherH, which NaggingFool provided a very good synopsis of).

So, since she is exploring both avenues already, your advice was both a little late and redundant. In addition, it made a pretty obvious value judgement - which we try to avoid or at least phrase a little more politely than you did.

In addition, forgive my cynicism, but it's a little hard to take advice from someone who says things like this:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=19434341

which reads, on the topic of NaggingFool's post:

No, I mocked her and got demonized for it.

6


So, it's a little hard to swallow when you tell someone that you're not judging or insulting them, when, in my experience with you, you manage to make a career out of doing just that. Did you mean to say that you were mocking her, or is that just out of context?

Personally, I don't really care if you want to post on this board or not. It's a board that welcomes advice from all viewpoints, and is full of people who genuinely have an issue they want to resolve. Myself included.

But the atmosphere is supposed to be supportive and/or relatively fact-based and objective, and for the most part, informed, by people who are either offering anecdotal advice from the view of similar experience, or know more about a particular topic than someone else does. Unlike many other boards, it's not really a debate-type of atmosphere. It's information-sharing.

I probably should just let this go, but it's really hard, especially when you have referred to me as an "oh-so-evolved Infertile Mommy Wannabe."

If you've got such a deep level of contempt on the subject, it makes me wonder what the character of any advice you DO provide is going to be.

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Sorry, you can only recommend a post to the Best of once!

Amen, sister!
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